Business to Business (B2B) Sales
Business to Business (B2B) Sales
You’ve probably encountered the acronym “B2B” countless times in your sales career. On the off-chance that you aren’t familiar with the lingo, B2B refers to business to business sales or, in other words, the selling of goods or services to other businesses instead of consumers.
B2B sales are often more complex than B2C (“business to consumer sales”) because they involve selling to trained white collar professionals or decision-makers who themselves are familiar with business sales processes. For this reason, B2B salespeople have to abide by a different set of rules and follow separate strategies than their B2C colleagues.
The truth is that B2B sales are only going to grow in the years ahead, with B2B ecommerce estimated to eclipse a whopping 800.8 trillion in volume by 2023. This is just one reason why it’s so important that you brush up on your business to business sales game. Below, we’ve listed a handful of tried-and-true methods to do just that.
Examples of B2C sales activities
Inside sales activities can involve a wide range of customer types. You will also need to distribute your products through a variety of mediums, such as call centers and live chat rooms. An outside sales job will likely involve going door-to-door.
Who are the B2C consumers?
The B2C consumers are the people who are looking to add value to their lives by adding products that help them achieve some day-to-day solutions. A B2C business offers quick solutions for people who are looking to fulfill their basic essentials or enrich their lives with luxury goods.
It is more common for consumers in B2C to be bargain hunters than B2B buyers. Moreover, their buying decisions, too, are often emotionally driven. There are various factors about the product they are curious about, such as the price, the quality, the problem it solves for them, and how it adds value to their lives.
Sales based on benefits
Providing value to our customers
Relationship building with prospects
The Internet facilitates learning about the products online apart from comparing them, in certain areas of sales, prospects still find a personal service to be the best. To succeed in direct sales, you do not need a lot of experience. However, you do need sales skills, commitment to customer service, and sound strategies.
Although in B2C you will usually come across only a single decision-maker, there could still be too many hurdles converting the prospects. Therefore, it is of prime importance to learn how to build relationships in a short duration.
How are B2C and B2B Sales Jobs Different?
A lot of profit opportunities exist when it comes to B2B sales. The downside is that selling to other businesses can be challenging. Recent research suggests that coordinating and meeting with prospective suppliers is dedicated to a very short time. Reps are, therefore, limited in their ability to influence the purchase decision as they have a limited timeframe to do so.
Establish direct communication with decision-makers
Potential customers and purchasing agents can provide you with opportunities. But you need to establish relationships with decision-makers who are able to pay for your product or service.
Prepare well before you cold-call
Create a competitive advantage
Before going to a sales meeting, familiarize yourself with the unique value proposition of your offering. In order to sell your prospect on tangible results, you should know how your product solves similar problems and be able to demonstrate it.
It is always better to listen more than you speak. This not only helps you be attentive towards clients’ requirements and concerns but also lets them feel your dedication. In such a scenario, the client is more likely to respond in a positive manner.
Let your prospects choose
Humans love to have options around them to choose from. If you present your client with only one product or solution, chances are that they may hop on to another business for a better price or better product feature, harming your sales funnel. Avoiding this is simple. Offer your customers more options which ensures them that they have seen enough and now is the time to choose. Thus, bringing them closer to the purchase.
FAQs About B2B Ecommerce
What is the difference between B2B and B2C ecommerce?
Due to the nature of B2B ecommerce, B2B transactions typically involve high-value, low-volume sales and fewer buyers. Since B2B transactions are often unique to each customer, price points can be negotiable, and the sales cycle often takes longer than a typical B2C transaction, since there is more money, more product and more decision-makers involved.
On the other hand, B2C transactions are usually low-value and high-volume and serve far more buyers. Just like you can’t negotiate the price of bread at the grocery store, almost all B2C sales are non-negotiable, however coupons and other discounts may be available. And since transactions are typically for less expensive goods, the sales cycle is rapid.
How is the B2B buyer journey different from that of B2C?
Since B2B transactions often involve higher-value goods and services, there is often more risk involved, and therefore the decision-making process is much longer than that of B2C. As a result, purchasing decisions must go through several people and opinions before being approved.
On the other hand, with B2C commerce, a customer is often purchasing products for themselves or a household, so there are normally only one or a few people involved. And because the cost of B2C goods and services is much lower, the sales cycle is often rapid and much less risky.
What is the B2B ecommerce market size?
The global B2B ecommerce market is forecasted to reach 800.8 trillion by 2023, which accounts for 17% of all B2B sales in the U.S. — up from 13% in 2019 and 14% in 2020. In addition, the global B2B ecommerce market in 2020 was valued at $14.9 trillion, which was over five times that of the B2C market.
Do you have to be a supplier to sell B2B online?
No, you do not have to be a supplier in order to sell B2B online. While supplying resellers is a popular type of B2B ecommerce, there are several other types of B2B ecommerce businesses, including wholesalers, distributors and B2B2C companies, and many online brands cater to both B2B and B2C customers.
How are B2B payments made?
Although historically relying on paper-based, manual processes, the B2B payments ecosystem has recently shifted toward cloud-based, automated payment systems. This significantly simplifies the B2B transaction process and makes buying and selling both faster and more efficient for businesses and customers.
Amid the changing landscape, B2B businesses have seen a decline in paper checks and a rise in smart payment options such as contactless and remote payments. And through collaborative commerce, payment providers and fintech companies have worked together to build more automation and reduce friction in the B2B payment process.
Among other methods, B2B businesses can make transactions through flexible payment options like buy now, pay later and virtual cards, much like in the B2C space, and the industry has even seen a trend toward AI, blockchain and cryptocurrency.
How can a B2B ecommerce website support custom ordering?
Thanks to custom quoting tools, unique variants and segmented customer groups, B2B businesses can allow customers to send in a PDF quote 24/7, then evaluate the quote and get back within regular business hours if the unique order can be filled.
Then, your B2B business can place that customer in their own unique customer group so that the next time they order, the customer won’t have to go through the quote engine. Instead, they can simply click and check out the item that is made specially for them.