January 25, 2023

Seal The Deal: The B2B Playbook For Success

Proven strategies for B2B success: It’s all about playing the long game and caring for the customer.

B2B trade is the backbone of consumer-based supply chains. In one way or another, every enterprise relies on the services, utilities, expertise, or raw materials provided by other businesses. To put this into some perspective, the global B2B e-commerce market is a $7.9 trillion industry forecasted to reach $33.3 trillion by 2030. Furthermore, B2B transactions account for about 48 cents of every dollar spent in the U.S.

But despite the vast market and endless opportunities, making it in the B2B space takes a lot of work. As the B2B space evolves and becomes more competitive, companies must deal with increasingly complex market demands and longer customer cycles.

What does it take to dominate the B2B market space? That's the big question on the mind of every entrepreneur selling B2B products or services. Well, you've come to the right place. We have just the answers you might be looking for. This article shares essential marketing and branding tips for B2B success in any niche. Read on and learn how to devise a winning B2B selling strategy.

Top five tips for B2B success

Here are five proven B2B trading tips for attracting and retaining customers, boosting sales, and futureproofing your company:

Empathize with the customer

The key to any successful marketing strategy is knowing the customer. In the B2B market, this means understanding the customer’s emotional motivation to engage with your brand. It involves connecting deeply with the customer to learn about their fundamental needs and wants.

Remember, your B2B clients have their own customers, who could be other businesses or direct consumers. There's an image they want to present to their customers and emotions/actions they wish to evoke. They may want to come across as knowledgeable, caring, passionate, etc.

For instance, if you sell business cybersecurity solutions, your customer probably wants to seem more secure or security-conscious to their customers. And that's exactly what you should focus on selling. In such a case, you should base your value proposition around bolstering security confidence in your client's business customers.

Empathy is part of emotional selling, a marketing technique that leverages feelings rather than logic to evoke purchase decisions. It’s a highly effective technique too. Purely emotional marketing content performs nearly twice as well as rational content.

Focus on solution-based offerings

Businesses are usually in the market for a product or service that cures an itch in their supply chain or business processes. Some even look for solutions to their customers’ problems. So, what problem does your offering solve for your customers or on their behalf?

Steve Jobs famously said, “People don't know what they want until you show it to them.” This is true for businesses as well. Many of your prospects may not know they have a problem worth solving in the first place.

Many B2B companies turn to solution selling to convert leads. This is where you make your customer aware of specific pain points in their company and recommend impactful or urgent solutions. It’s actually a way of empathizing with the customer by centering your pitch on the “why” and not the “what.”

Create and quantify your brand value

What value do businesses see in your brand? This is usually a tough question to answer. The best you can do is shape customer perception by associating your offering with specific and unique business merits.

It's important to create easy-to-understand value for your business customers. Ask yourself how your offering makes business easier for the customers. What exactly does your brand offer that businesses can’t find elsewhere?

Your unique brand value can be a solution to a problem, unmatched prices, high returns, new business opportunities for customers, or exceptionally high-quality products/services. That’s your unique selling proposition (USP), and prospects are always too eager to know what it is.

Build strong customer relationships

Selling to end consumers is very different from trading with other businesses. For one, the B2B sale cycle is much longer. About three-quarters of all B2B sales to new customers take at least four months to complete, with nearly half of them taking seven months or more. B2B deals take so long to close because, usually, there are many decision-makers involved, the pricing and delivery are quite fluid, and the payment processes can be complex.

B2B entrepreneurs play the long game. You must invest a lot of time and effort in establishing and cultivating long-term relationships with your customers in order to make sales. Additionally, building meaningful relationships with businesses — for instance, through B2B partnerships, loyalty programs, or referral networking — brings about continuous repeat business.

Keep a watchful eye on the market

B2B markets are highly dynamic. The end-consumers’ needs and preferences sometimes shift dramatically and without warning, forcing businesses to quickly adjust their offerings, work models, or supply chains to meet new demands. As your customers undergo such changes, you may also have to alter your B2B solutions accordingly.

Even though some niches are more conservative and predictable than others, all B2B entrepreneurs must anticipate and accept change. Model your business with agility in mind so it can quickly tune its offering to the erratic beat of the market. Business agility is all about maintaining market relevance, a key component of business survival.

Images by Loanspark

10 mistakes to avoid when running a B2B Company

B2B selling is highly sensitive, with very narrow margins for error. The slightest oversight can cost you valuable prospects, sales, or brand reputation. Hence, we’ve compiled this list of common and potentially self-damaging mistakes you should avoid as a B2B entrepreneur:

  1. Not targeting the right businesses
  2. Focusing too much on the actual product/service rather than its benefits or value
  3. Giving up on prospects too soon
  4. Rushing a sale without fully understanding the client’s needs
  5. Overselling your brand or selling the wrong customer expectations
  6. Depending on a single one-size-fits-all offering
  7. Resisting change
  8. Ignoring emerging B2B opportunities such as upselling and cross-selling
  9. Making it all about your company instead of the client and their customers
  10. Underestimating your competitors

Enhance B2B engagements with embedded funding

B2B companies employ all kinds of strategies to drum up business, grow their clientele, earn customer loyalty, and score reputation points. One strategy that’s clearly doing the trick nowadays is embedded funding.

Embedded funding is a lending method where non-financial B2B businesses, such as suppliers and service providers, offer lending solutions to their customers. It's part of the rapidly growing $2.6 trillion embedded finance industry, which Bain & Company describes as “the new value chain.”

Adding business lending to your portfolio as a new product offering empowers your customers, generates extra revenue, increases customer touchpoints, and builds customer loyalty. Also, solving your customers’ financial challenges massively elevates your brand value.

Many SMBs are losing confidence in bank lending and opting for more accessible, affordable, and convenient sources of business capital. Embedded financing positions you as a much-needed alternative lender in your business community — a hero to your customers.

Embedded lending basically checks all the boxes of a customer-focused and success-oriented B2B strategy. In a nutshell, providing commercial lending solutions will strengthen your B2B relationships by completely transforming your customers' experience in ways that mutually benefit both parties.

Images by Loanspark

How can Loanspark help?

Incorporating a new lending product into your B2B offering can seem daunting. In addition to some working knowledge in commercial lending, you’ll also need a robust digital infrastructure to support the product. These can be prohibitively expensive.

Loanspark eliminates the need to acquire costly financial experts or fintech systems when venturing into commercial B2B lending. We provide Business Lending as a Service to both financial and non-financial companies to lower the entry barrier to commercial funding.

Partnering with Loanspark gives you access to unparalleled financial expertise, tech resources, and a vast lending marketplace, enabling you to customize, host, and deliver curated funding products to your customers. We work with all B2B companies, including accounting firms, financial brokers, marketers, and financial institutions.

Position your B2B company for success with embedded funding powered by Loanspark. We are only a phone call away.

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