It is a fact that services dominate the global economy, with business-to-business markets accounting for the lion’s share. For example, in the Russian telecommunication’s market the B2B segment showed 5 times more revenue than the entire market[1]

B2B companies, generally seek to create and maintain a long-term business relationship with the organization from which they acquired the product or services (Leighton and Schaper, 2003). What is more, a growing number of B2B firms are becoming service-dominant because services enable them to build lasting relationships with their direct customers and their customers’ customers.

What is customer relationship management in B2B? It is managing customer lifecycle throw different tools, which help to analyze customers and offer them best solution, with the goal of improving the company business results. The most obvious feature of B2B companies is that they help other companies to achieve their business goals. Respectively the approach to selling their products is completely different.

In view of the growth in the number of small and medium-sized enterprises, it is necessary to understand the features of interaction with them[2].  These differences are noticeable if we compare the B2B and B2C segment[3]:

AreaB2BB2С
FocusBuilding personalized relationships with those responsible for decision-making in the consumer company.Building dialogue with different customer groups depending on the nature of the transaction.
Sale CycleComplex and multi-step procedure of deal accomplishment that depends on the number of decision makers.Consumers may decide within minutes whether to make a purchase or not.
PurchasesNeeds a rational analysis, longer time consideration.Usually less rational and more based on impulse.
Deal sizeLarge volume and high price with small repeat rate.Small price with high repeat rate.
Number of contactsSeveral individuals from the same company who make a decision to purchase.Many single contacts with many customers.

Based on the differences considered, it becomes clear that B2B companies need to have a deeper understanding of their customers’ problems, wants and needs. Via using various CRM tools based on customer’s life cycle analyzes (level of customer retention and loss) and their behavioral characteristics, companies need to take into account all factors in order properly distribute resources.


Sources:

[1]B2B — the locomotive of the mobile market, 2019 [Electronic resource] // http://www.comnews.ru/content/118487/2019-03-15/b2b-lokomotiv-rynka-mobilnoy-svyazi

[2]What is B2C CRM? How is it different from B2B CRM?, 2019 [Electronic resource] // https://www.leadsquared.com/what-is-b2c-crm/

[3]Key Differences Between B2B and B2C CRM Systems,2018 [Electronic resource] // https://www.ergonized.com/blog/blogkey-differences-b2b-vs-b2c-crm-systemsstems

5 комментариев

  1. First of all, I absolutely agree with the point that the main target of Customer Relationship Marketing in B2B sector is to create and maintain a long-term business relationship with the organisations which purchase their products and services.
    Especially it is important to build strong relationships with the customers who have the biggest purchase to your company in the conditions of fierce competition. Otherwise, the organisations’ competitors can attract their customers to their side and the organisation will have big losses.

    I appreciate that the author highlighted the point that the most obvious feature of CRM for B2B companies is that they help big and small enterprises to achieve their business goals. Respectively the approach to selling their products is completely different from B2C sector. For instance, CRM for B2B should provide easier contact management. Thus, with a CRM system, staff can upload customer details to the database, prioritize activities, get reminders of important calls and meetings. The company stores each piece of client information and draws it when needed. Another difference B2B sector from B2C is longer sale cycle, therefore it’s important to create a better customer experience for this period. B2B CRM strategy makes all the difference when it comes to applying personalized approach at all points.

    As a result, CRM software helps B2B companies understand their audience and prioritize business requirements. The system’s responsible for data organization, it ensures ease of communication and works on improving customer experience.

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  2. Since B2B companies need to have a more profound understanding of their consumer compared to B2C companies, it becomes clear that the possibility to use CRM is a huge advantage for such companies because it allows them to receive very precise image of their customers’ needs. Author of the article highlights this specificity of the use of CRM in B2B companies.

    In order to make a B2B sale, it is important to build a step-by-step strategy while working with clients. To achieve that goal a company clearly separate the stages and set goals for moving from one to another. The implementation of CRM automates this process which allows managers to concentrate on the more strategic level of decision making.

    And finally, in my opinion, one of the most important features in implementing CRM system into B2B companies is the fact that it allows to digitalize all the existing relationships with clients. Since the relationships in B2B is the key of a company’s success when an account manager leaves this company, he or she basically takes with him all the secrets of communications with clients and it takes a lot of time for a newcomer to restore all these relationship processes. CRM solves this problem: it collects all the information about relationships with consumers, suppliers and details of the communication with them.

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  3. Of particular interest to me was a table comparing the features of B2B and B2C.

    I drew attention to the fact that the author highlights a separate characteristic in B2B — the rationality of the purchase. I will say that this is not always the case. Recently, a human relationship has been of great importance to B2B. At the Conversation AI 2019 conference, which took place this fall in Moscow, this issue was discussed.
    It was said that there is a pronounced tendency to transform from B2B format to H2H (Human to Human).

    Relations with a partner for a purchaser become more valuable. Thus, a purchase decision can be made not in favor of “big money”, but in favor of “Trust” and “Support”. Decisions can be made irrationally, the buyer can make a decision in favor of the partner (in the person of a specific person), which is closer to him in spirit.

    This fact must be taken into account when building an effective CRM strategy in B2B. To retain customers use a more personalized approach, to see in customers not only the company — but specific people. Understand their philosophy and values, use this knowledge to achieve results.

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  4. This article can help those who are interested in the B2B CRM basics. Everything is clearly introduced. Also, the comparing table of B2B and B2C makes it more clearly understandable of the difference between two segment types. I totally agree with the author with the point that CRM in B2B is managing the customer lifecycle throw different tools. B2B is a really specific sector that various kind of instruments is needed for the implementation of the strategy. One of the tools can be the loyalty program inside the partnership community of the companies. This can help the relationship between the partner and the company strongly attached to each other that can provide a long-term relationship.

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  5. Екатерина Курочкина:

    I fully support the idea of Anastasia that B2B is an important market in building long-term business relationships. A CRM system in the B2B segment makes it easier to contact the company’s management, improve customer experience and conduct dialogue in real time. You can supplement the article with an alternative concept * based on 5 principles of a successful B2B CRM system:

    1. Learn about clients’ needs
    2. Concentrate on companies, not individuals
    3. Listen to what they say
    4. Create the right type of content
    5. Keep an eye on consumer’s success level.

    This concept has been used by some successful companies, such as Unilever, British Airways, Cisco etc. In my opinion, the use of B2B CRM software allows us to improve productivity indicators, creating clear standards for best practices. This concept is gaining trust among customers and increasing sales in B2B.

    *Source: https://www.cleveroad.com/blog/b2b-crm-strategies

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