We are very familiar with the business-to-consumer (B2C) model, where companies sell directly to end consumers. Then there is the business-to-business (B2B) concept where different entities are involved. However, excellent communication remains pivotal in both! Failure to have a business phone system might be detrimental regardless of which concept your business operates as. In the B2C scheme, enterprises offer their products and services to consumers who cannot do anything else with the commodity except using them. However, B2B models aim to exchange commodities with other businesses intending to use them later. This could mean creating secondary products to resell at a profit. Entrepreneurs and big companies understand the importance of the internet at this age. They welcome all possibilities that can cut down the overheads and multiple intermediaries.
To boost business to business sales, we need an effective B2B marketing plan. Today, B2B strategies are geared towards lead generations and, consequently, the sales revenue. We need to have a clear idea of marketing a business to fulfill the demands of other enterprises. Let’s take the simple demand and supply chain, e.g. flooring. To create a final product like tiles, a company sources raw materials, say natural stone and cement. The next step is distributing those tiles to property owners looking to build new structures or renovate. The stages cannot happen simultaneously but are dependent on each other. Excellent B2B marketing campaigns require companies to consult one another – a business may even use a service like LeadJig (https://www.leadjig.com/financial-seminar-marketing/) to provide financial seminars to really help foster that connection, as well as offering the information a prospective client may wish to know. Market research and collaboration pay off in the end.
There is a vast online community where manufacturers and suppliers meet. Companies from all corners of the world can now do transactions over the internet thanks to safe payment options. Countless marketplaces are serving small business owners and manufacturers, provided they pay specific fees or commissions. When doing any B2B deal online, we must note down a few pointers:
- B2B products are complex
- B2B merchants are rational
- Research on international market industries can be a complicated process
- B2B buyers are more demanding than end-users
- Long-term buyers require personal relationships
- Online marketplaces have high expectations, so we must give good service
Most of the demands of online merchants are similar to those of end consumers. They include:
- Reliable sourcing
- Timely delivery
- Not always about price
- Solutions to final products inefficiencies
- Trustworthy transactions
- Smooth buying experience
- Transportation management
A simple website for manufacturers and distributors is not enough in B2B marketplaces. We are talking about entrepreneurs transacting with tremendous sums of money. Some companies have entered into trade secrets that must not leak into the internet. Often big businesses need advanced tools such as real-time applications to make e-commerce possible (for more info on real-time applications, check out https://vantiq.com/blog/3-things-people-get-wrong-about-real-time-applications/). Companies are creating safer sites where participants can share information and eliminate the risk of data breaches. Organizations making it big can afford to run expensive sites known as extranets. Then the trading partners are expected to communicate and access the sites with strong passwords. This ensures secure data transfer between two entities.
Strong networks for all players in the supply chain allow efficient management and better results. Before the evolution of extranets, firms were using secure means of communication. They also had to share software with their business partners. These programs were expensive and hard to install. Currently, we don’t waste so much time because safer websites come with specific passwords. Also, along with website security, there are tons of other options like a WebSphere Commerce server, for instance. Such on-premise e-Commerce platforms empower these organizations to innovate and expedite their business process.
The most significant benefit of extranets is a reduced workload in an online marketplace. Vendors can restock their inventory, check supply and order delivery in real-time. Instant access to corporate data and the ability to track orders is a great benefit for B2B partners. The sites also incorporate analytics to make predictions following the order patterns.
Monitoring performance in real-time saves time. As such, extranets have become essential tools for B2B in managing the supply chain and reducing complex procedures in distributing products. Technology gladly helps with cost-saving in B2B situations.