Business-to-business sales (abbreviated B2B) are transactions that are carried out between companies, as opposed to business conducted between the company and consumer. The service-level of the companies involved varies from manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. B2B sales have the potential to exponentially increase the revenue of any business. This is mainly because unlike consumer transactions in which only the finished product is sold; in B2B sales there are several components along the supply chain. This in turn means that there are equally numerous opportunities to conduct sales.
Differences between B2B Sales and B2C Sales
In business-to-business sales, more money is at stake as compared to business-to-consumer transactions. In fact, since many of these contracts are designed for the long-term, tens of millions of dollars may be on the line. As such, the client company invests a great deal of time into assessing the deal, and evaluating how it relates to their company objectives. This time is also spent appraising various vendors to find the one that would be best suited to their needs, in addition to negotiating the best deals possible.
Qualities of Exceptional Candidates for B2B Sales
Successful B2B salespeople position themselves as solution providers. Rather than extol the virtues of the product that they are selling, they engage the company representatives in a discussion about the corporation’s objectives and goals, as well as any challenges that they may be facing. The salesperson is then able to demonstrate how forming a business relationship with the company that he/ she is representing would help the company to meet its objectives, and deal with the issues that they are facing. The focus therefore is not on making a sale but rather, making a difference and enabling the company to achieve its goals.
The ability to express oneself clearly is also essential for any salesperson. This is especially important for B2B sales because while business-to-consumer transactions are usually conducted with one or two people, the B2B salesperson would have to meet with a group of people from the company, usually a committee of people chosen from within the organization. These committees are generally set up due to the high risk involved in these sales. The challenge therefore, is to convince most (if not all) members of the representative committee that it is in the best interest of the company to conduct business with your company. The right candidate therefore needs to clearly and concisely make his presentation in a persuasive manner that prompts people to action.
In order to increase their sales, companies which mainly conduct B2B sales focus on networking as a means of getting new clients, as opposed to conducting direct sales. For this reason, the ideal B2B sales candidate is one who is not only engaging, but also demonstrates a high capacity for learning. This way, he/ she is able to assess him/ herself during the networking process and take self-correcting measures where necessary. Ultimately, these self-correcting measures are essential in developing their skills as salespeople, which in turn brings in more business for the company.
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