There are several types of customers and every one of them requires a different approach and will respond to a different type of messaging and different communication channel. This situation affects your sales processes.
Typically, an individual who will be using our product or service is called an End-User. That is, because they are the final recipients of your solution; and they use it to solve their problem.
The methods to promote your product/ service, are virtually the same, regardless of business model (B2B /B2C), because despite the differences in the methods of marketing the product or service, we are still talking about people that use our product to perform a specific task at the end of the day. Most of the time, trust is the underlying in your relationship with them. Trust that you will do what you have promised to, again and again.
People that influence your end-users decision making typically are identified as Influencers. They don’t directly promote a service or a product, but they know the market, they know what kind of problems the end-users are facing daily, and they are trusted figures in the industry.
These individuals have dedicated a huge amount of effort in doing the market research and contributing considerable progress to their industry. Influencers can offer incredibly valuable insights about the market vertical you operate in. Getting their attention, tends to move things in your favor.
Regardless whether it’s an actual user of your product or an affiliate, Recommenders are more eager to test new things and integrate them to their daily workflow. Recommenders share traits both with an Influencer mindset and with an Early Adopter mindset, and probably fall in the early paying customer category.
So if you can get our product to be used, tested and evaluated by a recommender or two, there is a high possibility that after they adopt it, they will recommend it to their followers. Their followers are typically our end-users and successful recommendations will result in raising awareness and new leads for you.
The Economic Buyer
In a B2B model, convincing end users and signing paying contracts is not the same. End-users may be the ones to suggest solutions to problems, but they are not usually the ones to approve a purchase.
In other words, they’re not the Economic Buyers. The actual economic buyer is usually a CxO manager (CTO, CIO, CFO, COO) with a clearly documented pain point and an allocated budget to address it.
The Decision Maker
So, you have caught the interest of the end-user, who has brought your solution to their manager’s attention, who has made a recommendation to their CTO and you have convinced all about the value of your product. But, if they are not the ones to make the final decision, unfortunately no cash will be coming your way.
Unless you convince the one person that will decide for or against a purchase, aka the Decision Maker. This person you need to find by looking into the company’s organization map and convince in order to close the sale.
In B2B models, closing a deal is a hard, tedious and long process. Three key points you need to remember though:
- Reaching out to and convincing the End-User alone is not enough, with limited exceptions.
- Convincing Influencers or Recommenders to use our product, is not enough for them to become active promoters.
- Even if the budget to buy your product is approved, the prospective customer will make a final decision for or against investing in it according to his own strategy.
Want to learn more on how-to-do, drop us an email and we will be happy to share our knowledge and insights with you!
Christos Lytras – Managing Partner