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FROM B2B TO B4B: GENERATING VALUE FOR COMPANIES

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FROM B2B TO B4B: GENERATING VALUE FOR COMPANIES

As you probably already know, the term B2B means “business to business” , that is, from business to business. This concept became popular in the late and was used to explain the business relationship between two . Over time, it became so popular that it began to be used for any aspect of the relationship between companies: B2B sales, B2B marketing, B2B buyer, B2B market … Even more complex derivatives of Antigua and Barbuda Email lists this term became popular, such as or even (here the “G” stands for “government”).

However, over the years, a problem has arisen: the preposition “to” (a) has fallen short in describing the relationship between companies. And is that “to” refers to a one-way transaction, in which one company offers products and services to another based on its own business objectives and the buyer does not have much to say.

In the digital age, it makes sense to start rethinking this model. The companies that have been more successful in recent years, such as create value through a different paradigm, based on networks, collaboration, community, social purpose and openness. Rather than offering services and products to their buyers, they focus on offering products and services to answer their needs. And that is how the B4B or “business for business” emerged .

This apparently insignificant change, from “to” to “for”, actually hides a change in the way of raising the why of a company. The B2B conceived of buyers as passive entities; On the other hand, in B4B, companies move within a community and seek to contribute to the ecosystem, with a vocation to serve their customers. In short, the B4B model is more empathetic, more intentional and closer to the customer.

What is the real reason why your company exists? To generate profits? To reward shareholders? To earn bonuses?

All companies are different, from SMEs to large multinationals. But in the B2B era, the vast majority of them had in common that they were created to bring benefits to their creators. They were based on an “inside out” model.

In this traditional model, senior executives make decisions without considering or listening to the customer’s point of view. But in the age of social media, companies need to have a clear purpose to exist, and that purpose has to go through responding to a real customer need.

Therefore, the best companies in the B4B era are those that operate “from the outside in” , that is, they are based on a user need that justifies their existence. For example, this is the case of , which exists to connect people who want to earn money driving and people who need a means of transportation.

 

2) Who are your customers and what do they value the most?
The only way to know what your customers need is to ask them directly what they are looking for. It seems simple, but it is one of the great challenges for today’s companies.

Customers should be at the center of your business model, and value should be created through collaboration . One such example is Amazon, “the world’s most customer company,” which relies on connecting sellers and buyers so that customers can quickly and easily find anything they want to buy online. Plus, it offers high-quality customer service and experience.

 

3) Is your organization structured to serve customers?
The organization of a company determines the way it works and can have a great impact on its results.

Most B2B companies are organized around investors and shareholders. At the highest level of management are the CEOs, and the people who actually serve clients are at the bottom. The result is that companies are often more concerned with satisfying shareholders than with serving customers.

Instead, B4B companies are structured around the customer . All resources (administration, sales, shipping) are organized to detect your needs and respond to them as quickly as possible. This type of structure is based on collaboration, openness and co-creation, not on an authoritarian chain of command.

 

4) Do you create products and services that help your customers?
The creation of products is a fundamental difference between B2B and B4B companies: business to business creates products and services to sell to customers, while creating business enterprises for business products and services from the customer needs. Once again, we see that being able to listen to customers, detect their needs and empathize with them is very important.

 

5) What do you do to interact with your customers and offer them a great experience?
Traditionally, companies have focused more on making revenue than on satisfying customers. This approach worked very well when customers didn’t have many options to choose from. But in the social age, this is no longer the case.

Now, customers and consumers are at the center of the system and have many options to choose from. Therefore, the priority should not be to sell them products, but to connect with them in a genuine way.

If this sounds like science fiction to you, there is a very interesting example that shows that the B4B is not only possible, but it works: , a company valued at $ 5 billion, does not even have a sales staff!

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