Who holds the power in B2B sales?

Who is in charge of the sale, the customer or the merchant? 

This question is not easy to answer, although it has had a major impact on the way companies conduct business. In B2B sales, the procurement specialist with a myriad of options at their disposal should have the power, as they have the ability to simply look elsewhere if they aren't satisfied with the buying experience offered by a particular vendor. The problem is, according to at least one industry professional, those tasked with making the sale believe they have the power, which can lead to a struggle.

Linda Taddonio, Insite's Chief eCommerce Strategist, spoke with Manufacturing.net about her company's take on the merchant versus customer battle and said that while traditional thought suggested the seller had the power, that's now changing due to an evolving buying environment, but some merchants are unwilling to acknowledge the fact. 

"Customers are now in charge, and they're going to dictate who thrives. I think most organizations — especially manufacturers — are kind of unwilling to believe that," she said. "They want to believe their traditional business model is still in control, that their sales rep relationship, which builds those contracts, is still holding up their business model. What I think they don't realize is that it's being nipped away at in ways they might not have the analytics to support."

One way that vendors have to keep up with demands of their customers is the implementation of a payment environment their customers want. Technological advancements have fueled the need for payment innovation, as eCommerce and mCommerce have become increasingly prevalent in the B2B payments space. Obtaining the proper gateway to cater to these needs will help vendors meet the demand of their customers and allow them to establish a balance of power that benefits both sides. 

by Ty Hardison

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