In many B2B companies, the loss of your biggest customer would put you out of business. That’s because thousands of B2B companies in which three or fewer customers account for 60 percent or more of total sales. Below paints a picture:
What does this revenue concentration mean for you as a B2B company?
This means that your fate lies in the hands of just a few customers, so the power of these customers is enormous.
For a B2C company like Starbucks Starbucks probably wouldn’t know if it lost 1,000 of its top customers. In fact, no matter how many venti, nonfat, cinnamon-sprinkled, decaf lattes Starbucks’ top 1,000 customers buy, if they all decided to switch to McDonald’s McLattes, it wouldn’t dent the company’s revenues.
What if your B2B company lost two of its top 10 accounts in the coming months? What would the impact be on the top line, bottom line, economies of scale, and the headcount and morale of your company? Would your company be able to recover from the loss, let alone fund growth and meet the expectations of its owners?
If you are starting to feel a little claustrophobic, prepare to have your world shrink even further. In the B2B world purchasing decisions are made by just a few people. That’s right, unlike in the B2C world, it’s just a few people in a small number of customer companies that control a B2B company’s destiny. Do you know who these people are in your customer companies? If so, how well is your company connected to them?
“We realized how important additional input and relationships with other parts of the decision chain would be for our future. Without the perspective and insight of decision makers, we would be lacking a whole category of customer input today,” says Oracle’s senior vice president and chief customer officer, Jeb Dasteel.
Most B2B companies are not aware of executive customers, and they devote their customer outreach efforts almost exclusively to the other levels of the customer hierarchy. In fact, the average B2B company spends 75 percent of its time and money marketing and selling to end users and purchasing agents, the two groups of customers who have the least say in purchase decisions.
Influencers, who do play an important role in deciding purchases, receive substantially less attention. And decision makers, the executive customers who actually make the purchase, receive the least investment of all. This is far from optimal.
If you do not engage your executive customers, how will these decision makers get the message about the business value your B2B company provides? How will they learn about you as a business partner? How will they come to trust you? This level of understanding does not come through osmosis, nor is it communicated simply by delivering on your contracts. No, you have to do more.
Arc Media Global will help you reach your executive customers and tap into the power of executive customers, and this is why your performance will outpace your competitors.
Through our sector-specific conferences and industrial expos, you will actively and systemically engage your executive customers, finally put an end to the vacuum of critical information, and enable you to hear straight from your decision makers’ their aspirations, their budget priorities, and the product they need and will buy from you right now. That's the lasting value of real engagement.
Source: Geehan, Sean. The B2B Executive Playbook: The Ultimate Weapon for Achieving Sustainable, Predictable and Profitable Growth. Clerisy Press.