B2B negotiations and targeting are, in some ways, the same as business to consumer. Some B2B advice for effective communication:
Some B2B advice for effective communication
Business to business negotiations and targeting are, in some ways, the same as business to consumer. At least in the sense that we are always, always talking to people. Just because our end game is a partnership with other companies, to find service providers or merge, it doesn’t mean we’re not talking to people.
Where and how is business taking place? We’ve got some numbers to at least start searching:
- Nearly two-thirds of B2B companies are now set up to function 100% online.
- They are also more likely to use ecommerce channels to nurture.
- 87% of B2B’s say that they would pay more for a supplier with an excellent ecommerce portal.
- 90% of B2B’s report they could lose their business if digital channels don’t keep pace with their clients needs.
This all leads to the obvious conclusion that we need to personalize our touchpoint with potential clients. Be it B2B, B2C or any kind at all. If business happens online, it needs to be localized, accessible, available in more than one language or more than one format. A McKinsey & Company study of B2B buyers found that most are looking for personalized buying experiences, and they would, without much hesitation, move their business if they don’t get it.
For a journey to be seamless, it has to be targeted. Thought with a buyer persona in mind. There isn’t a one fits all solution any more. This includes mobile apps, websites, social media platforms, and marketplaces. According to Gartner, 46% of your buyers already use social media when researching solutions, so embrace multimedia campaigns, adapted to each country, culture, language, preference, to reach and engage new clients.
If these numbers aren’t convincing enough, there’s more.
- 85% of B2B decision-makers make use of at least one form of social media for work, with over 59% doing so at least once a week.
- This is much higher for Millennials, with over 94% using social media for work and over 75% doing so at least weekly.
- Winning brands were 65% more likely to have communicated to the buyer via social media during the decision-making process.
IT SOUNDS LIKE A LOT OF WORK
It does. But this doesn’t mean you need people all the time interacting, being present 24//7. But you have alternatives, such as chatbots. Language experts can translate your script to so many languages, to at least give all the core information to users, make the lead interested, and hire an interpreter only when there is a promising meet in sight.
Technology powered by artificial intelligence (AI) is bound to have more and more of an impact in following years. It exponentially increases the efficiency and efficacy of communications, allowing you to put your focus on how to personalize and add value.
Also, by subtitling and allowing for voiceover in a variety of languages, you can make the most of, for example, YouTube videos. Or why not, simply connect with influencers in your target market.
Video content marketing is one trend that is bound to survive in the long run. And it thrives on niche influencers who have a loyal audience, something B2B marketing needs. They have more power to convince and a large number of subscribers. There is always an interpreter at hand to video call, phone call or translate via any written platform. And rewards are high.
FACE TO FACE
Still, sealing a deal is a personal matter. An important distinguishing feature of business-to-business markets is the importance of the personal relationship. Trust makes for a long lasting relationship. All business is personal. And all businesses are run by people.
The deeper into the sales funnel, the more negotiations are on first-name terms, with some inside jokes already developed and reputation at stake. The trick is, these codes are not universally shared. Emerging markets such as China and Russia for example have little culture of free information. So you’ll need someone who can handle the tensions, styles and conversational dynamics to arrive at better results.
Is it a challenge? Yes. But one that can easily be tackled with a good team, effective communication, a product or service you trust, and a Stillman language expert by your side.
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