The 2020 pandemic’s dramatic shift to online commerce has prompted many B2B buyers to want companies to offer new ways to access their services and products at an experience that’s easy and simple. Companies need to meet these expectations head on or risk losing business to competitors. Business development executive Denise Purtzer shares an article on Destination CRM of a strategic solution to this approach. She suggests forming strategic partnerships with other businesses to create an ecosystem that delivers what your customers want, so they don’t have to seek out what they need from your competitors. If you choose your partners carefully, Purtzer notes, you can give your customers what they want without making major investments in developing new lines of business or new in-house CX initiatives. This strategy of company-to-company partnerships is helpful for adding new services that complement your existing offerings and help your customers accomplish their goals. There are many areas in your business that make this cost effective and beneficial that Purtzer highlights.
Support for self-service buying. “If your business still relies on the catalog-and-sales-call method, one of the most impactful partnerships you could make might be with a B2B e-commerce platform that integrates with your current product catalog so that your customers can research products and services and place orders online quickly at any time, the way they shop in their personal lives. A good e-commerce partner will offer a constellation of its own partners to help you build out your self-service portal, such as design, content, SEO, and user experience services, so you don’t have to find, vet and hire all those providers on your own.”
End-to-end services. “If you offer e-commerce services, take a look at where your customers need more support during their own sales cycles. For example, you might partner with digital marketing service providers to help them drive traffic to their websites and also partner with returns management services to ease their return logistics burden.”
Complementary services. “If your business serves customers in a vertical that requires specialized knowledge from service providers like inventory and supply-chain management, bookkeeping and accounting, maintenance, logistics coordination, regulatory compliance or cybersecurity, you and the service providers you already use might benefit from setting up referral partnerships.”
Purtzer notes that the most successful partnerships build and create value over time. This kind of long-term benefit requires defined roles, ongoing communication and the willingness and ability of both partners to keep up with their customers’ needs.