B2B sales training is simply a training program where employees are taught how to generate sales for their company with other businesses. This training focuses on heavy research into the needs of the market rather than what the market itself is buying.
When businesses sell to other businesses, they have different goals and routes to take than when selling to a consumer. Below we will explain how sales training B2B differs from B2C (business to consumer) sales training and what a few techniques in B2B sales training look like.
B2B Versus B2C Training
Selling to other businesses is a more complex process than selling to individual consumers. Businesses are interested in the long term whereas individuals are more prone to impulse and emotionally driven purchases.
When you go to the store for groceries, you might have a list but if you see a different type of meat is on sale, you might change the entire plan at the moment. When you shop for a business, you are looking for a specific list of products to help you produce exactly what you need. B2B and B2C training programs can differ greatly just as B2B and B2C shopping can differ.
Purchases from businesses are generally of higher value than from individuals. They may be purchasing for many employees or might be creating stock to resell to consumers. In both situations, most businesses will be looking for the best company to buy from so they will not have to change companies in the future. Consistency is much more convenient for companies than for consumers.
Working with businesses should be just as personal as with consumers. A personal relationship will bring repeat purchases and lead other businesses to your company through word of mouth. Creating a relationship with a business is just as important as a relationship with consumers.
Salesforce has researched this topic in depth. For more information, a good blog post concerning B2B versus B2C sales can be found at https://www.salesforce.com/eu/blog/2021/11/b2b-vs-b2c-ecommerce-difference.html. In the next section, we will discuss some techniques used to teach and train employees for the best outcome in B2B sales.
Common B2B Training Techniques
Training B2B sales is like training B2C sales in a lot of ways. You need to focus on the buyer with a personal touch in both situations and teach how to build relationships. Training social skills can be just as important as training sales techniques.
Sales techniques themselves are often trained in a hands-on fashion. Many sales representatives are social creatures and interacting with people helps them learn techniques for sales more readily.
Being social is second nature to a good salesman. With social interaction comes a need for personal touches. Each business should be treated as an individual. While one company may sell the same or similar products to another, their companies are separate entities with different backgrounds and creeds.
As individuals, we will garner more sales interest by treating the companies differently, even if you feel the same actual sales technique will work for both. It can be as simple as providing a hands-on demonstration to one company versus a list of reviews from similar companies to another.
By providing a personal touch to these sales, you are making the representatives from the companies feel welcome. Someone who feels welcome and wanted by another is more likely to continue as a customer, beginning a cycle of repeat business through positive reinforcement on both sides.
Working with people is why most people got into sales and that is why many sales representatives learn best when learning on the job. Most will agree sales experience and learning about selling are two entirely different sides of learning, which you can read more about here. Someone who has read about sales techniques exclusively will not have the same techniques as someone who has hands-on sales experience.
Hands-on experience is not necessarily better than learning from a book or lecture. They each have their place, but most sales representatives will agree that it is easier to learn techniques and how to treat people the proper way by interacting directly with consumers.
Social skills are one of the most important aspects of sales. By interacting with people in person, you can gauge responses more easily. With more hands-on experience, you can learn to feel how a person is feeling and thinking by just talking to them.
That said, actual courses in sales can be just as useful. Sales courses tend to focus on what comes after the bond has been made. You can take someone out to dinner, but that will not land a deal by itself. You must be able to sell the product just as readily as yourself.
B2B Sales Training Implementation
Now that you understand what B2B sales training is and what it may consist of, you can help properly educate your employees to better their sales metrics. While growing these metrics, if they can focus on the social aspect and build relationships with other businesses, they will find themselves with repeat customers which will continue building their sales experience and relationship with other businesses.
By following the above idea, you can help your team not only bet the best out of their B2B training experience, but you can also help them realize their sales goals and continue to hit and even exceed expectations by helping them push their own limits and use their social prowess to their advantage.