Traditionally, wholesale transactions are likely to be B2B, while B2C (business to consumer) tends to mimic a retail-style business model.
Benefits of B2B
If you are still considering a target market, do not exclude businesses. In general, B2B transactions are a higher price per sale than B2C merchandise. This is not surprising when you consider that companies usually have more capital to spend than the average consumer.
B2B and B2C
You might be surprised to hear that B2B-style e-commerce has a lot in common with B2C e-commerce, namely that most of the process is the same. However, there are some important differences:
Traditionally, B2B buyers are what we would call ‘professional’ buyers, i.e. they hold a higher level of liability when they spend money. While B2C purchases are mainly based on personal preference, the consumer only needs to worry about it. This generally means that B2C consumers are usually not as well informed as B2B buyers, which makes it easier to sell as they are more likely to buy it.
In addition, it can be difficult to get a B2B buyer to call providers. Often they are in their way because for them, changing providers can (in some cases) result in a major revolution for the day-to-day running of their business. This means that buying decisions often require more time and effort and in some cases more money to commit compared to B2C sales.
So, B2B marketers need a little patience and need to focus on providing a premium user experience. As part of their marketing strategy, business owners need to make the benefits of their products and services very clear (more on this later).
If you run a B2B-centric business and want to improve the overall quality of your service, you should consider hiring a mystery shopper. While this is something that is traditionally associated with consumer brands, there is no reason why these methods cannot be used in B2B markets.
It is often difficult to criticize our work, so a fresh pair of eyes is a great advantage. Instruct the mystery shopping company to provide feedback on the following areas:
- The usability of your website,
- The value obtained from your membership area,
- That smoothness of your go sales funnel,
- The helpfulness of your customer service team,
These notes are invaluable in improving your services.
How are B2B sales different from B2C?
It is almost self-evident that selling to businesses is somewhat different from selling to individual customers.
As we have already pointed out, the B2B sales process is much more complicated. Because it’s not uncommon for B2B businesses to have more than one person to approve the sale before the purchase can take place, this can mean that a relationship with the prospect (s) may take time, which drastically slows down the rate at which it does. reduce. marketers move through the sales cycle.
There are more frequent transactions that can take months! It may seem boring when you first start your business, but unfortunately, it’s just the nature of the industry. Be prepared to keep your clues busy with your brand over a long period.
We often forget that when we sell to businesses rather than traditional consumers, the money at stake is not there – it’s the companies. Splashing the cash on something that can not lead to the loss of their job is a wise buying decision by their colleagues- the steaks are high! This is especially true if you are selling high-ticket products and services that they are not familiar with.
This is why it is even more important to announce the benefits of your goods, that is: how can you help providers deliver your investment returns? Paste glowing testimonials, case studies, and other accolades on your website. This kind of social proof produces miracles to communicate your brand and the reliability of the brand and the products and services you provide.
In some cases, sellers have to go through a bidding-style process to ensure the sale. This usually happens when a potential customer publishes a request for suggestions. If you are selling in an industry that requires the submission of multiple quotes and plans, you will want to ensure that you turn it around quickly and have something competitive to offer. Otherwise, you do not stand a chance of securing the business!
Interestingly, as much as 57% of the decision-making process is done in B2B sales even before the marketer makes a connection with the prospect. Companies often understand the kind of products and services they want to invest in. For example, they can:
- An online ad has already been seen,
- Know someone who has used and recommended a product or service,
- Browse your site,
Either way, B2B marketers need to make sure the content they publish is of the highest standard. About nine out of ten online shoppers now claim that the content provided by a brand influences their purchasing decisions. This is just another proof to support that a large part of the sales process is done via your ad copy, your social media presence, your blog, your web pages, your main magnet, etc.
Can B2B brands also sell to consumers?
Yes of course.
Just because your brand gives preference to business, does not mean you can not sell directly to customers. For example, if you are a vegetable grower, you may be concentrating on selling products to local cafes and restaurants, but that does not mean you can not sell fruits and vegetables to home cooks either!
The same analogy can be applied to almost every niche.
Obstacles B2B e-merchants must overcome
The available resources and software are significant obstacles that most digital store owners experience when they conquer the B2B market. Many programs can help you run your business!
- Back Office Software,
- Accounting systems,
- Inventory management systems,
Just to name a few!
To many, managing and integrating these systems seem like a technical nightmare – especially for those who hate technology. However, you will be pleased to hear that there are many user-friendly solutions designed specifically for B2B businesses these days.
Understand the B2B buyer’s journey
We are not even saying that all B2B buyers go on the same sales journey. For example, some clients require a lengthy quotation process; others prefer a short trial of your products and services, while some may just upgrade software they already have, and so on.
However, you need to familiarize yourself with the generic B2B buyer’s journey. This will help you publish content that better matches your target market.
So here it is:
- Initial awareness – the customer becomes aware of your business
- Their interest has been aroused – the consumer is interested in what your brand offers
- They now want your products and services – the prospect has now moved from the idea of your products and services to purchase.
- Now they are taking action- this is where they will reach out to you.
Try placing it somewhere on this timeline while analyzing a lead. Then use it to guide how you communicate with them. Each phase offers different needs and needs; so be sympathetic with your marketing and customer service.
Communication and B2B businesses
It is not uncommon for B2B-focused businesses to use a multitude of communication channels. Typically, they will have at least all of the following:
- A telephone line for customer support
- Email Address
- Live chat
Customers often have some kind of relationship with your brand before contacting you. As many as 84% of B2B sales come from referrals! This means you provide the best customer service, and where possible, a customer incentive scheme to refer more customers on your way.
Where do I start marketing my B2B business?
You need to understand what the customer is struggling with and demonstrate that your product or service offers a solution. If you are unsure about how to get it, you should consider focusing your marketing efforts on the following areas:
- Create a mailing list full of purposeful prospects
- Craft Compelling Email Marketing Campaigns
- SEO optimizes all your web pages
- social media: B2B marketers who use social media are 79% more likely to reach or exceed their sales targets! You can develop a relationship with your social media by conducting laser-targeted advertising campaigns. Facebook is especially useful for this!
- Trade shows: While some believe that trading is an outdated form of trading, they work for B2B businesses like a charm. 77% of B2B marketers claim to have built up a significant number of clues at these events.
Marketing methods to avoid:
COLD CALL- this is a big no-no. Traditionally, B2B sales are associated with cold calls. However, this rarely leads to fruitful results – as many as 90% of decision-makers respond negatively to cold calls. It tends to irritate decision-makers and can harm your brand.
Do your research
Before using any of these marketing methods, you should do research and find out the following information:
- Do your clues use the products and services of your competitors? If so, why?
- What are your competitors doing that your consumers can not get enough of?
- How do your competitors market themselves on social media?
- What does their website look like?
- How does their brand voice sound?
- What information do they give their customers?
- What lead magnet do they offer?
In addition to answering these questions, check out what your customers are saying about them on rating platforms like Yelp, Google My Business, and their social media pages. This will help you deduce what they are doing well, and more importantly, what they are doing badly.
Top Tip: It’s not uncommon for marketers to sign up for their participant’s mailing lists, not because they want to see what they’re offering, but because it’s the only way to see how they do things, for example:
- How they customize their emails
- The kind of content they offer to their audience
- The type of services they offer
You should also make the best use of social listening tools like Buzzsumo, to track and monitor the mention of your brand online and that of your competitors. It gives you a better idea of how you weigh up against competitors.
How do you measure B2B sales?
You can use software like Google Analytics to track the entire sales process. By this, we mean monitoring the sales cycle from the first point of contact to the customer making a purchase.
These are the statistics you need to pay close attention to:
- Cost of acquiring customers
- Response times of customer service
- Growth in sales
- The lifespan of a customer
These figures are astounding to enable business owners to improve the quality of their services, predict future growth, and most importantly, improve their marketing campaigns.
After all, it’s the only way to determine which advertising methods yield the most ROI. Once established, marketers can focus on the techniques that increase profits.
You’ll be surprised to hear that even if you’ve never communicated with a lead, that does not mean they do not know your brand. You can also use automated marketing tools such as:
- To sell,
With these resources, you can see when someone visited your site, whether they downloaded your content, whether they clicked on one of your ads, what web pages they viewed, what posts they read, and so on.
If you get a better idea of the content your audience is participating in; you can establish a more personal connection with your prospects.
B2B Customer Avatars
As already mentioned, the chances are that B2B buyers are more ‘rational’ in their approach to shopping. So, incorporate it into your client’s avatar. In addition to all the following:
1. Their pain points
If you do not know what your audience is struggling with, how can you help them? Write down all the issues you think your target demographic is dealing with and use your blog and email marketing campaigns as an opportunity for advice. Once again, it works wonders for building a trusted and trustworthy brand.
2. What are the aspirations of your customers?
Study the professional aspirations of the people you sell to. The more you know about these, the more likely they will be impressed with the content you deliver, and the easier it will be to build a relationship with them.
3. Where does your target audience hang out?
More specifically, we mean, where does your target audience hang out online? It’s essential to refine your digital marketing strategy – especially if you’re advertising on social media.
Here are some things to consider:
- What blogs do they follow?
- What social media platforms do they use?
- What forums is it part of?
- What online marketplaces do they use?
- Are they part of a niche community – like a specific subreddit?
Once you have a list of places they are likely to find, you can try to build a brand presence there.
4. Who are they looking up to?
You also need a thorough understanding of who your customers are looking up to, that is, who influences them. Who do they follow and base their professional goals on? Do they follow and share the content of someone in particular?
As you answer these questions, make a list of what your customers want to influence. Then do your best to build relationships with these people. Once your audience sees people they trust, you’ll give a big boost in credibility – which is never bad for business!
The importance of B2B market research
Like B2C market research, it involves insight into your target demographics by researching a representative example of your ideal customers. This subsection usually contains representatives of all of the following:
- Existing customers,
- Dissatisfied customers,
- Potential customers,
- Customers of your closest competitors
- Authorities in your industry
Interestingly, market research forms two main halves:
- Data collection
- The analysis of the data
Whether you choose to conduct market research yourself or choose to hire the services of a pro service – make sure you collect the following data:
Qualitative data – this is where your sample gives their free opinion about your brand. This type of research usually takes a lot of time and effort to gather and analyze. However, qualitative data provides a deeper insight into the thinking of your target market.
Quantitative data – using this method you can command a higher volume of answers, usually via a questionnaire. Here your paper will ask the same set of questions and compare the answers.
Choosing a cross-section of your audience to set an example can be a difficult task. The people you want to interview are not always willing to participate; therefore, you may want to encourage people to complete your surveys. Maybe a freebie or discount?
Our best advice is to collect a mix of quantitative and qualitative data. This will probably give a more complete picture of your target audience.
What are the benefits of market research?
The statistics speak for themselves, businesses that do market research every quarter grow almost 12 times faster than brands that do not. They are also almost twice as profitable!
The B2B market is constantly changing, so market research works wonders to stay up to date. After all, you can tailor your messages, marketing strategies, and the products and services you provide to evolving consumers.
What is B2B market research used for?
If you are unsure about how to use B2B market research to your advantage, here is a quick list of what it can do to help:
- Provide an accurate record of your competitors (we often think we know who we are competing against, but we do not know)
- When you discover what you are already doing, it sets you apart from the rest. It gives you a better idea of what your competitive advantage is.
- Understanding what products and services your customers enjoy and whether they are likely to recommend your brand to people they know (which we have already established is essential in the B2B industry).
- Unveiling emerging markets to tap
- Determine areas for improvement
- Discover how good your target demographic knowledge of your brand is and whether there is a demand for the products and services you offer.
- Understand why potential customers are buying from your competitors
- Learn how your customers first heard of your brand.
Most businesses want to use market research to improve their current service, so ask questions that address different areas of your business. For example:
- How do people feel about the cost of your products and services?
- How easy are you as a business to do business?
- What do they think about the quality of your customer service?
- Are they happy with the billing methods you offer?
You get the idea! Once you have the answers to these questions, you can make the necessary improvements.
B2B packaging tendency
If you sell physical products, you are probably aware that packaging trends have changed rapidly over the past year. Packaging is not only used to ensure that your goods come in one piece, but it also contributes to the perceived value of your merchandise.
It has performed miracles in the B2C market, and gradually it is exploring B2B brands. In our opinion, B2B businesses can learn a thing or two from B2C businesses in this field.
Yes, we know that B2B marketers need to focus their energy on the following areas:
- Communication of the technical points of your products and services
- Building a reputation as an expert in the industry
- Nurturing relationships
However, you can improve all of the above if you invest some time, effort, and money in premium packaging. Think about how you can increase brand awareness with your boxes, ie how can you build on the connection you already have with the buyer?
B2B Marketing Needs Personal Business Relationships
Since we briefly touched on this, B2B sales thrive on personal relationships. If you are unsure about how you and your team can develop and nurture relationships, here is some advice:
- Make sure your customer service and vendors are accessible, friendly, and accessible for customers to talk to.
- Make sure technical and sales representatives are available and willing to visit customers if they run into problems.
- Try to manage the relationship so that your team and your clients are on prime terms – it works great to create a better relationship.
- Personalize all your email marketing campaigns
As your business grows, you need to be willing to invest in customer support. Provide adequate training and make sure they know how to handle complex and cumbersome scenarios. This increases the likelihood that the customer will have a pleasant experience with your brand – even amid tense situations!
You should also try to set aside some of your budget to invest in ‘corporate entertainment. Whether you are attending a soccer game or having lunch, you can build strong relationships with prospects by showing generosity and getting to know them on a personal level.
Get the right attitude
In general, the best sellers for the right reasons are memorable. They should never be considered aggressive or intrusive; it is an infallible way of breaking trust with prospects. Instead, sellers need to work hard to build a real connection with the buyer.
This means forming an authentic relationship with potential customers. Salespeople, for example, need to remember small facts about the prospect and bring them up in the future. Maybe the potential customer would say they were doing something interesting over the weekend, then you could write it down. When you then email them or telephonically, you can name it – it shows that you listened and cared about what they had to say and that the client liked it!
Video marketing in B2B markets
Nowadays, video is an integral part of your content marketing strategy. More and more organizations are realizing the value of video marketing and have jumped on their bandwagon.
So, if you do not already have it, you must add a video to your arsenal of marketing methods. Otherwise, you will get lost in the crowd. Companies post between ten and 49 videos a month on average – so why not challenge yourself to create and publish one video a month first? For marketers unfamiliar with video marketing, this seems like a realistic and manageable goal.
Top Tip: You do not have to bother to produce something with a high production value. Instead, you only need imagery that captures the attention and imagination of your target market. A decent smartphone and a small tripod are all the equipment you need to get this done right!
If you are unsure about how to use video marketing to promote your B2 B-based business, here are some tips:
Post on weekdays
If you’ve created a video, we fully recommend that you publish it on a weekday. Surprisingly, B2B audiences consume video content during the week much more than it does over the weekend.
This is probably because people who make purchasing decisions would classify your videos as ‘work’ and want to make their weekends an unemployed zone – we all have to eliminate them now and then!
In fact, on average, only 7% of the views accumulated on B2B videos occur on Sundays. While about 18% of views take place on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, so it posts videos between Monday and Thursday to enjoy maximum exposure and engagement.
Create and publish related videos
It is incredibly common for business owners to create and publish videos about their products. It accounts for as much as 63% of the videos produced in the B2B industry.
Video content is great for enabling customers to get a better idea of the products and services you offer. When you show your goods in action, people get a better idea of what you are selling which can make their lives easier.
That does not mean demos and explanatory videos are not important, because they are.
For example, if you are trying to market a product that requires the user to do something to make it work, a video explaining the process is very helpful. This can combat the confusion and frustration of the customers.
Keep videos short and funny
If you’re going to start filming videos, then make them short and funny. People who browse the internet and browse through social media have a small attention span, so short videos are preferable to keep your audience engaged.
This means condensing as much information as possible to make the content concise and easy to understand. Interestingly, about 75% of B2B videos are less than two minutes long. So follow the crowd and cut down your text!
Top Tip: Consider if all you have to say will not fit in a shorter-length video division to divide your content into a series, then you can publish it in a few weeks.
Other B2B Marketing Tips
In addition to video marketing, there are a few different techniques you may want to consider:
1. Keep your marketing efforts consistent
You must keep hiding your marketing strategy until you find a winning formula – this is especially true if you are a startup or a newer company. You must get your brand out there and generate interest.
It can sometimes take a while to enjoy the results you are looking for, but do not be discouraged – just keep going!
2. Your marketing and sales departments need to talk to each other
If you are a more significant business, chances are you will have a separate sales and marketing department. However, the communication between these experts must be top-notch.
These two areas will overlap, so make sure you use your resources wisely and that they implement complementary strategies.
As we mentioned before, the challenge for B2B businesses is to understand the needs of their customers. Once you have achieved this, you can put together a sales and marketing strategy that is much more effective. It’s not enough to just launch generic ads to raise awareness.
3. Identify your most profitable customers
If you do not already have it, you need to analyze the value of each of your customers. Just because you serve a big brand, does not necessarily make it the most profitable. However, this means that they have the potential to be – because they often have more capital at their disposal.
Sometimes, though, your biggest customers ask for massive discounts for their recurring business. This can sometimes skew the amount you earn at these larger firms.
Often many consumers make small one-time purchases. You need to use this as an opportunity to get your foot in the door and build a relationship. Who knows, maybe one day they will buy something more from you?
However, this does not mean that you should waste the majority of your energy and resources on these types of clients, but it should certainly not be neglected either.
What you will often find is that medium-sized businesses are your best customers. They are usually expanding their business, which means they are willing to spend more on products and services that enable them to do so.
This is usually where your focus should be. Identify the key decision-makers in these organizations and start working with them!
4. Meet your ROI
More and more B2B businesses are increasing their online marketing budgets. As we have already said, executives are being scrutinized for how they spend their money, so digital marketing is now a popular choice.
Namely, because marketers can measure its success, review the analysis and then optimize and refine their strategy. If done correctly, they reduce the money spent on lead generation.
5. If in doubt – restart
If all else fails, you may find that you need to reposition your brand completely. This could mean reloading a new website, refreshing your email marketing campaigns, and revisiting how you portray yourself on your social media channels. A brand revival can work wonders in doing business and improving your business reputation.
We hope this resource has given you a better idea of what B2B entails! Do you have experience in the B2B industry? If so, feel free to post your thoughts in the comments box below. We like to gain insights from our readers. Talk to you soon and keep up the good content.