B2B and B2C sales: why are they different?

B2C sales stands for Business to Consumer sales. It means that companies sell their production to individuals. When you’re buying a smartphone in a store, order supper with your spouse in a restaurant or buying food in the local supermarket, you are the consumer in B2C sales interaction. You need (or just want) something, and you buy it.

The seller doesn't know you personally and offers the product for many people. The company tries to search its audience to satisfy the needs of these people, but this audience is a mass. That’s why B2C is tied with mass communication.

B2B sales stands for Business to Business sales. Companies sell their products, services, decisions or ideas to other companies. For example, you have your own bakery. You need good equipment to make your production more delicious and attractive for buyers and to make the manufacturing more effective and cheaper. You search the best decision for your bakery and consider some brands which are appropriate for you.

You communicate with the salespeople who explain the benefits of their brand production, how this production works and why choosing them is the best decision. To choose the best decision you discuss these variants with the specialists who work in your company. You buy this equipment to improve the income. The salespeople who communicate with you know about it and persuade you individually.

What is the difference between B2B and B2C sales?
The purpose of buying

Consumers buy anything… to consume it. Foods, clothes, electronics, medicine, different goods for home, - we eat, use, wear these things. We buy them because we need these things. Or just want them. We can buy them rationally or emotionally, but the purpose is clear - consuming.

But in the situation with B2B sales company-buyers want to improve their income. The buying is the investition in the business development. This investition is expected to bring more income. You buy new equipment to automatize the manufacture and to produce more. You buy new soft to make your developments easier, qualitatively and faster. You improve the qualification of your specialists to make their work more productive and effective.

The approach to selling
In the situation with B2C we don’t know our buyer personally. We can imagine these people and analyze their needs, motives and financial opportunities. We can impact on their emotions or persuade them to buy our products by offering the benefits.


When we’re talking about B2B, we know and communicate with our buyer personally. As a rule, it’s a command of specialists who consider all the pros and cons of your offer. Your salespeople have to persuade this command that your production will solve the specific problems of this company (to do it they have to know all the possible information about this company). It means you need professional salespeople to communicate with your loyal client effectively and personally.

The type of communication
In B2C sales we use mass communication, because we don’t interact with our loyal clients face to face. It’s an audience, mass. We communicate with them through advertising. We persuade them through advertising.

In B2B sales individual communication takes place. Yes, we use advertising, but not such actively, because our audience is very specific. Furthermore, we need to use an individual approach to every client and persuade them that our production is an effective investition in the development of their business.

Sales and marketing
Many B2B sales experts confirm that marketing rules B2C, but sales rule B2B. But the real situation is not so ultimately.

Sometimes B2C sales should be more individual. For example, when we offer educational courses for potential students we can’t avoid personal communication. So, we need salespeople who will tell the loyal students about your courses and persuade them that they're better than others. When we offer apartments we also need salespeople who will tell the loyal investors about all the benefits of your apartments and who will explain all the nuances of the buying. It’s also the individual communication.

Adding marketing to B2B sales may also be productive. Marketing can serve your sales process from lead generation to closing a deal. It helps to build trust between you and your potential clients and persuade them to choose you.


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Karina Collis
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