When we are selling or marketing in a B2C environment, the products either met a real need, or they satisfy a consumer “want/desire”. But, in a B2B world, have we ever really thought about why companies buy?
Companies may buy YOUR product for one of two reasons:
- They have identified a need or problem, they have committed to solve that problem, and using your product plays a role in accomplishing that objective; OR
- Using your product will provide an improvement in efficiency or effectiveness that will deliver some measure of performance enhancement to the company, yielding a competitive advantage;
When we create a marketing strategy, plan, and message, it is imperative to understand which of these reasons drive customers to buy our products. Obviously, positioning your products or solutions to meet a well-understood requirement is more straightforward than working with the company to identify and quantify improvements in efficiency or effectiveness.
Creating a marketing plan centered on the benefits of efficiency or effectiveness requires a more holistic approach to the customer, demonstrating an understanding of their business in a thoughtful way. Selling in this environment is most likely to be a consultative process, requiring sales executives who are solutions focused, rather than product sales focused.
Starting with an understanding of why a customer may buy your product will make the process of marketing and selling to them significantly easier and more successful.