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How to Improve B2B Sales: Learn New Techniques with 10 B2B Sales Example

Explore effective strategies to improve your B2B sales with our detailed guide. Discover 10 B2B sales example that demonstrate successful techniques in action!
Written by
Harsh P
Published on
June 26, 2024

What is B2B Sales

What is B2B Sales

B2B sales, or business-to-business sales, refers to transactions where one company sells products or services directly to another company. Unlike business-to-consumer sales, where products are sold to individual consumers, B2B sales often involve more complex processes, longer sales cycles, and larger transactions that require negotiation and often multiple decision-makers.

B2B sales are critical in industries like manufacturing, wholesale, software, and services where companies seek to improve their operations or offerings through partnerships and purchases from other businesses.

The focus is typically on customized solutions, aligning sales strategies to meet the specific needs of business clients.

Here are some key statistics on B2B sales:

1. Digital Transformation: Approximately 70% of B2B decision-makers prefer remote human interactions or digital self-service, a trend accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. Online Sales Growth: B2B e-commerce sales are projected to reach over $1.8 trillion by 2023, accounting for approximately 17% of all B2B sales in the United States.

3. Mobile Influence: Over 60% of B2B buyers report that mobile played a significant role in a recent purchase.

4. Customer Experience: 80% of B2B buyers now expect the same buying experience as B2C customers, emphasizing personalized experiences and convenience.

5. Sales Process Length: The average B2B sales cycle length is 102 days, with more complex sales cycles taking longer due to the number of stakeholders involved.

6. Lead Generation: Content marketing is used by 91% of B2B marketers to reach potential customers, with 78% of successful B2B marketers using case studies as their most effective content type.

7. Buying Decisions: About 75% of B2B buyers state that buying from a website is more convenient than buying from a sales representative.

8. Sales Automation: More than 55% of B2B companies have adopted some form of automation technology to enhance their sales processes.

Business to Business Sales Process

Business to Business Sales Process

Understanding the B2B sales process is crucial for any company aiming to excel in the business-to-business marketplace.

This process involves several stages, each critical for converting potential customers into loyal business clients. Here, we'll break down each stage in detail

1. Prospecting

Prospecting is the first stage where sales teams identify potential customers who might be interested in their products or services. This step sets the foundation for the entire sales process.

Identifying high-quality leads early ensures that sales reps focus their efforts on prospects with the highest potential for conversion.


  • Use lead generation tools to gather data on potential clients.
  • Attend industry events and network to find new prospects.
  • Leverage social media platforms for social selling and to identify potential leads.

2. Qualifying Leads

Once prospects are identified, the next step is to qualify these leads to determine if they fit the criteria for a potential sale.

Qualifying leads helps to filter out prospects that are unlikely to convert, saving time and resources.


  • Use a lead scoring system based on criteria such as budget, authority, need, and timeline (BANT).
  • Conduct initial outreach to gather more information about the prospect's needs and decision-making process.
  • Use CRM tools to track and manage lead information.

3. Initial Contact

The initial contact involves reaching out to the qualified leads to establish communication and begin the sales conversation.

Building a strong first impression can set the tone for a successful sales relationship.


  • Send personalized emails that address the prospect's specific needs and challenges.
  • Follow up with a phone call to discuss how your product or service can provide solutions.
  • Utilize LinkedIn and other professional networks for a more informal initial approach.

4. Sales Pitch and Presentation

At this stage, sales teams present their product or service to the prospect, highlighting its benefits and how it addresses their specific needs.

A compelling sales pitch can convince the prospect of the value your product or service brings to their business.


  • Prepare a customized presentation that aligns with the prospect's pain points and goals.
  • Use case studies and B2B sales examples to demonstrate success and reliability.
  • Highlight key features and benefits that differentiate your product from competitors.

5. Handling Objections

Prospects often have objections or concerns that need to be addressed before they are ready to move forward with a purchase.

Addressing objections effectively can turn hesitations into confirmations and move the sale forward.


  • Listen actively to the prospect's concerns and show empathy.
  • Provide clear, data-backed responses to address each objection.
  • Use testimonials and case studies to build trust and credibility.

6. Closing the Sale

Closing is the critical stage where the prospect makes the decision to purchase. This stage involves negotiating terms and finalizing the agreement.

A successful close transforms a prospect into a customer, achieving the primary goal of the sales process.


  • Offer incentives or discounts to encourage prompt decision-making.
  • Ensure all terms and conditions are clearly communicated and agreed upon.
  • Use closing techniques such as the assumptive close, the urgency close, or the option close to guide the prospect toward a decision.

7. Follow-Up and After-Sales Service

After the sale is closed, maintaining a relationship with the customer is essential for long-term success and customer loyalty.

Providing excellent after-sales service can lead to repeat business and referrals, which are crucial for sustainable growth.


  • Schedule regular follow-ups to check on the customer's satisfaction and address any issues.
  • Offer additional resources or training to help the customer maximize the value of your product or service.
  • Solicit feedback to continually improve your sales process and customer service.

10 B2B Sales Examples Featuring Innovative Techniques to Learn

10 B2B Sales Examples Featuring Innovative Techniques to Learn

Understanding successful B2B sales techniques through real-world examples can provide valuable insights for improving your own sales strategies. Here, we present 10 detailed B2B sales examples, each illustrating a distinct technique that contributed to their success.

1. HubSpot's Inbound Marketing Approach

Example: HubSpot, a leading CRM platform, transformed its B2B sales strategy by pioneering the inbound marketing approach. Instead of traditional cold calling, HubSpot focused on creating valuable content that attracted potential customers to their website.

Technique Used: Content Marketing and Lead Generation

  • HubSpot created an extensive library of blog posts, eBooks, webinars, and whitepapers that addressed common pain points of businesses in need of marketing and sales solutions.
  • This approach positioned HubSpot as a thought leader in the industry, building trust and credibility with potential customers.
  • By offering high-quality, educational content, HubSpot generated a steady stream of qualified leads. Their content often included calls to action (CTAs) that encouraged visitors to sign up for free trials or demos, moving them further down the sales funnel.

Lessons Learned

  • Creating Valuable Content: High-quality, relevant content can attract and engage potential customers, generating leads without the need for aggressive sales tactics.
  • Building Trust: Providing free, useful resources builds trust and positions your company as an industry expert.

2. IBM's Solution Selling Strategy

Example: IBM successfully implemented a solution selling strategy to cater to the complex needs of its B2B clients. IBM focused on understanding the unique challenges of each client and providing customized solutions rather than pushing a standard product.

Technique Used: Solution Selling

  • IBM sales teams conducted in-depth consultations with clients to identify their specific pain points and business goals.
  • This personalized approach ensured that IBM's solutions were tailored to meet the exact needs of each client, increasing the likelihood of a successful sale.
  • IBM used detailed questionnaires and strategic workshops to gather information about the client’s current systems and desired outcomes. They then presented a customized solution that demonstrated how IBM's technology could solve the client’s problems and drive their business forward.

Lessons Learned

  • Customization: Tailoring solutions to meet specific client needs can significantly enhance the perceived value of your offering.
  • Client Understanding: Taking the time to thoroughly understand a client’s business challenges can build stronger relationships and trust.

3. Salesforce's Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

Example: Salesforce, a leader in CRM solutions, effectively utilized account-based marketing (ABM) to target high-value B2B accounts. Salesforce’s ABM strategy involved personalized marketing campaigns designed to engage and convert key accounts.

Technique Used: Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

  • Salesforce identified high-value accounts and developed tailored marketing campaigns for each account.
  • ABM allowed Salesforce to focus its resources on accounts with the highest potential ROI, ensuring more efficient and effective marketing efforts.
  • Salesforce created personalized content, such as targeted emails, customized landing pages, and personalized demos, for each key account. They also coordinated efforts across sales and marketing teams to ensure a cohesive strategy that addressed the specific needs and interests of each account.

Lessons Learned

  • Personalization: Personalized marketing efforts can significantly increase engagement and conversion rates among high-value accounts.
  • Resource Allocation: Focusing resources on high-potential accounts can lead to higher ROI compared to broader, less targeted marketing efforts.

4. Microsoft's Co-Selling with Partners

Example: Microsoft has leveraged co-selling with partners to expand its reach and enhance its B2B sales. By collaborating with various partners, Microsoft ensures that its solutions are sold alongside complementary products and services.

Technique Used: Partner and Co-Selling

  • Microsoft collaborates with a wide network of partners, including independent software vendors (ISVs) and system integrators, to co-sell its products.
  • Co-selling with partners allows Microsoft to tap into new markets and leverage the expertise of partners to drive sales.
  • Microsoft provides extensive resources and support to its partners, including training, marketing materials, and co-branded campaigns. This collaborative approach helps partners understand Microsoft products deeply and sell them more effectively alongside their own solutions.

Lessons Learned

  • Expanding Reach: Partnering with other companies can help you access new customer bases and markets.
  • Leveraging Expertise: Working with partners who have specialized knowledge and relationships can enhance your sales effectiveness.

5. Cisco's Customer Success Programs

Example: Cisco implemented a comprehensive customer success program to ensure that its clients achieve their desired outcomes with Cisco's solutions, thereby driving customer satisfaction and repeat business.

Technique Used: Customer Success Management

  • Cisco's customer success program focuses on helping clients realize the full value of their purchased solutions.
  • Ensuring customer success leads to higher customer retention rates and increased opportunities for upselling and cross-selling.
  • Cisco assigns dedicated customer success managers (CSMs) to work closely with clients, providing ongoing support, training, and resources. These CSMs monitor customer usage and proactively address any issues, ensuring that clients are satisfied and achieving their business goals.

Lessons Learned

  • Customer Retention: Focusing on customer success can significantly improve retention rates and lead to more stable, long-term revenue.
  • Proactive Support: Providing dedicated support and resources helps clients fully utilize your products, leading to higher satisfaction and loyalty.

6. Adobe's Freemium to Premium Model

Example: Adobe effectively uses a freemium to premium model to attract small businesses and then convert them into paying customers for their advanced creative and marketing tools.

Technique Used: Freemium Model

  • Adobe offers free versions of its software with basic features to attract users, then encourages them to upgrade to premium versions with advanced functionalities.
  • The freemium model allows potential customers to experience the value of Adobe's products before committing to a purchase.
  • Adobe's free versions include essential features that are useful for small businesses. As users grow and need more advanced tools, Adobe offers premium plans with additional capabilities. This model is supported by targeted marketing campaigns and in-app prompts that highlight the benefits of upgrading.

Lessons Learned

  • User Acquisition: Offering a free version of your product can attract a large user base and allow potential customers to see the value firsthand.
  • Conversion: Highlighting the additional benefits of premium features can effectively convert free users into paying customers.

7. Slack's Land and Expand Strategy

Example: Slack, a leading communication platform, effectively uses the "land and expand" strategy to grow its B2B customer base. Initially, Slack targets small teams within a larger organization, then gradually expands its usage across the entire company.

Technique Used: Land and Expand

  • Slack starts by landing small teams or departments within an organization and then expands to other teams as the initial users advocate for its adoption.
  • This strategy allows Slack to penetrate large organizations incrementally, using satisfied teams to drive wider adoption.
  • Slack provides a user-friendly, freemium version that small teams can easily adopt. As these teams experience the platform's benefits, they advocate for its broader use across the organization. Slack's sales team then works to convert these small initial wins into larger enterprise deals.

Lessons Learned

  • Incremental Growth: Targeting small teams first can lead to broader organizational adoption over time.
  • User Advocacy: Leveraging satisfied users as internal advocates can help drive adoption across larger companies.

8. Staples' Personalized Office Supplies Solutions

Example: Staples, a leading provider of office supplies, uses personalized solutions to enhance its B2B sales. Staples offers customized procurement solutions to meet the unique needs of different businesses.

Technique Used: Personalized Selling Process

  • Staples provides tailored office supply solutions based on the specific requirements of each client.
  • Personalized solutions increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, leading to repeat business.
  • Staples' sales professionals work closely with clients to understand their needs and create customized supply packages. This approach is supported by a robust online platform that allows businesses to easily manage their office supplies procurement.

Lessons Learned

  • Customization: Providing personalized solutions can significantly enhance customer satisfaction and retention.
  • Ease of Use: An easy-to-use platform can streamline the procurement process, making it more convenient for clients to manage their office supplies.

9. Dropbox's Viral Loop Marketing

Example: Dropbox effectively uses a viral loop marketing strategy to grow its user base. By incentivizing users to refer others, Dropbox rapidly expanded its reach in the B2B market.

Technique Used: Viral Loop Marketing

  • Dropbox encourages existing users to refer new users by offering additional storage space as a reward.
  • This strategy leverages the power of word-of-mouth and personal recommendations to drive growth.
  • Dropbox's referral program is simple and enticing: users gain extra storage space for each successful referral. This creates a viral loop where each new user has the potential to bring in more users, exponentially increasing the user base. The sales team supports this growth by focusing on converting free users into paying customers with tailored business plans.

Lessons Learned

  • Word-of-Mouth: Leveraging referrals can significantly boost user acquisition at a low cost.
  • Incentivization: Offering tangible rewards encourages users to participate in referral programs, driving viral growth.

10. GE's Sales and Marketing Alignment for Industrial Supply Sales

Example: General Electric (GE) successfully implemented a strategy of aligning their sales and marketing teams to boost their industrial supply sales. This alignment helped GE streamline their approach to selling complex industrial products and solutions to other businesses.

Technique Used: Sales and Marketing Alignment

  • GE aligned their sales and marketing efforts to ensure a unified strategy for promoting and selling their industrial products.
  • Proper alignment between sales and marketing ensures that both teams work towards common goals, enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the selling process.
  • GE created cross-functional teams that included both sales reps and marketing professionals. These teams collaborated on developing targeted marketing campaigns and sales strategies tailored to the specific needs of their industrial clients. This approach allowed GE to deliver consistent messaging and better address the pain points of their customers.

Lessons Learned

  • Unified Approach: Aligning sales and marketing ensures consistent messaging and a more cohesive strategy, which can lead to higher conversion rates.
  • Collaborative Teams: Cross-functional teams that include sales reps and marketing professionals can better address the complex needs of industrial clients, leading to more effective selling products strategies.

Concluding Thoughts

Improving B2B sales requires a strategic approach that incorporates various techniques and tools for any sales rep. From content marketing and solution selling to account-based marketing and customer success programs, the examples above illustrate the importance of tailored strategies and cross-functional collaboration.

By focusing on personalized solutions, aligning sales and marketing efforts, and leveraging user advocacy, one business can significantly enhance its sales performance. Empower your sales reps with the right tools and strategies, and you’ll see a substantial impact on your B2B sales success.

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