B2B sales refer to a sales model or category in which a company sells its products or services to another company. This type of sales often involves higher prices, more complex processes, and multiple touchpoints across multiple channels. To be successful, B2B businesses need to maintain a team of highly trained B2B sales professionals who use strategic sequences and specialized sales methods to attract corporate buyers. The B2B sales process is usually a 5- to 8-stage sales cycle that follows a different process and uses a wide range of sales techniques for different buyers and sales situations.
The B2B sales funnel corresponds to the buyer's journey and serves as a visualization of the proximity or likelihood of a prospect making a purchase by identifying the cognitive or emotional phases that the prospect goes through in the buying process. The B2B sales approach involves several factors, including the seller's competence, the effectiveness of the sales process, the fit of the product, the alternatives available, and the buyer's purchasing power and willingness to adopt. There are an overwhelming number of B2B sales frameworks and methodologies to choose from. To determine if a specific B2B sales technique or sales sequence has a positive impact on a business, sales organizations identify and measure key performance indicators (KPIs).
Outside sales professionals often operate outside of an office because they meet with potential customers or show up at an event. On the other hand, inside sales professionals interact with customers remotely via cold calling, email, and video conferencing. Inside sales professionals can close deals without even meeting their customers in person. Recently, however, the line between inside and outside sales has begun to blur as outside sales reps begin to use the same communication technologies as well as engagement strategies preferred by inside sales professionals.
Business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions differ mainly in their target customers. While B2B companies sell products and services to other companies, B2C companies consider the general public (or certain segments of it) as their primary market and end consumers. Examples of B2B Sales include tire manufacturers selling merchandise to car manufacturers, wholesalers selling their products to retailers who then turn around and sell them to consumers, large corporate accounts such as Samsung being one of Apple's largest suppliers in the production of the iPhone, manufacturers selling office supplies to law firms, and large B2B e-commerce platforms allowing businesses to easily develop and scale to meet market needs and customer expectations by generating new sales channels and approaching new market segments. A B2B e-commerce website with public catalog pages is a solid way to access new B2B consumers.
Thanks to integration with ERP and other back-end business systems, e-commerce offers remarkable efficiency for B2B organizations. Customers can conveniently place orders online, customer service can focus on real customer service functions instead of begging order takers, and demand for data key changes in separate systems is reduced.