Ecosystem engagement happens to be a major challenge for any B2B company. Not only is it necessary to keep the employees satisfied, but a B2B company also needs to boost their engagement with other parts of the ecosystem. These include their customers, i.e., other businesses. A well-established and constantly developing business ecosystem is integral to the growth of a B2B company. Especially if your business used to be a B2C company and is expanding to B2B, it may initially seem a little challenging.
Comparison between B2C and B2B: What challenges does a B2B business face?
While B2B companies do share some similarities with B2C companies in terms of challenges, there are a few additional problems to deal with as well. If you lack experience in B2B ecosystem management, then you might feel unprepared to face the new challenges. Here are a few comparisons between B2B and B2C ecosystem management:
- Many of the differences between B2B and B2C are starting to blur. Like B2C, B2B companies need to focus on developing trust and long-term customer relationships too.
- The competition is much higher for B2B companies as the pool of customers is smaller. A B2B customer is several times more valuable than a B2C customer.
- B2B transactions and other business processes are far more complex. For instance, processing an invoice in a B2B environment takes about 14 days on average.
- Marketing through platforms like social media is no longer an option meant only for B2C businesses. B2B companies, such as white-collar corporates, are implementing such strategies too.
- The cost per acquisition (CPA) is usually much higher for a B2B customer than a B2C customer. This is because expenses such as working prototypes become relevant.
Hence, you should expect to notice various changes as you expand into the B2B environment. While adapting to these may initially seem a little difficult, it can be quite rewarding in the end.
Three important strategies for B2B ecosystem management
The success of a B2B company depends immensely on how well it manages and grows its ecosystem. Here are 3 strategies to help you understand how to go about it:
- Customer engagement
You would want to engage with your customers at all times. Alongside gaining new customers, it is also necessary to retain the existing ones.
- While newsletters might sound like a rather old marketing technique, they are actually quite effective even in contemporary times. Modern marketing style systems enable complete personalization of newsletters, so that they cater to each customer in the most effective way. Customized and well-made newsletters can have a great impact on your customers.
- Customer satisfaction plays a critical role for any business and the same applies to B2B companies. It is best to take the feedback and suggestions of your customers. This would help you meet their demands and focus on solving collective problems that multiple customers may be facing.
- Evaluate your customers carefully and make sure to invest more in the most valuable ones. This would automatically lead to higher profitability for the business and increase in loyalty among valuable customers.
- Collaborate well with your partners
Your business partners are an extremely valuable component of your B2B ecosystem. You would want to retain them and get the most out of the partnership. This calls for close collaboration within our network of partners. Some of the ways to work closely with your business partners are:
- Even if your business is much larger than its partners, try to collect their feedback and opinion. It helps to get additional insights into what’s working and what’s not. Your partners might come up with valuable solutions to problems that have an impact on your profitability. Moreover, listening to your partners also helps to instill trust and loyalty among them.
- You would want to get to know your partners well. While geographic and other restrictions may prevent building a close relationship, the least you could do is visit your partners from time to time and go into detailed discussions. Try to figure out what drives the profitability of the partnership now and in the future.
- While emphasising on the growth of your business, you would also want to help your partners grow. Talk to them about how you can help them out and distribute leads wisely. Ultimately, this would lead to the comprehensive growth of the ecosystem.
An effective way to collaborate with your partners is through QuoDeck. It has been designed specifically keeping in mind the large scale learning distribution for the enterprises.
- Optimize the internal ecosystem
In order to thrive, a business needs a robust and growing internal ecosystem. This implies that you would have to look after employee satisfaction and internal coordination too.
- Different departments of the company should function in a well-synchronized manner. As mentioned earlier, business processes are much more complicated for a B2B company.
- Encourage the employees to share their ideas and opinions if they feel that certain improvements are necessary.
- Provide the employees with the necessary incentives to keep them satisfied. This would help you retain valuable employees and motivate them to help the business grow.
Thus, taking a comprehensive approach to ecosystem engagement by optimizing every aspect of the ecosystem is crucial. It would determine the success and failure of the business, making it imperative to implement the right strategies