Buying Situations (B2B)
Some characteristics of organizational buying and selling behavior include:
- For consumer brands, the buyer is an individual. In B2B there are usually committees of people in an organization and each member may have different attitudes toward any brand.
- Since there are more people involved in the decision-making process and technical details may have to be discussed in length, the decision-making process for B2B products is usually much longer than in B2C.
- Companies seek long-term relationships as any experiment with a different brand will have an impact on the entire business. Brand loyalty is therefore much higher than in the consumer goods market. Branding will reflect on the retailer's positioning strategy. For example, when you thinks of Craftsman tools , Sears immediately comes to mind as the primary place where you can buy them.
- While consumer goods usually cost little in comparison to B2B goods, the selling process of B2B goods involves high costs and a longer cycle. Not only is the seller required to meet the buyer numerous times, but the buyer may ask for prototypes, samples, and mock-ups. Such detailed assessment eliminates the risk of buying the wrong product or service.
Buyers go though three stages of the buying process, which include:
- Stage one: education
- Stage two: solution
- Stage three: vendor selection
Buyers move in and out of each stage. Firms need to be prepared to engage buyers throughout the cycle. The problem is that marketers have to face the realities of the B2B buying cycle, which include:
- The company controls less
- The company sees less
- The sales resources of a company will often be in reactive mode
Organizations have to become better at determining what need and what questions buyers have when they decide to engage in the sales process. Understanding the buying cycle and the key needs buyers have at each point can help marketers and sales reps to create a knowledge base with relevant content that a sales team can leverage during the sales cycle. Like B2C businesses there are similar buying types in B2B sales activities that include new buys, straight re-buys and modified re-buys.