How do B2B Sales Work?
During these past few years, the B2B sales process has taken an incredible shift, becoming a more intrinsic and detailed operation where the customer has complete control every step of the way. In today’s ever-growing and evolving service and product marketplace, it’s crucial to understand the new B2B sales process, welcome its changes, and implement strategies that consider its evolutions.
In the past, the B2B sales process was quite simple: the potential customer searched for a solution to their problem, they identified a possible business partner, talked to their salespeople about their specific needs, consulted with their company’s decision-makers, and made the deal.
Now, with the additional power of search engine tools like Google, the process broadens, and the options increase exponentially, converting potential clients into a more demanding audience with higher expectations.
B2B Sales or business to business is all about selling a product or service that your clients are unaware of but that they certainly need to run a smoother or more efficient operation. B2B sales have now become a multi-platform process where buyers jump in and out at any given time.
What is B2B Sales?
Before we continue to talk about B2B sales, let’s define what it actually means.
B2B sales, or business to business, refers to transactions that take place between two businesses. It’s as simple as a company selling a product or service to another company. The most fundamental difference between B2B and B2C is that in B2B, the transactions are between companies and B2C between business and customers.
Types of B2B Sales
These are some types of B2B sales:
- Service or software sales
Companies that provide services like market research for other companies or software solutions.
- Wholesale or distribution sales
Companies that provide retail or manufacturing services to other companies.
- Supply sales
Businesses that produce or distribute raw materials to manufacturing companies.
Steps of the B2B Sales Process
Now that we understand what B2B sales means and its types, let’s discuss the process itself. There are many steps to creating a B2B sales process or cycle, and it may vary depending on your specific business. These are the most common and generalized steps of the cycle:
- Research stage
As in many processes, the primary step is to conduct market research. For any B2B salesperson, it’s essential to know what’s going on in the marketplace, who are the main competitors or their company, and understand their brand’s value proposition which differentiates them from the other companies.
- Studying ideal customers
Here’s where you must search for those ideal potential customers, the decision-makers in the companies that ultimately give the green light for product or service purchases. It’s essential to classify these ideal customers, define what they’re like, their habits, and most importantly, their pain points.
- First approach
After knowing your market and who you’re actually going to market to, you are ready to make that very important first approach. There are various options you can consider when planning the first contact, and these are just a few:
- Social media post
- Social media ads
- Compelling blogpost
- Outbound marketing
- Cold calling
- Pitching your service to qualified leads
After determining which leads to pursue, you must get in front of them and explain why they need your product or service and how it will solve their current pain points. An essential part of the pitch, which is often forgotten, is listening to what your prospect says. In this initial conversation, they give insights into how their business works. So, you must listen attentively and adapt your script to what your prospect is mentioning.
Pro tip: Even though scripts for sales pitching are crucial, they can become systematic and cold. To avoid this, you must tailor and tweak your scripts to each specific ideal customer to make sure you tackle their particular needs.
- Follow up
If the sales pitch is successful, the salesperson must send the proposal or scope of work as soon as possible so that what was discussed during the call is in writing and becomes official.
- Closing the deal
After sending the proposal and everything is completely clear, it’s a great idea to schedule a call to walk through the proposal, and then communicate via email so there is a record of all negotiations on the final agreement. If there’s an issue in this stage, it’s essential to be open and sympathetic with the client, providing all the information they require to feel safe and make the deal.
Tips for a successful B2B sales process
hese are some of the essential roles of a B2B sales representative:
- Making and receiving phone calls
- Producing and sending sales & marketing emails
- Conducting product demos
- Conducting sales presentations
- Identifying pain points
- Solving client issues
Understanding how the B2B sales process works will allow your business to create strategies that align with what the customer requires, including specific content and tactics during each stage that will increase your engagement and further your clients' trust in your brand. It's essential to create a customer-centric strategy that considers their needs and pain points and how your brand provides solutions to their problems.
Kathy Monroy is an experienced Communications Specialist and Journalist. Driven to go above and beyond, Kathy produces high-quality content specializing in transportation and logistics, marketing, sales, and technology. Her goals include becoming an expert and an authority in her line of work, always providing her audience with the most relevant and useful information.