Why B2B and B2C Sales are Different
Selling is always about the seller’s relationship with their customer. The nature of that relationship is different depending on what kind of customer we’re talking about, though. Some companies sell to other companies, and others sell directly to consumers. These two types of sales are known respectively as B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer).
There are aspects of each that make them similar to each other, but there are also some important distinctions.
Business-to-consumer sales are the kind that almost all of us are most familiar with. The process is simple, and it’s all about the product in question. Relationships are a factor, but the goal of both parties is to get the most value possible out of the single transaction. Repeat business is nice, but it’s not the main goal here, because individual preferences change often. Just because the customer buys an apple today means nothing next week, when they may prefer a pomegranate instead.
Because of those shifting preferences, the seller must focus their efforts on a very large market of individuals in order to move enough product to stay in business. Marketing focuses on images and feelings that appeal to individuals who seek intangible benefits. They also must keep the buying process as simple as possible, with clear pricing, to keep the buyer’s attention.
Business-to-business sales are less intuitive. They require far more conscious effort and preparation on the part of sellers, because their customers are not usually a single individual. Business customers are purchasing committees and boards, deeply focused on the rationality of a contract and how it affects the bottom line.
Sellers in this market have to carefully cultivate trusting relationships over a much longer period of time in order to close a deal. Stability and consistency are key. These markets are also considerably smaller and far more specialized. Competition is fierce, so the seller who is able to definitively prove that their solution offers the best value, through patient education and relationship-building activities, is the one who wins over their customer.
“It’s fascinating how the fundamentals of business-to-business marketing are the same today as they were 50 years ago. It’s still about relationships, although today we have new tools and techniques at our disposal.” (David Meerman Scott)
BoomDemand focuses on the nuances of B2B selling strategies. Our team of expert SDRs has mastered the art of cultivating strong relationships between our clients and their potential business customers. Contact us today to give your B2B marketing efforts a BOOM!