Welcome to the modern B2B setting, where the buyer’s access to information allows them to shop around and see through typical sales pitches. They don’t want the slick B2B vendor who will pitch the standard sales spiel, then step back and expect a contract signing. More than ever, B2B buyers hold the cards to what they want for their businesses.
Nowadays, successful B2B deals depend on how well vendors can engage buyers. While bells-and-whistles can attract more prospects, ultimately it boils down to how well vendors can help make the buyer’s journey more fulfilling. And to make the journey better, they don’t want a vendor to sell them the vehicle. They want them along for the entire ride.
Unfortunately, vendors need to step up their game when offering their solutions to B2B buyers. According to Value Selling Associates, 74% of buyers feel that salespeople don’t demonstrate financial literacy. Thus, they can’t immediately connect their offerings to the buyer’s financial position. They end up pitching a costly solution that offers more than what their clients need.
Conversely, they also offer low-cost but low-powered products that leave the customer wanting more. In addition, only 37% of buyers say sales reps provide unique industry insights. This means most vendors can’t be relied on to see beyond the products they offer. Consequently, that leaves only 33% of buyers confident that their vendors are well-informed about their situation.
What Do B2B Buyers Want?
When looking for e-commerce solutions, B2B buyers prefer dealing with a lesser number of vendors. However, having an all-in-one solution won’t make it, at least not off the bat. Clients often have their own unique buyer’s journey. They expect vendors to listen to and note their distinct needs and wants. Only after understanding a client’s unique situation should they offer a well-thought and comprehensive solution that addresses their particular needs.
There are some concerns that almost B2B buyers value above other considerations. Specifically, they want speed, transparency, and expertise coming from their vendors. They want solutions that can enhance their customer experience. They want access to tools that help attract new customers and retain existing ones. Being consumers themselves, they know the feeling of transacting in a fast, secure, and reliable e-commerce site. It only follows that these buyers want their customers to experience a similar journey.
Speed: Customers Deserve Fast, Hassle-Free Transactions
As customers themselves, buyers know what it feels like to purchase on a speedy and reliable retail site. They want the same for their company site in order to treat their own customers to a quick and efficient processing. Speed covers the ability of sites to load content quickly and process transactions faster. Any delays in loading product catalog images or delays in processing payments can push would-be downstream clients out the door, no matter how much they want to buy from the site.
In addition, a majority of customers are shifting to making purchases via mobile devices. Many customers can’t be bothered to sit down in front of the PC or open a laptop to make online transactions. For them, their mobile device should be enough to browse, order, pay, and check out their purchases. In fact, over 50% of B2B queries today are made on smartphones.
Companies need to make sure their B2B websites are optimized for mobile viewing and transacting. In addition, many social apps and, by extension, a lot of content are viewed on mobile devices. Getting the company’s online store available via mobile helps customers transition from browsing to buying without skipping a beat. More importantly, completing a fast, hassle-free transaction over mobile boosts customer confidence and increases the chances of repeat purchases.
Transparency: Customers Prefer Knowing the Full Details of Their Transactions
Transparency is another B2B solution must-have. Customers prefer knowing each step of the way towards fulfilling a purchase. Clear pricing is a minimum expectation. Tier-pricing is also key in most B2B websites; showing and displaying the current tier, the buyer is in is important and show them the delta to reach the next level of prices is super helpful.
Outside of pricing, vendors must remain clear about their systems and processes. This way, clients won’t get blindsided with misaligned project milestones or competing standards and benchmarks. Modern B2B buyers are more inclined to establish long-term working relationships with reputable vendors rather than taking chances on one-off suppliers. Knowing how vendors work and how they plan to synergize their solution with their client’s own processes can help seal the deal to a new contract.
Also, some clients of B2B companies prefer knowing that the businesses they deal with have top-notch and reliable partners. If they know a B2B company deals with an established, reliable vendor, they won’t hesitate to continue taking their business there.
Expertise: Being the Best Often Means Working with the Best
Making solutions work during a product demonstration is one thing. But having the expertise to keep clients coming back for more takes special dedication. Trust remains essential for B2B buyers. Partnering with vendors that can ensure their e-commerce sites are continuously up and running with minimal disruptions can help establish that trust. Consistent positive customer experiences can also increase trust ratings for vendors. This also sends the message that once a client opts to overhaul or improve their present systems, the vendor can reliably adapt their system as well.
Expertise doesn’t only mean knowing the industry and knowing the products and solutions offered. Vendors should also display expertise in dealing with individual clients. They should know that no one-size-fits-all solution exists. Instead, vendors can show their proficiency by providing clients customization options that enhance their e-commerce sites and improve engagement with downstream customers. In fact, personalization is a highly coveted attribute for B2B vendors. 76% of buyers say their current vendors customize their solutions to meet their unique needs.
Choosing the Right B2B Vendor
As more and more businesses take to e-commerce, it pays to have a solution provider that knows the business and takes the time to know more about their clients. Zobrist helps businesses connect to their targeted audience using mobile-ready, responsive, and fast-loading retail sites. Customization options are available to cater to each client’s unique needs, including the provision of business tools for various functions. These include inventory management, fulfillment, and ERP solutions. Zobrist’s integrated solutions based on HCL Commerce and Google Analytics mean less time hunting for answers and more time to focus on growing the company.