The word “customer,” to many people given our everyday experiences, evokes the image of a person in a checkout line or someone pulling out their credit card to make an online purchase.
The term Customer Relationship Management (CRM) like CRM Creatio, Infor CRM or ACT!, sort of codifies this in its very name, and the methodology of CRM typically revolves around the average person who consumes a good or service and becomes a valued customer. However, these days a surprising amount of enterprise, especially in IT, occurs between representatives of a business, and the value added is in business cost savings and efficiency. It goes without saying that seasoned professionals in an organization require a different relationship approach when dealing business to business (B2B).
Let us explore the key differences:
1. Impulse Buy vs. Snail's Pace
A sale being made to a business is typically a major investment in terms of time and capital, as opposed to a direct sale to a customer which is usually a rapid phenomenon with a very narrow window of opportunity. A business sale will as a rule take months if not years, will feature extensive research by sales and technical personnel, involve possible bids by multiple competitors, and perhaps even trigger federal anti-trust scrutiny if it is significant enough.
2. Millions vs. Pocket Change
A B2B sale will nearly always be a 5-6 figure proposition, and in many cases it will go into the millions. Accounting and bookkeeping are an enormous deal. In many situations the sale could be a significant dent in operating budget or shareholder value, not to mention that the sale must be able to deliver on its cost saving promises or could spell mission disaster.
3. Dept of the Relationship
Not only is the length of time and the sheer dollar figure that B2B CRM must contend with huge, the sale usually represents a continuing relationship between two entities that requires trust. Furthermore, the product or service being offered is often a large scale custom collaboration rather than a cookie cutter product, meaning that there must be a meaningful exchange between both companies.
Therefore the tools needed for B2B relationships management must adhere to quality over quantity and depth over lead generation. Contact us to learn more.