All customers are not created equally. For B2C consumers, personal satisfaction is the single most deciding factor in the purchasing process. But for B2B consumers, satisfaction is only one part of a multi-step process. Indeed, satisfaction might be spread among many stakeholders, as B2B purchasing decisions rarely rest in the hands of only one purchaser. This fact, coupled with the idea that you can’t market something without understanding the market itself makes quality B2B customer assessment an inherently more complex yet vital component of the B2B life cycle; B2C businesses need only cater to one buying persona while B2B businesses have many. Take a look at the three top reasons your B2B company should be administering customer assessments as a matter of course, not just convenience:
The B2B Sales Cycle is Long and Complicated
The B2B sales cycle is a long one, with many people from the same company often researching your product and services long before they actually make contact with you. And then, when an inquiry is made, sustainable relationships must be forged, frequently with people from multiple departments with varying reasons driving their buying decisions. Whereas B2C customers might buy products based on their emotions, B2B customers buy services and products based on how they will impact their company’s productivity and profitability. They will buy a product or service only after carefully assessing budgets and needs via a process that could take months or sometimes even years. You don’t want to waste your time; to market wisely, it makes sense that you spend the effort and money on B2B customer assessments so that you can better understand how and when and where to meet the needs of these diverse consumers.
A Lot of Money is at Stake
The majority of B2B sales are expensive ones, costing anywhere from a few thousand dollars to the multiple millions. Add in the cost of the many buyer meetings you must accommodate in order to build the trust needed to make a sale, as well as any samples that may be required before that sale is finalized, and you can see just how much money could be wasted if the proper B2B customer assessments are not completed upfront.
B2B Deals are More Than Sales
A B2B customer is a valuable one. With the amount of time and money that goes in to a B2B sale, companies must try to ensure they keep their B2B customers. They become partners with their customers, providing products and services that directly impact those customers’ efficiency and efficacy. Because of this, B2B companies must seek ways to encourage lifetime loyalty from their customers or risk losing repeat and/or additional sales from them. B2B customer assessments can highlight current satisfaction and trust levels, as well as identify future needs, information that can guide a company’s practices to help ensure customer retention.
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B2B customer assessments should be a critical and routine part of any B2B company’s strategy. Our team at Communications for Research (CFR) can help you develop and administer B2B customer assessments that will garner actionable results. Contact us today to learn more.