What is a B2B company? B2B companies have other companies rather than individuals as their end consumers.
Some companies can work in both B2B and B2C realms simultaneously. For example, Apple Inc. sells iPhones and MacBooks to individual consumers and, at the same time, orders supplies, research, production, and manufacturing services from Panasonic, JBL, Intel, Micron, Samsung, and others.
In addition to a robust product and strong customer service, B2B companies need to ensure proven ways of generating business leads, creating data-driven buyer personas and ideal customer profiles, and building effective sales pipelines to be successful amidst fierce competition.
What is B2B?
Standing for business-to-business, B2B is a business model where companies buy raw materials, products, or services from other companies. When enterprise companies need accounting services or automation software, they buy them from firms with a corresponding repertoire rather than from freelancers.
Each existing business model – business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-government (B2G), and business-to-business (B2B) – adapts marketing, strategy, distribution, and sales practices to its own needs.
Thus, a B2B sales strategy, marketing approaches, and lead generation B2B marketing funnel are completely different from what B2C companies use.
In 2021, the B2B market is huge and keeps expanding. Technological advances have facilitated selling through cloud-based platforms and quick shipping, expanded payment options, and created more ecommerce opportunities.
In the US, according to the Forrester 2018 report, B2B sales totaled $9 trillion. The B2B ecommerce market is predicted to grow from 12% in 2018 ($1.134 trillion) to 17% (1.8 trillion) by 2023. With millennials, known as avid Internet users and online shoppers, making the bulk of the B2B buyers (73%), B2B e-commerce cannot help but keep growing.
Although B2C and B2B use the same communication channels like social media, SEO content, email outbound, webinars, and paid ads, B2B communication is characterized by customer relationship building, active listening, empathy, and focus on rationality rather than emotions. B2B companies streamline their business operations and customer experience to make it easier for B2B customers to find them online and nurture their interest in the product into a loyal and lasting relationship.
B2B marketing grew out of B2C marketing. Trying business-to-customer strategies and approaches, B2B marketing professionals found out what works best when dealing with businesses. To be successful, a B2B marketing strategy must rely on hard data to figure out the company’s target audiences, ideal customer profiles, territory management, SEO, content marketing, UPS, and so on. Keeping in mind that generating business leads for the B2B sales funnel remains any B2B company’s number-one priority, the B2B marketing team streamlines all marketing efforts to accomplish this purpose.
What is B2B sales? Selling raw materials, finished products, and services, B2B sales have a longer sales cycle, multiple decision-makers and stakeholders, more complex pricing, and longer engagement period. In B2B sales, value proposition and clearly articulated results are a primary motivation for purchase rather than emotional attachment and status associations as in B2C sales. B2B selling is extremely customer-centric and can achieve high revenues and meaningful customer relationships if all marketing and sales efforts are tailored to fit the target audience’s needs and pain points.
Who is B2B’s target audience?
At first glance, determining a B2B business’ target audience seems a challenging task. When there are many stakeholders and multiple decision-makers, how can marketing and sales generate leads and close deals? However, businesses are made of individuals, and individuals make buying decisions. Analyzing the company’s past deals, the features of its target audience are discovered, and an ICP is created. On this note, account-based marketing fits the goals of B2B much better than lead-based marketing. Having identified multiple decision-makers, account-based marketing is able to create hyper-focused messages catering to each pain point with the right tools.
Having identified their target audiences, B2B marketing departments learn more about communication channels the audience prefers, as well as about buying behaviors, motivation, etc., to create meaningful content and start nurturing relationships. Content marketing and email marketing are among the most common B2B lead generation methods. Following the B2B sales funnel, marketing and sales create awareness in target audiences about their products, then educate on the solutions to their pain points and needs, and nurture warm leads into purchases.
Examples of B2B companies
In the B2B realm, examples of businesses partnering with other businesses are abundant in each industry and sector.
- SaaS. Software as a Service is a sector of B2B distribution sales where companies sell mobile and desktop applications, software, extensions, etc. Google sells Google Analytics; Adobe has a wide range of professional digital media creation software; MailChimp is a known marketing automation platform; Slack provides business messaging and chat tools.
- Ecommerce. Alibaba and Amazon Business are the world’s most popular B2B and B2C companies. Focusing on customer experience, Alibaba and Amazon are platforms that connect sellers and buyers.
- Shipping. From UPS/FedEx to eWorldTrade and ReTrans, many shipping companies have B2B clients and are present on the B2C market at the same time.
- Social media. Although businesses are free to use any social media, most recognize LinkedIn as the world’s most popular professional social media platform for B2B companies. In addition to LinkedIn Sales Navigator, companies can leverage integrated sales and marketing automation tools.
- Lead generation. According to the Clutch 2021 rating, the world’s top B2B lead generation companies include Cience Technologies, Belkins, and Callbox.
Need help with B2B sales?
Now, when you know what a B2B company is, you may have more questions as to how to develop your B2B marketing strategies and generate a steady stream of business leads. Belkins is well-versed on the topic and has solid experience in the B2B sector as a team of professionals.
Contact us, and we will help you move to a higher level.