It’s no secret — selling to customers is no walk in the park.
And depending on who your customer is, the strategies and challenges that come with selling completely change. If you’re selling to businesses, they will have different wants and needs than if you’re selling to the government.
These intricacies are critical when it comes to building your selling strategy.
This article discusses the differences and challenges in selling your product for B2B and B2G organizations. Read on to learn more.
What Is the Difference Between B2B and B2G Sales?
When you think about sales, what’s the first thing that pops into your mind? You most likely imagine buying different products when you go to the store, like groceries, clothes, electronics, and more. This is what is known as B2C sales, or business-to-consumer sales.
On the other hand, B2B stands for business-to-business sales. B2B businesses will primarily sell their products and services to other companies. These sales usually have higher order values and longer sales cycles than B2C sales.
Because these businesses are trying to build sales from other companies, many strategies differ from regular B2C sales. This includes their marketing strategies, their customer interactions, and more.
B2G stands for business-to-government. These companies sell their products and services to the government. It is also known as B2A (business-to-administration).
Any time the government purchases a business, it’s considered B2G. These sales can be anything. It can be:
- Multi-billion dollar deals like weapons being purchased from defense contractor Lockheed Martin
- Microsoft selling IT products to local governments
- Small companies selling office supplies to different federal agencies
These different kinds of companies require different strategies to succeed in their fields.
Challenges in B2B
As we mentioned earlier, selling is never easy. In fact, 40% of companies failed to meet their sales goals in 2021. Let’s take a look at challenges in the B2B industry.
Standing Out From the Crowd
There’s no sugarcoating it — there’s a ton of competition in the B2B space. Of course, this depends on the industry that you’re in.
Cutting through the noise is one of the biggest challenges for B2B businesses. Want to hear a wild number? 333.2 billion emails are sent and received per day in 2022.
Only a fraction of those emails get opened. Getting clients on the phone isn’t much easier. It takes an average of 18 calls to connect with a buyer. Once you finally do that, then the selling starts.
Your most important tool to stand out from the crowd is to showcase the value you bring your prospects. In today’s day and age, this means creating a personalized experience with high-quality content for your customers.
Long Buying Cycles
One of the most distinct differences between B2B and B2C is the longer sales cycles. After the pandemic, the cycles only seem to be getting longer.
Why are the buying cycles so long? When it comes to B2B, sales have to move through multiple decision-makers. This means they can spend weeks or months at the same stage in the sales funnel.
For sellers, it’s a delicate balance between getting the sale and pushing your buyer too much.
It’s essential to nurture your clients throughout the process if you want to perfect your selling strategies and boost sales. Make sure to provide as much value as possible, cater to their needs, and create a personal experience for them.
Another issue could be from targeting the wrong position in the organization. It’s crucial to target the correct decision-maker from the start.
Sales and Marketing Alignment
The eternal struggle between marketing and sales is no different for B2B companies.
In many cases, marketing doesn’t produce enough qualified leads for sales. On the other hand, sales teams often don’t follow up on the leads they do get.
It’s common for these two departments to have a lack of connection when they should be working together to help each other as much as possible.
To fix this, the two departments must have clear and open communication. They should meet to discuss shared goals and objectives that will help both teams build.
Challenges in B2G
Many companies think that B2B and B2G are the same, but this is a big error. Assuming that you can use the same strategies will have your B2G sales flatlining in a second.
A Different Pitch
Selling to the government requires a very different pitch from those made to other businesses. Salespeople will use their B2B pitches and find themselves with no answers from officials.
When building a government pitch, there needs to be a bottom-up approach to building your case. It’s vital to offer a solution and a long-term commitment.
Most importantly, B2G salespeople need to be patient. Government contracts, like police intelligence software, can take a long time to move up the chain to the right decision makers. However, it can have a huge payoff.
Governments like stability and don’t like changing suppliers. If you can win their business, you can profit from it for a long time to come.
Hard to Build Trust
When selling to the government, it can be challenging to simulate the situation where your business’s products might be helpful to them.
This can make it hard to build trust with government decision-makers to find the data to prove that your product will work for them. Another similar issue is addressing the regulatory concerns that officials have.
To address these issues, it’s essential to have your sales team put themselves in their prospects’ shoes and cover every single objection they may have. It might be a bit harder to procure the data you need, but the reward is worth it.
This is an excellent start to selling your product in the B2B and B2G sectors. Both require specific product sales strategies that must be fine-tuned according to the customers’ wants and needs.