What is B2B Sales? All You Need to Know

By: Jack Reamer |
 September 25, 2023 |

The B2B industry is currently estimated at $6.7 trillion in the US alone. It’s also interesting to note that more than 50% of all B2B buyers are millennials. 

If you’re wondering what business-to-business sales are, this article will answer that question for you. As well as help you understand in detail the b2b sales process, what it is and how you can implement it in your company for more qualified sales. 

(We will also share some examples of a B2B sales strategy we use to generate 20+ qualified sales leads per month. If you are interested in hiring an agency that specializes in b2b lead generation or have any questions, hop on a free 15-minute strategy call with us.)

B2B Sales definition

B2B sales just means business-to-business sales. It would include sales transactions between two businesses, rather than sales from business to consumer (B2C)

B2B sales often have:

  • Longer sales cycles
  • More educated buyers
  • Larger transaction amounts (higher price range)
  • Multi-stakeholder approval (in some cases).

The B2B sales cycle/process

The B2B sales cycle is a 7 step process that sales teams should use. It’s a map that each member of the team should follow in order to move B2B customers down the sales funnel to help them make a purchasing decision.

 (This article shares how to close more deals by using a B2B sales process. )

This sales process includes:

  • Prospecting
  • Qualifying
  • Research
  • Your “sales pitch”
  • Handling objections
  • Closing the deal
  • Nurturing current clients to improve their customer experience, thus, keeping them as paying clients. 

How do B2B sales work?

B2B sales are more complex than B2C, but many of the same processes apply.  For example, with B2B sales you have to research your exact target audience. 

Find out who really needs what you’re selling and which businesses have the budget for your product/service. 

Ask yourself which pain points your company solves and think about how your sales team would use value propositions, pitches, and channels for your B2B selling process. 

Your sales reps need to initiate the lead generation process, follow up, and complete the sale.

This is the b2b sales process we use at Salesbread (Our basic Playbook):

1. Build a list of your ideal target audience based on current buyers’ data

First, have a look at who has been buying your product/service within the last 6 months. Then you need to ask yourself, what do all these businesses have in common?

When you analyze this data it will give you an idea of who your ideal customer is. 

Look for patterns.

  • Do these businesses all use the same CRM tool (Like Hubspot or Salesforce?)
  • Are they all in the same industry? Tech? Health and wellness? Saas?
  • Are they based in the same location? The USA? South Africa? Europe?
  • Who are the decision-makers? The CEO? Marketing managers? VP of sales?
  • Have they recently been funded?
  • How many employees do they have? More than 100? Less than 10?
  • Do they have a marketing budget? Which forms of marketing are they using?

The video below is an example of how we would analyze data to find the right businesses to target for our clients. 

This article:  34 Filters To Find Your Target Accounts, shares different filters you can use to build a list of your ideal prospects.  

PRO TIP: Use third-party data providers to help you build a prospecting list. Such as Bombora, Data Miner and Phantom Buster.

SIDE NOTE:

Once you have built a look-a-like list, you can then plug it into LinkedIn Sales Navigator and refine it even further. 

You do this by filtering your list through your second-degree network and recently posted. 

This ensures that you are reaching out to individuals who are active on the platform and studies have shown that people are more likely to accept your connection request if they are in your second-degree network.

Reach out to your list using personalized outreach messages on Linkedin

Next, we send ultra-personalized connection requests to our prospects. These messages are based on research and aren’t a generic copy-paste sales pitch.

For example, we will use our CCQ method and write a personalized message for the prospect. This type of personalization goes beyond just typing an individual’s first name though.

CCQ stands for:

  • Compliment
  • Commonalities
  • Questions

We will actually research each prospect on our list; and we do this by having a look at their LinkedIn page, social media accounts, or Google their name.

We will then find something specific to compliment them on, mention a shared commonality or ask them a question. 

Here’s an example:

“Joe, I really enjoyed your webinar on how AI is changing the content marketing landscape. Especially the part on XYZ… Would love to connect with you here.”

Follow up and ask for a booked call

Next, our b2b sales team will follow up with the prospects at least 3 – 6 times every 3 days, (at least 6 touchpoints.) until we get a reply. If they don’t reply via Linkedin, our B2B sales reps will send them an email or an SMS. (If you enjoy cold calling, you could even reach out to them in that way.)

We will also ask them for a quick call in our CTA. 

Here are some examples:

  • Mind if we hop on a quick 10-minute call?
  • Would you be interested in learning more?
  • Are you available next week for a quick chat?
  • Send over your calendar link and I will book a time that works for you.

Does this work as a B2B sales technique

Yes, it does.

By using this method we have managed to generate close to 7000 qualified sales leads in the past 24 months. 

This method guarantees 1 qualified sales lead a day for our clients. 

Here are some case studies if you’re interested in learning more about our strategy. 

The difference between B2C sales and B2B sales

The image below shows the main differences between B2C sales and B2B sales. 

Most of us know and understand how B2C works. We might go online and make a few clothing purchases. Or perhaps we go into a store and buy some groceries. Basically with B2C, the consumer will often go to the “business” and buy what they need. 

Usually with B2C, there are smaller purchases and the amounts aren’t exorbitantly expensive. These purchases are often more impulsive and product-driven.

With B2C the sales cycle is usually shorter with a big emphasis on brand identity. 

B2B sales are the opposite of this…

B2B has longer sales cycles because there might be many stakeholders involved; Pricing is usually much higher and the sales process is normally relationship-driven. 

When decision-makers make a purchase it’s usually highly calculated and based on research. These buyers have done their homework and base their purchases on long-term goals for their businesses. 

Types of B2B Sectors

There are several sectors but the main ones that we will consider are those that are product-based, software-based based and service-based.

Product-based means that these businesses will create, design and manufacture their own products. 

They will then sell these products directly to businesses. An example of this would be a company that produces cleaning supplies and then sells them to retailers, who in turn will sell them to consumers. 

Service and software-based would refer to businesses that sell services to other companies; Often this could be in the form of SAAS tools, like Quickbooks; Or your company could also provide marketing services to larger corporations. 

How the B2B sales landscape has changed

In the past, most B2B companies made use of cold outreach to engage with potential customers. This could have been in the form of cold email, or cold calling.

But thanks to technology times have changed and we now have a ton of options to use for moving buyers along the sales funnel.

As a company, you can create and use various tactics in your sales model

Here are some ideas:

Some of the best marketing strategies combine a mixture of both outbound and inbound methods. For example, your company might hire a sales rep and a content marketer. 

For example, at Salesbread we have a group of experienced B2B salespeople. Some have been trained to write ultra-personalized LinkedIn messages and build customer relationships. Other aspects of our marketing include content marketing, SEO, email and social media marketing. 

Because of our multichannel approach, we are able to find a variety of prospects, and this in turn helps us close deals frequently. 

Interested in a B2B sales agency that generates 1 qualified lead per day?

Whether you’re looking to hire a b2b lead generation agency, or have a b2b strategy that guarantees 1 qualified sales lead per day, get in touch. 

We offer a done-for-you lead generation service, as well as a consulting service, where we can teach you how to find more qualified sales leads. 

Hop on a free 15-minute strategy call below. 

Have a Question? Get in Touch.

5 + 4 =