What Is B2B Sales: Definitions and Best Practices

Over the years, B2B sales have been evolving from science practice. It has brought the requirements of customers as the center of attention, and also data-driven sales are aided by digitalization and supported by advanced analytics. Businesses that have adopted B2B sales have begun to outperform their competitors, such as; growth in revenue, profitability, and value.

However, we will be revealing more about this business practice in this article. But before that, you need to know what B2B sales are.


What Do You Mean By B2B Sales?

You have a B2B sales cycle if your company offers products or services to other companies.

B2B sales denote a business connection, arrangement, or marketplace between two or more companies, which allows businesses to develop a relationship with another firm for selling their products or services. This practice is contrary to B2C (business to consumer).

Although the services are generally significantly more challenging, B2B products usually have a higher pricing range. Moreover, a lengthier sales cycle necessitates the involvement of numerous persons in various positions, which occurs because instead of a single purchase, B2B sales sometimes take place over several weeks through different negotiations.

B2B sales are classified into three categories based on the company model or product:

1. Sales of Supplies

The sales of supplies cover everything in which the suppliers offer collections used by another company, for example, from office supplies to staff uniforms and equipment. This practice is a bit similar to business to the consumer, but the difference is how much they have it is authorized to offer. Instead of buying a single product, the customer can purchase the products in bulk.

For example, an office requires office supplies and will approach a vendor to supply a list of products in bulk to the office. But in business to consumers, a consumer can buy a limited amount of products from a merchant.

2. Wholesale Sales

In this type of B2B sales, other firms buy essential production or retail products from the distributor. An example can be a wholesale food distributor in contract with a particular restaurant to distribute groceries. Moreover, an organic dairy farm distributing its products to a food outlet can also be another example.

3. Services Sales

Many websites and software offer B2B sales. However, it is considered a service provider instead of a product. In this type of sales, website developers or software houses develop software or a website for a particular business.

For example, a company offers online products to its customers, so it would need some software or website to sell its products to the customer. In this sense, the company will need to approach another business such as a software house or a website developer to fulfill their needs.


Difference Between B2B and B2C

Both of the sales practices are related to selling goods or services. However, a competent sales representative can perform both, but the same methods cannot be utilized for both of these practices. It’s wasteful to apply B2C techniques to B2B or likewise.


Hence, before you begin with the plan to start with either of the methods, it’s crucial to know about their fundamental differences.

1. Potential Customers

The primary distinction between any of these practices is the emphasis on brand management. Customers are considered as the boss in B2B. They are important decision-makers in a business-to-business environment. It is not necessary to sell the product or service to every customer or employee.

On the contrary, B2C is concerned with the end-user since the target audience is the consumers. So the selling approaches should emphasize the perspectives of who will be using the products or services.

2. Size of Target Market

The target audience size differs as well. B2C tactics are traditionally intended for large groups of individuals. This scenario happens since various end-users will consume the services or products.

On the other hand, the group of the target markets in B2B is usually limited. The approach is dependent on the particular needs of an organization. Hence, the proposal is intended to persuade a small group of individuals or a team of people who make decisions on behalf of the firm.

3. Circumstances of Making Choices

Aside from the individuals who make the choices to buy a product or service, the circumstances of making such choices are also important. B2Cs are frequently the result of an urgent demand. A consumer will purchase a product out of familiarity or based on current sentiments. Hence, the buying decision will be prompted by thoughts and may even be made on the spur of the moment.

Whereas, in B2B, buying choices cannot be made immediately as it includes a contract with a company and not with the end-users. Even though the sale process is a lengthier cycle, the firm that sells a product or service must persuade the potential customers. Before finalizing a contract, they’ll tend to conduct several sessions and possibly a proposal presentation which can also take months.

4. Marketing Tactics

The marketing approach also differs in both of these practices. In B2C a large group of target Individual end users are frequently targeted by compelling stories that appeal to their feelings. The end-users should be informed about the product’s or service’s perks and usefulness in a general sense.

However,  when it comes to B2B, companies’ reasoning is frequently used to persuade them with logic and explanation. The salesman is ought to tell the potential customer about the product’s or service’s characteristics and how they will benefit the company.

5. Pricing

As opposed to B2Bs, B2Cs often have lower pricing rates. This is due to the fact that the consumer only pays once during every transaction. Also, the payment is made on the spot and not altogether, even if it’s repetitive. B2B is a contract, and hence supplies and services, on the other hand, are often reimbursed over time. So the prices are relatively higher in B2B.

6. Engagements

One-time purchases are prevalent in B2C sales, which ensures that the customer and the salesperson or team have never met before or have no kind of contract. The consumers are not bound to buy a specific product or service from a specific firm. Thus they are free to choose any other brand over and over again since there is no significant type of deal made between the buyer or seller.

However, it is the opposite in B2B. In fact, for the entire procedure to be an endeavor for both sides, trust must be built, and a commitment must be maintained. The sales department needs to work harder to ensure that the customer’s needs are met, so they obtain the relevant content that will be given to the final users. Conversely, the purchasing firm must ensure that the quality of products and services are obtained.

7. Expertise

In B2B, the expertise required to be successful is more difficult than in B2C as the decision of acquiring the product or services is primarily taken by the strategic management. Although B2C also requires time to get appropriate expertise, the skill set is not as complicated to learn as in B2B. 

B2B Sales Process


Although B2B sales tend to be more profitable than B2C, it can be complex as you are promising another business to be responsible for what you are going to sell them, so in this sense, you will have to maintain your reputation as well since another company’s reputation will also be at stake because of you.

So Businesses in this sector recruit B2B sales specialists that are educated to locate, verify, and attract corporate buyers in order to overcome difficulties and be successful. Here’s how  businesses manage to offer B2B sales:

1. Outbound Sales

There are outbound-focused representatives in many robust B2B sales firms. Outbound sales are when a supplier initiates contact with a potential B2B customer and drives engagements with them. The outbound SDRs target clients that meet desired customer buying characteristics through methods like sales calls, emailing, social networking sites, etc.. The following is a broad outline of the outbound sales process:

  • Prospecting;
  • Research;
  • Connecting;
  • Assessment;
  • Creating Proposals;
  • Follow Up;
  • Handling;
  • Completion.

2. Inbound Sales

Unlike outbound sales, clients who arrive through the inbound method initiate contact with suppliers to discover more about their offering. Moreover, Inbound prospects are customers who have learned about your business through an internet search or promotions and have expressed a strong desire to buy your goods or service. Hence, B2B inbound salespeople construct their selling process from the customer’s point-of-view to successfully complete inbound sales prospects.

3. B2B Tutorial

The business representatives must understand how to effectively assist the potential firm during the B2B demonstration. This responsibility includes various roles such as: answering any queries and presenting your business to potential clients. In addition, address any concerns of your prospects who have necessities that are not being addressed lately. Hence, demonstrating effectively is a creative act.

4. Sealing the Deal

If you have carried out a successful demonstration, then the next step you will likely face is to seal the deal. Your account executive then becomes a motivator to encourage internal employees to pitch to other relevant stakeholders inside the corporation.

5. Customer Success

This process is far over to be completed. Even though deals are signed, buyers are frequently assisted by customer success representatives to make sure that they are pleased with the quality of the products. This part is very important since customer satisfaction and development are essential in B2B sales.

In short, the objective is to start with a lesser transaction, make sure that the client is pleased, and then gradually increase the contract with the pace of time. Effective B2B businesses recognize that their most productive salesmen are usually their clients to promote their products through word of mouth.

What is a B2B Sales Funnel?

The B2B sales process primarily focuses on the selling firm’s decision-making. Envisioning your B2B sales funnel is a foundation, a stepping stone that can save your company money in the long run.


Five Classic B2B Sales Funnel Stages

Let’s look at each level of a B2B sales funnel plan separately.

1. Awareness

A B2B customer at the Awareness stage of the funnel is searching for solutions. The potential customers look for relevant opinions and information to get the solutions to their problems. Since there is no certainty customers will seek a service from your organization, the value of this stage is poor.

However, they are likely to get attracted if your organization is capable of providing the relevant answers and content to the potential customers by making them aware of your services.

2. Interest

At this stage in the sales funnel, the purchasing process is initiated, and credibility is earned. The potential customers are likely to get intrigued by your products and services after getting aware of their perks. So they ought to be researching more about your offerings. Hence, the goal of fostering the prospect at this phase is to improve the customer’s perception of your business.

3. Evaluation

Once you have successfully piqued the customer’s interest, the next step is to showcase how your products or services aim to fulfill the needs of the customers. Moreover, to develop strong customer loyalty, your business should also make them aware of the offerings you don’t provide. This transparency may not benefit you this time but will surely make an influence of high credibility.

4. Engagement

At this stage, product demos, sales presentations, and constructive dialogue are carried out. This will also help you to understand the customer’s concerns and that way, you can guide them for the solutions.

5. Sales Transaction

The typical sales funnel ends at this stage after the purchase order is written. However, the post purchase engagements keep the customer more loyal to your business.

Final Thoughts

In recent years, B2B sales have altered considerably. It’s no longer enough to sit back and wait for leads to approach you. Therefore, be strategic and discover the platforms where potential buyers are available, then offer relevant information that answers their requirements.

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