Many marketers will tell you that B2B marketing can be much more challenging than B2C marketing. This is because B2B transactions often require more time, involve of a greater number of decision makers and require a proven return on investment. B2B marketing also is challenging because this market segment is focused on streamlining the buying process in order to save time and money.
One common mistake B2B marketers make is to spend most of their time selling based on the proposition that their product or service is better than their competitors’ products or services. While this certainly must be part of the equation, it is important to understand that the majority of B2B sales are made when you are able to solve a problem. In other words, many times a B2B marketer must accentuate the negative aspects of a prospect’s current vendor in order to make a sale.
One of the most important things you can focus on when approaching a B2B prospect is how they feel about their current vendor and the level of service that vendor provides. The fact is, most businesses you want to sell to already need what you are selling, they are just buying it from someone else. In those cases, you need to find out how you can do what their current vendor is doing—only better. This involves asking prospects if they are happy with their current vendor. You also need to ask questions like, does your vendor pay enough attention to your needs? Do they make things easier on your business? If you find out the answer is no to any of these questions, you have the perfect opportunity to explain why your company is a better fit.
Another huge issue that many B2B companies have is that they are overwhelmed with managing multiple vendors and would be much happier having one point of contact. If you are able to provide this single point of contact, you need to emphasize it. You can start by asking if they would like to spend less time managing vendors. If the answer to this question is yes, you have your opening. This is especially true when it comes to IT solutions. Show a prospect a software system or solution that is easier to manage and you might find yourself with a new customer.
In the end, B2B marketing involves solving problems. Therefore, to successfully sell in this arena, you must always pay attention to what your prospect has to say about what is wrong with their current situation and vendor and then tell him or her how you are different.