Closing a sale or getting a new customer in the B2B environment is a long and complex process, but there are a number of basic elements that can help consolidate the agreement. Several studies indicate that 63% of companies take an average of 3 months to make a purchase decision since receiving the proposal. Jose Duarte, a successful entrepreneur and eCommerce expert from Costa Rica, discusses how to successfully navigate B2B sales to close the deal.
B2B sales are rational purchases, unlike the emotional purchases made by private consumers. They involve a large number of people, at different scales of the organization’s hierarchy and involve considerable investments as well as significant risks to the company. Therefore, there are B2C trading strategies and logic that do not apply in B2B.
It is essential, on the one hand, to meet the company customer with which he is dealing, and on the other hand, to meet the person in charge of making the purchase decision. Both have their specific needs and the best way to finish the sale is to ensure the satisfaction of these in the most cost-effective way possible for both of the businesses.
98% of companies seek information about online providers. Explains Duarte, “In B2B environments, companies generally go to partners they have worked with before, but if they are no longer desirable, they tend to research and do a study thanks to the Internet. However, only around 58% of B2B companies have a website, and of them, only 20% use it for promotional purposes.”
Digitization has completely transformed purchasing processes. Negotiations were traditionally conducted door-to-door, with the commercial as the main source of information on the products and services offered by B2B. However, this information search process now occurs through the website, social media, or other portals that collect opinions from other customers. Now, the role of the commercial has been delegated to the background, dedicated to the definitive closing of the sale, so the real battle, today, is fought in the online environment.
Currently, price, while a determining factor, is not the most relevant factor when making a purchase decision. “As in B2C environments, companies seek trust in the provider,” asserts Duarte. “They seek clear information, transparency and credibility, a travel companion that will help them achieve their goals, not only economic, but growth and development. Thus, 93% of companies claim that the determining factor in a purchase decision is trust.”
Account-based marketing is understood as a reformulation of inbound marketing for those companies in the B2B environment that are active in very specific markets with specific characteristics. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, relies on a different omnichannel content strategy at different stages of the purchasing decision. In this sense, B2B companies with a small client portfolio will get better results from account-based marketing strategies, as they will be able to launch more personalized campaigns.
Making your value proposition clear is one of the key strategies for a successful B2B negotiation. Always try to make clear the distinctive points you can offer with your service. In addition, demonstrate the reasons why such an association will be truly profitable and value-added. All clients should have the feeling that they are winning in every trade. Clarifying the value proposition of the product or service, or the company, will be a distinguishing point for the customer to choose you, instead of a competitor.
The more humanized the partnership, the more likely it is to succeed. The paradigm that trade relations must be strictly formal is no longer true. Although terms and contracts are still used, the B2C market already knows that relationships must be increasingly human, to attract customers and awaken a sense of belonging. The same must happen during the B2B negotiations. Sellers should see other companies as market partners and make it clear that the growth of those companies is very important to their own business.