In a B2B environment, buyers follow a specific process to make a purchase. As a seller, deeply understanding this process can be challenging. What is essential is to remember that the first step is the problem identification: your target faces a problem and needs a solution.
Bain & Company, an American management consultancy conducted a research study regarding the purchasing behavior of B2B buyers. The research was published in the Harvest Business Review in 2018. Along the research, the company is showing how B2B customers take subjective elements into consideration during their purchasing process.
The common idea is that B2B decision-making are rational, buyers are looking for the best price, the best service, the best warranties, etc. In fact, Bain is making us realize that there’s a lot of emotions involved in B2B customer decision-making. Buyer’s personal concerns are important, But how does it work?
“A Value Proposition Is A Promise Of Value To Be Delivered”
This aspect is the first reason why a prospect should buy your company’s product or services. Why does your business exist? Why do you sell products and solutions? It’s essential to keep your purpose in mind. As a brand, you need to connect with your customers. This is what ensures a business always matches products and services to the needs of its buyers.
40 Valuable Elements To Consider
In order to help B2B sellers, Bain created a model that organizes 40 valuable elements that B2B companies can offer to customers. The model focuses on the customers’ motivation to buy a company’s products or services. The pyramid of Bain is progressive: from objective elements at the bottom of the scale to the most subjective at the top. The Level 1 which is called Table Stakes is composed of the most rational elements, easy to measure, like the price. The Level 5 is the top-level and is composed of personal and inspirational value elements such as Vision and Social Responsibility, which can be more difficult to quantify.
B2B Customers’ Needs Must Be Understood
As a B2B seller, knowing your customers needs and concerns will help you deliver an offer that have interest. With an interesting offer, taking into account your values, you will improve your business performance and outgrow competition.
So What Can B2B Sellers Do Now?
As a B2B seller, it’s important to identify where your offer is. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes in order to stand outs. Bain’s pyramid is a great way to review your brand’s value proposition. To do so, Bain suggests preparing a survey addressed to your current customers and ask them to rate the elements of the pyramid they value the most. This process can help you reconsider your value proposition and target your customers needs. The responses you will receive could help you improve your brand messaging strategy or actually, confirm it.
As a business, you should know that excelling at several elements of the pyramid is a good thing and will have a positive impact on your company’s performance. And a better performance will help you gain more loyal customers. As Simon Sineck (a famous British-American author and motivational speaker) says, keep in mind that “People don’t buy what you do but why you do it”.