In any B2B business, you have to find a way to differentiate your business from your competitors. This is especially true for B2B sales and marketing, as you need to show how your people, products and services are better and more effective than those at your competitors’ companies.
From all of my 40+ years of B2B selling and marketing, I have found that great marketing companies had these major building blocks that are so important to a B2B company.
These building blocks are represented by the following graphic.
THE THREE BASIC BUILDING BLOCKS
The triangle, in the middle of the circles on the left, shows the three basic building blocks. These are;
• Generating Results
• Creating Value
• Building Relationships
Executives, at your prospects and clients, expect you to be credible and capable, but these are baseline expectations. These are not differentiators. The differentiators are building that trust by resolving this particular person’s issues, and demonstrating the value you can bring to him. These steps help you build the relationship that is so vital to becoming more than a simple vendor to that person and company.
And like any three legged stool, if you take one factor away, the entire marketing system can fall apart.
THE OUTER FOUR BUILDING BLOCKS
However, the outer four building blocks are equally important inside your company, to build a strategic business. There must be a completely supportive organization for marketing, sales and client service. As mentioned previously, the senior management of any company needs to support and recognize that marketing is the key to building a business.
If a company is to become superior at marketing, everyone within the three organization blocks of marketing – marketing, sales and client service – must have access to expert coaching.
Just as superior athletes and executives need coaching, so do all sales people, marketers and client service personal need coaching. It is especially important to sales people, and client account teams. Coaching can from either inside or outside your company, depending on the skill sets you have in-house.
By applying these building blocks, your company will achieve the business effectiveness you need, leading to the results represented in the box at the right of the graphic.
Whether you are selling products and/or services, you need to have all these building blocks aligned, or you will become a commodity supplier.
There is an order to these blocks, before you can have great marketing, and that is the order mentioned above. You must show your client quantifiable results from any assignments and projects you complete.
THE INNER THREE BUILDING BLOCKS
You achieve results by offering solutions that solve issues for your clients and prospects. You can also achieve results by offering ways to help your clients and prospects do their jobs better. Although this may also help them resolve issues, they may not know they even have.
At the beginning of any assignment, you should be finding out what the issues are that your client or prospect is trying to solve. Only by talking to him about what his issues are, and how deep they run, can you begin to generate results. Once you know the issues that need to be resolved, you will then find it easier to show the quantifiable results that are so critical to long term success with your client.
You must work with your client to decide what value your efforts did for the client, both from a personal viewpoint, and a company viewpoint. The value you bring, from your client’s personal perspective, is very important and should never be omitted. It is also very difficult to quantify this type of value, but it should never be left out. Nor should you ever make it overt. You need to talk more about how your client “feels” about the work you just completed.
You must also put a value on the work from your client’s business perspective. This should be quantified. Many people have trouble quantifying the business objectives reached. But you must find a way to show the quantifiable benefits reached, in order to show the real value your work did for the client. The best time to do this is upfront, by asking your client then, what quantifiable benefits he expects to receive after the work is completed.
You need to do this in order to build the relationships that will make you, at the very least, one of the very few suppliers they will call for other assignments. And if this is done right, you will eventually become the first, and possibly only, supplier they will call.
The next building block is of course relationship development. In order to build a long lasting relationship with anybody, whether it is personal or in business, you need to establish and build trust with that person.
You build trust by resolving issues and offering value to them. You do not build solid relationships simply by offering good product, or showing a good resume to your prospects and clients. You must also be aware of not thinking that your competency has built trust with your clients.
Building solid business relationships means you need to establish a number of factors in order to become a trusted advisor. These other factors include such things as experience, competency, quality of work, and responsiveness. Relationship development is the real basis for becoming a trusted business advisor with any of your clients.
Becoming a superior or great B2B sales/marketing company requires some work and effort. But once you get the system in place, and utilize all of the building blocks described above, you will have that superior sales/marketing company, and beat your competition well over 90% of the time.
If you want to increase your revenues, and beat your competition, please contact me through my email below, and let’s have a free discussion on how you can grow your business the right way.