What are B2B Sales?
Definition & Process

Taking it back to basics.
b2b sales cover photo
If you've developed a product or service that is useful to companies or businesses, that is who you want to sell to.

But selling to companies is different than selling to customers, as you do in retail.

In this article, we will do a deep dive into the meaning of B2B, the difference with B2C, and how to approach selling to businesses.

What B2B Means?

B2B means "Business-to-Business." It refers to a type of commerce and interaction where goods, services, or information are exchanged between two or more businesses rather than directly between a business and individual consumers.

In B2B transactions, the focus is on catering to the needs of other businesses, such as manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, software products, and service providers, rather than end consumers. B2B relationships often involve larger quantities, specialized products, and negotiated agreements tailored to the specific requirements of the businesses involved.

Specifically, it refers to businesses that sell their product or service to other businesses. This does not necessarily mean that they do not sell to singular customers as well, but the true money-maker tend to be the B2B sales.

For an example of how this works, let's think of tour companies and service providers.

They can sell a package to individual travelers, but they can also have agreements with companies to organize their company retreats for them. An individual traveler is an immediate transaction, therefore, a Business-To-Customers or B2C transaction. They are solely worried about purchasing at that moment and may or may not use the tour company again.

On the other hand, working with a specific business over a number of years to always provide for their company retreat with multiple folks traveling makes this transaction and sale B2B.

More concrete examples of B2B are the purchase of raw materials for production or of components for product assembly in the world of manufacturing, or for services such as advertising or consulting.

At SalesPipe, we're an example of a B2B model as we offer high-quality outsourced SDRs to help SaaS companies with their own B2B sales.

B2B Sales - Definition

B2B sales then are sales that expressly take place between two different businesses. The markets they fit into one are typically one of the following four categories:

- Manufacturers, B2B manufacturing companies sell their products or services to other businesses rather than directly to consumers. They may specialize in specific types of goods and provide customized solutions to meet their customers' needs.

- Service providers, such as sales outsourcing and digital marketing companies, they offer businesses customized solutions to help them achieve their objectives. These companies work closely with clients to provide ongoing support and enable businesses to remain competitive in their industries. SalesPipe and similar companies fit in here.

- Resellers, also known as distributors or wholesalers. These companies purchase the product or service from the source and then sell them to other businesses. For example, a Tier 2 Internet Service Provider (ISP) buys access to a Tier 1 ISP to sell to their customers, or to a Tier 3 that belongs to a different country.

- Software development. B2B software development companies design and create customized computer programs and systems for other businesses. They work closely with clients to understand their needs and provide ongoing support and maintenance services.
B2B software companies play a critical role in helping other businesses operate more effectively, innovate, and compete in an increasingly digital world.

B2B-focused companies will usually focus on selling to one market before extending to others in order to create a clear, replicable process for different companies in that industry.

What's the B2B Sales Process?

The B2B sales process, also referred to as the sales cycle, are the steps a company takes to sell to another business.

There are a series of specific steps to take in order to be successful:
sales process

Lead Generation

The first step in the process is lead generation. You won't get far if you don't have anyone to sell to, after all.

Whether you use marketing and lead qualification to obtain inbound sales and leads, or you do heavy research during your Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy phase and create a customer profile with targeted messaging for outbound sales, you need to have a list of folks to contact. And ideally, you're utilizing both inbound and outbound methods.

After all, without that first list, you'll never get started.

Contact Leads

Once you have your list of prospects, from either inbound efforts or outbound research, you want to contact them.

In inbound, it's best to contact them using all of the information they provided.

With outbound lead generation, there are a variety of strategies you can use.

From social selling via LinkedIn to cold emailing and cold calling, to video messaging - everything is fair game for an intrepid SDR!

Lead Qualification

Now that you have contacted them, you want to further qualify them and try to determine if they're worth a call.

In outbound, a lot of this work is done preemptively as SDRs are focusing on specific customer profiles and the prospects they find should fall within certain parameters such as company size, industry, budget, and prospect role. The goal in outbound is to get a call to further qualify the lead or to try to get as close as possible to a decision maker.

Inbound is a bit trickier, as SDRs are responding to queries that are received.

Not everyone filling out a form on a website is actually the intended audience, or close to buying. SDRs take the time to filter out and qualify the prospects and leads that are more likely to convert and send those to AEs for an initial call.


The initial call an AE holds is an introductory call to your business and the produce or service you offer.

Often during the call, the AE will prepare a product demo of the product or service. The idea is to showcase how your offer fits into the prospects' needs and will be a solution for the pain point you established during your research and strategizing.

You want to hear your prospect's concerns and understand how best your offer can help them. And you want to make them feel heard as well.

Remember that this is the beginning of a potentially very close and fruitful relationship and partnership, so you are also ensuring that they are the type of prospect you are aiming for.

Objection Handling

Even the best demo in the world can face doubters.

You want to follow-up with your prospect and understand their point of view. It might be a pricing issue, a logistical matter, or simply not the right time to implement your solution.

Any of these can be overcome if you demonstrate patience and understanding for your prospect's situation and you work closely with your own leadership to close the sale over time.

Always make sure you keep your prospect's needs front and center when discussing their options for you to work together.

Deal Closing


Your persuading and demonstrated interest in their success can close a deal with many a prospect, you just need to make them aware of how positive this purchase will be.

Do this by obtaining more and more information about their situation over time, and how your solution is the best fit to help them.

Once you reach this stage, it's all about sending over the contracts and getting everything signed off.

Referrals & Loyalty

In the world of B2B, the secret to true success is maintaining relationships with existing clients.

It is a lot easier to upsell to clients that know and trust you than to find new ones, and existing clients are more likely to continue renewing your product or service. This means guaranteed revenue.

You must ensure new clients have a smooth onboarding process and that your customer service team is ready to welcome them.

Once you know they're happy with your offer, you can begin asking for referrals, or if they know anyone else who may benefit from your solution. Happy clients will always be your best advertising.

What's the Difference Between B2B and B2C Sales?

b2b vs b2c
It's quite a bit different in the world of B2C, or Business-To-Customer.

The first obvious difference is the higher value of deals in the world of B2B. Companies and businesses are always going to pay more as they will have more money and more people in need of your product or service. B2C will always be a smaller ticket and focused on the immediate results of a one-time purchase. A lot of the time this will be ensured with the use of discounts, which are a lot rarer in B2B.

Additionally, the way to sell to these companies and to continue selling to them and generating revenue is by building long-lasting relationships. You are not simply selling one item and then never seeing them again in a single transaction. The ideal B2B situation is continuing to sell to as many existing customers as possible.

As a result, the B2B sales cycle is a lot longer than the B2C cycle. B2C will focus a lot more on marketing and inbound leads, approaching customers with an emotional, story-telling-driven approach. They have a high volume of leads of differing quality as a result.

B2B will start with a smaller lead volume as the goal is to build confidence over time by sharing established facts and figures they use to convince prospects. The longer cycle does have a higher cost, of course.

However, both B2B and B2C share some similarities.

It is impossible to truly succeed at either without an established process and strategy in place. Even B2C companies will create a buyer persona.

Both need to align their marketing strategy with their sales efforts, if not they will step on each other's toes.

And both require excellent customer service if they truly want to close their deals.


Now that you know how B2B sales work and the process you should follow to be successful, you are probably looking for intrepid SDRs to help you find prospects.

Our team at SalesPipe is made up of top-notch SDRs from around the world with experience under their belt.

Get in touch with us to work with the best talent around!
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