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B2B stands for Business to Business, a special area for buying, selling, and trading.

Introduction

Business to Business describes the business between two or more companies as for example the exchange of orders, bills, stock of inventory, payment instructions, etc. Business- to- business includes a wide range of inter-company transactions, which include whole sale trade as well as company purchase of services, resources, technology, manufactured parts and components, and capital equipment. B2B also includes some types of financial transactions between companies, such as insurance, commercial credit, bonds, securities and other financial assets.

B2B marketing communications is how businesses promote their products and services to other businesses using tactics other than direct sales. The purpose of B2B marketing communications is to support the marketer's sales effort and improve company profitability. B2B marketing is generally considered to be more complex than B2C marketing, often complicated by a longer sales cycle and multiple decision makers on the buyer's side.

One major reason for the popularity of B2B sales and services are sheer volume. An individual customer may visit a clothing manufacturer's website catalog and order two pairs of shoes or a sweater. The buyer for a national chain of clothing stores, however, may order 5,000 pairs of shoes and 2,000 sweaters. Without a B2B component, the manufacturer would have lost out on a very lucrative sale. This is why many companies provide B2B options alongside the B2C offerings at their websites and other outlets.

B2B Lead Generation

Initially for many years trade magazines were the main source of query for most of the B2B companies. But as the B2B companies started selling to a global market, many many print trade magazines either disappeared or do not reach the B2B company's global market, it has become important for B2B companies to turn to the Internet for more of their B2B lead generation activities.

Two Internet-based techniques work well to generate inquiries for a B2B company:

  • Targeted advertising on content-based Web sites targeted at B2B readers.
  • Search engine optimization that generates traffic to the B2B Company's Web site.

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B2B Campaign Management

For a B2B company, a business lead could remain active from 6 to 24 months. It's important for a B2B company to maintain top of mind awareness with qualified leads over this period in order to be assured of an opportunity to be on the "short list" of vendors considered for a purchase. The best approach is to use a customer relationship Management (CRM) system that uses data collected by the B2B lead generation system to send appropriate marketing messages to each qualified lead. The two approaches to B2B campaign management are:

  • E-mail newsletters to prospects and customers interested in the B2B company's products.
  • Mail post cards and multi-piece direct mail pieces to qualified leads.

B2B Sales

For people who have not been directly involved in B2B sales activities, the sales process looks simple. Because the purchase of many products is so complex, affecting many parts of the B2B company, representatives from every department within the company participate in the product evaluation and purchase recommendation committee. This means every aspect of B2B sales, from product demonstrations and proposals through contract negotiations and closing, requires a professional, experienced team to close the sale.

B2B E-Commerce

One aspect of B2B marketing and sales that has not fully developed is the area of B2B ecommerce. While ecommerce for business-to-consumer sales continues to experience double-digit growth rates, B2B ecommerce requires different software and systems to fully satisfy B2B customers.

The reason for the complexity in B2B ecommerce software and systems is that many B2B customers have negotiated special quantity pricing for many products sold by a B2B company. In addition, many of these products are not stocked in inventory, and the payment terms for each B2B customer can vary widely.

Future

All in all, B2B exchanges have the potential to radically reduce buyers' costs and allow sellers to reach out to new customers. Yet, the failure of many first-generation exchanges has caused many buyers and seller to sit on the sidelines and wait for the dust to settle. This article has provided guidelines on what works and what doesn't based on experience gained in producing many successful first-generation sites. If you are considering development of a B2B exchange, move thoughtfully but confidently forward.

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Contact Information

Delhi Office

Mr. Prashant Kumar
Tel: Direct : 91-11-40703045
Tel: Board : 91-11-40703000
Fax: 91-11-40703060
Email: b2buniverse@infodriveindia.com