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B2B sales

Business to business sales: area of work

Business to business sales involves selling products or services to businesses rather than individual consumers.

What it involves

Selling to another business is quite different from selling to the general consumer – you need to consider the organisation’s commercial objectives and how they can best be met. You could be selling business services, financial support, IT and communications equipment, software, systems or even electricity. As such, the types of organisation you could be working for are similarly varied, from mobile phone companies to banks.

You’ll be responsible for researching and identifying sales opportunities, generating leads and maintaining relationships with existing clients. You will need to discuss and match the needs of your business customers, attend face-to-face meetings and deliver polished presentations that outline the benefits of your product or service.

You could be:

  • managing a range of ongoing business accounts
  • monitoring sales data
  • reporting back to management
  • closing the sale
  • building relationships with clients
  • delivering after-sales care.

What’s required

Communication is key in business to business sales and diplomacy, tact and confidence are needed to negotiate with key decision makers in the buying organisation. You’ll need to be comfortable working to ambitious deadlines and targets, and thrive in pressurised, competitive working environments. You’ll need solid knowledge of the sales process, as well as the commercial nous to analyse market data and identify business opportunities.

A good understanding of the world of work, including how businesses operate, will help you to make the connections between your product and the buyer’s needs. Depending on the sector you choose to go into, any technical knowledge or expertise will be beneficial, as will any customer-facing sales or retail experience.