Sometimes, the sales world wants to mess up our lives with many technicalities. However, it is actually lending us a hand when defining whether you work in B2B or B2C sales. If a salesperson is clear about whether their work is directed to a company or the end consumer, they are also clear about the path they must take to close a deal.
A good part of the success in the sales of any business lies in establishing a strategy focused on the customer. It applies to various businesses: restaurant businesses, banking, consulting, legal services, esay assistance like essayswriter help, online stores, and more.
B2B sales correspond to the English acronym “Business to Business .”It is used to differentiate the commercial processes between companies and those that sell to the final consumer or, in general, to an individual.
We will explain it with an example: think of a supermarket. The store has some suppliers (companies) from whom it buys food, which it then offers to ordinary people. The first transaction in this example is a B2B sale: the supplier sells to the supermarket. The next transaction is B2C: the supermarket sells to the final consumer. Is this clear?
It should be clear that suppliers could also offer their products or services to individuals. However, as we will show below, the sales process, timing, and general terms of the negotiation will always be different.
Likewise, there are businesses that, by nature, have a B2B sales modality. It is the case, for example, of specialized equipment maintenance services and providers of IT services such as storage, data security, or project management systems.
How do B2B sales work?
As in any business process, the B2B sales cycle goes from prospecting to closing the deal. However, it tends to be a longer and more time-consuming journey than a B2C sale. It is because, in a negotiation between two companies, there are more decision-makers, more risks, more knowledge on the part of the customer, and, therefore, a more critical stance.
The truth is that a company-customer, more than a product or service, is looking for a reliable and lasting relationship with its supplier. The truth is that businesses want to avoid a permanent lack of supplies or change of suppliers, among other inconveniences.
Therefore, it is worthwhile to go through the B2B process with patience and optimism because the advantages of closing these deals are significant: there is usually more turnover and a better retention rate. All this translates into higher profitability.
Characteristics of B2B sales
- The customer is a legal entity. It may involve handling paperwork, taxes, and legal documents.
- The time taken by the customer to analyze the seller’s proposal is greater than the time it would take an end consumer.
- The salesperson invests much more time in each negotiation.
- The qualities of the salespeople are at a high level. They speak more than one language and have good technical knowledge, negotiation skills, and excellent interpersonal skills.
- Trust and confidentiality are essential in this sale since business-to-business negotiations involve sensitive information.
- Company purchases depend on a strict annual budget. Therefore, the customer has little flexibility, and the salesperson must be on the customer’s radar during budget planning.
- The cost of acquiring a B2B customer includes representation expenses, travel expenses, demonstrations, and free trials, among other values that make it onerous. However, there is usually a higher return on investment than in B2C sales.
Factors of a B2B sales strategy
- Knowing the customer. This factor is fundamental in any commercial process. Knowing the company, its values, end customers, processes, and personnel will greatly help. Also, in the second phase, you can delve deeper into knowing the decision-makers to engage in more solid conversations.
- Locate the decision-makers. It is important to identify the person who will ultimately close the deal. You will probably have to talk to middle management to present the service or product, but you must find a way to reach the decision-maker. Otherwise, you won’t make the sale.
- Execute inbound marketing campaigns. As customers are more informed and critical, providing valuable content and giving as much information as possible about your product or service will be an effective hook.
- Classify leads and follow up. Given how wasteful B2B sales processes are, it is very helpful to have classified leads know where they are in the sales funnel and when they are ready to close the deal. Based on that, a careful follow-up program will allow you to take effective actions in time.
- Building the proposal. Generally, B2B sales are not a one-transaction affair. That is why the salesperson is required to develop a proposal. A good proposal considers the needs of the company customer and contemplates benefits for both parties. It must be clear and detailed to avoid misunderstandings in the negotiation.
- After-sales service. A B2B sales strategy will be lame if it does not offer an optimal after-sales service. Why? Because the success of this type of business is the repurchase, the long-term relationship, and loyalty. If the seller abandons his company customer once the contract is signed, it leaves cracks in this commercial relationship. On the other hand, accompaniment, consulting, maintenance, and all the services that can complement the purchase give you value and strengthen commercial ties.
Ready to create your strategy?
Many salespeople may think: “sell to a company or sell to the consumer, who cares? The important thing is to sell!” And they are partly right. However, specializing and being clear about what is right for your operation will pay off better. Thus, all your actions must be oriented to conquer and gain the confidence of the decision-maker, which is very different if it is a mother of a family or the manager of an automotive company, for example.
As you have seen, a salesperson who focuses on his prospect, understands his needs, and meets his expectations, manages to build solid and lasting business relationships, especially in B2B sales.