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Yes, B2B sales is hard. But the silver lining is that B2B e-commerce sales in the US were 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.
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 which can also be seen as examples of b2b sales, based on their model:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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 2024
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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
Here are some essential tips to improve your B2B sales efforts:
B2B sales involve transactions between businesses. Examples include selling software solutions, industrial machinery, office supplies, and wholesale goods.
B2B sales promotion can use several techniques such as offering discounts for bulk purchases, creating loyalty programs, and organizing exclusive industry events.
A B2B sales funnel represents the stages a business lead goes through before becoming a customer. Some B2b sales funnel examples include awareness (content marketing), consideration (product demos), and decision (negotiations).
B2B products encompass a wide range, including software solutions (e.g., CRM systems), industrial equipment, office furniture, and raw materials for manufacturing.
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Smartlead's cold email outreach tool helps businesses scale their outreach efforts seamlessly. With unlimited mailboxes, fully automated email warmup functionality, a multi-channel infrastructure, and a user-friendly unibox, it empowers users to manage their entire revenue cycle in one place. Whether you're looking to streamline cold email campaigns with automated email warmups, personalization fields, automated mailbox rotation, easy integrations, and spintax, improve productivity, or enhance scalability with subsequences based on lead’s intentions, automated replies, and full white-label experience, our cold email tool implifies it in a single solution.
Our "unlimited mailboxes" feature allows you to expand your email communications without restrictions imposed by a mailbox limit. This means you won't be constrained by artificial caps on the number of mailboxes you can connect and use. This feature makes Smartlead the best cold email software and empowers you to reach a wider audience, engage with more potential customers, and manage diverse email campaigns effectively.
The "unibox" is one of the unique features of Smartlead cold email outreach tool, and it's a game-changer when it comes to managing your revenue cycle. The master inbox or the unibox consolidates all your outreach channels, responses, sales follow-ups, and conversions into one centralized, user-friendly mailbox.
With the "unibox," you gain the ability to:
1. Focus on closing deals: You can now say goodbye to the hassle of logging into multiple mailboxes to search for replies. The "unibox" streamlines your sales communication, allowing you to focus on what matters most—closing deals.
2. Centralized lead management: All your leads are managed from one central location, simplifying lead tracking and response management. This ensures you take advantage of every opportunity and efficiently engage with your prospects.
3. Maintain context: The "unibox" provides a 360-degree view of all your customer messages, allowing you to maintain context and deliver more personalized and effective responses.
Smartlead, the best cold email marketing tool, ensures your emails reach the intended recipients' primary inbox rather than the spam folder.
Here's how it works:
1. Our "unlimited warmups" feature is designed to build and maintain a healthy sending reputation for your cold email outreach. Instead of sending a large volume of emails all at once, which can trigger spam filters, we gradually ramp up your sending volume. This gradual approach, combined with positive email interactions, helps boost your email deliverability rates.
2. We deploy high-deliverability IP servers specific to each campaign.
3. The ‘Warmup’ feature replicates humanized email sending patterns, spintax, and smart replies.
4. By establishing a positive sender reputation and gradually increasing the number of sent emails, Smartlead minimizes the risk of your emails being flagged as spam. This way, you can be confident that your messages will consistently land in the primary inbox, increasing the likelihood of engagement and successful communication with your recipients.
Certainly, Smartlead is designed for seamless integration with a wide range of tools and platforms. Smartlead offers integration with HubSpot, Salesforce, Pipedrive, Clay, Listkit, and more. You can leverage webhooks and APIs to integrate the tools you use. Try Now!
No, there are no limitations on the number of channels you can utilize with Smartlead. Our multi-channel infrastructure is designed to be limitless, allowing you to reach potential customers through multiple avenues without constraints.
This flexibility empowers you to diversify your cold email outreach efforts, connect with your audience through various communication channels, and increase your chances of conversion. Whether email, social media, SMS, or other communication methods, Smartlead's multi-channel capabilities ensure you can choose the channels that best align with your outreach strategy and business goals. This way, you can engage with your prospects effectively and maximize the impact of your email outreach.
Smartlead distinguishes itself from other cold email outreach software by focusing on limitless scalability and seamless integration. While many similar tools restrict your outreach capabilities, Smartlead offers a different approach.
Here's what makes us uniquely the best cold email software:
1. Unlimited Mailboxes: In contrast to platforms that limit mailbox usage, Smartlead provides unlimited mailboxes. This means you can expand your outreach without any arbitrary constraints.
2. Unique IP Servers: Smartlead offers unique IP servers for every campaign it sends out.
3. Sender Reputation Protection: Smartlead protects your sender reputation by auto-moving emails from spam folders to the primary inbox. This tool uses unique identifiers to cloak all warmup emails from being recognized by automation parsers.
4. Automated Warmup: Smartlead’s warmup functionality enhances your sender reputation and improves email deliverability by maintaining humanized email sending patterns and ramping up the sending volume.
5. Multi-Channel Emphasis: Smartlead places a strong emphasis on multi-channel outreach. You can reach your prospects where they are with the LinkedIn outreach feature. With Smartlead’s cold email automation software, you're always one step ahead in your outreach efforts, enjoying the freedom to scale your initiatives and seamlessly integrate with other tools—all while maintaining a focus on maximizing the impact of your outreach.
Ensuring the security of your data is Smartlead's utmost priority. We implement robust encryption methods and stringent security measures to guarantee the continuous protection of your information. Your data's safety is paramount to us, and we are always dedicated to upholding the highest standards of security.
Getting started with Smartlead is straightforward! Just head over to our sign-up page and follow our easy step-by-step guide. If you ever have any questions or need assistance, our round-the-clock support team is ready to help, standing by to provide you with any assistance you may require. Sign Up Now!
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