About B2B simply: the process and the sales pipeline
B2B sales or Business-to-business is when one company sells its products or services to another. Agree, if we sell to an individual, we understand their goal is consumption. Whether it’s groceries in the supermarket or appliances. But the specifics are different in B2B. 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 marketing on the Internet 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 fun, but in B2B, the customer buys for more profit in the long run.
B2B sales process
Sales for business is a complex process that requires a clear approach. Competitors in today’s world are plentiful in any field, 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
B2B Sales pipeline
The client accidentally sees an advertisement on the Internet, gets on the site, gets 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 customers, at best 10 will reach a purchase, much less a long-term relationship.
Most B2B sales pipelines consist of 4-7 steps.
Here’s an example of a 7-step one:
- Awareness (application from the client)
- Recognition of need
- Decision, evaluation of options
- Evaluation of outcome (feedback analysis, 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 client, there is a high probability that he will “quit”. Buying in “B2B” is not an emotional decision, but a balanced one that requires a 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.