A widespread misunderstanding is that if one has certain skills and a good bit of experience, it is possible to move between business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) sales with relative ease. However, selling to retail and corporate markets requires completely different approaches and skillsets. Although different approaches are required, B2C and B2B sales have some key requirements that they share.
A Precise Strategy
Lead generation in B2B sales could take a longer period of time as well as involve more nurturing however without a clear strategy and established tactics, both approaches risk failure and losing customers.
Alignment With Marketing
If online and offline marketing messages don’t align well with sales communications, potential customers will shy away from doing business with the company.
Excellent Customer Service
Once a sale is made, the ability that a customer has to reach the support team and get useful service has everything to do with retention and churn rate. This is true of both B2C and B2B sales.
B2B is shorthand for “business to business”. It refers to sales which are made to other businesses rather than to individual consumers. B2B sales frequently take the form of one business selling supplies or components to another. For example, a tyre manufacturer may sell merchandise to a car manufacturer. Another example would be wholesalers who sell their products to retailers. These shops then turn around and sell them to consumers. Supermarkets are a classic example of this activity. They purchase food from wholesalers and then sell it at a slightly higher price to individual consumers.
B2B sales can also include services. Attorneys who take cases for business clients, accounting firms that help companies do their taxes, and technical consultants who set up networks and email accounts are all examples of B2B service providers.
B2B commerce can be split into some specific categories. These include:
- Direct sellers – such as Amazon or takealot.
- Online Intermediaries – such as Amazon.com which can sell products from a number of different vendors. They act as an intermediary and are able to broker deals between two parties.
- Community-based models – which represent particular interest groups such as a bulletin board for gardeners. These are useful to advertisers as they can be used to market to specific segments.
- Advertising-based models – which are websites designed to generate high traffic to expose users to ads.