The definition of business-to-business (B2B) sales is a sales model that involves one business selling products or services to other businesses. B2B refers to companies or salespeople who sell products and services directly to other businesses. In B2B sales, each decision influences the business’s bottom line, and purchase decisions climb a ladder of approval. B2B buyers are often looking for a concrete ROI, a measurable edge, or a logical solution to a vital problem.
B2B sales often require intense collaboration. A typical inbound B2B sales process might start with Marketing generating a portion of leads via forms, trade shows, email marketing, advertising, and other channels. Consumers expect highly personalized services from the brands they interact with, including those with B2B sales teams.
The ready availability of quality information through digital channels has made it far easier for buyers to gather information independently, meaning sellers have less access and fewer opportunities to influence customer decisions. In fact, Gartner’s research finds that when B2B buyers are considering a purchase‚ they spend only 17% of that time meeting with potential suppliers. When buyers are comparing multiple suppliers‚ the amount of time spent with any sales rep may be only 5% or 6%.
The typical buying group for a complex B2B solution involves six to 10 decision makers‚ each armed with four or five pieces of information they’ve gathered independently and must deconflict with the group. At the same time, the set of options and solutions buying groups can consider is expanding as new technologies, products, suppliers, and services emerge.
Gartner’s research found that customers who perceived the information they received from suppliers to be helpful in advancing across their buying jobs were 2.8 times more likely to experience a high degree of purchase ease, and three times more likely to buy a bigger deal with less regret.
Companies employ professional procurers who become responsible for the whole sales cycle. B2B buyers are experts, several stakeholders are part of the process in one or another capacity. For sales engineers, this means they need to use various arguments to charm people in different positions and have to become experts too to be able to respond to arguments and objections.