Sales model B2B is a general framework that defines an organization’s high-level approach to selling. Common sales models for B2B companies include inbound sales, outbound sales, account-based sales, relationship-based (or relational sales), and team sales. B2C businesses such as retailers may also employ a high-volume/low-touch transactional sales model, or a channel sales model, which doesn’t require a sales team at all.

Unlike a sales process, which lays out the specific steps an organization takes to turn a lead into a sale, a sales model is simply a shorthand way to describe how you sell.

Inbound Sales

In an inbound model, sales organization rely on online ads, SEO, and content marketing to attract potential buyers. Visitors become leads by completing website form pages to request more information, and inbound sales reps then contact those leads in order to learn about their specific needs and begin the qualification process.

Outbound Sales

By contrast, outbound teams have to hunt for their own leads. Through a combination of cold-calling, cold-emailing, social media outreach, and networking, outbound sellers identify potential buyers and reach out to introduce their solution.

Often, outbound sales reps work off of cold-calling lists that collect people who fit a certain buyer profile (but haven’t necessarily expressed interest in their product). No matter the methods that outbound sellers choose to employ, one thing is consistent: They make the first touch.

Account Based Sales

Team sales is a model in which sales reps (as well as team members in other departments) combine their talents and experience to get deals done faster. It could take various forms, such as…

An SDR escalating qualified leads to an account manager, who in turn collaborates with their marketing department to deliver targeted content to the prospect

Sales reps developing strategy together, based on experiences with similar prospects

An account manager looping in customer support or customer service specialists to provide technical assistance or onboarding for new clients

Relationship based sales

In a relationship-based sales model, revenue is driven almost entirely by existing clients, and sales reps spend far more time on nurturing than they do on prospecting. If your sales strategy is defined by post-sale activities and client retention, you likely follow a relational model.

For relationship-based teams, the sales process shouldn’t end with the Closing stage. Make sure you’re staying on top of your clients’ needs by adding some post-sale stages like First Check-In and Upsell.