All business entities need an on-target sales strategy. It will help determine the success or failure of a project or the company itself. No matter how great the team is in talking, presenting, and even making deals, the wrong sales strategy, whether for B2B sales or B2C sales, will prevent it from achieving the company’s goals.
The first step to creating a strategy that fits a business is to know the difference between B2B and B2B sales. Each one has different requirements that the company needs to employ.
What are B2B Sales
Business-to-business sales or B2B happen when the primary customer of the company is another business entity. The products and services are marketed to other businesses. That means all sales and marketing efforts are geared towards specific teams or people making purchase decisions on behalf of other business entities.
Generally, there are various types of B2B sales. The first one refers to selling products to address the needs of other businesses. Examples of these include computer equipment and office supplies. The second type is the selling of components that a company needs to manufacture its products. For instance, a car manufacturer would have to buy tires from a tire manufacturer. It can also refer to retailers who need to get supplies from wholesalers. These will then be sold to consumers.
Another possibility is the involvement of services. Instead of offering physical products to another business, a company can offer services that deal with specific business aspects. For example, it can be an accountant or a team to handle business taxes. It may also be for the IT side of the company. Some companies also outsource BPO and customer service, while others look for another company specializing in sales and marketing. These are only some of the services that can fall under B2B sales.
What are B2C Sales
On the other hand, B2C refers to the direct selling of products or services to consumers. Instead of targeting other business entities, the company aims for individuals who will purchase a product or get service for personal use.
When dealing with this type, the sales and marketing efforts should focus on the average user’s needs, desires, and problems. Here is an excellent example of B2C sales in retail. All items are sold directly to target consumers. Unlike B2B, the decision-making process is often done by an individual. Additionally, the person often makes a purchase on the spot.
Difference Between B2B and B2C Sales
Both types of sales focus on selling products and services. While a good sales team can do both, the tactics to be used for one cannot be applied to the other. Using B2C strategies for B2B or vice versa is ineffective and a waste of time and money.
That is why it is crucial to understand the difference between B2B and B2C sales. Here are some of the major ones:
As stated earlier, the main difference between these two is the focus of the sales and marketing efforts. In B2B, the customers are key decision-makers in an organization. There is no need to sell the product or service to the end-user or every member of the company. On the other hand, B2C is marketed towards consumers. Sales strategies and campaigns should focus on who will be using the product or service.
The size of the audience also differs. B2C strategies are typically fit for millions of people. That is because different individuals will use a product or service. Meanwhile, B2Bs are relatively smaller. That is because the strategy depends on a company’s specific requirements. The pitch is designed to convince a few people or a team that decides on behalf of the company.
Besides the people making the decisions for purchasing a product or service, another vital aspect is the scenario. B2Cs are often due to an immediate need. The purchase will be based on emotions and even on impulse sometimes. A buyer will either get a product because of habit or due to in-the-moment feelings. Decisions are often influenced by word-of-mouth, habits, cravings, or advertising.
B2Bs, on the other hand, often have longer sales cycles. The company offering a product or service will have to woo key decision-makers. They will have to go through multiple meetings and even a demonstration of pitches before closing a deal. The whole ordeal can sometimes take months.
- Logic and Emotions
When it comes to creating pitches, there is also a difference between B2B and B2C sales. Individual consumers are often targeted through captivating stories that touch on their emotions. They should be made aware of the benefits and value of the product or service using plain language. As for organizations, they are often convinced with the help of logic. The salesperson should inform the client about the features of the product or service and how it will be helpful to the organization.
- Price Point
Most of the time, B2Cs have lower price points compared to B2Bs. That is because the payment is made once during the purchase. Meanwhile, B2B products and services are usually paid long term. They may also have higher price points as they are not bought individually.
B2C selling is often done as one-off transactions. That means there is no prior contact or ongoing relationships between the consumer and the sales professional or team. The buyer can change their mind after a few days and purchase a different product.
B2B selling is the opposite. There is a need to build trust and maintain a relationship in order for the whole process to be an investment for both parties. The sales team works hard to meet the client’s requirements. They prepare the necessary information or content, which will be presented to the decision-makers. Meanwhile, the buying company will have to make sure they are getting the best solutions.
The experience necessary to succeed in B2B is more complex than in B2C. That is because sales professionals for B2Bs deal with senior decision-makers from organizations. While B2Cs also require years of experience, the learning curve is shorter.
- Return on Investment (ROI)
Unlike B2C customers, B2B clients are interested in knowing the ROI immediately. They need to know the sales professionals’ expertise and how the company’s product or service can contribute to the efficiency and productivity of their organization.
- Purchasing Cycle
B2C customers often get recommendations from people they know. These include friends and family. Their decision only requires a few minutes. On the other hand, the process of B2B buying has a longer cycle. There are various aspects to consider, such as procurement, accounting, and finances. The approval of several people from different departments may be necessary to make a purchase.
B2B and B2C sales have some similarities. However, they also possess many distinct differences. In most cases, B2B sales professionals need more expertise in handling bigger clients as they target other businesses. Converting a target audience into a B2B customer also takes a long process and is often harder to do.
B2C clients often look for entertaining and compelling content. Meanwhile, B2B customers lean toward more detail-oriented and educated content. Knowing the difference between the two can help a company create a good and effective sales strategy that will provide positive results.