What Are the Benefits of CRM In B2B
If you are not yet a sales expert, you may be wondering what the term B2B actually stands for. Experienced marketers and sales people who work in the B2B sector, on the other hand, are less interested in a precise definition of the term than in strategies and methods to reach the target group of business customers. Here are some information from Beryl8 CRM Consultants regarding customer relationship management to B2B.
In principle, an extensive analysis of your target group is the foundation for an optimal alignment of sales and marketing. The advancing digital change presents even B2B companies with a number of challenges. We explain the term B2B, explain the special features of this business model and give you some tips for successful B2B marketing.
If a company has a business relationship with at least one other company, it is B2B. This abbreviation stands for “Business-to-Business”. The business relationship in B2B can include both the supply of goods and the provision of services. A characteristic feature of B2B is that two companies come into contact with each other – this clearly distinguishes this area from B2C (Business-to-Consumer), in which there is a business relationship between a company and private end consumers.
A prime example of successful B2B is provided by the world’s largest management consultancy – IBM (International Business Machines). The company supports a total of 20 different industries with its products and services (from strategy consulting to supply chain management to customer relationship management) and generates half of its total turnover in this way.
Compare B2B and B2C
In contrast to B2B, B2C (Business-to-Consumer) describes the relationship between a company and the end consumer. The products or services are offered directly to the consumer by the company providing the service. Typical companies that use B2C strategies include supermarkets, tourist businesses, hairdressers and all other companies whose products are not specifically aimed at other companies.
The fact that the target groups of B2C and B2B differ greatly from each other also has an impact on marketing and product design. The following is an overview of the most important differences between B2B and B2C.
Important areas of B2B
Business customers and private end consumers have different expectations of a successful business relationship. B2B customers, for example, have in-depth specialist knowledge due to their industry affiliation. They therefore also expect the contact person to have in-depth industry and product knowledge. They should also be familiar with the technical terms commonly used on the market. Furthermore, a permanent contact with the customer and a strong and lasting relationship in the B2B sector is even more important than in B2C. After all, you are usually dealing with individual employees who are responsible for purchasing for an entire company. The individual B2B customer usually generates a much higher turnover than individual customers in the B2C sector.
If you want to meet the special expectations of the customer company, you have to adapt the different business areas to B2B processes. This applies in particular to the Sales, Customer Support, and Marketing departments.
Offer management and the associated sale of products or services are the responsibility of the sales staff. After a completed purchase it is of immense importance to send the goods to the customer quickly and faultlessly or to provide a service in an uncomplicated manner. Up to this point the principles in B2B and B2C are the same. Unlike B2C, however, sales people in B2B must have extensive knowledge about the product or service – incomplete basic knowledge is not sufficient. In addition, different soft skills are required in the area of customer acquisition: While B2C provides for the rapid development of numerous customer relationships, B2B focuses on the stable retention of individual customers, including personal contact.
A sales employee in B2B must prepare specifically for his contacts, anticipate their needs and be able to communicate with them at eye level. Ideally, he will have to deal with one and the same person for years. In contrast, the number of B2C customers is usually far too large to be able to adapt to each individual. More important here is the knowledge of the usual standard questions that the B2C employee must be able to answer.
Effective customer support is another prerequisite for a lasting relationship between companies. Due to their complexity, B2B products or services usually require a comprehensive range of consulting services. The customer support of the providing company must be able to answer all questions that arise about the product or service. As they usually deal with industry experts, they must also be able to provide competent and quick answers to more in-depth questions.
B2B marketing includes all marketing measures that have a positive effect on the relationship between two companies. The aim of the marketing activities is to build up a basis of trust and to strengthen the loyalty of the customer company. In comparison to the wide-ranging and comparatively impersonal B2C marketing, B2B marketing is more directly oriented towards the customer.