Sales reps come in all varieties. One exciting position that can put you in front of new and existing customers with the opportunity to have real sales conversations is a B2B sales job.
B2b sales roles are ideal for a sales representative with excellent communication skills and a desire to support consumers.
This article will let us examine what a B2B sales job involves and how you can land one of these jobs with the right strategy.
What are B2B Sales Jobs?
Companies usually sell to end consumers. But some products and services are geared toward other businesses.
Business-to-business, or B2B, sales reps engage real customers who are decision-makers for their companies.
While this role in the sales department features many of the same skills and activities as a more generalized sales rep, specific details are different.
How are B2B Sales Jobs Different From B2C?
Business-to-business salespersons will focus on selling their company’s product to new business customers.
However, a B2C (business-to-consumer) sales representative will seek new customers from the general public.
Consider some of the main differences between B2B and B2C reps.
B2B buyers purchase products and services to use within their own companies. A company may be purchasing:
- Supplies for the operation of their business – Paper products, janitorial supplies, a software product
- Materials to resell or for manufacture use – Wholesale goods, raw materials
- Services – IT, legal, or consulting services
Business-to-consumer purchasers will be buying products for their personal use. These are not professional buyers, and transactions often involve one individual or family.
There may be a greater opportunity to push high-dollar deals when selling to business customers. A company may be willing to purchase goods in bulk when there is a good reason to do so, and the price is right.
On the other hand, individual consumers will be much more aware of the cost since it affects their pocket.
Corporate buyers are interested in the bottom line and want to know if there is a good return on investment (ROI) for the services they buy.
Therefore, the B2B sales cycle is often logic-based and a more lengthy process where a B2B sales rep must prove their product or service is the best fit.
Conversely, B2C customers may be swayed by emotion in their purchases or make impulse decisions.
The B2B Sales Process
The B2B sales rep meets with greater success when they develop the ability to identify a pivotal member of the decision-making team.
It may help to think of B2B sales reps as account executives for the buying company. They will work to lead a company down the sales funnel through the following steps:
- Conduct market research on potential customers
- Make cold phone calls and perform email outreach
- Qualify leads into sales opportunities
- Document customer information
- Building relationships with business contacts
- Analyze data collected and present customers with solutions
B2B Sales Strategy
Good business-to-business reps usher their business clients down a clear path. They will be there for business clients, from cold calls to closed deals.
This support role finds the most success when the sales representative can address the following three points.
Understand the Customer
When new customers contact your sales team through cold calling or other means, they may need help with problems.
Have real conversations with them to get to the heart of what will solve their issues. Help to lead the customer to a solution you can offer.
In searching for an answer to what plagues them, take note of all the products and services your business provides.
But be ready to narrow the focus at the right time, so the buyer isn’t overwhelmed with a sea of options.
Since B2B selling is overshadowed by business logic, your marketing and sales experience must reflect the new business customer’s viewpoint.
Your pitch should highlight how your product or service can provide the following:
- Cost and time savings
- Better competitive edge in their industry
- Improved company efficiency
For example, if you are selling an accounts payable software package, you can provide actionable data on how it saves staff time on manual invoice entry.
You may magnify its ability to integrate with other popular ERP systems. Or perhaps it can reduce billing errors or the risk of fraud.
Give the customer logical reasons that matter to them for purchasing your products and services.
Develop Soft Skills
Every good B2B salesperson will work to develop important “soft skills.” These are skills that indirectly support sales jobs.
Think about skills and traits like time management, persistence, problem-solving, and empathy. Each of those will make a good sales representative an even better one.
If sales reps lack these skills, there are instructor-led interactive training programs and workshops to help a person grow and develop into master sellers.
How to Start Your Rewarding Career in B2B Sales
If you are convinced that a business-to-business sales job is for you, your next question will likely be about how to get started on this career path.
Take note of these suggestions to help you begin the job search that will lead you to the sales job of your dreams.
Identify Your Target Career
Every sales representative job is different. Identify your preferred sales environment. Do you like inside sales or fieldwork? Is working with a sales team appealing to you?
Find a recruiting agency or staffing firm to save valuable time and energy. These services handle much of the footwork for you and act as a matching service between employers and interested sales reps.
Online job boards are another powerful resource. Some provide the latest job alert notifications when key job descriptions are posted on their website.
Tell Your Story and Prepare Well
Applicants often want to list their sales experience and qualifications but must fully tell their story. Recruiters want a fuller picture of your strengths, personality, and background.
Reach out to past employers and professional associates to assess their willingness to be a reference.
Additionally, seek help from friends and others as a second opinion on your resume and cover letter. Nothing will turn off employers more than easily corrected errors that should have been caught.
When you secure an interview, make sure that you prepare yourself well. Search out the company’s facts and get familiar with their history, position, and vision.
On the date of the interview, dress appropriately and arrive promptly. Bring items to take notes.
Your confidence level can be seen by sales recruiters when you:
- Make eye contact
- Speak clearly
- Actively listen
- Ask follow-up questions to seek clarity
- Craft thoughtful answers
The B2B sales representative is a job description distinct from standard sales positions. But this market has great potential for a motivated person.
If you have excellent communication ability and are ready to do business with corporate stakeholders, consider a B2b sales job today!