Consumer needs dictate business operations. What people want and believe they need propels companies around the globe to provide products, services and encounters to meet those demands. For business-to-business transactions, where sales cycles are long and complicated with high financial stakes, companies must ensure that they meet their customers’ needs in ways that promote their loyalty. If they don’t, they risk losing valuable repeat and additional sales, as well as the investment they made while trying to secure and maintain beneficial customer relationships. It’s a triple whammy that B2C businesses don’t have to consider quite as much since their customers are usually easier and quicker to replace. It makes sense, then, that B2B companies regularly assess the ways their customers perceive, interact and promote their products and services. They must regularly check in with their customers to evaluate how well they are meeting their needs, as well as encouraging trust and sustaining a mutually beneficial commitment with them. The traditional buying cycle (awareness, consideration and decision) provides businesses with opportune times for B2B relationship assessment. Take a look for further details:
Above all else, B2B customers need a product that is profitable. Their own desires or personal satisfaction take a backseat to their company’s goal to minimize input while maximizing output. And it’s a goal that is the same for all B2B stakeholders. B2B purchases are made by purchasing teams, not individuals (as in B2C sales). Thus, it’s important for B2B companies to explore the needs and motivations behind a variety of customer types: business owners, chief information officers and other senior executives in the awareness stage, and then including other buying personas in the subsequent ones. A B2B relationship assessment during the early stage of the buying process can help you identify and understand the exact problem you are trying to address. Asking the individuals behind each differing buying persona questions about their intended goals, their influencers and any industry trends, enables you to establish context, fine-tuning content and solutions that ensure productive future encounters across multiple platforms with multiple audiences.
As contract negotiations begin, B2B relationship assessment can establish information that helps you recognize and improve any obstacles prohibiting successful closings. It can help you spot opportunities and link your successful practices with positive results so you can replicate them when needed. It’s also the perfect time to assess customer experience with your implementation practices and support services and whether or not your company can provide the value needed for a particular customer or industry.
Finally, it’s important to review the distribution of your product and how well it is (or isn’t) meeting your customers’ needs once they’ve made a purchase. Adequate follow-up isn’t a courtesy; it’s a requirement for successful businesses. If you find a problem, you can address it. If you don’t, your concern only highlights your commitment to your customers, strengthening their loyalty to you.
Routine B2B relationship assessment at each buying stage fosters trust with your customers. It helps you satisfy their needs and earn their loyalty. If you need additional information about how assessments can increase your company’s revenue, contact our Team at Communications for Research (CFR).