​A Complete Guide to B2B Sales

​A Complete Guide to B2B Sales

Posted on 03 April 2024

What Does B2B Mean?

B2B (business to business) sales refers to the relationship between buyer and seller, where both sides are a business rather than consumers. It is the method of selling goods and services onward from one business to another business. B2B sales play a crucial role in the global economy, facilitating trade and collaboration between businesses.

How Has B2B Sales Evolved?

A lot has changed over the years with B2B sales. The landscape has been altered through digital transformation, and things are only going to continue to change as it has been predicted that “by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels.” And a leading expert in B2B sales, David Reid, says he has witnessed significant shifts in recent years with technology playing a pivotal role in these changes.

These changes have been coming for a while now, but the momentum caused by the pandemic causes a significant speed increase. The digital transition has meant that B2B sales transactions are no longer made face-to-face, they are done through online platforms. This shift in B2B sales has meant businesses have had to adjust their sales strategies to optimise their online customer journeys.

How different industries embrace B2B sales

These are the three main types of B2B sales relationships and strategies:

Supplier and Producer Sales

Supplier and Producer B2B sales is the sales strategy of selling supplies or raw materials to another business who then uses those materials to manufacture a product or offer a service to use in their own business. This exchange typically happens in bulk with the supplier being responsible for providing quality supplies at a competitive price, as this helps to maintain a positive relationship between the two parties.

Distributor and Reseller Sales

The distributor and reseller relationship are similar to supplier and producer in some ways, but their sales strategies do vary, as the reseller is receiving complete retail products or services from the distributor to then sell.

Two people moving boxes

SaaS and General Service Provider Sales

SaaS (software as a service) and General Service Provider Sales is the process of selling web-based software to businesses for them to use within their business. This software is typically online or downloaded. There is typically a subscription-based pricing model so there is a focus on retaining customers and upselling them to improve their usage of the software.

How Covid-19 affected the industry

During the Covid-19 pandemic, sales jobs changed and B2B buyers and sellers were forced to make the quick shift to operating digitally. What started out as a crisis response has now become the new normal and has changed the way B2B sales operate.

With restrictions in place, B2B sales adopted remote selling techniques which include video conferencing, virtual presentations, and online tools to engage with prospective and current clients. This also accelerated where B2B sales companies invested their money and time, this was shown in the creation of e-commerce platforms, digital marketing strategies and using sales automation technologies.

Covid-19 also altered buyers’ behaviour as businesses were more cautious and risk-averse with their purchasing decisions. An emphasis on cost-efficient purchases and value propositions began to become much more important to businesses to minimise risks.

A focus on customer relationships also began, where building and maintaining strong customer relationships was critical during the height of Covid-19 and B2B sales teams became more customer-focused, providing more support, empathy and solutions to fulfil the needs of their customers.

The pandemic affected the supply chain, which impacted the ability to stock and deliver products and services. B2B sales teams had to work through these disruptions. They did this by finding a wider range of suppliers and focusing on managing inventory levels with more caution.

Tips for Success

Here are five tips to help you coordinate a successful B2B sales strategy.

Understanding Buyers' Needs

With a B2B Sales strategy, it's essential that you understand why your product or service is needed by your potential buyers. This means you can shift the focus from just promoting your product or service to showcasing how your product will benefit your customers.

Backing Claims

If your sales strategy involves making claims, it's essential that you are able to back these claims with hard evidence as this can make a great difference to its effectiveness. Using claims in your B2B sales is effective and strengthens your credibility but you need to be able to show the evidence that proves the claim to be true.

Identifying the Right Audience

Knowing your audience is a sales strategy that will help you create more successful sales. Be sure to analyse your current customer's wants and needs, look into targeting new demographics, research your competitor's offerings and evaluate how what you are offering is unique.


An important part of a B2B sales job is to ensure that your business is set apart from your competitors and there are points of difference in your offerings. Make sure to present your unique offerings, and benefits and sell why you should be the preferred B2B business of choice.

Building Connections

Invest time and energy into creating valuable and lasting relationships and connections, go above and beyond with your customer service, and be personable and a proud face of your business, this will go a long way and help give you an edge over competitors.

People tokens joint by string

Are you looking for a new sales job?

Click here to view our latest job listings!

Share this article