Building a B2B brand is an entirely different ballgame from a B2C brand. While a B2B model seeks to service other businesses, a B2C model seeks out individual consumers. For instance, if you are into insurance with a B2B model, you will be selling your products and packages to businesses, instead of individuals.
You could be inviting companies (big or small) to purchase insurance for their industrial machines, company vehicles, assets or other properties. If you are in the HMO business, you could also be selling health insurance packages to the company, instead of going after individuals.
Thus, a B2B model is not so much about what you are selling but who you are selling to. Some businesses adopt a mix of both B2B and B2C, while others just settle for one. A pharmaceutical company for instance would focus on a B2B model to get their products into the hands of wholesalers and pharmacies, while a small jewelry maker might adopt a B2C model to target individuals within a geographical location or a social class.
Typically, a B2B model operates a longer sales cycle and is built on relationships. Also, in a B2B, your customer is not necessarily swayed by emotions but wants to make logical decisions based on fact. It would take more than sweet talk to secure a customer in B2B. You must have specific industry knowledge.
Here are some tips to help you build your B2B
1. Set realistic goals
In the B2B model, you have to keep your goals realistic. You cannot expect a client to purchase your product after one meeting. The sales are mostly high value sales, so your prospective customer is not in a hurry to close the sale. You can expect to close a sale after about 3 to 5 contacts or meeting with your lead.
2. A blanket approach does not work
In B2B, one size does not fit all. If you prepare a pitch for one client, you cannot use same pitch for another. Take the time to identify the peculiar nature of each prospective client, and tailor your message to suit them.
3. Optimise your digital presence on the right platforms
You already know that most prospective customers will like to check out your online presence. What you should know in addition to that, is that the platform of choice will differ based on your audience. About 80 % of B2B social media leads happen on LinkedIn, so you would do well to optimize your presence on LinkedIn as well.
Make sure you also have a GoogleMyBusiness page that you own and update regularly with authentic information. Consciously ensure that the information that turns up when you Google search your business, is the one you want your customers to see. If you do not put out the right digital profile, some other people will do it for you and you may not like the result.
4. Build a real-time database
Take the extra one or two minutes required to record your data as you go about your business. It could save you some embarrassing questions later. You should have a database from where you can easily state the results/benefits past clients have gotten from your product, and with the numbers to back it up.
You should be able to make statements like “on average, our clients record a 40% increase in sales within the first three months of setting up their e-commerce website with our website builder”. When backed with the numbers, such statements can make all the difference to your pitch.
5. Aim to keep long-term relationships with clients.
The most profitable you can get in a B2B model is to keep your clients returning. As you develop a strategy to identify leads, message, and convert them, you should also have a strategy to retain them in the long term. If a client purchases software from your business, you cannot wait one year before contacting them (probably when it is time to renew the subscription, lol).
There should be constant communication to know if the client has any problem with your application, what features they’d like to see in the upgraded version, what problems your product is solving for them etc. If you wait 6 months or a year, you may find that a competitor has them sold on an alternative solution.
Keep your messages punchy. You should have a general business proposition, short elevator pitches, problem statement, all tailored to different situations. B2B deals involve high stakes, and the most important skill is to be prepared always.