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ECT News Community   »   CRM Buyer Talkback   »   Re: Don't Forget B2B CRM



Re: Don't Forget B2B CRM
Posted by: Denis Pombriant 2010-04-21 06:19:11
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While we're on the subject of the customer relationship, it's important, even vital, that we do a better job of teasing apart customer types. It seems to me that the vast conversation about social CRM and the social customer has focused on the end consumer -- the business-to-consumer relationship -- not the business-to-business one. That's probably a smart over-reaction to the fact the about two-thirds of the economy consists of B2C transactions. What might not be smart is assuming that the other third of the economy operates more or less like the consumer economy.


Is B2B really diametrical opposed to B2C?
Posted by: AxelS 2010-04-21 11:18:48 In reply to: Denis Pombriant
Clearly I'm in agreement that there is a difference between B2B and B2C. Both the contractual engagement with a legal entity versus a person as well as the degree of emotions in a purchase are very different.

But putting it to such an extreme provoked my to think.

Whenever I use a B2B example in the context of social media I hear "well sure for B2B - but that is different in B2C" and the other way around. It reminds me to business trips to Switzerland. People telling me doing business in Switzerland is very different. When I moved to Silicon Valley 10 years ago, I had a lot of helping friends explaining me the difference how things get done in Silicon Vally. One of my friends is in the agricultural equipment business telling me the difference between the people in "high tech land" versus farmers from Idaho. I've met some of those farmers and learned how they run their business - don't make a mistake these guys are as savvy as many of the valley guys and also no different from my friends in Switzerland.

I remember hiring a B2B sales guy 15 years ago who actually sold a copy machine to us. Here is what intrigued me with him:

While he was waiting for me (I saw him from my office) he spoke with the receptionist, then walked over to the copy machine and talked to people who made some copies. Why? Wasn't I the "decision maker" and "economic buyer"? And why waste your time with the "consumer"?

He understood that whether I like or not so much like his offer, I base my decision on what my team really needs to do the job. So the "consumer" was equally important to Stephen than me, the "decision maker". He knew how to fuse consumer interaction and conversations with decision makers. And whether it is a copy machine, computers, a new ERP system, a new crane... B2B has a huge aspect of B2C - only most forgot about it.

IMHO the relentless focus on efficiency, low touch sales model, sales force automation and business process optimization ended up making B2B an isolated case but I honestly question the result of that development.

Maybe one reason why Social CRM is such a sought after concept because our instinct is telling us we ruined too much of the business relationships with robotic processes and inability to freely communicate with who is our most strategic connection - our market.

Axel
http://xeesm.com/AxelS
(my social map)
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