What is Business to Business (B2B)?

Discover more about Business to Business (B2B) - what it means and how it affects your business. Includes an overview and frequently asked questions.

Updated on January 27th, 2020

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Business to Business (B2B) refers to when products, services, or information is exchanged between two businesses, instead of between a business and individual consumer. B2B transactions often occur in the supply chain department of a business.

Examples of B2B Transactions:

A traditional B2B company example can be found in the retail sector. While retailers are famous for being B2C (business to consumer) companies, they are also performing B2B transactions when they purchase products from manufacturers or brand companies. The retailer will then use these products to make a profit by selling them to customers.

B2B transactions often occur in the clothing and fashion industry as well. Every clothing item businesses produce is actually made up of other business's products. These include sewing machines, fabric, supplies, and even the packaging that items are sent out in. Some clothing brands also make use of software, such as the Adobe Illustrator, which helps construct and measure clothing designs. All of these components come together to produce the final product.

When businesses purchase software to help with their workflow, they are conducting a B2B transaction. For example, if a coffee shop owner purchases human resource software from a B2B software provider to help with their shop's workflow, they are performing a B2B transaction.

Examples of B2B Companies:

Freshsales:

Freshsales is a customer relationship management (CRM) software and a great example of a B2B company. With Freshsales, businesses receive a service that allows them to access a centralized place where they can organize and monitor their sales process.

WeWork:

WeWork provides professional and well-equipped shared office spaces to startups, freelancers, and small to large businesses looking to rent space. By offering shared office spaces to businesses for a price, WeWork is performing a B2B transaction with other businesses.

Slack:

Slack is a project management and collaboration software where business teams can share information and communicate. Slack provides a B2B service by scaling communication for businesses.

Filevine:

Filevine offers a case management software to law offices and individual attorneys. Filevine has targeted a specific group of businesses, ultimately creating a niche B2B company. With Filevine, businesses will be able to work with qualified engineers to improve their case management style and gain access to a web-based management system.

How To Make B2B Sales As A Small business:

1. Create a marketing strategy that specifically targets other businesses.

Your marketing strategy may be similar to that of a B2C company but your target audience is not. This means you'll need to develop a business-specific strategy with your sales team to turn potential leads into sales.

2. Study the businesses you're trying to attract.

Identify their processes, trends, and needs. This will help you create a pitch that demonstrates how your business's services or products can help improve their workflow or bring in more profit.

3. Target your sales and account management departments.

Your sales and account management team plays a vital role in your marketing strategy. Your team will need to be more active and direct. Your team should be active at trade conferences and conventions, advertise in trade journals, and maintain a strong online presence.

4. Invest in software.

Purchasing software as a small business could be costly. However, there are tools available that could help you finalize a sale with another business. For example, Klipfolio is a data analytics tool that supports data from hundreds of sources and integrates with hundreds of programs and apps. With this information, you could adjust your sales strategy to meet a specific company's needs, monitor your target audience, and establish communication with a potential lead.

5. Research your target market.

You'll need to be prepared when a business inquires about your products. Instead of the customer (or in this case business) asking you questions, find out how your business can benefit theirs by asking questions of your own. This is a great opportunity to learn what your target audience is looking for.

Examples of Questions for B2B Sales:

  1. Would you mind telling me about your current situation?
  2. What are your business's top priorities that you're struggling with right now in your company?
  3. If our services addressed your current situation, would you be willing to pay for that?
  4. Would you be willing to try our free trial?
  5. Given what we have discussed, what would it take for you to become a customer?
  6. What solutions have you tried in the past? How did they fail?
  7. What other issues does your business grapple with because of your current issue?

B2B eCommerce:

With the introduction of the internet, B2B eCommerce has been on the rise. The internet has become a vast and rich source of information that allows businesses unlimited access to products and services. As a result, more B2B businesses are taking their business online.

Amazon is a great example of a B2C and B2B eCommerce company. The global company creates a platform for other businesses to sell their products, while also providing payment solutions. Therefore, Amazon is providing a service to other businesses, making it a B2B transaction.

A well-designed and informative company website will help lay the foundation for B2B transactions. Your company website should list your products and services, as well as contact details. This way, interested businesses can learn more about your product or services without having to contact the sales department first.

FAQs:

What is an example of business to business?

Business to business (B2B) is when one business provides a service or product to another business. For example, when an automobile manufacturer buys parts and tools from another business in order to produce vehicles.

What is a B2B company example?

Salesforce is an example of a B2B company. Salesforce provides a centralized location for businesses to manage and organize their sales processes. In this B2B example, Salesforce is providing a customer relationship management (CRM) service to other businesses.

What are examples of B2B and B2C business?

B2B is when a company conducts business with another company, exchanging services, products, and information. For example, WeWork is a B2B company that provides office spaces to other businesses.

B2C is when a business conducts business with a consumer, selling their services, products, and information for a price. A grocery store is a perfect example of a B2C company, as the business depends on selling products to customers for a profit.

Is Amazon a B2B or B2C?

Amazon is both a B2B and B2C company. On the B2B side, Amazon provides a platform for businesses to sell their products while also giving them a way to accept payments. Amazon also sells its own products, new and used, to consumers, making it a B2C transaction.

Is Apple a B2B or B2C company?

Apple is both a B2B and B2C company. While Apple does sell its products to ordinary consumers, they also offer their products to schools, organizations, businesses, government offices, etc.

What are examples of B2B companies?

What are B2B businesses?

A B2B company is a business that provides a service, information, or products to another business.