B2B is short for business to business. It is defined as a sales model that involves one business selling products or services to another business.
This type of selling approach is a much different mindset than selling to consumers because B2B salespeople often sell to professional buyers who are trained to get the best possible deal for their company. Selling this way means businesses often sell to a team of decision makers, all of whom must be convinced that this product or severe is the best for their needs.
B2B sales are made two different ways:
1. The first type of selling products or services that meet their businesses needs such as like office supplies, freshly grown produce, clothing, or computer equipment. The sales approach means dealing with the department head or purchaser for that company. Dealing with larger and more expensive products often requires longer sales cycles because the more people involved in working on the purchasing side of each transaction takes more time.
When the company is dealing with services such as computer repair, consulting, office cleaning or a delivery service is usually a more straight forward and a quicker path. Services that help a company run are seen as valuable especially when things start to fall apart such as printers. A tax accountant who specializes in small business taxes is a great example of a valuable working relationship.
2. The second type of B2B sales is selling components that the business will then use to manufacture its own products. For example, a farm that sells fresh produce for food preparation for restaurants or a fabric maker might sell a product to a clothing designer. The wholesaler will also sell products to a retailer such as household items or clothing brands who then sells theses items to consumers at a marked-up price. A good example is a baker that sells products to a local coffee shop.
Even though B2B sales are generally perceived as challenging, it is the working relationships and partnerships in the end that make it worth it. In reality, it is the B2B sales that are seen as the backbone of the economy. A lot of planning and discussion happens before anything can be sold to consumers. All the wholesalers, delivery services, raw material companies, manufacturers and more are what goes into all the products we love, support and buy daily.