While you are trying hard to get sales leads by selling the best in class products and services, there is unexpected competition lying ahead. The competition in the B2B space unlike the B2C businesses is not just external, but internal as well. External competition is a necessary evil for any business to remain innovative with the time and not to face obsolescence. In my opinion it is the challenge to remain competitively fit that drives every business to formulate strategies that help attain the difficult balance of responsiveness and efficiency. But here in this article I am talking about a whole new gamut of challenges that B2B businesses experience arising primarily due to the complex internal dynamics.
#1 Value Challenge
The departments performing the primary and secondary activities in the value chain of the B2B business are constantly competing with one another. Though it is the cohesiveness of the IT, human resources, finance and legal activities with manufacturing and marketing that drives the business, but the internal completion is what sustains them to perform at their best. The strategic objectives of each of these departments have to be aligned appropriately so that the end result is beneficial for the organization. In B2B business, you are one among many and the only way to prove your mettle is to turn resources into orders.
#2 Horizontal Challenge
By horizontal challenge I mean the continuous tiff in the supply chain. Identifying the right supplier and getting them on board, procuring and delivering the required product to the customer effectively and efficiently. What is crucial is the coordination of the marketing promises and operations commitments to meet the promise made to the customer. The degree of the horizontal challenge is unbelievable owing to the sheer complexity of the buyer network. What you deliver to one business should not differ in quality for what follows next in line.
#3 Network Challenge
B2B business have a complex network of buyers and suppliers. The suppliers could be safely considered to be internal if you are regularly procuring from them, and you have a business that perhaps makes money by building a market for your suppliers. A huge pipeline of suppliers need to be balanced with an equal number of sales leads. The suppliers are in constant competition among themselves, and since you are acting as the coordinator it is your duty to ensure that this competition is healthy and not cannibalizes the peer suppliers business or your own business.
#4 Matrix Challenge
By matrix challenge I mean the length, breadth and depth of the product portfolio. Make sure that the different variants of a product or the multiple products in a product category offer the desired variety to the customer to choose. The diversity of the products could be a bane if one product is cannibalizing the sales of the other. The products should be launched in competition to the competitors’ products and not your own internal goods.
Hope you see the competition and make sure it is healthy within your organization. Happy Selling!
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