Creating Impact in B2B Relationships
Ed O’Boyle and Craig Kamins
Gallup Business Journal, March 27, 2012
If you asked business-to-business (B2B) companies what they do, most would tell you that they provide products and services to other companies — and that doing this at the lowest possible price is the key to success. This is true. Quality service and products at a reasonable price is a basic component of operating a B2B company. But B2B organizations that see this as their only function are gravely misguided — and easily replaced.
B2B companies that narrowly focus on product and price are doing the bare minimum required to survive.
Business-to-business companies that are narrowly focused on product and price are doing the bare minimum required to survive. Yet Gallup analysis shows that this approach is all too common — the majority of B2B companies operate this way.
If your company wants to move beyond price wars, you need to rethink your mission and strategy. Being successful takes more than delivering a product or a service; it requires helping your customers succeed by improving their performance. The more your company can help your customers thrive, the stronger your partnership becomes. B2B companies that fail to understand how their products or services help their customers succeed lose two important competitive advantages: the steadfast advantage of customer engagement and the lucrative advantage of customer impact.