“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”
Winston Churchill said this amazing line a long time ago, yet it can be perfectly related to sales today. Salespeople, be it in B2B or B2C, can easily relate to it.
Although sales usually mean the efforts to sell something, there is a substantial difference in how B2B sales and B2C works.
“B2B eCommerce will drive $1.8 Trillian in revenue by 2023.” – Forrester
In this article, we’ll talk about interesting statistics like that and everything about B2B sales that you should know. Let’s start with the basics.
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What is B2B sales?
When a business sells something to another business, whether a service or a product, it falls under B2B sales. Every business, one way or another, depends on another business to create their products.
Business to business sales can be seen in various ways. For example; a business processing sugar can provide its product to a business that is making soda.
In Information and Technology industry, a business that offers an HR solution can provide its software to an agency that needs to manage its employee database.
We can also see B2B models where a business produces/offers products or services for another business. For example, an American potato chips making company rely on a local business for the production and use their own brand name to market the product.
The point is, two businesses can get involved in a lot of ways, and when that turns into financial terms, we call it B2B sales.
How does the B2B sales cycle look like?
Here’s the simple process of how B2B sales work. To understand the concept of B2B sales, we have to go through these 5 five steps:
2. Initiate contact
3. Identify needs
4. Present offer
5. Close deals
Prospecting is all about finding the right potential B2B buyers that can use your products or services. For example, if you’re running KPO, your goal is to find the companies that can outsource their information-related business activities to your business.
In prospecting, you identify the kinds of businesses that are the right customers for you. And for that, you must know your buyer persona. Now, a business can have multiple buyer personas, so you have to be very careful while drafting them.
To properly identify your buyer persona, you have to keep the following things in mind:
- Annual turnover
- Their clientele
- History of their business
- Brand value
- Problems they’re facing
- Solutions you can offer
Using these pointers, you can identify if your offerings match with their needs or not. When the marketing team forwards a bunch of leads to the sales department, they filter the leads based on buyer personas.
2. Initiate contact
Once your leads match your buyer persona, it’s time to initiate contact with them. Now, there are tons of ways to start connecting with your prospects. But the most common, and successful ways are calls, emails, and meetings.
You find the contact information of these prospects and reach out to them using various channels. This process has no time limits; it can take minutes to months to reach your prospects.
But once you do reach out to them, your goal is to have a productive discussion on what exactly they are looking for and how you can help them with your services.
3. Identify needs
In this stage, you’re in conversation with your prospect. This is the point where you’ll ask questions that can help you identify what exactly they’re looking for.
Why is it important?
Because then you can identify if your business can provide what they’re looking for. Valuable questions like these would help:
- What kind of problems is your business facing lately?
- Why is your current solution disappointing?
- What kind of solution are you looking for?
- How much are you willing to spend on such a solution?
4. Present offer
Based on the problems the business is facing, you have to identify if your solution is right for their business or not. After successfully identifying that, you’ll have to present your offer.
Now, there are two possibilities, either they will negotiate, or they will simply agree to what you’re offering.
Negotiation is a big part of any sales, so you may have to stretch it to a place where both the businesses are comfortable in joining hands.
5. Close deals
Once both parties agree, you’ll be closing the deal. That’s the point where you’ll start providing your solution, and your business gets a paying customer.
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The difference between B2B sales and B2C sales
Now that we have understood how B2B sales work, it’s time to identify the main differences between B2B and B2C sales. Business to consumer is a popular form of transaction because it involves every single one of us.
However, there are some businesses that deal with both – consumers and businesses. A good example of that would be Amazon. It provides products and services to every one of us while it also deals with businesses that want to place their products on the platform.
So, what exactly B2B and B2C sales differ:
Well, the essential difference is the target customer, as we know. In B2B, the target is businesses that can use products and services. While in B2C, the consumers are the target.
But, a rooted difference between B2B and B2C sales lies in marketing. In B2B, businesses target platforms that their target customers use.
For example, Clutch is a platform that shows the best service providing companies like graphic design or ecommerce development or marketing services. Any business that wants to acquire customers that need such services can use a platform like Clutch.
While in B2C, businesses pick channels that can help them reach a common man very quickly, like TV, newspapers, Google Ads, etc.
Now, B2B and B2C can still have the same medium to reach their customers, but the targeting is the real game. The focus would be to find hobbies, interests, age group, search intent, etc. and then hit the advertisement at the right spot.
As far as sales are concerned, B2B sales are more concerned about fulfilling the company’s requirements, while B2C sales focus on individuals.
The evolution of B2B Sales
Sales, in general, has evolved a lot in the last couple of decades.
But, specifically talking about B2B sales, the game has evolved a lot. Now, there are so many ways to reach out to a prospect like calls, emails, social media, paid ads, etc.
In simple terms, we can say that earlier businesses find information about their prospects and tried to reach cold handed. We also call them cold emails, cold calls, or showing up at the meeting rooms – hoping to get a customer.
These techniques are still in the picture, and may still be for a decade or so. We call it Outbound Sales.
Now, inbound marketing has changed a major portion of the picture. That means potential buyers will knock on your door, and you don’t have to find if they’re interested or not.
Basically, companies use blogs, articles, ebooks, and techniques like SEO to attract prospects to their platform, and once they drop an inquiry, the sales team jumps in. The sales team tries to understand the needs of these prospects and seeks to provide the best solution.
Here’s how the inbound marketing works:
Mediums like calls, emails, and meetings are still in the picture. But, in the inbound methodology, the prospects know who you’re and why you’re connecting.
It makes a lot of sense, isn’t it?
Instead of connecting with 1000 people who might or might not be interested in your product, you visit the 100 people who definitely are interested!
As I said, outbound is still in the picture, and there are so many businesses that make millions making sales calls every year. But the picture is slowly shifting, and definitely in the right direction.
Modern B2B sales tips
Just like every other element of business, sales have touched another level. You can’t just pick your phone and call a random person to pitch your product. That’s why you can use these modern B2B sales techniques and tips to power up your sales game.
1. Don’t stop cold calling; it’s not completely dead!
Cold calling is still alive and can give you solid results if you do it right. You have to conduct research on your prospects thoroughly. The idea is to figure out if you can help their business or not. And again, your buyer persona will come to the rescue.
But, just buyer personas will not be enough, you have to understand what kind of problems are they facing. Then pick your phone and try to book a demo of your product.
2. Know what they’re selling & how
Before pitching to your prospect, know exactly what they’re selling and how!
This will help you pick the right cold calling script, and add a little factor in your favor.
For example, if you’re providing packaging services to ecommerce companies, order a few things from their platform. Find a factor that you can improve in their services and tailor your pitch accordingly.
3. Send personalized emails
No one wants to be a part of bulk emails. Customers want to feel special, and email is a solid way to do that!
Rather than just personalizing names in your email campaign, try to personalize the email content as well. A great way to pull this off is by creating multiple sales email templates for use cases. Pick the best template for your prospect and add a little bit of extra detail before you rin the campaign.
Salesmate CRM can help you in pulling this off. You can make sales email follow up sequences as per your choice and make changes in every email before it reaches the inbox.
4. Share customer success stories
Testimonials are among the finest ways to tell your prospects that your products or services are the best fit for them. Almost every business is putting what their customers are saying on their websites. But for B2B sales, you can use testimonials in better ways.
You can send out newsletters covering the success stories of your customers. If you can prepare a case study for every relevant industry, you can send them to relevant prospects. That would create a great impact!
5. Know your product
As a B2B sales rep, you should be an expert on what you’re selling. Because sales reps sell products, but experts solve problems.
Businesses are looking for help, and if you can be the right help, you can definitely sell your product!
B2B sales scripts examples
We have discussed that businesses are relying on inbound marketing to attract potential customers. Yet, there are some constants in B2B sales – emails, calls, and meetings. These communication channels have been around for a long time and still working stunningly well for many business verticals.
We’re going to look at examples of B2B sales scripts for email, call, and meeting.
How to pitch on email?
Let’s assume your business is all about wedding planning. You handle everything from flowers to food. Josh from New Jersey has made an inquiry on your website. This is how you should write your first email:
I’m Preethi from Wed.ing and it’s a real pleasure connecting with you!
First of all, congratulations on your engagement. I’m sure it must have been incredible . To plan an outstanding wedding for you & your partner, we have to understand your view on a couple of things like theme, location, food choices, etc. Based on these attributes, we can create a profile.
Once you approve of the profile, we will step ahead!
I’m dropping a calendar link below, so that you can pick the time and date for our first call.
Looking forward to planning a joyful wedding for you 🙂
How to pitch on a call?
Let’s take another example.
Let’s say you’re offering digital solutions to mid-sized and enterprise businesses. A prospect dropped an inquiry regarding an application they want to build for their brand. Here’s a good B2B sales call script:
You: Hello. Am I talking to Mr. Jey from GetAnything?
Jey: Yes, speaking.
You: A couple of minutes back, you dropped an inquiry on our website regarding ecommerce app development. Can we spare a few minutes regarding this?
Jey: Oh, yes. Of course. You responded really quick. That’s great.
You: Thank you Jey. I would like to ask a couple of questions that can help us identify what exactly are you looking for in your mobile application. This would also help us conclude if our company can help you or not.
Jey: Sure. That sounds good.
You: [Ask relevant questions regarding the mobile app needs.]
Jey: [Answers all questions.]
You: Jey, I think we can definitely help you with this development. I’m creating a digital board and adding you as the head. Our team lead will be joining in the same conversation, so that you can discuss everything from the beginning.
Jey: Thanks. That would be perfect!
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How to pitch in a meeting?
Meeting is a totally different ball game. You have to take care of a lot of things to make things work. Negotiation is one of the most significant parts of B2B sales, so we’re going to take an example of that.
Let’s assume, you’re providing industrial motors to manufacturing companies, and you’re visiting the purchase head of the XYZ brand.
This is how the meeting would go:
You: Hello Patrick. How are you?
Patrick: Hello Rick, I’m doing great. How are you?
You: I’m perfectly fine. Thank you for asking. Have you given any thoughts about our products?
I think our motors would be the perfect fit for your new Pigment factory. We have served to ABS, JKU, and other well-known brands that belong to the same industry as yours.
Patrick: Yes Rick. I have given some thoughts. But, I think your products are a bit costly than the other competitors in the market. I mean, I can get the same number of motors at 25% less price than what you’re offering.
You: Definitely sir. I’m not saying, ours is the most affordable option. You can find cheaper products in the market at a much lower rate.
But we provide 3 years of service guarantee on our products. That means we will assign an engineer that will help you right from the installation to maintenance.
You’re starting a new factory, which means the number of motors you need is also very huge. I can arrange a small team to help you out in designing the layout of the motor map. You can save the maintenance cost of 3 years for these machines, I think that’s a very good deal.
Patrick: Yes, that does sound like a great deal! Let me discuss this with my engineers, and I’ll get back to you regarding this.
You: Sounds perfect. Thank you, Patrick.
B2B sales are evolving every day. New methods and techniques will always emerge. But as a part of the B2B sales team, you should cover some basics.
Things like what does your business provide, who are the right customers for you, understanding the meaning of relationship management, and pipeline management.
A simple CRM can be really helpful to you in every section of B2B sales. Salesmate is the best CRM software for a team that needs a clear pipeline view. You can design multiple pipelines, move prospects to the next stages, and connect directly via calls and emails without leaving the system.
Try Salesmate CRM for 15 days to explore features like built-in calling, email tracking, activity tracking, sales automation, sequences, and many more.