The number of Customer Relationship Management solutions that are presently available in the market is astounding. They all promote attributes such as seamless integration, marketing automation, built-in accounting, invoicing and more. However, before you get caught up in the maze of CRM solutions, ask yourself a simple question:
Should I procure the CRM solutions for the Business to Consumer environment(B2C) or for Business to Business environment (B2B)?
The workflow of the marketing-sales team would be as follows.
- Marketing team identifies the audience and creates marketing strategies
- The details of the prospects are identified and entered in the database
- Sales team take up the contacts and work towards converting them into opportunities
- Consumers decides to buy the products/services
- The consumers who buy the product/services will now be a customer who could be either an individual and this is B2C or an organization, where it is B2B
The CRM experts call the prospects the contact. According to them, a consumer is always a contact while a contact is not always a customer. Also, the lead is only an embryonic stage of opportunity. Here are the several differences between the B2C and B2B CRM system.
Speed of B2B and B2C Sales Process:
B2B – In a B2B environment, the sales person has to establish relationships within relationships. That is when you have an organization as a customer, a decision is not taken by a single individual. The product/service of your company is studied, reviewed by a group of people before it reaches the decision makers. That is in a B2B world, there are reviewers, influencers, specifiers and approvers. Here the B2B sales process is slower, the closure happens after many months. In some cases, even years.
B2C – In a B2C, retail environment, there is only a sole decision maker, that is the customer himself. Here closure happens within days. At the most within few months.
B2B – As per the b2b sales strategy, the sales person has to not only try to open an account, he has to develop the lead from an embryonic stage to the selling stage where the prospect becomes the customer. The marketing team along with sales team have to come with innovative strategies to nurture relationship within a prospective organization. The account has to be developed by making more contacts within that organization.
B2C – You could say here the focus is mostly on the service or the product. As the decision is made by an individual, there is no long term nurturing process.
The sales channel is complex
B2B – The process of channel of distribution in a B2B environment is very complex. A sales person has to meet number of people at various levels of the organization before the closure of the deal.
B2C – Here the deal is between the sales person and the prospect. Once the decision is made by the prospect, then it’s a cakewalk for the sales person. He has to make the arrangements for the deal closure and product delivery.
Number of Sales
B2B – Usually, the organizations make a one-time purchase of a complex product. Here the customer service plays a vital role. The seller has to provide good customer service to get future sales.
B2C – The crm in B2C markets generally have a larger contact database. A consumer makes several purchases of the same item if the product is good. Therefore, there is repeat business and customer service is almost non-existent. Here the focus is more on sales and less on CRM.
Training or Knowledge-based Selling
B2B – The products/services that are bought by an organization are often complex. Therefore, it’s the responsibility of the sales team to impart training on how to use the product. Its mandatory for the companies that offer services/products to B2B to include training and education in their sales process, as part of the b2b marketing strategies.
B2C – It’s not mandatory to involve training in sales process in a B2C environment. Many of customers are knowledgeable about how to use the product they buy. Only in the case where a customer is using it for the first time, a demonstration has to be given.
Long Term Management
B2B – In this B2B sales and marketing environment, staying in constant touch with the contact point is necessary to create continuous service stream to maintain the relationship. The reason is the chief decision maker or one of his team members would have moved on to another company or moved up the ladder. Unless the sales company in constant touch with customer, he wouldn’t know about the present changes.
B2C – Here you need to keep in touch through with regular newsletter about the new product, the events and discounts. This throws light on the importance of CRM in B2C markets.
If your business is B2B, B2C or focuses on both, it’s important to realize that there are a few key differences between a B2B and B2C CRM, and one-size fits all CRM solutions do not exist. Choose the right kind of best B2C CRM and best B2B CRM solution to take your business to the next level.
A right CRM solution will help you detect the various flaws in the customer relationship management of your firm.