7 Hallmarks of Successful B2B Companies
Our fast-paced digital society requires companies to operate swiftly and decisively if they want to position themselves for long-lasting growth. It is especially true for B2B organizations and their marketing efforts – while many private customers are conservative and will stick to the businesses they have been dealing for a long time, B2B clients will leave you immediately if they see somebody who does the same job better.
However, it is not enough to jump on every bandwagon and be the first to adopt every innovation. To keep attracting new customers while retaining existing ones, a B2B company has to possess certain inherent qualities. Here are some of the hallmarks of successful B2B companies:
They Have a Unified Vision
Several companies may operate in the same space, sell a similar product or service, and compete for the same customers. So why do some organizations succeed and others falter?
Not all businesses keep all their activities aligned with their overall vision. Eventually, this affects the fluidity with how they operate. And customers take notice! B2B clients are particularly sensitive to whether you are clear about your mission. If you are, it makes you more trustworthy in their eyes. This, in turn, helps you solidify your brand equity and stand out in a sea of similar competition.
They’re Quick to Adapt to Changes
Succeeding in today’s business landscape often comes down to how quickly an enterprise can respond to change. It might be an economic downturn, the arrival of a promising competitor, a setback with a product, the loss of pivotal talent, or any number of other hurdles that businesses inevitably face over their lifecycle.
The specific solution isn’t as important as having the attitude to ask: “So, what now?” When organizations ask that question with a positive and problem-solving mindset, they position themselves to develop new—and better—solutions. B2B clients are more attentive to this sort of thing than private customers. If you are known to be flexible and adaptive, it means that you will keep providing your products or services no matter what – and B2B customers are always after stability.
They’re Not Afraid to Take Risks
Worthwhile outcomes must involve some level of risk. This doesn’t mean that decisions should be made recklessly; risks should be well thought-through, not gambles.
Companies that always choose the safer path limit their potential for growth. They also never learn from mistakes because they’ve chosen the path with a predictable result. If every business did this, we’d be without countless amazing innovations we now take for granted.
To take calculated chances is to address uncertainty. Even if failure looms (and it often will), the organization at least learns something from the matter, which helps them going forward. B2B clients like dealing with dynamic companies – if your business has a potential to grow quickly, it means advantages for them as well, and they will try to single out partners that are ready to take calculated risks for huge returns.
They Leverage the Right Technologies
In our tech-driven age, new platforms and tools seem to surface daily. Businesses that are set in their ways lose out on innovative solutions that can drive more revenue, cut costs, better satisfy customers, and so on. Most B2B clients are quite tech-savvy and will recognize if you are using state-of-the-art solutions. And you should know that will earn you extra bonus points as far as they are concerned.
For instance, companies have used business intelligence software for decades to varying levels of success. But in the age of Big Data, these legacy tools aren’t agile enough for organizations to keep pace with their competition. Why use a tool that’s limited to pre-set reports and requires manual tweaking from the data team when artificial intelligence BI reporting workflows exist to automate the process?
They Invest and Retain Quality Talent
A successful business, like a well-running engine, is nothing but a sum of its parts. Leadership is important in a company, but it’s the employees that power the bulk of the progress. It all starts with hiring—and retaining—the right talent. Businesses should focus their hiring decisions on how well someone fits within an organization and what they bring to the table instead of fixating on minimizing salary costs. After all, hiring itself is time-consuming and expensive.
Studies show that replacing a salaried employee costs between 6–9 months’ pay on average. Depending on the importance of a position, the costs could be even higher. Choosing less qualified candidates or those who don’t mesh as well with company culture will hinder productivity, which also affects overall business value.
Pay for the employees you deem as a good fit upfront and you’ll be hiring less often. You should be particularly careful about hiring marketing specialists – it will take time for a new expert to get acquainted with all the intricacies of your business to effectively promote it, so the rarer you replace them, the better.
They Challenge Their Employees
An employee might fit in well with company culture, but talented minds need to be challenged. If they’re bored in their roles, they’ll eventually become disengaged. They might quit, resulting in turnover costs cited above, or even worse, they may stay and do just enough to get by.
In some cases, employees might become resentful and sow discontent in the workplace. The only way to get the most out of people is to engage them. This means challenging employees with things they’re interested in. At a minimum, this involves providing access to tools and resources that help them do their jobs. But it could also mean letting an employee switch jobs or change departments if doing so will satisfy their curiosities and needs.
They Focus on Their Customers
Regardless of what a business sells, there must be customers that buy it. Some companies think that the customers will come if they build a distinguishable brand and develop a quality product or service. But nothing will keep customers loyal like top-notch customer service.
Just as it’s exponentially more expensive to hire new employees than it is to retain existing talent, customer acquisition costs soar compared to retaining buyers, especially in the B2B segment, where you deal with far fewer customers that are much more valuable individually. Existing customers are more likely to try new products than new ones. They also spend more per order. Data shows that increasing customer retention rates by just five percent can increase profits by anywhere from 25–95 percent depending on the business.
A great business idea only goes so far.
For a concept to materialize into growth and financial prosperity, key aspects can’t be overlooked. No amount of new-fangled marketing strategies will help you if you don’t pay attention to these seven core principles.
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