When most people think of business, the typical answers usually revolve around your supermarkets, tech brands, the downtown diner, selling online, and all sorts of retail stores. However, this concept of business is mainly exclusive to the consumer markets, and people fail to realize that the business-to-business (B2B) markets also exist and are just as successful and profitable.
As a result, because their B2C counterparts often outshine B2B business models, information and awareness about them are limited to professionals and the business academe. Moreover, when young entrepreneurs need to pivot their framework, the opportunity of switching to B2B, even when it’s potentially more suited for their business, falls on deaf ears.
So, to put an end to this glaring issue and lack of information, we’ll be taking a look at the significant differences between consumer and organizational buying. Hopefully, their unique advantages and disadvantages will help you decide on your company’s future.
A Different Playing Field
While both engage in the same business principles and ethics, because their markets are vastly different from one another, it’s an entirely different playing field when you step into B2B. Other than general operations and traditional financing activities, there’s not one aspect you can pin down and point out any relative similarities.
#1 Emphasis On Building Long-Term Business Relationships
Number one, we have; the significance of building long-term business relationships with all your clients. Customer relationship management exists in consumer markets, and many businesses value the importance of interacting with their broad customer base. However, this importance takes on a whole new meaning from a B2B point of view.
Unlike consumer markets that consist of hundreds of millions of people, B2B markets don’t enjoy the luxury of having a large client base. As a result, they have fewer potential buyers, which means they need to establish long-term business relationships with their leads and clients. In fact, some businesses even assign specific sales teams for major customers.
#2 Meeting Specific Requirements And Tailoring Services
Number two, we have; meeting specific requirements and tailoring services for their unique customers. In the consumer buying space, businesses innovate and upgrade their products and services to please the majority of their audience and address a general problem. However, organizational buying delves into the specifics of each client as opposed to the general consensus.
Unlike the iPhone that aims to become faster, slimmer, more compact, and add features, a B2B tech solutions company can’t just create one software as the end-all solution for every client. Buyers will identify the features and specifications they require, and the company must tailor its product offerings to meet these expectations.
#3 Involvement Of Multi-Level Selling
Number three, we have; the involvement of a multi-level selling process. Usually, you would think that your average business would need to procure the necessary raw materials, manufacture their products, and ship out the finished goods to storefronts for selling. However, because the B2B market involves larger sums of money and different experts, the selling process is different.
You will need to meet with many people at different levels of an organization, from the managing directors down to the operatives, to convince and influence the decisions of buying your product or availing your professional services. Unlike consumer markets that can rely on a single person, you will need an entire sales team to meet the needs for such a task.
#4 Negotiation Skills Are A Must
Finally, negotiation skills are a must-have. While the consumer market enjoys the quote, “the product sells itself,” you will need to be as persuasive and creative as a family lawyer in the negotiation room. And because organizational buying occurs in different levels of complexity and size, the price can vary drastically. You will be in the presence of professional buyers and sellers, and the list price is but the starting point for negotiation.
Adapt And Overcome
Overall, there are stark differences between consumer buying and organizational buying, and it requires time and effort invested in becoming an expert at each craft. So, for the young entrepreneurs and even the experienced businessmen, don’t let B2B opportunities go to waste, for they might be your key to success.