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Differences, Similarities and Selling in B2B and B2C Markets

May 29, 2018 John Boudreau Sales, b2b, b2c

Business to Business

Business to business, or B2B sales, is the selling of products and services from one business to another.  B2B sales relationships typically take longer to develop, as the processes involved in closing a sale is lengthier. B2B sales include a decision-making process that characteristically needs more than one individual signing off.

Business to Consumer

Business to consumer, or B2C sales, is the selling of products to one individual consumer. For example, in retail sales, the items sold are directly targeted and consumed by one individual person. The B2C sales cycle is usually shorter, as the consumer is encouraged to purchase the product on the spot. In addition, B2C selling does not usually include more than one individual in the decision -making process.

How are B2C and B2B sales similar?

  1. B2B and B2C sales both require a unique sales process with a well-defined strategy.
  2. B2B and B2C sales both require a strong alignment with marketing. Since marketing drives sales, if marketing communications are weak, sales will suffer on both sides.
  3. Customer service is vital regardless of the type of selling in question. It is important that the customer or organization consuming your products and services has the ability to reach the service team expeditiously and are provided top quality service and support.

Here are four marketing and sales tactics that can apply to both B2B and B2C. (Larry Myler, Forbes Contributor, Jan. 2018)

  1. Referrals.  According a recent Nielsen survey, 83% of responders said they trusted recommendations from friends, associates and family members, making word of mouth the most successful approach in sales. Referrals in B2C are, like B2C sales in general, more reliant on a consumer's emotion. It's all about turning them into passionate advocates for your product or service.
  2. Social Responsibility. According to a report from last year, 64% of CEOs say that corporate social responsibility is an essential component of their company, and not an isolated, temporary initiative. On the consumer side, figures show an even greater desire toward corporate activism, with 87% of customers saying they would buy from a company that specifically endorses a cause they believe in. 
  3. Offer B2C Through B2B Partners. Another way to open up new leads is by leveraging the B2B component of your business to reach new individual customers. If you have a strong working relationship with another business, it's possible to get access to their customers for the purpose of growing your B2C sales. Joint venturing can offer another option.
  4. Generate Audience Specific Landing Pages. The most important thing in marketing is to know your customers’ needs. Unlike B2C marketing, which appeals more to emotions, a B2B company should present its products or services in practical terms that clearly state how it benefits a client's business through aspects like increased productivity and reduced costs.

Whether you are in B2B or B2C sales, or both, contact us if you want to grow your sales – faster.

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