What Is B2B Sales? Definition, Examples, and Strategy

Find out what constitutes a B2B sale and B2B sales strategy

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What Is B2B Sales?

B2B sales is when businesses sell something to other businesses, in contrast to B2C sales, where a brand offers products to individuals.

B2B sales often focus on reselling. Thus, one of the main objectives is to join up with a partner company and its management to set up this process and keep it going smoothly.

Examples of B2B Sales

  • Companies that produce tire casings sell them to car manufacturers.
  • Supermarkets order items at wholesale prices to sell at higher prices to individuals.
  • Lawyer firms work on corporate cases.
  • Marketing studios prepare strategies and provide content for brands.
  • Basically, any kind of outsourced service provider that works with companies belongs here.

These are only some examples. Platforms like Revenue Grid that help businesses to build smart sales strategies also belong to the B2B sector.

What is a B2B sales representative?

A B2B sales representative (or simply “sales rep”) is a customer-facing professional who seeks and builds relationships with corporate decision-makers to sell the company’s solutions, directly contributing to building relationships between organizations, portfolio growth, and revenue generation.

Following a playbook based on the company’s sales team sales process, B2B sales reps leverage a vast array of professional sales skills, techniques, and tools to build trusted and long-lasting relationships with potential buyers and recommend solutions that best meet their needs.

The range of daily duties of an average B2B sales representative includes:

  • selling organization’s solutions to boost profit (including searching for new potential customers and retaining the existing ones, explaining the product advantages, servicing them in many ways, controlling online transactions and sales, achieving weekly, quarterly, monthly, and annual volume and margin sales targets);
  • building strong relationships with the key customer accounts to maintain a great level of service and customer loyalty;
  • providing customers with an expected budget, payment agreements, and delivery estimates (including drafting contracts, managing pricing, sales data, and activity reports, soliciting purchase orders, conducting post-sale follow-ups);
  • creating periodical reports based on sales;
  • performing different administrative duties;
  • keeping up with  current market trends;
  • monitoring and overseeing the activities of the other sales team members.

Key features of B2B sales process

B2B selling is a sophisticated process that requires a carefully planned, well-thought-out, and successfully implemented sales strategy to achieve success.

The sales process follows a well-defined series of stages, actions, and events, and implies using a wide range of sales methods, chosen depending on the types of buyers and situations.

The number of stages in the B2B sales process is determined by the type of industry in which the company operates and the characteristics of the company itself. Typically, this is a sales cycle of 5-8 stages:

  1. Lead generation (finding sales-qualified leads).
  2. Discovery (or the research stage).
  3. Qualification (assessing the prospect’s suitability as a customer).
  4. Pitch (hitting on key points of value that are relevant to prospects).
  5. Objection handling (repositioning an offer in a way that answers prospects’ questions).
  6. Closing (the final stage of convincing the prospect that your solution fits their needs).
  7. Follow up (providing next steps, a summary or a recording of your conversation, additional useful information after the sales call).
  8. Check-in (after the prospect becomes the client and has bought your product/service, reach out one more time to find out how he is doing).

B2B Sales Strategy

Corporations are much more sophisticated customers, and they usually look for high-end merchandise and service. There are three parameters that greatly affect B2B sales:

  • The field a B2B company operates in
  • The product a company sells
  • The sales channels a company uses to deliver the product to market

A salesman working in B2B sales should know how to work with different departments of a buyer’s company. Administrators, secretaries, assistants, managers – they all can participate in the purchasing process. Often different professionals focus on different aspects of a product – price, advantages, perks you are ready to offer, etc.

B2B sales as a process consists of four phases:

1) lead generation;
2) lead development;
3) client fulfillment;
4) account management.

In B2B sales, the potential market is narrow, and the sales cycle is elaborate. So the process is more complicated in general, but it also takes the company to a whole new level. That’s why some companies practice working with B2B and B2C types of clients simultaneously.

Read also: 

What Is Direct Sales?

What Is a Sales Funnel?

Guided selling: what it is, why it matters