When Everything But Your Product Is Crap
The ecosystem of B2B sales message, especially its delivery, presents an inability for the original product seller to understand that they can lose the sale. Not because their product is bad, but because they don’t know really who they are selling to.
The absolute worst scenario for an original product seller is when everything around the product, minus the product itself, is frankly garbage. Where the messaging envisioned ends up speaking to the group not buying, missing various points that could sell to the B2B buyer. And this is where the messaging envisioned by the original product’s staff speaks to the wrong group, because they are jumping to the end-customer, not the B2B buyer who needs to obtain it, in order to sell it to their customers and clients.
Original product sellers tend to focus on activation points, bragging about things that aren’t of interest to the B2B buyer, as well as highlight price points that fail to sell exactly why the B2B buyer should invest in the product at all.
And that’s a key point. B2B sales is about the original product seller causing an investment on by the B2B buyer, who will then flip that product over to their customers as a middle man in the transaction. If nothing sells to the middle man, exactly why would the B2B buyer feel the need to obtain it at all? Original product sellers need to stop moving gold bars like tainted bronze.
In any case, the original product seller’s owner or marketing director tends to confuse why a B2B buyer would invest in the product. Simply by focusing on various features that are illustrated through their pricing deck, which have no interest in an investment category. But that’s the issue: The B2B buyer is your customer at this point, not the end-customer. Many original product sellers tend to forget or ignore that, paying the price by showing few if any returns for their sales initiatives to B2B buyers.
A Bad Deck Kills Your Sales
Most B2B pricing decks still focus on the third party customer (i.e. the B2B buyer’s fan). While that may seem like the right approach, you are still telling the B2B buyer how they should sell this product that they bought to you. If that’s the case, why don’t you sell your product directly to those third party customers, and eliminate the need for the B2B buyer to purchase it in the first place? There is a reason that B2B buyers tend to feel insulted: These are their customers. These are their buyers. Why should they be told how to sell a product, that they had to buy, to their customers who they know more intimately than the original product company does?
The original product company’s deck also makes the mistake of hiding in different categories of pricing, as if they are going to sneak it past the B2B buyer. By showing different ways of pricing, without the lump sum, they make the assumption that a calculator isn’t nearby. And that the B2B buyer is an idiot who won’t ask what the final price is. When you’re selling B2B, the idea of throwing ten different scenarios out there in terms of pricing cheapens your pitch. The more that you have to get your B2B buyer to work, the less they will work, toward your sale.
What Stands Out?
B2B buyers get pitches 20 times per day. And its worst when the B2B buyer is also a group that tends to sell B2B themselves. This creates a strange juxtaposition where the B2B buyer wants to also sell to the very client who is trying to sell them. Those selling the original product need to understand what matters to the B2B buyer, beyond what matters to the B2B buyer’s customers. This is who the original product is selling to, not the B2B buyer’s customers. And yet, few if any original product makers truly understand that.
Sales staff connections are great. But do they translate to actual sales? So many sales staff professionals claim connections, but are those in the c-suite willing to not only hear them out, but also personally trust them to buy your original product? Often, knowing people isn’t enough. It’s whether or not they trust you, have a relationship with you, that will end up mattering. Consider what that means, and whether you merely have a sales executive who “knows of” people rather than actually “knows” them.