B2B Sales: An insider’s guide to organizational selling

“B2B sales?”you ask, shaking your head.

Yes, B2B sales. This may seem like a strange topic for me to cover, based on what you see of my interests throughout the rest of this site.

Before I focused on writing, though, I spent more than twenty years working in both business-to-business sales and corporate purchasing/supply chain management.

This book provides a solid introduction to the field of B2B sales. Most importantly, though, it explains how selling to an organization is different from selling to an individual consumer.

Let me repeat that: Selling to an organization is different from selling to an individual consumer.

Forget all the smarmy sales cliches you’ve heard about “always be closing” (rolls eyes) and “personality-based selling” (groans)…and whatever B.S. the various gurus are peddling at the moment.

Those might work if you’re selling aluminum siding door-to-door in the suburbs. They don’t work if you’re selling to a major corporate client.

How do I know? In my last corporate position, I was a buyer at Toyota (the manufacturing division), no less. I spent a good part of every working day on the receiving end of sales pitches.

In order to sell to organizations, you must understand the organizational purchasing process. That is what this book is about.

I wrote this book back in 2011. Some of the specific information about salaries, etc, will have changed since then. The fundamentals, though, don’t change much. This material is worth going through if you aspire to a professional sales position in which organizations (especially private-sector companies) are your target market.

Table of contents

Introduction: What you really need to know about B2B Sales

  1. What is B2B Sales and How is it Different?
  2. The Basics of B2B Sales
  3. The Self-Preparation of a B2B Salesperson
  4. Why the Traditional Sales Cycle Doesn’t Work in B2B
  5. Essential Techniques for B2B Selling
  6. The Corporate Purchasing Process
  7. Understanding Buyers and Purchasing Departments
  8. The Special Challenges of B2B Selling in the 21st Century
  9. Prospecting and Cold-Calling
  10. Presentations Like a Pro
  11. Avoiding the Pitfalls
  12. Black-Belt Sales Techniques
  13. Selling Direct Materials and Mass Production Components
  14. B2B Sales and the Internet
  15. Games Buyers Play
  16. Tradeshows
  17. Going Solo: Entrepreneurial Opportunities in B2B Sales