April 22, 2021

The ultimate guide to B2B Sales

Many people live in fear of B2B sales. Sales is a tough business, and the thought of making cold calls to strangers makes many people cringe. But what if you knew that there was an easier way? What if there were more than one way to make sales? There are so many strategies for B2B Sales that it can be hard to keep track! In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most important aspects about B2B Sales.

Sales is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business, but it can be difficult to know where to start. Sales are often divided into two categories: B2C or B2B. The difference between the two types has everything to do with who you're selling too. In this article, we'll talk about what B2B Sales are, how they work differently from other sales tactics, and why your business needs them in order to succeed!

What Is B2B Sales? 

B2B Sales, or business to business sales,  is a subset of the larger realm of sales . In order to understand what b2b sales is, it's important to be mindful that what constitutes "business" in this context can vary from one person or company to another.

So when it comes down to it, what is B2B sales?

This is really a question about understanding who the players are in any given transaction. When you have an idea of who might benefit from buying your product or service, and who you might be selling it to, you'll have a more concrete idea of what B2B sales is.

B2B sales  is often used interchangeably with the term "business development."  Business development can describe almost any business case where one business interacts with or tries to sell its product or service to another business. The idea behind any such transaction is that both parties stand to benefit from entering into this agreement. B2B sales involves identifying potential customers and then initiating contact in order to present your product or service offering, and ultimately close on an agreement.

B2B sales is not just about making a transaction happen between two organizations but it entails creating long-term relationships that can help both parties achieve more success within their organization as well as allowing them to evolve into leaders in the industry.

B2B Sales Reps

The factor that has greatly contributed to B2B sales success is the involvement of team players. Given the nature of this industry, both parties must work together in order to achieve their set goals and maximize their potential. Sales representative play a important role by performing following tasks-

  1. B2B sales entails creating long-term relationships with different business firms in order to acquire their market shares. A sales representative is familiar with all company policies and administration decisions so he can approach the client with ease when selling his products or services. He also participates in regular meetings that will help him get more acquainted with other departments within the company. This way, he comes up with better strategies of promoting his product to consumers.
  1. Sales representatives keep themselves updated about technological advancements in order for them to remain competitive in today's highly technological society. By making use of modern technology, companies can penetrate different markets without spending too much on advertising and promotion expenses. More importantly, it allows for easier communication between employees and companies which can contribute to the betterment of a firm's working environment.

What is a B2B Sales Funnel

A sales funnel is a way to visualize all of the steps in your marketing and sales process, from lead generation to close.

Your sales funnel is the path that every prospect takes from their first point of contact with your brand, through to becoming a customer. The idea is that there are several stages of marketing and lead nurturing that happen between these two points.

By mapping out all of the steps in this process, you can easily identify how effective each part of your funnel is. By understanding where your potential customers are falling off, you'll be able to fine-tune your messaging and streamline your sales process to ultimately increase conversions.

5 basic steps of a sales funnel

1) Lead generation  – Getting initial visitors on your site for free is the first step – this is called lead generation – getting potential new clients on your mailing list or landing page.

2) Promotion  – You need to promote your website and marketing offers through Facebook ads, guest posts, PPC (pay per click), email marketing.

3) Conversion – Visitors coming from different sources result in different conversions. For example: traffic that finds you organically on Google might get 10% conversion, while someone who finds you via a paid ad is more likely to get 40%. So you'll want to track all of these conversions separately.

4) Sales – When someone makes a purchase, they enter the final stage called sales.

5) Retention – Customers can leave your business for various reasons - subscribe to your newsletter so you keep communicating with them even if they left for another horse. Retention means keeping what you already have - customers! If you can get your customer to come back and buy more, then you're in the game.

Below is an example of what a sales funnel looks like in real life:

  • Traffic > Promotions  – This step includes paid advertising (PPC) and organic search engine optimization (SEO). It's about how people find out about your business online. ​
  • Conversions > Sales  - At this point, money changes hands. Your website needs to be ready for that exchange of cash. Customers can either login or checkout as guests on your site. You need the right tools to help them make an informed decision about their purchase when they land on your site.
  • Retention > Repeat Sales  – You don't want to lose customers when they're making a purchase. Instead, you want them to come back and buy again. Keep the relationship strong by sending regular newsletters or promotions to keep them engaged with your business.

B2B vs B2C

When most people think about B2C or consumer sales , they likely picture a retail store. In this scenario there are two parties- the buyer and seller. The seller, typically a company who manufactures goods, needs to find customers who want to purchase their products. The buyers would then be individuals and families looking for goods and services they need.

If we apply this understanding of retail-style consumer transactions to b2b sales , we can imagine large companies selling products and services to other businesses, governments, institutions or groups.

B2C- A  B2C business sells products that are typically used by consumers or households. In a B2C business model, companies typically have direct contact with the consumer which involves having a physical store where customers can come and go as they please. In contrast, businesses that follow a B2B approach usually supply services or products to other businesses rather than individual consumers. As such, they do not have direct contact with their clients unless they operate through an intermediary.

B2B- Business-to-Business (B2B) is the type of business that sells products or services to other businesses rather than individual consumers or clients. This means that they do not have direct contact with their customers unless there is an intermediary involved, such as a retailer. An example would be IBM who provides information technology services and consulting to other companies rather than selling directly to retail customers.

How Does a B2B Sales Process Looks Like-

B2B sales process is broken down into five distinct steps:

1. Lead generation- the process of finding people who may want to purchase your product or service, either online (searching on Google, for example) or offline (through marketing events and trade shows.)

2. Nurturing leads- prospects that have been identified but are not ready to buy right away. They need a little extra push along the decision making process. Here you can utilize email marketing tools such as Campaign Monitor, MailChimp and Constant Contact in order to nurture these leads. You can also use social media ad managers such as Hootsuite and Socialpilot to automate certain processes for this step in the sales cycle. In addition, having a strong and consistent blog plan in place will help you to attract more qualified leads. There are several companies out there that automate your marketing and make it easy for you to create high-quality content such as EZ Texting, ContentMarketer and Buzzstream to name a few.

3. Lead Conversion- Also known as lead qualification, this step in the B2B sales process is where you turn the warm prospect into an actual customer - either by selling directly over the phone or through a web meeting. Just because someone has shown interest in your product or service doesn't mean they're immediately ready to buy! You need to probe deeper into their needs and challenges before deciding if this person is pursuing further. Using email marketing is one of the most effective way to accomplish this goal.

4. Account Management- This is where you sell your customer on additional products and services that may benefit them even further, while at the same time cross-selling related products. For example, let's say you sell software for small business owners. You might offer a complementary service such as payroll or bookkeeping with each initial purchase of your product in order to generate more revenue from each customer.

5. Closing - Once all previous steps are complete, you need to ask for the sale! This step can be done over the phone or in person by following up after face-to-face meetings in order to secure the deal. If not done properly, this step in B2B sales process can be the biggest reason why you lose a potential client. Your customer has not only shown interest in your product or service, but trust and loyalty as well. Be sure to close the deal!

Selling b2b does not end when you lose or win a project; it's an ongoing process where you need to maintain good relations with current and potential clients in order to make sure that there is always demand for your products and services among industry leaders. Following the right sales process will ensure that your chances of achieving business growth become higher over time.

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Spencer Farber

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