What are the Elements of Value for B2B Decision Makers?
While the viewpoints of B2B and B2C buyers differ, they both express similar personal concerns and prioritize perceived value when evaluating whether to engage in negotiations with sales teams.
B2B selling involves meeting various objectives such as price optimization, regulatory compliance, following ethical requirements, and meeting specifications. However, with B2B offerings becoming increasingly commoditized, the personal concerns brought forward by business customers must be highlighted more often. With some purchases, buyers are more concerned about reputation while with others, emotional elements like reducing anxiety play a key role. Avoiding the commoditization trap and providing high-quality service requires a balanced understanding of the rational and emotional decisions fundamental to business purchases. Understanding the elements of value for B2B decision-makers provides much-needed depth and insight into these motivations.
Raising the (Table) Stakes
The fundamental elements of value involving B2B decision-makers are the prerequisites for being involved in the business, the most rational aspects. Companies cannot survive without these elements, with the meeting of specifications the most vital business aspect for decision-makers to fulfill before accomplishing more ambitious objectives.
Table stakes refer to the minimum offering acceptable to be competitive in the marketplace. These value elements involve the aforementioned regulatory and ethical requirements, meeting specifications, and establishing a fair price that accurately reflects the value being presented. Table stakes are the baseline expectations decision-makers have.
Much like the B2C elements of value, B2B value elements highlight functional value, the element that differentiates businesses, both from an economic and performance standpoint.
The economic aspect of functional value for B2B focuses on cost reduction and delivering scalability. The focus involves improving the top line, creating saving strategies and business model optimization, offering services at scale, and providing the robustness that business buyers crave.
Meanwhile, the performance aspect of functional value addresses operational performance, including organization and simplification. With the performance aspect of functional value, B2B decision-makers must place a special emphasis on optimizing product quality. While improving product quality and growing the business, B2B decision-makers must explore whether or not they have the requisite resources to scale and provide more services that B2B buyers value. And, there is the prioritization of leveraging advanced technology, showcasing the dedication to innovation and illustrating the connection between innovation and building trust.
The Ease of Doing Business
With this value element, the potential for differentiation increases, plus the subjective nature of value judgments improves. The ease of doing business mainly focuses on:
- Operational Efficiency
The productivity aspect of this element of B2B value provides time savings and reduces the effort for interested customers, providing better ease of use for them. To boost operational efficiency, simplifying and organizing things are the main priorities.
The remaining aspects of the ease of doing business involve more subjective layers. Improving relationships between parties, including establishing the ideal cultural fit and identifying the commitment level of sellers, influences buyer judgment and determines the success or failure of B2B sales. Additionally, the communication portals and flexibility improve accessibility, creating the ideal service variety without compromising value propositions. The strategy element, meanwhile, focuses mainly on reducing risk.
With individual value, the focus automatically shifts to what B2B firms can offer to guarantee individual customer satisfaction, largely centered around personal and career dynamics.
The personal element focuses on individual growth and development, creating valuable services that transform someone’s viewpoint. Additionally, there is an emphasis on aesthetic appeal, providing something that is visually enticing, illustrating the value for all to see—also, removing burdens that create anxiety or uneasiness among customers aid individual value. Plus, with appreciation initiatives or incentives, individual value includes fun perks for business buyers.
Regarding the career element, network expansion is crucial, where B2B decision-makers ensure that business buyers meet their goals and expand their networks by establishing strong relationships with the people who will best position them. Additionally, there is reputational assurance, where decision-makers provide the confidence that buyers have made the correct choice by investing in their services.
Inspirational Value includes three things: offering hope, honoring social responsibility, and establishing a purpose.
This is the most emotionally gripping of the B2B value elements, encouraging business buyers to show more ambition towards their vision while ensuring that whatever they’re buying helps them leave a lasting, positive legacy. Social responsibility shows that B2B firms are completely committed to investing in the community and establishing relationships that will not only improve the business reputation but improve close rates along the way.
Thanks to conversational intelligence, B2B firms can successfully extract each of the above-mentioned elements of value, gathering important buyer signals and takeaways that guarantee success for firms when engaging in meetings with business buyers. Conversational intelligence also provides the sort of conversational and business value that allows businesses to facilitate better teamwork while easing the tensions and uncertainties surrounding remote work.
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