Business-to-business is when one company sells its goods or services to another. Agree, if we sell to a person, we understand that their goal is consumption. Be it groceries in the supermarket or home appliances.
But in B2B, the specifics are different. The company, buying your product, wants to use it to increase sales conversion. It can be, for example, machine tools, IT systems, raw materials, or online marketing as we do.
Basic examples of B2B sales:
- The company sells professional services, such as market research, to other companies
- Selling digital/software services. As an option, a CRM system
- Manufacturing and selling raw materials in bulk to companies
In B2C, the customer buys for pleasure, but in B2B, the customer buys for more profit in the long run.
The B2B sales process
Sales for business is a complex process that requires a clear approach. Competitors in the modern world are enough in any sphere, and to stand out you need to make a competent USP, present successful cases, and convince the company that it is you who will solve its problem.
The exact number of stages in the sales process depends on the industry, but we have identified 7 key ones:
- Needs Assessment
- Negotiating/working through objections
- Closing the deal
- Follow up
The client accidentally sees an advertisement on the Internet, enters the site, becomes interested, leaves a phone number, then the manager contacts him, clarifies details, answers questions, and closes the deal. This is what the ideal sales funnel looks like.
But in reality, it’s often more complicated than that.
Out of 100 potential clients, at best 10 will make it to the purchase, let alone long-term cooperation.
Most B2B sales pipelines consist of 4-7 steps.
Here’s an example of a 7-step:
- Awareness (an application from the customer)
- Recognition of need
- Decision, evaluation of options
- Evaluation of outcome (analysis of feedback, search for alternatives if necessary)
- Delight/disappointment as a result of the evaluation
Important: Work with the client is necessary at every stage. The decision-making cycle is long and, if you don’t communicate with the customer, there is a high probability that he will “quit”.
Buying in B2B is not an emotional decision, but a deliberate one requiring serious investment.
B2B sales are constantly transforming. The market needs to respond quickly and implement new tools. Especially now, when more and more companies are moving online.
The main challenge is to learn to adapt quickly to the changes and offer customers the best solutions.