B2B Sales Examples: Sales Techniques in 2023 to Skyrocket Sales
Yes, B2B sales is hard. But the silver lining is that B2B e-commerce sales in the US are about to hit $1.8 trillion in 2023.
It means you need an in-depth understanding of the B2B sales process, the psychology behind successful sales, and a bulletproof plan to succeed.
Keep on reading to learn what B2B sales is, how it is different from B2C sales, and B2B sales examples to help you create money-making b2B sales strategies and sell like a pro.
What is B2B Sales?
B2B sales or business-to-business sales is the process of selling products/services to other businesses, rather than selling to individual consumers. Essentially, B2B sales can be divided in three categories, based on their sales model:
Category 1: Supply Sales
Supply sales is when a manufacturer or a supplier sells products to help support other businesses. For example, selling office supplies, equipment, uniforms, etc.
These businesses are much similar to B2C businesses, except the quantity and the purchase authorization process.
Example: Staples, Lyreco, etc.
Category 2: Distribution Sales/Wholesale
Wholesalers or distributors sell retail products, raw materials, or manufacturing components to other businesses.
Companies like Sysco and JJ Foods are examples of wholesale/distribution companies.
Category 3: Software/Service Sales
The third type is software sales where a service provider company sells a service or online tool or software (SaaS) to other businesses.
For example, Smartlead is a SaaS business that sells a cold emailing tool to other businesses. Some other popular examples of service/software sales businesses are HubSpot, Quickbooks, Slack, Zoho, Salesforce, etc.
B2B companies usually sell in larger quantities than their B2C counterparts, but the selling process is lengthy and complex as B2B sales involve multiple decision-makers for a purchase.
What is a B2B Sales Funnel?
A B2B sales funnel is a representation of the buyer’s journey. A B2B sales funnel visualizes the stages of a buyer’s journey and indicates the likelihood of making a purchase and the B2B sales cycle by analyzing various aspects.
Usually, a B2B sales funnel is made of 4-7 steps. Let’s take a look at how a 7-step B2B sales funnel looks like:
- Customer retention
B2B Sales Examples
We have already talked about the three major types of B2B sales. Now let’s take a closer look at each type of B2B sales in detail and give examples of the renowned companies participating in these types of sales.
Supply Sales Examples
Companies that participate in supply sales, sell consumables, office inventory, equipment, or stationery to other businesses to help them operate smoothly. As we have already discussed, supply sales is very similar to B2C sales.
The major difference is in the quantity of the product you are selling. For instance, a machinery company that makes forklifts will try to sell their clients (other businesses) multiple at a time instead of selling one.
The other difference is in the decision-making process. In B2C sales, the consumer is the only decision maker for a purchase. But in case of B2C selling, there are usually multiple decision-makers involved in the purchasing.
Famous Brands that Participate in Supply Sales
- Lyreco: Every company in the world needs office supplies. Lyreco sells office supplies to numerous companies around the world, operating in more than 40 countries.
- Staples: Besides direct selling to B2C customers, Staples, the American supply brand sells office supplies to businesses.
Best Strategy for Supply Sales
Even in the era of social media, emailing is still the most reliable prospecting medium for B2B sales reps. In fact, a study has shown that 72% of people want to be contacted via email for business.
Email marketing helps you segment your audience based on preferences, keep in touch with your prospecting clients, build credibility and trust, and even close a deal. And with a cold emailing tool like Smartlead, you can send automated emails to your audiences to see better conversion rates. You can set custom conditional email sending triggers and automate your entire follow-up sequence.
Here are a few tips to up your email marketing game:
- Relevance is the key, so create stellar content and share them with your email lists.
- Make sure you communicate with your prospects regularly.
- Send customer testimonials, whitepages, reports, industry news, and case studies with your prospects.
Wholesale or Distribution Sales Examples
The second type of B2B sales is wholesale or distribution sales. In this category, wholesalers sell raw materials or key manufacturing components to other businesses. For example, a food wholesaler company sells raw food materials (raw meat, cooking ingredients, rice, etc.) to restaurants and hotels. Similarly, a mobile circuit making company sells their circuits to mobile companies, which are further used to make phones.
Famous Brands that Participate in Wholesale or Distribution Sales
- Sysco: Operating in over 40 countries worldwide, Sysco is one of the largest B2B food distribution companies in the world. It sells food and beverages to hotels and restaurants.
- TNT Fireworks: A famous brand in the US, TNT Fireworks sells fireworks to local businesses, establishments, and hotels who set up firework stands for various occasions.
Best Strategy for Selling in this Space
Large scale manufacturers and retailers (ideal customers in the wholesale or distribution space) pay very close attention to the products they are buying. And naturally, B2B buyers are skeptical about new players in the market.
So if you want to sell to major manufacturers and retailers, you need to build connections with key decision-makers in these respective companies. The best way to build connections with various businesses is by investing in a CRM platform.
A CRM and email marketing tool will help you store prospect data, set follow-up emails, and nurture the leads into buying your product. You can easily automate all these tasks with an automation tool.
CRM tools like HubSpot and Salesforce are trusted by thousands of businesses.
Also read: Best Sales Automation Tools in 2023
Software or Service Sales Examples
Not every B2B company sells products. In fact, a major portion of B2B companies are either selling service or software to help other businesses perform better.
Software as service or SaaS businesses build online tools to sell subscriptions to other businesses. For example, cold emailing tools, sales automation tools, CRMs, etc.
Some popular SaaS brands are HubSpot, Salesforce, Smartlead, Smartwriter, Zendesk, Ahrefs, Semrus, Moz, etc.
Famous Brands that Participate in Software or Service Sales
- Smartlead: Smartlead is a cold emailing tool that offers sales automation to businesses. It sells its subscription plans to other businesses to help send cold emails at scale.
- HubSpot: One of the most popular SaaS companies, HubSpot, sells CRM, marketing, customer service, and sales tools to other businesses.
- Slack: Slack is a very popular tool that offers a workplace messaging app to help connect and collaborate with team members.
Best Strategy for Selling in this Space
Unlike traditional B2B businesses, SaaS businesses have a scope of selling through various channels – social media and email to name a few. The first thing you should do is start a blog from your website and publish informative and valuable content regularly.
Ranking on SERP can impact your lead generation positively. Besides, you can host webinars to generate high-quality leads.
Make sure you repurpose your blog content from various channels such as YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also connect with decision-makers in your target companies via LinkedIn, build a connection, and sell your software or service.
B2B Sales Techniques in 2023
There are numerous B2B sales techniques and sales methodologies. While all of them might be effective, not every strategy will be fit for your business based on your target audience, the industry you are in, and many more factors.
Here are some of the most popular B2B sales techniques used by most B2B companies, irrespective of their industry:
- Account-based sales
- Value selling
- Solution selling
- Challenger sales
To check if a B2B sales technique positively impacts a business, B2B sales teams identify and measure KPIs (key performance indicators). KPIs are performance metrics used to assess performance of a sales organization with different parameters such as efficiency and profitability. KPIs are also used to stay up-to-date with new industry trends.
Some B2B sales KPIs are:
- Deal size
- New lead gen number
- Sales velocity
- Customer retention rate
5 Most Successful Companies in B2B Sales
We have already named a few B2B businesses in each of the categories, but what about the biggest ones. Let’s take a look at them:
- Microsoft: Microsoft is an American MNC focused on technological innovations and R&D. This company sells software products to other companies. Internet Explorer, MS Office Suite, Edge, and Windows OS are the most popular products from Microsoft Corporations.
- Oracle: Another computer technology corporation from the US, Oracle sells software products and services like Java. It mainly focuses on these segments – hardware, cloud and licensing, and database management.
- Boeing: This company needs no introduction. Boeing is the largest aerospace company in the world, selling passenger and cargo aircrafts to airline companies. It also makes special aircrafts for the US military.
- FedEx: FedEx is a logistic delivery company that transports materials for businesses.
- Accenture: based in Dublin, Accenture is one of the largest B2B companies in the world. It sells professional consulting and information technology services to other businesses.
B2B Sales Tips: Skyrocket Your sales in 2023
Here are some essential tips to improve your B2B sales efforts:
- Customize your communication with potential customers with personalized messages. Use automation tools and cold emailing tools to help you personalize sales pitches at scale.
- Be on a constant lookout for learning new technologies and staying updated on industry changes. B2B clients are knowledgeable, so you will need expertise to build authority.
- Practice active listening. The key to building long-lasting connections with potential customers depends on listening, critical thinking, asking right questions, and offering solutions.
- Build your in-house sales enablement team and offer training for your sales reps.
- Go for a multi-channel outreach strategy. Make use of email, social media platforms, webinars, sales calls, etc.
- Encourage your sales and marketing teams (and any other customer-front teams) to work together to offer better sales and support experience.
- A/B test any campaign you are launching This way you can ensure maximum positive impact of your campaigns.
- Encourage existing B2B customers to share referrals and positive reviews. Leverage them to make customer testimonials to showcase.
Sattwik is a Digital Marketing professional at SmartLead. He is a dedicated content writer who focuses on juggling words to bring out meaningful content. He is experienced in well-researched and SEO-optimized content creation, content editing, and copywriting for various businesses throughout the globe. His expertise in SEO, SMM, and SMO with a touch of creativity helps businesses grow and maximize their credibility and sales.