Companies need more than just discipline and ambition to succeed in the business-to-business, or B2B, market. Investopedia, one of the top online resources for financial information for investors, financial experts, and students, defines B2B as a transaction between businesses, such as one involving a manufacturer and wholesaler or a wholesaler and a retailer. And because your “customers” are other businesses, a B2B company must think about and execute its business approach differently to prosper.
That’s because the business-to-business sector is flourishing and can be highly profitable. According to Big Commerce, the global B2B e-commerce market reached $12 trillion in 2019, making it more than six times larger than the B2C market. To demonstrate how vast the industry is, a B2B Marketing research study found that 42% of UK businesses are blended enterprises, with at least some of their income coming from B2B, and that nearly 40% of UK companies get all or most of their income from B2B activities.
Businesses that sell to other companies have to conduct their business differently from those that sell to consumers. That’s because while the need for a product or service is the same, the use for that product or service is different. For example, when consumers seek to make a purchase, it improves their daily lives, even for a moment; a birthday gift, an outfit to wear for a special occasion, or a part to repair a dishwasher or faucet in time for dinner with the family. Consumers and businesses interact entirely differently from how one company interacts with another. Therefore, when businesses that sell to businesses think about how they conduct their B2B business through this lens, it can help them contend with their competitors, establish a presence in a highly competitive industry, and strategically engage with their business clientele, regardless of how long they’ve been in operation. For example, a popular clothing boutique in the fashion district of any city needs to have a good relationship with a supplier. Or, a trendy neighborhood restaurant with a high volume of patrons must have a healthy rapport with its vendors to maintain its status.
Since 1991, we’ve simplified outsourced sales for Fortune 150, mid-market, and nonprofit organizations and helped our B2B clients navigate the concerns of B2B ownership from a B2B perspective. Credico understands the B2B market and how to navigate it. Our team provides high-quality direct sales and marketing solutions in the global B2B, B2C, events, and retailer markets. And for over three decades, we have experienced the challenges B2B companies face and how to face them head-on to success.
Throughout the years, we’ve built a business model that helps build the success of our B2B clients. No matter the size of a B2B business or where it is located, here are four ways we help our clients succeed and thrive in this market.
#1. Make an Impression
Businesses that want to compete in the booming B2B sales industry must be impressive. Given the size of the market, this is a must. A B2B company should strive for excellence in all they do, from the customer experience to the people they recruit and its marketing initiatives. Not that there isn’t room for error—humans can, after all, make mistakes—but make sure your recovery is quick and that you have the right protocols in place to avoid such errors in the future.
#2. Be Present
Marketing is a form of communication. Communication can take the form of marketing. It matters how people interact with one another, and this is especially true for businesses. Communicate with or market to your audience to help them see, hear, and comprehend what you want them to know to create B2B sales. For example, B2B industry events are a great way to network with and for your business. While there, consider advertising through industry publications. In addition to these in-person marketing opportunities, consider sponsorships for name recognition and how you can build your digital presence beyond your basic website and social media. Whatever you decide, always consider the value of face-to-face communication and marketing, as B2B sales rely on a personal connection.
#3. Build Trust
As with every relationship, trust can make or break it. Trust is essential to both the success of B2B sales and the maintenance of that success in business. Warren Buffet, one of the most successful investors in history, once said, “I learned to go into business only with people whom I like, trust, and admire.” When the client or company you’re doing business with has confidence in your offerings, B2B sales will increase. When your team or representatives follow through on their commitments, the company’s image improves, which fosters trust. Doing your homework demonstrates professionalism and that you value their time, which are both crucial for businesses trying to increase sales.
#4. Repeat what works
Find your niche in generating sales. Hone that skill, then repeat. The domino effect, defined by Business 2 Community, says that changing one behavior will start a chain reaction that will also change related habits. You must be deliberate if you want the domino effect to affect your company; it doesn’t happen accidentally. It puts a greater emphasis on progress than results. In the domino effect, a company is distinguished from others by the effort it puts into its daily operations and corporate philosophy.
By implementing these methods, B2B companies can improve their chances of success in this market, sharpen their competitive edge, and attract more clients.