If you’re a startup or a product company that’s looking to increase sales then one of the best ways to do that is to focus on selling to businesses. Below are a few reasons that highlight the importance of B2B marketing for startups.
- Someone representing a company is more likely to make a purchase compared to an individual looking for a product for personal use.
- If you’re selling a subscription-based product then businesses subscribe for longer periods compared to individuals.
- You can sell team plans, multiple licenses to business while you can only sell personal plans or one license to single users.
Startups, at least in the initial stage are more focused on acquiring users. This enables them to validate their idea and approach investors with confidence. When you focus on users the tendency is to market to consumers. Of course, this depends on the type of the product but this is the case for most products. After focusing so much on B2C marketing it can be very difficult to focus on B2B marketing.
The Challenge of Switching to B2B Marketing
According to Agency Inc in London, an award-winning B2B marketing agency, the biggest problem faced by startups when switching to B2B marketing is handling the extended sales cycle and adjusting the messaging to cater to business buyers. Let’s dig a bit deeper into the two main issues.
Extended sales cycle
Consumer purchases are often impulsive and emotional. Someone might want to create a mind map and they will do a quick Google search and then probably click on the first result. If they like what they see they will create an account and maybe purchase the product as well.
A business user doesn’t have the luxury of impulsive buying. If they are purchasing it on behalf of the business more often than not they need to justify it to his superiors. They will look for use cases, check out product review sites, look for recommendations etc.
If you offer a trial they are more likely to try it out before making the actual purchasing decision. Also, because they’re purchasing behalf of the organization multiple people might want to test the tool before giving the go-ahead for the purchase. All these contribute to a longer sales cycle.
Changing the Messaging
What resonates with consumers usually won’t work when selling to businesses. While an individual will focus on a feature a business user will focus on the ROI of the product. An individual will not care about team collaboration while it may be critical for a business user. So the first step is to figure out how your product or service can cater to businesses and what business problems your product can solve. Business users tend to go through the features a lot more since they need to do a thorough investigation to justify it to their superiors.
Once you figure it out you have to subtly change your content to address those needs. I said subtly because you don’t want to immediately disregard your existing users who tend to be individuals.
To summarize, if you want to increase the revenue of your startup you need to focus on business users. However, it isn’t easy and there are many challenges. In a future post, I will talk about how to overcome those challenges and few successful B2B marketing methods.