Looking to start a career in sales? B2B could be the sector for you…
Working in B2B sales could provide you with the opportunity to put your sales and communications skills to use in a fast-paced and competitive environment. Not to mention give you the chance to build valuable industry connections to help you move up the sales career ladder.
If you’re thinking of working in B2B sales, here’s everything you need to know.
What is B2B sales?
B2B sales (short for business-to-business sales)is where a business sells or supplies either products or services to other businesses. Working in B2B sales often involves following and executing on a defined sales strategy and using specific sales techniques to acquire new customers – as well as maintaining relationships with current customers.
Key responsibilities for B2B salespeople
B2B salespeople work in a range of industries (such as manufacturing, professional services, IT, marketing etc.), and this means the specific duties you’ll carry out will depend on the job. However, the overarching responsibility of a B2B salesperson is to introduce potential B2B buyers to the business’ products or services, build relationships with these potential buyers and, over time, convert them into customers.
The key responsibilities of a B2B salesperson include:
- Finding out the contact details of key decision-makers (known as prospects) who work for the businesses you want to sell to
- Contacting prospects using a variety of methods, including calls, emails or sales letters
- Arranging and attending meetings
- Reconnecting with past prospects to reintroduce them to the business’ product(s) or service(s)
- Liaising with internal departments, like marketing or production, to gather information to support your sales pitches
- Updating the business’ CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software with buyers’ details and information of where they are in the sales process
- Nurturing leads, closing sales contracts, and upselling to current customers
What makes a good salesperson?
A B2B salesperson needs to know the business and its product or service offering inside out, as well as selling the benefits of these products or services to potential buyers.
The key skills for a B2B salesperson to have are:
- Good communication skills
- Active listening
- Customer service skills
- Results-driven thinking
- Negotiation skills
- Excellent research skills
- Objectivity, and being open to receiving constructive feedback
B2B sales jobs
B2B salespeople are in high demand across a wide variety of different sectors. From manufacturing, technology and software through to financial services. If you’re searching for entry-level B2B sales jobs you may see that different job titles are used, including B2B Sales Executive, B2B Sales Professional, Sales Representative B2B and Sales Advisor B2B.
If you have previous sales or managerial experience you might want to consider a B2B Sales Manager job.
How to find a B2B sales job
Firstly, make sure your CV is up-to-date and tailored to the B2B sales job you’re applying for. A tailored CV shows the employer that you’ve read and understood the job description and that you’re serious about building your B2B sales career with them.
Other ways to find a B2B sales job are:
Leveraging your social networks
Tapping into your professional network may open up opportunities that could be a perfect fit for you. Look at social networks that are business-focused (e.g. LinkedIn). Before reaching out to your connections or posting that you’re searching for a B2B sales job, make sure your profile is complete and up-to-date and that the ‘Open To Work’ option is switched on. However, as this will be visible to all recruiters, only do this if you’re comfortable with your network knowing you’re looking for a new job.
Researching the industry
Reading the business sections of newspapers or magazines, and following relevant sales industry news online, will help keep you in-the-loop about what’s happening in the business worldFor instance, if you see a business that you’re interested in working for is expanding into new territories or is launching a new product or service, it could be that it needs to expand its B2B sales team to manage this. Not only could this be a great source of inspiration when you start your job search, it will also really help you stand out when it comes to your application. . So along with your tailored CV, you’ll also be able to send a great covering letter that sells your skills and points to what you’ve learned about the company .
Networking is one of the best ways to build personal connections with people who work in or are connected with the B2B sales environment. Start by looking for relevant events that are taking place in your area – be that in-person or online. Whether you’re attending an in-person or online event, check what the rules of the event are e.g., dress code, will you be asked to introduce yourself, etc.
If you haven’t taken part in networking before or if you feel you’ll be a little rusty at it, a networking course can help build your skills and confidence.
By getting qualified
Finally, showing an employer you have the sales skills they’re looking for will really help you to stand out from other candidates. There are numerous B2B sales courses you can enroll on, such as Business Development & Sales Mastery for B2B Business. Or, if you want to improve your skills in a specific area, for example in telephone sales, negotiation or communication, Reed.co.uk will have a course available for that too.
So if you think B2B sales could be the right career choice for you, stop putting it off. Search and apply for your new start now.
Ready to love Mondays? View all of our current B2B sales vacancies now.