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Recognising the Human Side of B2B Sales

Recognising the Human Side of B2B Sales

For many years now, business theorists and leaders have treated B2B customers as though they are two entirely different species – the chalk and cheese of the world of sales.

And it is, of course, entirely true that these two entities are different. Their entire approaches to purchases diverge on a number of key aspects; a B2B salesperson would no doubt feel a little lost at sea in a B2C environment, and vice versa.

Still, recognizing the human side of B2B sales is growing more and more important. B2B customer loyalty is central to any profitable sales-driven business, and maximising your full potential in this area means investing into a more personable approach to customer engagement. This is why so many companies are choosing to adopt a purpose-built loyalty program for b2b customers, with a view to placing greater emphasis on creating long-term client incentives and B2B loyalty.

In this way, B2B enterprises can approach the task of garnering customer loyalty in much the same way that B2C enterprises have done for many decades already, and they can reap the benefits of taking a more active approach toward B2B customer engagement.

How?

Recognising the human side of B2B sales and marketing is nothing new. Sales figures thrive when the teams creating them are able to build a rapport, and it’s not as though the benefits of long-lasting B2B customer relationships have gone unnoticed until now.

‘Recognising’ the human side of B2B sales and marketing is more about actively building upon it, rather than simple acknowledging its existence.

But how do you build upon it? By establishing these business to business loyalty programs designed to foster a far more meaningful channel of communication between sales teams, and to replaced short-term promotions designed to target new business with B2B rewards aimed toward long-term retention.

Why?

While the research was targeted toward B2C communities, the Data and Marketing Association’s research into the consumer’s language holds significance for any B2B enterprise. More than half of respondents felt that good service was a compelling enough reason to favour a particular brand over others, even if they could find a better deal elsewhere. They also found that 33% of customers look for tailored offers and deals, while 28% appreciated requests for feedback, 46% wanted the offer of loyalty schemes.

It’s not hard to see the benefit of translating these cornerstones of strong B2C customer service into B2B customer loyalty programmes and direct sales team incentives.

On both sides of the sales coin, sales teams are looking to drive active loyalty rather than on-the-spot sales. An approach to B2B sales that favours return business circumvents the need for unbeneficial promotions and sales and ensures that B2B customers will continue to return to your business even if cheaper deals are available from other sources.

There are still plenty of differences between B2C and B2B sales, which of course means that there will be many notable and subtle differences between B2C and B2B incentive programs. What remains the same, however, is the personable side of building loyalty, and how targeting your B2B enterprise toward a more loyal channel means recognising the human side of sales.

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