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How To Get B2B Sales Experience (Even If You Have None)

Sales Training
Chris Orlob
March 18, 2024

Dreaming of a dynamic career where you build impactful relationships, help businesses flourish, and showcase your communication skills? B2B sales might be your perfect match, even if you have zero experience!

In this guide, we’ll share the best tips and tools you need to break into B2B sales, no matter your background. 

But before diving in, let's explore what makes B2B sales unique and why it could be the perfect fit for you. 

We'll break down what it entails and how it differs from other sales roles, helping you decide if B2B sales aligns with your career aspirations.

What does B2B sales mean?

B2B sales or business-to-business sales refers to the process of selling products or services from one company to another company. This is in contrast to B2C (business-to-consumer) sales, which involves selling directly to individual consumers. 

Here are some key characteristics of the B2B sales process:

  • Larger transactions: B2B deals often involve higher value compared to B2C transactions due to the nature of the products or services being sold.
  • Longer sales cycles: B2B purchasing decisions are often complex, involving multiple stakeholders and requiring extensive research and evaluation before closing a deal.
  • Focus on building relationships: Building trust and long-term relationships with key decision-makers within the buying organization is crucial for success in B2B sales.
  • Complex sales process: B2B selling typically involves several stages, including prospecting, qualifying leads, presenting solutions, handling objections, negotiating contracts, and closing deals.

B2B Sales vs B2C Sales

B2B stands for "business-to-business," meaning you're selling products or services to other companies. For example, imagine selling office supplies to a whole office building. B2C is "business-to-consumer," where you sell directly to individual customers. Think selling those same supplies to students at a store. 

B2B sales often involve larger deals, complex buying processes, and building relationships with multiple decision-makers. B2C sales typically have smaller transactions, quicker buying decisions, and focus on individual needs.

What counts as B2B sales experience?

B2B sales experience encompasses any professional experience where you've participated in selling products or services to other businesses. It's important to note that not all experience translates directly to B2B sales, but even seemingly unrelated positions can develop valuable skills that are transferable. Here are some examples of what counts as B2B sales experience:

Direct B2B experience:

  • Entry-level sales positions: These roles often involve prospecting for leads, qualifying leads, presenting products or services, negotiating deals, and building relationships with potential customers.
  • Account management: This role involves managing existing client relationships, identifying new sales opportunities within those accounts, and ensuring customer satisfaction.
  • Business development: This role focuses on identifying and developing new business opportunities, which can involve building relationships with potential partners, resellers, or key decision-makers within target organizations.
  • Technical sales: This specialized role requires a deeper understanding of a specific technical product or service, and involves selling that solution to other businesses.

Transferable skills and experience:

  • Sales experience in other sectors: Experience in B2C (business-to-consumer) sales can still be valuable, as it allows you to hone your communication, negotiation, and relationship-building skills.
  • Customer service or account management: These roles involve understanding customer needs, communicating effectively, and building rapport, all of which are crucial skills in B2B sales.
  • Marketing or business development: Experience in these areas can provide valuable insights into marketing strategies, target markets, and understanding the needs of businesses.
  • Entrepreneurship: If you've built and sold your own product or service, you've gained experience in understanding customer needs, developing a sales strategy, and closing deals.

It's essential to highlight relevant skills and experiences on your resume, even if they don't directly involve B2B sales. Emphasize the transferable skills you've acquired, such as communication, negotiation, problem-solving, and relationship building, and showcase how you can apply them to a B2B sales role.

What Does B2B Sales Experience Require?

To gain B2B sales experience, consider incorporating these daily tasks into your routine:

Understanding B2B buyers and the market

Great salespeople share a key trait: profound understanding of their buyers and the market. This goes beyond product knowledge; it requires the ability to:

  • Analyze B2B buyers and their pain points: Identify unique challenges and tailor your sales approach to resonate with each decision-maker.
  • Map the B2B buyer journey and sales cycle: Anticipate your prospect's needs at each stage and offer solutions addressing their pain points.
  • Leverage CRMs: Use sales tools like HubSpot and Salesforce to track interactions, personalize communication, and achieve long-term B2B sales success.

Developing effective B2B sales techniques 

Understanding buyers needs is crucial, but you also need to translate that knowledge into action. Here are key areas to focus on:

  • Social Media and Messaging for B2B Outreach: Utilize platforms like LinkedIn to connect with potential decision-makers, share valuable content (industry insights, case studies), and establish yourself as a thought leader, fostering trust and a lasting customer experience.
  • Crafting Effective Cold Calling and Outreach Techniques: Thoroughly research potential customers before reaching out and develop a clear, concise value proposition that quickly communicates how your product/service addresses their pain points and drives their success.
  • Mastering Consultative and Solution Selling: Move beyond product-centric pitches. Analyze the prospect's unique challenges and offer customized solutions that directly address those needs.
  • Multithreading: Engage multiple decision-makers within a B2B company simultaneously to accelerate deals.
  • Account-Based Selling (ABS): Identify and target high-value accounts with a strategic and personalized approach, aligning your sales pitch to their specific needs and maximizing potential revenue.

Building Trust and Closing Deals in B2B Sales

Below are ways to establishing trust at the end of a B2B sales cycle: 

  • Crafting sales proposals: Develop proposals that are tailored to the client's needs and address their specific pain points. Follow up promptly– with value-adding recommendations– to demonstrate attentiveness and commitment without coming off as being pushy.
  • Sales Demos:  Running a successful demo can be effective in building customer trust. You should focus on tailoring the presentation to address the specific challenges and goals of the client, encourage interaction and address questions promptly.
  • Price negotiations: You will rapidly climb the ranks in your sales team if you know how to overcome pricing objections and close deals without giving discounts. This involves techniques such as convincing prospects to make you their vendor of choice and eliminating the competition by rigging the buying conditions in your favor.
  • Sales funnel optimization: Every B2B sales funnel is unique. To maximize success, understand, optimize, and iterate on what works best for your specific sales experience.
  • Thought Leadership: You will find sales more enjoyable if you establish yourself as a respected voice in your customer’s industry. Taking a few minutes daily to share your earned secret will positively influence how prospects perceive you. You’re not just an SDR or AE looking to score a deal. You’re an expert who understands their pains and genuinely wants to help. Consider taking specialized sales leadership training if this interests you. 

Implementing B2B Sales Strategies for Success

Here are key elements for successful B2B sales strategy implementation:

  • Creative Execution: Effective execution is crucial. Go beyond generic strategies and develop bespoke sales approaches tailored to individual prospects and their industries.
  • Sales Enablement: Empower your sales team. In today's multi-channel B2B landscape, synergy between sales and marketing is essential. Encourage collaboration to create valuable sales materials like buyer personas, webinars, and customer journey maps.
  • B2B Lead Generation: Leverage B2B marketing techniques for lead generation. Combine lead generation with content SEO to equip your sales team with qualified prospects ready for conversion.

Understanding How to Use Tools and Resources for B2B Sales Success

The right tools and resources can significantly enhance your B2B sales success. Here are key areas to explore:

  • Leverage B2B Sales Templates and tools. Sales intelligence tools can streamline your sales strategies by providing a personalized and actionable framework. Ensure you keep your unique value proposition at the forefront.
  • Showcase Social Proof. Build trust with prospects by demonstrating the effectiveness of your offering. Utilize webinars and case studies to highlight success stories and social proof.
  • Optimize with Data and Analytics. Data is key to continuous improvement. Use analytics tools to monitor conversion rates and key performance indicators (KPIs), and leverage these insights to continuously refine your sales approach for better results.
  • Engage in B2B Sales Training and Coaching. B2B sales training and coaching tools help salespersons acquire much-needed sales skills, techniques, and strategies. As can be expected, this quickly leads to increased effectiveness in prospecting, pitching, and closing deals.

Common Career Paths and Specialization for B2B Salespeople

Sales Development Representative

This might be your first step into the world of B2B sales. As an SDR, you'll be the foundation of the sales pipeline, responsible for prospecting for potential customers, also known as "leads." 

Your day-to-day tasks will involve: 

  • Reaching out to businesses 
  • Assessing their needs and suitability for the company's products or services (qualification) 
  • Scheduling introductory meetings with Account Executives (AEs) who will take the lead in closing deals. 

Your success often translates to commissions based on the number of qualified leads you generate. Therefore, your communication and qualification skills are crucial. 

The SDR role equips you with transferable skills (communication, problem-solving) and provides an entry point to gain valuable B2B sales experience, 

Remember, even though you might not be closing deals yet, you're playing a pivotal role in driving the sales engine.

Business Development Representative (BDR)

Similar to SDRs, you'll be responsible for uncovering potential customers and qualifying leads. However, as a BDR, your scope expands beyond setting appointments. 

You'll actively seek out new business opportunities which can involve: 

  • Identifying promising markets 
  • Forging strategic partnerships
  • Conducting market research to gain valuable insights

Contributing to the development of sales strategies empowers you to influence the bigger picture, while qualifying new leads ensures you're bringing valuable opportunities to the table. This role provides continuous learning and B2B sales skills development opportunities by allowing you to explore various facets of the sales process. 

Account Executive

As an Account Executive (AE), you’re the deal-closing champion! This is where your emotional intelligence, problem-solving and relationship-building skills truly shine. 

Your day-to-day may involve the following activities:

  • Taking qualified leads from SDRs.
  • Understanding their specific needs through research
  • Presenting solutions that address their pain points. 
  • Crafting and following up on sales proposals
  • Running discovery calls and sales demos 

You'll be at the forefront of closing deals and driving revenue growth, making a significant impact on the company's bottom line. So, to succeed as an AE, you must build trust with potential clients, guide them through the product or service offerings, and master the art of negotiation. 

Customer Success Manager (CSM)

As a CSM, you'll provide ongoing support to clients after they've purchased a product or service. Your focus would shift from initial acquisition to long-term success because you want to ensure clients achieve their desired outcomes and goals. 

You’d be expected to report on the following KPIs depending on your role:

  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): This metric measures the overall satisfaction of customers with the product, service, and support experience.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): This metric gauges customer loyalty and their likelihood to recommend the company to others.
  • Customer Churn Rate: This metric tracks the percentage of customers who cancel their subscription or stop using the product/service within a given period.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV): This metric calculates the total revenue a customer is expected to generate over their entire relationship with the company.
  • Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) Churn: This metric specifically tracks the amount of recurring revenue lost from cancellations within a month.

The CSM role aligns with your value of building strong relationships and allows you to directly influence customer retention and loyalty. 

Sales Manager

This leadership role involves overseeing, guiding, and empowering a team of B2B salespeople to achieve success. 

  • You'll set sales targets.
  • Develop strategies.
  • Coach and mentor your team members
  • Analyze performance data
  • Train and motivate them to consistently exceed expectations. 

The sales manager role will equip you with leadership, management and problem-solving skills, allowing you to shape the success of others and contribute to the company's long-term growth strategy. 

Sales Engineer

Imagine being the translator who decodes complex technical aspects of software, hardware, or other technical solutions into clear and understandable information for potential customers. 

As a Sales Engineer, you'll collaborate closely with Account Executives (AEs) during presentations, demonstrations, and technical discussions, ensuring customers grasp the functionalities and capabilities of the product.

You'll also be the go-to technical expert within the B2B sales team, addressing customer inquiries, recommending the most suitable solutions based on their unique needs, and collaborating with various departments to ensure a smooth and successful sales process.

If you possess a strong technical background combined with excellent problem-solving skills then a Sales Engineer career could be perfect for you.

B2B sales industry and specialization

SaaS/Tech Sales

This form of sales involves a brand selling software applications to other businesses. A key highlight here is that SaaS/Tech sales get completed through a user-accessible online portal or software. 

Distributor/Reseller Sales

This involves the sales of B2B products and services to a business that isn’t the final consumer. The seller here could be the manufacturer or a wholesaler looking to sell to a retailer for profit.

Manufacturing and Industrial Sales 

Salespeople in this specialization typically operate in industries like capital equipment (machinery, tools, etc.), raw materials and supplies, MRO (maintenance, repair, and operation) products and services, and construction materials & equipment. These are all still B2B sales verticals.  

Professional Services

B2B sales professionals in this vertical work in fields like accounting and financial services, marketing and advertising services, legal and consulting services, Human resources and staffing services. 

5 Sales Training Courses and Programs for Acquiring B2B Sales Experience

1. Pclub’s Platinum Passport

Looking to accelerate your B2B sales success?'s Platinum Passport offers a comprehensive suite of expert-led B2B sales courses designed to take your skills to the next level.

Here's what sets us apart:

  • Actionable Tactics, Not Just Theory: Unlike generic sales courses, we focus on practical strategies and actionable steps you can implement immediately.
  • Learn from the Best: Our courses are curated by experienced B2B sales professionals who have proven track records of success.
  • Clear and Concise Learning: We explain complex concepts in a clear and understandable way, empowering you with the knowledge and skills to succeed.

Courses Included in Platinum Passport

  • Rise through the Ranks: Learn from top performers and accelerate your career in B2B sales.
  • Precision Account Planning: Avoid common pitfalls and master account planning to land more deals.
  • Cold Email Conversion Machine: Discover proven strategies to generate predictable leads even in challenging markets.
  • Conquer the Cold Call: Master the art of cold calling with a systematic approach used by top producers.
  • Win the Demo: Learn presentation skills used by the best in the industry to close high-value deals.
  • Multithreading Masterclass: Increase your win rates by learning to navigate complex buying processes and secure buy-in from multiple decision-makers.

Ready to accelerate your B2B sales experience? Join over 7,000 sales professionals living their dreams today

Why choose Pclub?

  • Learn from the top 0.01% of sales earners
  • Fun to watch self-paced courses
  • Actionable tactics you can use today

2. Hubspot’s inbound sales certification

Hubspot’s inbound sales certification is a free sales training course for individuals looking to improve their sales presentations and close more deals. It is 100% free of charge. 

What you'll learn:

  • Discover how inbound sales can transform your approach to different buying behaviors
  • Identify and target the right buyers
  • Learn how to drive effective conversations that guide prospects and lead to more deals

3. JB Sales: Sales training for individuals

John Barrow’s sales training for individuals covers a collection of signature courses designed to give you the structure, tools, and techniques you need to drive immediate results. 

The two signature courses: “Filling the Funnel” and  “Driving to Close” are best for beginners who want to master the techniques, strategies, and mindset necessary for successful sales.

What you’ll learn:

  • Understand the science and art of sales
  • Developing Your “Sales Ready” Messaging
  • Creating Your Custom Scorecard
  • Qualification vs Discovery

It costs $995 to buy the course for lifetime access. 

4. Sales and CRM overview by Salesforce

This is a free beginner course by Salesforce on Coursera. The course was designed for individuals who want to gain basic certification in, Sales, Sales Operations, and CRMs. 

What you’ll learn:

  • Understand how CRM works in the context of sales, marketing, and customer service in modern businesses.
  • Learn the function of a data and database sales CRM and discuss the importance of tracking data
  • Earn a shareable career sales experience certificate from Salesforce

5. Digital Sales Collective

Digital Sales Collective is a series of micro-courses that teach the digital sales frameworks, systems, and strategies used to create billion-dollar startups. It is perfect for beginners who want to get a scoop of real-world sales tactics in action. 

Frequently asked questions about B2B sales experience

How hard is B2B sales?

B2B sales can be challenging due to complex buying processes involving entire teams, longer sales cycles, and active competition all the way.

How do you break into B2B sales?

You can start by gaining relevant skills and experience. Target entry-level positions. They are faster and an inexpensive way to network within the industry, and demonstrate your value to potential employers.

What skills do B2B sales need?

B2B sales requires soft skills essentially. Effective communication, relationship building, negotiation, problem-solving and strategic thinking are the hallmarks of a successful salesperson 

What makes a good B2B sales person?

A good B2B salesperson excels in identifying clients’ needs quickly and communicating it effectively. They also offer tailored solutions, and consistently deliver results.

How can I be successful in B2B sales?

Focus on understanding your ideal customers deeply. This helps you build strong relationships, hone your communication and negotiation skills, and stay resilient in the face of challenges.

How much can you earn as a B2B sales rep?

A B2B sales rep’s salary varies wildly. You can currently earn an average salary of $69,000 per year, with the potential for additional commission and bonuses that can significantly increase total earnings.

What are the best ways to gain B2B sales experience as a beginner?

Take advantage of online courses, workshops, or certifications focused on B2B sales. You can also shadow experienced sales professionals to learn their strategies and techniques.

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