Did you know that social selling is one of the biggest sales outreach tactics at present? In fact, social sellers
Do you want to know more about B2B sales? Or how the B2B sales model operates?
Well then, let us answer both these questions and more!
In this article, let’s take a closer look at B2B sales and the B2B sales model. Furthermore, let’s explore the various ways it differs from B2C sales.
What is B2B Sales?
Business-to-Business (B2B) sales involve one business selling products or services to another business.
B2B sales tend to be large and complex. Moreover, they require multiple people to serve in various roles over an extended sales cycle.
Quite often, they occur over a course of weeks through multiple discussions, in place of a single transaction. B2B businesses include outlets or service providers such as retail stores, restaurants or even streaming platforms.
The B2B Sales Model
Based on your industry, target buyers and other factors, your B2B sales model may have four or more stages.
However, the general sales model sequence includes the following steps:
Preparation and Research
Preparation acts as the foundation for your entire sales model. First, your sales reps need to familiarize themselves with your products/ services.
Moreover, they should be knowledgeable regarding the target audience, market and the USP your brand has to offer. Remember to study your competitors.
Determine how you can add value to your product or service. How can you do this better when your competitors are offering the same?
Take some time to empathize and put yourself into your customers’ shoes. Create buyer personas. Figure out what are common issues faced by your buyers. And, how can you go about solving these problems?
Have team brainstorming sessions to know how your colleagues solve pain points, approach objections and close deals.
Finding customers is quite simple. Although, actively engaging the right ones is the tricky part.
Sales prospecting is the process of qualifying customers who have shown interest in your product/ service. It also includes prospects who may have interests based on their business, profiles, etc.
With this as a baseline, sales and marketing departments create an ideal customer profile. Then, they screen prospective clients. This allows the team to allocate resources to only high-valued (qualified) leads.
You must then decide how to standardize the sales prospecting process. Your business can do this prospecting through various marketing methods. For example, sales intelligence tools, cold calling, email marketing, networking at trade shows, purchased lists, etc.
At this stage, you have your potential customer’s attention. A job well done! However, you also need to determine if they actually need what your business is offering.
It’s important that sales reps carry a standard list of questions they can ask prospects at this stage. Having a question set enables reps to ask for important information. Simultaneously, it also helps the conversation feel less one-sided.
Overall, it helps them look more professional before the potential buyers. Ensure that your interrogative questions are open-ended. This facilitates conversation. At this stage, your reps should focus on listening rather than talking.
They should avoid discussing sales offerings at this stage. In addition to this, the predetermined questions help your reps anticipate objections. Questions such as the following can be asked:
- What business issues are you hoping to solve with our product?
- Would you mind describing your current situation?
- Can you tell me how you expect this situation to look once we’ve addressed your current business issue?
Presentation or Pitch
At this stage, you express the unique value your customers will receive if they bought your product. Connecting your customer needs to related features and advantages can help drive a meaningful conversation.
Remember that your sales reps must have a deep understanding of topics being discussed during the needs assessment stage. This enables them to create a successful pitch.
Having additional B2B data about your prospect’s company and industry can be a useful asset at this stage. This provides more background and can help you create a more high quality customized sales pitch.
Once a proposal has been presented, questions or concerns are often raised by your prospect. Try to keep a record of these concerns, alongside the ways you should approach and answer them. Then, share this information with your team.
This ensures that sales reps can respond effectively. Alongside this, they are also equipped with appropriate solutions to handle any objections and thus, close the deal.
Concerns, as well as rejections, are fairly common in sales. A tough skin is often vital in sales, your sales reps should have the strength to tackle these objections head on.
Remember that even a hard ‘no’ can be beneficial sometimes, it gives you feedback. Based on this feedback, you can identify what areas need focus and improvement.
If you want to successfully handle complaints, practice empathy. This will allow you to process things from your client’s perspective.
This is the step where you finalize the deal and close the sale. All the efforts of this are reflected in your company’s revenue.
At times, this may sound like the most important step. However, it’s only effective if all the previous steps are strictly followed.
Here, you send a proposal or quote for the solution you’re offering. Alongside this, it also includes the prospect’s agreement to your terms and price or negotiation discussing mutually beneficial terms.
When details are finalized and all objections are addressed, you can move on to the final step.
Follow-ups, Referrals and Repeat Business
Now that you’ve successfully closed a deal, you have more opportunities for repeat business,
Customers who are satisfied make the best candidates for other services. Moreover, maintaining healthy relationships with your client can yield positive results. It enables you to more effectively upsell as well as generate repeat sales.
You can maintain these relationships through product announcements, an e-letter, business insights, etc. Don’t hesitate to ask for referrals either. With all the hard work you’ve put in, you’ve more than earned the right to do so!
B2B Sales Vs. B2C Sales
At their core, B2B and B2C sales do have one main common factor. They both focus on selling to a specific customer.
It doesn’t matter if it’s your average consumer buying a car or a business buying an entire fleet. The basics remain the same.
As long as your customer feels supported and valued, they’re likely to come back. Furthermore, they may even recommend your business to others. To achieve all of this, good customer service is essential.
Alongside customer service, to be successful, both B2B and B2C sales need a strong marketing strategy. While details may differ, they both focus on how to get your message across to the right audience.
How is B2B Sales different from B2C Sales?
However, there are quite a few differences between B2B and B2C as well. Some of these include:
B2C tends to have a larger base of potential customers.
It is a fact that there may be many customers in your field. However, the number of businesses that you can target and actually work with is comparatively smaller.
The B2B sales funnel is longer compared to B2C.
With B2C clients, your consumer is the sole decision-maker when it comes to making a purchase.
In comparison, with a B2B client, you may have to wait for multiple people to give their approval. As such, the decision to buy your product and place an order can take much longer.
B2B sales are less emotion-driven.
When it comes to marketing, a B2C client is more emotional and may buy products on a whim. This is not the same with B2B sales.
B2B clients tend to be much more logical and aim to make informed business decisions.
B2B customers will not be looking for basic customized products.
B2B customers often require specific help with the more technical side of your provided solution.
B2B sales is a sales model that refers to businesses selling products/ services to other businesses. In comparison, B2C revolves around businesses selling products or services to consumers.
B2B sales often occur over longer periods of time (weeks), rather than a single transaction. They are complex and as such have longer sales cycles.
Moreover, B2B sales models can have fewer or more steps depending on their type of business.
The most important thing is to have an easy to understand and well-defined sales process for everyone to follow. With this article, we hope you have enough insight to choose which stages suit your business the best!