B2B Sales: Strategy, Examples and 12 Best Practices

Are you a good salesperson? Free quiz to know your sales aptitude
B2B sales guide
7 minutes read
This guide is for B2B Sales professionals. It provides insights and strategies for effective sales practices. From understanding your target market to navigating complex sales cycles.

B2B sales means selling products or services to other businesses, not to individual consumers. In this type of sales, things are more complicated. It takes longer to complete a sale, and the amount of money involved is usually higher than in sales to individual customers.

Understanding B2B Customers

Knowing your customers is a critical component of successful B2B sales. Here’s an overview of key aspects to consider:

  • Target Market: Know who your ideal customers are. Determine the industries, company sizes, and types of businesses that would benefit most.
  • Customer Needs: To succeed in B2B sales, you need to know your customers’ challenges, goals, and problems. This understanding allows you to tailor your sales approach and solutions effectively.
  • Decision-Making Process: B2B purchasing decisions often involve multiple stakeholders. To understand this process, know the decision-makers, influencers, and what matters most to them.
  • Buyer Persona: A detailed buyer personas can help in understanding your typical customers. This should mention the job, industry problems, goals, and desired solutions.
  • Customer Feedback: Regularly collect and analyze feedback from your customers. This feedback is very important. It helps us understand their experiences with our product or service. It also tells us what improvements we can make.
  • Market Trends: Stay informed about trends and changes in the industries you serve. This knowledge helps in anticipating customer needs and adapting your offerings accordingly.

Making a sale is important, but so is building trust and creating value. It’s about establishing a partnership that benefits both parties for a long time.

Get Started for Free

The B2B Sales Process

Breaking down the B2B sales process into steps clarifies how to close a sale in a business-to-business context. 

This breakdown provides a general framework for navigating the B2B sales processThe steps can change based on the industry, product complexity, and business model. To complete each step, you need certain skills and strategies. 

1. Prospecting

To start, find potential customers (leads) who may want your product or service. You can do this in many ways, such as networking, referrals, cold calling, email campaigns, and social media outreach.

2. Qualifying Leads

After making a list of potential customers, you need to qualify leads and assess their suitability. To see if a customer needs your product, check their budget, decision-making power, and purchase timeline.

3. Needs Assessment

Engage with the qualified leads to understand their specific needs, challenges, and goals. This step usually includes detailed discussions or meetings. You need good listening and questioning skills to understand how your product can solve their problems.

4. Developing a Solution

Once you have all the information about what they need, make a solution or proposal just for their challenges.

5. Presentation or Proposal

Present your company and solution to the decision-makers. This could be in the form of a formal presentation, a detailed proposal, or a product demonstration. The key is to articulate the benefits and ROI of your solution.

6. Handling Objections

After presenting your solution, prospects may have sales objections or concerns. To handle these issues, give more details, assurances, or adjust your proposal accordingly.

7. Closing the Sale / Deal

After addressing objections and satisfying the prospect, proceed to finalizing the sale. To complete the process, we need to finalize the terms, sign contracts, and prepare for delivery or implementation.

8. Post-Sale Relationship Management

After you make a sale, keep in touch with the customer to make sure they are happy and build a lasting relationship. To keep customers coming back and referring others, it’s important to take this step. It helps build a loyal network.

B2B Sales Strategies

Business-to-business sales use different strategies to engage with clients and close deals. The strategies used depend on the product or service, sales cycle, and target market.

Each of these strategies can be effective depending on the context and goals of the sales effort. Here are some common B2B sales strategies:

Solution Selling

This approach helps solve a problem that a potential client has. Sales representatives present their products or services as the answer to these problems. They focus on the advantages and results, not just the features.

Consultative Selling

In consultative sales the salesperson acts like a consultant. First, they learn about the customer’s business, challenges, and needs. Then, they suggest solutions that meet these requirements, tailoring their offerings.

Account-Based Selling (ABS)

ABS involves targeting high-value accounts or companies rather than individual leads. The sales, marketing, and customer service teams need to work together. They will create personalized buying experiences for every account.


This strategy is about showing customers how the product or service will help their business. The benefits are measured in ROI, efficiency gains, revenue growth, or cost savings.

Challenger Sale

This approach teaches customers new things about their business. It tailors solutions to their needs and takes control of the sales conversation.

SPIN Selling

An acronym for Situation, Problem, Implication, Need-Payoff. SPIN selling uses specific questions to help customers understand their needs and the value of the solution.

Inbound Selling

Focuses on creating and sharing content that draws customers in. In Inbound Sales, Salespeople don’t reach out to customers. They attract leads through content marketing, SEO, and solving online problems.

Referral Selling

Using existing customers to generate new leads. We ask happy customers to recommend their business contacts, building trust and creating new opportunities.

Vertical Selling

Specializing in a specific industry or vertical market. Sales representatives become experts in the unique challenges and needs of that industry. This expertise enables them to use more effective and targeted selling strategies.

Get Started for Free

Challenges in B2B Sales

To succeed in B2B sales, it’s important to overcome challenges. Here are some typical challenges and strategies to address them:

Long Sales Cycles

B2B sales often involve lengthy decision-making processes.

Solution: Develop a nurturing strategy to keep leads engaged throughout the cycle. Regular follow-ups, providing valuable content, and staying top of mind are key.

Many Decision Makers

B2B purchases usually need approval from several stakeholders.

Solution: Identify and engage all decision-makers and influencers. Tailor your communication to address the specific concerns and interests of each stakeholder.

Product Differentiation

In crowded markets, it can be challenging to stand out.

Solution: Focus on what makes your solution unique. Emphasize the unique value proposition and benefits that your product or service offers.


Price is often a sticking point in B2B transactions.

Solution: Be prepared to articulate the value of your offering. If the price cannot be changed, you can still add value by offering extra support or more features.

Generating Qualified Leads

Finding leads that are a good fit for your product can be difficult.

Solution: Refine your lead generation strategy. To find the best customers, use marketing, referrals, and lead scoring to target specific people.

Building Trust with Prospects

Trust is a critical component in B2B sales.

Solution: Establish credibility through customer testimonials, case studies, and by providing insightful, consultative advice. Be transparent and consistent in all interactions.

Customer Retention

Keeping existing customers engaged and satisfied is as important as acquiring new ones.

Solution: Implement effective account management and retention strategies. Make sure to talk to customers often, ask for feedback, and give them customized solutions for their changing needs.

Aligning Sales and Marketing

Misalignment between these two functions can lead to lost opportunities.

Solution: Foster collaboration and communication between sales and marketing. Align on common goals, target profiles, and messaging.

12 Best Practices

Implementing these best practices can help B2B sales professionals build more effective, efficient, and customer-friendly sales processes, ultimately leading to increased sales success and customer loyalty.

Here are some key best practices to consider:

1. Customer-Centric Approach

Always put the customer’s needs and challenges at the center of your sales strategy. Understand their business, pain points, and how your solution can help.

2. Build Strong Relationships

Focus on building long-term relationships rather than just closing a sale. Trust is vital in B2B sales.

3. Educate and Consult

Position yourself as a knowledgeable advisor who can provide valuable insights and solutions, not just a seller of products or services.

4. Leverage Data and Analytics

Use data to gain insights into customer behavior, preferences, and needs. Analytics can help in tailoring your approach and improving decision-making.

5. Learning and Adaptation

Stay informed about industry trends, changes in customer needs, and advancements in sales technology. Be willing to adapt your strategies as needed.

6. CRM Tools

Use Customer Relationship Management tools to track interactions, manage customer information, and automate tasks to increase efficiency.

7. Personalization

Tailor your communication and solutions to the specific needs of each client. Personalization can significantly increase the effectiveness of your sales efforts.

8. Focus on Value, Not Price

Emphasize the value and ROI of your solution. Help the customer understand how your product or service can positively impact their business.

9. Collaboration Across Teams

Ensure alignment between sales, marketing, customer service, and other departments. A cohesive approach can lead to more consistent and effective customer experiences.

10. After-Sales Service

After closing a sale, continue to engage with the customer. Follow-up and excellent after-sales service are key to customer retention and referrals.

11. Professional Development 

Invest in training and development for your sales team. Continuous skill enhancement is essential in the evolving landscape of B2B sales.

12. Networking

Take part in industry events, conferences, and forums. Networking can open up new opportunities and provide valuable insights.

Case studies of B2B sales

Case studies of successful B2B sales provide valuable insights into effective sales strategies and practices. Here are three “hypothetical” examples that illustrate different aspects of successful B2B sales:

Tech Startup

A small tech startup developed an innovative cloud-based analytics tool. 

Problem: The new company had a hard time getting noticed because big, established companies controlled the market.

Strategy: They used account-based marketing (ABM) to focus on a few big companies with personalized marketing and direct outreach.

Result: The startup secured a contract with a Fortune 500 company, leading to a significant increase in credibility and exposure in the industry.

Manufacturing Company

A mid-sized manufacturing company specializing in industrial machinery. 

Problem: Facing stagnant growth in a competitive market.

Strategy: They changed to a consultative selling method. They try to understand their clients’ needs and give customized solutions.

Result: The company grew its market share, forming good relationships with important customers and gaining new ones.

SaaS Company

A company offering Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions for business management. 

Problem: High competition and difficulty in differentiating their service offerings.

Strategy: The company wanted to make customers happy, hear their thoughts, and make their platform better.

Result: Their dedication to making customers happy caused more people to recommend them, which led to more sales.


30-day free trial

Your Full Name
Company Name
Business Email
Choose a password

By clicking on Start Trial, you accept our Terms and Privacy

Should you have any questions or comments, please contact us

Try Onpipeline

See how a user-friendly CRM can help you organize your customers, manage the sales process, and track your activities.