Business-to-business or B2B firms face a different environment than businesses selling to consumers. They have fewer resources to draw from in learning the right way to run their business, but they face a far higher penalty for failure. Here are three ways B2B businesses fail – and how to fix it so that your business doesn’t fail.
Your Marketers Are Solving the Wrong Problem
If you don’t properly present your product as solving a serious problem for the business, customers won’t buy it. If you promote your product as solving an inconvenience, they may choose to live with it and keep their money. Nor will they spend thousands on products to solve an issue that costs them a little more than that.
Another mistake is trying to sell your product based on image and allure; that may work for consumers buying items to feel attractive, high-status or good, but it will not work in business to business sales. You’re rarely going to sell based on emotionally evocative pitches unless you’re addressing a common apprehension such as selling a consulting service to reduce the odds of lawsuits or network security issues for instance.
You Must Reach Your Contacts
Businesses selling to consumers can afford to see a fraction or even most of their messages bounce. They lose out on business, to be sure, but a fraction of the tens of thousands of people who receive their messages still see it and buy from them. When you’re a B2B business, you may only have a few dozen or, ideally, a few thousand leads. Every bounced email address is a lost opportunity that is difficult if not impossible to replace. One solution could be to use a service like The Email Finder to verify contact emails so that your messages always get through.
You’re Selling to the Wrong People
Lab equipment sellers send catalogues to the lab technicians and lab managers because those are the people who know what supplies they need or want. They fill out the requisitions that purchasing fulfills. If the price tag is hefty enough, management asks for justification and defers to the lab manager who says, yes, we need this.
All you have to do is sell your product to those decision makers via product demonstrations, marketing videos, white papers answering their questions, or sending them catalogues. If you show up trying to sell lab equipment to the C-suite, you’re probably going to be ignored because the manager you’re talking to doesn’t care much about the item and hasn’t been told by their in-house experts that they need something like this.
Another mistake is failing to understand who your customers are. Understand who you’re talking to and how your product benefits them. The marketing content for veterinarian supplies will be different if you’re selling it to a feedlot manager versus a veterinarian, a greenhouse operator versus a large-scale farm manager, the big grocery store chain and the convenience store manager.
Making sure that you avoid the mistakes in this article will allow you to fix some of the issues facing new B2B business owners. Reversing the situation early will allow you to be more efficient in your marketing and build your customer base faster.