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Types Of B2B buyers and B2B sellers

Types Of B2B buyers and B2B sellers
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Types Of B2B buyers and B2B sellers

B2B companies nowadays need to understand not only their customers, they need to understand their customer’s customers. Here's a way leading to successful B2B partnership.

Purchasing process has become much more sophisticated and demanding, creating a big challenge for vendors in quantifying and communicating the value their product offers.

Forrester Research has done a report on B2B sellers and buyers defining their types and models of behaviour. According to this research there are 4 types of B2B buyers and 4 types of B2B sellers.

B2B buyer archetypes:

1. “Show Me”

2. “Serve Me”

3. “Guide Me”

4. “Enlighten Me”


B2B seller archetypes:

1. “Explainer”

2. “Order Taker”

3. “Navigator”

4. “Consultant”


The report explaines how these 4 types of sellers can use knowledge of what their type of buyers are to increase sales and profits. The success of selling process is connected with the value that sales people can bring to the different buying environments. This table shows the matching between definite types of B2B buyers and sellers:


B2B buyer archetypes are defined by the relationship between the complexity of the product or service and the complexity of the buying environment.


Show Me” buyers: complex product/service but a relatively simple buying environment.

This kind of buyers have a budget and can easily take decision and complete action, but they need assistance on explaining them the product's category or use. This type of buyer will be best served by seller archetype called “Explainer”. He will help the buyer collect and interpret the information they need to compare and choose between alternative options.


Serve Me” buyers: simple product/solution and buying environment.

This is a simple type of buyers - they know what they want and just need to be served. The “Order Taker” sales model is the best for them. Intercourse may even not involve any human intervention. The customer’s questions are often simple and relevant and addressed online rather than through conversation.


Guide Me” buyers: simple product/service but a more complex buying environment.

This type is best served by the “Navigator” sales model. They know what they want to buy, but may need help from a sales person in mapping, navigating and orchestrating multiple internal stakeholders and/or budget resources.


Enlighten Me” buyers: complex product/service plus a complex buying environment.

They are more often a buying team or multiple stakeholders best served by “Consultant” sales model. The buying team may be undecided or unaligned as to what they need, who best to buy it from, and how to finesse the complex internal decision making and approval processes.


Forrester's report supposes that this last seller archetype is expected to grow over the course of the decade and stay on top.

Online sales are likely to predominate in the Serve Me/Order Taker model.

Enlighten Me/Consultant model demands the sales and buying experiences to be enhanced and made significantly more effective by combining human and digital resources.


Knowing these types of buyers and sellers, it would be easier to organize successful business and make selling process more effective.

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