The term “B2B” refers to business-to-business sales. It is used to describe companies or salespeople that offer goods or services to other companies. When companies sell directly to customers, this is called business-to-consumer (B2C) sales. Frequently, the B2B sales process requires selling to highly seasoned industry specialists who are trained to bargain for the best available deal.
At times, B2B sales entails impressing not just one person, but a group of executives. It’s typically more challenging and requires keeping to standard operating processes, dressing formally, dealing with gatekeepers, and demonstrating a higher level of professionalism than B2C sales.
The 4 most important B2B sales methods are as follows.
B2B Transactional selling
Transactional B2B selling is a common sales method in which a sales professional identifies B2B sales prospects, develops rapport, and then strives to complete the transaction.
The primary reason transactional sales are so critical is because they operate on the basis of mutual supply and demand.
The benefit of transactional B2B sales is that they take place quickly. Rapid progression of leads through the B2B sales funnel. Transactional business-to-business sales cycles are typically brief. It is mainly concerned with the buyers’ immediate demands.
B2B transactional selling characteristics
Prospects are mindful of their challenge or requirement. Additionally, they are aware of the answer they desire and just seek the most suitable product or service. As a result, transactional B2B sales are often handled within a short period of time and are frequently conducted by inside sales teams.
B2B Solution selling
This is the approach that comes next in importance after transactional sales. Solution selling is a critical approach in the business-to-business market and is one of the most innovative B2B sales techniques. Rather than focusing exclusively on the product, you now strive to match the customer’s requirements (issues and pain spots) to your goods and services.
This is mostly about the value proposition, but it is crucial to distinguish B2B solution selling from transactional benefit-based selling. Certain salespeople begin by detailing their product’s technical features and competitive benefits. Due to the significant emphasis on the goods, this approach is really more akin to transactional B2B sales. However, the objective of solution selling is to advertise the desired outcome. Finally, what sort of resolution will there be? How much more convenient will it be for the customer and their team? Experienced B2B salespeople understand that the objective of this strategy is to sell results, not products or goods.
Solution selling is most successful when purchase cycles are substantially longer, a big ROI (Return on investment) is at stake, decision-makers are more knowledgeable, or there are an inordinate number of decision-makers. This technique is appropriate if your prospective client is seeking long-term answers to challenges they’ve been battling for a lengthy period of time.
B2B solution selling characteristics
The prospect is aware of their issue or requirement, but is unclear on how to address it. They are looking for a way out of their position. Due to the personal nature of B2B solution selling, it is usually performed in a multi-touch, face-to-face situation.
B2B Consultative selling
Consultative selling in business-to-business is analogous to solution selling. The emphasis is on establishing effective relationships with B2B customers and communicating with them about their needs prior to the sales process.
This strategy is slightly more challenging to execute since it necessitates the presence of a highly competent B2B sales staff. You require salespeople that have an innate understanding of how to initiate and engage in conversations across the customer lifetime. In other words, you want effective listeners and communicators capable of handling quality B2B sales leads.
Consultative selling in business-to-business typically results in a consultancy role. The agreement may involve an experienced expert (a technical specialist, not a salesperson) from your firm. Additionally, you must understand how to bring business-related information into talks. You must understand how to ask your consumers the relevant questions. As you are probably aware, asking the proper questions is a critical step in a variety of B2B sales approaches.
This method may work in any long-term, ROI-driven, value-oriented sector, but it requires the right salesforce or outsourcing to industry experts.
It’s important to understand that this is not necessarily “relationship selling,” despite the fact that the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Scalability is a weakness of relationship selling, which is typically related to personal connections. If your focus switched from relational to consultative, you would truly grasp your clients’ challenges, all because you would be focused on meaningful dialogues about their requirements.
B2B consultative selling characteristics
Prospects are often aware of their issue or need, but are ignorant of the gravity of it. They are hesitant to alter their current course of action until they receive additional insight from a B2B consultative seller. Consultative selling in B2B is a personal process that requires a high-touch, face-to-face environment.
B2B Provocative selling
You may delight and surprise your consumers by pointing out issues they were unaware of. This has been a more widespread way of B2B sales in recent years, owing to the fact that many businesses continue to function in the same fashion. If you can gain access to a corporation and demonstrate to a decision-maker that their current solution is costing them a lot of money or time, they are frequently more amenable to working with you on your alternatives.
A critical note: Provocative selling is a sales tactic that must be used with extreme caution. It has the potential to backfire, particularly in a strategic sales system such as B2B. It should only be used as a last resort. I would not advocate employing this strategy until you are certain of the outcome.
B2B provocative selling characteristics
Prospects are frequently ignorant of their issue or requirement. You must create demand by demonstrating that their current method of operation is ineffective. What you are selling is the required guidance to make change.