B2B Companies and Their Customers
In the realm of B2B marketing and sales, most companies don’t really think about whether they’re going to end up selling their solutions for a long time using the same old strategies. While in an ideal world, that would be true, it isn’t in the B2B market. Unlike B2C consumers, B2B consumers not only change but do so at an even faster pace. Their needs continuously morph and evolve alongside industry developments, increased competition, and the emergence of new technologies. To succeed in the B2B marketplace, companies must adapt faster than their customers. The main role of B2B sales and marketing employees is to understand the needs of the customers long before they realize them and demonstrate the company’s ability to provide solutions promptly and effectively. While there’s no foolproof, one-size-fits-all model for predicting and addressing customer needs, savvy B2B marketers can follow a generalized five-step process to ensure a thorough understanding of their customers and effective communication.
The first step that companies need to do is to analyze their Category Entry Points (CEPs). These refer to the recurring pain points and motivations that drive the customers to seek products or services like the ones the company is offering. These CEPs generate the initial need for the company’s solutions in the buyer’s mind. To do that, companies need to question the relevance of their primary CEPs. Thinking about whether the customers are still experiencing the motivations and pain points that initially led them to look for such solutions. Brands should also think about whether the consumers still have the same motivations and pain points, or if they’ve changed. If there have been any changes, the company should think about the reasons behind them, and figure out the current motivations and pain points of the customers. Then, the business can work on expanding its CEPs to include the new opportunities to connect with customers through their motivations and pain points.
These days, a lot of B2B customers expect to receive a personalized sales pitch that’s going to directly address their specific pain points and goals. Although B2B customers tend to initially analyze their own needs and then start researching and exploring potential solutions to their pain points online before reaching out, they still expect a personalized experience once they do that. That means it’s important for brands in the B2B industry to deliver a personalized sales experience as soon as potential customers start engaging with the business online, instead of relying on in-person communications or interactions. To effectively address the pain points of the customers, companies will need to understand their concerns and thought processes first. They should create digital marketing content that’s going to be able to precisely target and address the concerns and pain points of the customers from the earliest stages of their interactions with the business. B2B companies should focus on the most urgent needs of their customers throughout the buying journey, instead of simply promoting the secondary benefits that the audience can receive.