We think that B2B e-commerce sales will be worth $1.8 trillion in the next few years. By 2024, B2C e-commerce sales are expected to reach $600 billion. That’s three times as much as that. In 2012, I sold law services to small and medium-sized businesses. This was one of my first B2B sales jobs (it was as exciting as it sounds). I’ve seen a lot of alter in the B2B sales process since then.
I’ve seen a lot of changes in the way people buy things over the last decade. For example, research-minded buyers, a wide range of vendors, and many ways to buy are just a few. Do you have a hard time getting to B2B leads because of this? Yes, to a point. But this is good news (more on this at the end). You need to know how the modern B2B sales process works and how to use sales tactics that work if you want to meet or even go above your quota.
What do B2B sales mean?
Business-to-business sales are called B2B sales. It refers to businesses or salespeople who sell products and services to other companies on their own. B2C sales, in which products and services are sold directly to the customer, are a lot like this, too,
The B2B Sales Plan Template is here for you to use
This detailed plan will help you reach your business goals by making the perfect sales strategy. Based on the business model or product, three types of B2B sales can be done.
Type 1: Sell goods
The supplier sells things that help another business. This includes things like office supplies, employee work clothes, and equipment. They follow the same steps as businesses when they do business with people. The difference, however, is in how many and how much you can buy.
One person won’t buy a single ink cartridge anymore. An employee will buy 50 ink cartridges and need approval from a manager or someone else who makes decisions. If you want to purchase office and equipment supplies, Lyreco is an excellent example of a company that specializes in B2B sales of this kind of thing.
Type 2: Sales to wholesalers and distributors
They sell essential parts for manufacturing or retail to other businesses. J.J. Foods is an example of a company that sells wholesale food. Restaurants and fast food places buy these essential foods and then sell them at higher prices to the public.
Type 3: People who sell service or software
The service provider doesn’t sell a product. They sell a service instead of a product. This could be an accountant who works with a small business or an accountancy firm with a more significant company. It could also be a service done through tax accounting software or Quickbooks.
There are B2B sales, and there are B2C sales. What’s the difference between the two?
B2C sales happen when a business or salesperson sells something directly to the person who buys it. They aren’t as big as B2B sales, and they usually only involve the customer’s decision.
Examples of B2C include:
- One of the people who works at the car dealership.
- People can buy clothes at an online store that sells them.
- A supermarket that sells a lot of different things to eat.
U.S. B2B e-commerce sales made $9 trillion in sales in 2018. Forrester put the total value of all sales in the U.S. in 2018. There were also $601.75 billion in U.S. B2C e-commerce sales in 2019 in the United States. In another way, the B2B sales market is a lot bigger. There are more people in the B2B sales market and bigger fish. So, why are B2B and B2C sales so different?
The average transaction value went up
There are many different types of B2B sales pipelines. They can be small, like an SMB ordering office supplies, but they can also be a lot bigger. It’s not true for most B2C industries, like real estate and car sales.
People have longer sales cycles when they make more sales
If you don’t work in one of the three B2C industries above, B2C customers make purchasing decisions based on emotions and short-term needs like a phone case, charger, or laptop. B2B buyers, on the other hand, are often looking for a concrete ROI, a clear advantage, or a logical way to solve a big problem.
They also have to get the support of many people who make decisions.
People from a lot of different groups
Everyone who buys something for a business impacts the company’s bottom line, and purchase decisions go up a ladder of approval as they move up the ladder. This means that all the people who make the final decisions must agree to make a sale work. The more valuable the deal is, the more “yeses” are needed to make it happen.
Informed customers will buy from you more often
B2B buyers are very selective. They aren’t just picky about who they do business with. They’re also developing their criteria for buying things without the help of salespeople. Content is essential in the B2B sales process because it helps people learn about it.
The modern B2B sales process is broken down into parts
There were fewer steps in the B2B sales process in the past. A buyer would look for a solution by finding a vendor, talking to a salesperson about their needs, and then talking to the people who make the decisions. If they were happy, they’d agree to a deal. For vendors, marketing would bring in the leads, and sales would reach out and close them on their own to make a deal. It was a straight buyer journey.
But, as in most industries, the internet has made the B2B sales process much easier to understand and much easier to do. Marketing and sales are evolving more and more intertwined. Now, both play a part in getting leads and closing deals. That’s also how the buyer goes about making a deal.
- A company comes up with and agrees on a problem.
- Employees look it up on the internet and write down what they want in a solution.
- They write down all the possible solutions and options.
- If they need a vendor, buyers ask their friends and coworkers for professional advice about who to hire. They’ll also look at review sites, forums, and social media to see what people say about them.
- Based on all the information they’ve gathered, they’ll decide to buy.
- Vendors might reach out to them if they haven’t been approached. They might also follow up with one recommended or worked with them.
The modern B2B sales process gives buyers more control than ever before. They can go in and out of the funnel, backtrack from the point where they’re about to buy, and move between stages at will. In the past, the B2B sales process was a simple funnel. It has become a comprehensive, multi-platform process that includes many zig-zagging touchpoints with buyers.