Tick tock! Tick tock! There are only just over two months until we say goodbye to 2020. For many of us, this has been one of the most unpredictable and stressful times ever.
While fingers crossed the worst is over, numerous changes have occurred over the past several months impacting businesses generally as well as those operating in a business-to-business (B2B) context. This has resulted in a new reality in which all businesses must operate.
Despite the volatility and uncertainty that still exists, there are significant opportunities within B2B markets for SMEs to be able to restart their businesses and move forward in 2021. However, this will be contingent on SMEs understanding this “new” reality in B2B and having a B2B strategy, to enable them to navigate this new uncharted territory.
The “new” environment of business is now characterised by the following:
In addition to these pervasive changes, the dynamics of business (B2B) buying has changed and is characterised by the following:
As these dynamics are here to stay, it is imperative that SMEs operating in business markets have a B2B strategy to enable them to thrive in this “new” era.
Developing your B2B strategy should not be an overly long and cumbersome process.
Your strategy should tell you:
While your B2B strategy should be forward looking, given the current environment, your forward-looking view should be no more than 18-24 months. It should be developed b y a core, cross-functional team.
Your strategy should be flexible, adaptable while responding to the
Your company B2B strategy is comprised of two core components:
1.Where to focus
You determine where to focus by LISTENING to:
2.How to win
This is achieved by making new introductions and/or improvements to meet business customer – B2B buyer needs across three key areas:
Your strategic planning can no longer be “set and forget”. With the rapid and at times extensive level of change occurring, it is critical that your SME is regularly scanning the external environment (e.g. industry, economic conditions, regulations, geographic markets) for emerging problems, opportunities and/or threats.
Depending on the extent of these shifts, it may be necessary to undertake further scenario analysis to understand the potential impacts so you can determine how your SME will respond and the required capabilities and resources needed to do so.
Your core planning team should then meet quarterly.
With less than 10 weeks to go until 2021, there is no time to waste.
Get started today by doing the following:
Michael Haynes, B2B Customer Strategy Specialist and Founder, Listen Innovate Grow