Welcome to the new business world where the dynamics of B2B sales are completed changed. The organizations are becoming more and more decentralized and the purchase power that was earlier vested to individuals holding familiar positions is slowly slipping away. Usually, the B2B sales meant strong and long lasting business relationships, but not anymore! The algorithms are changing and the major factor behind this revolutionary change is the introduction of digital marketing.
Gone are the days, when you as a business person, used to enjoy the benefits of the predictable customer base. Now, the buying process is more of a circular path with lesser linear interactions. And this has affected the B2B sales as well. Now, customers evaluate, research, select and above all, share their experiences with the others. All this is possible due to a higher level of digital engagement. Though it has brought the paths of buyer and seller in the business world closer like never before, the complexities have also risen due to this close proximity.
Keeping in mind this complexity, the best way to cope up is to understand and master the buying process and the thoughts that go inside the mind of B2B customer while finalizing a deal. To make it a bit easier, the whole buying process can be broken down into three distinct steps:
These three steps include further sub categories which are as follows:
- Awareness: Initial research, understanding the opportunity, shift in the priority
- Evaluation: Discovery, education, evaluating options
- Decision: Validation, choice
Doesn’t matter what the current state of the economy is, a smart organization creates its own destiny by understanding the business needs of their clients and tweaking its marketing and sales process accordingly. Now, let us discuss some questions that would help you to understand the thought process of your customer during the different phases of buying process.
Question 1 – What are the major pain points for my clients?
Yeah, we aren’t stating something new as you might have heard it or read it in numerous business journals. Still, there are businesses that fail to understand the pain points of their customers. As every business is unique, so would be the hindrances that they are facing. So, consider the half battle won, if you are able to pinpoint the crucial roadblocks that your client is facing in his business. And when you have limited players and fierce competition in the B2B market, this becomes a necessity. Always remember, it isn’t obligatory for your customers to tell you the problems that they are facing, but your responsibility to identify the loopholes and pain points.
What You Should Do?
To tackle this issue, ensure that the content that you are generating has the perfect solutions for all the underlying problems that your clients are facing. The content should be created in such a way that it not only focuses on the current trends, but also address the relevant issues and expert advice on the same. Apart from this, ensure that there is no communication gap between you and your customers. For this, you have to take a deep interest in finding out the points that are causing issues and underlying ones that may cause problems in the coming future.
Question 2 – What is the source of information for my customers?
Once the pain points are highlighted that are creating issues in the various business processes, the next step is quite obvious: it is turning to the Internet to find solutions. This step gives you a wonderful opportunity to introduce your brand as the leader of your respective industry niche. And how you are going to do this? Well, the answer is through strong, powerful content that would help you to mark your own territory. Now, creating content is one thing, but to ensure that it is published and available at the most searched places would be your master stroke. B2B market is a small world and here, word of mouth works too well. So, ensure that your loyal customers make a shout out to other business persons out there.
What You Should Do?
Here, you may require to take the assistance of Google AdWords or use various content identification tools to find out what your targeted customer base is talking about and how you can help them in the discussion. Don’t hesitate to use social media, email marketing, display media and direct marketing to their full potential. Just ensure that the content you are using is up to the mark.
Question 3 – How can I maintain the loyalty of my customers?
Doesn’t matter if you are in B2B industry to B2C industry, it is always beneficial to keep your expectations down and adopt a practical approach. You might not want to admit, but there are hundreds of companies out there that are offering the same products or services at lesser rates. And fun fact: the quality is exactly the same! But when it comes to the customers, they couldn’t care much about the product as long as it serves the purpose. It is the relationship that you have with your customers that truly matters and would serve the purpose.
What You Should Do?
To maintain the loyalty of customers, you have to prove them that you would be always there to take care of them. After all, the companies whom you are dealing with are humans and humans carve for understanding, appreciation and recognition. Well, in this context B2B are no exceptions. Most of the successful B2B relations are built on mutual trust and understanding. For this, adopt a transparent strategy with your clients regarding all the aspects of the market.
Question 4 – How should I close the deal?
After nailing the first three steps, at this phase, your customer knows about the hurdles they are facing in the business and have complied a list of possible business associates with the pricing option taking the front. But, you still haven’t closed the deal and mind it, customers DO walk away at the last moment. Just like you do when shopping online, B2B also faces this step.
What You Should Do?
In this frame, you have to play the role of a gentle guide by giving the prospective clients a reminder about you and your services and how they are going to be the ultimate business solution for them.
Congratulations for closing the deal! But the deed is not done yet. After all, you are looking forward for a long term relationship with them. That is why post purchase strategy as well. Want to know how to retain and flourish this relationship? Then, stay tuned with us for more updates.