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WHY NURTURING RELATIONSHIPS WITH KEY DECISION MAKERS MATTERS

Decision Makers in business organisations and their importance

Understanding the Business to Business (B2B) process is the most important factor in getting better deals in B2B sales models. Most importantly, it involves multiple stakeholders within an organisation, and for a successful business organisations require something more beyond the ability to deliver amazing customer service and unforgettable products. Strong and long-term business relationship with the decision makers of the B2B organisations is the most effective way to reach the goals by making the value of the business visible (Gilbert, 2022). Most importantly, in the B2B sales model, relationships are everything as it is not a matter of a specific product or service, it is all about managing and dealing with people. In this case, the target people are the decision makers of a company.

Decision makers within a company play the crucial role in making strategic decisions such as investment, expansion, and acquisitions. Decision-making processes within organisations include programmed and nonprogrammed decisions along with the personal, operating, policy, tactical, and organisational decisions. Even in this age of advanced technology with Artificial Intelligence and Big Data, people end the deal with people, and relationship matters, especially in B2B as it comes with a deep relationship. Most importantly, decision makers within an organisation also have some rational and emotional needs to be filled in the organisational setting as per the demands and needs of the company and its operation level. It is an undeniable fact that the B2B decision making process is complex while buying products as it involves people with different expertise (Jiwat and Zhang, 2022). At the same time, accountability of the decision makers makes them very important and relevant for the entire process of purchasing.

What is relationship selling?

Relationship selling is a traditional and well-known term in business, and it is equally important in present day business scenarios. It is all about developing better relationships with the target customers. In the case of the B2B sales model, developing connections and relationships with the decision makers of the potential companies makes it easier to turn the potential customers to real-life ones (Verbeke et al. 2021). Pricing and product details are important aspects to discuss with the customers; however, without developing a rapport with the business decision makers it is not possible to work on the long-term revenue.

Longer sales cycles are the most important part of the B2B sales model, and this aspect requires involvement of the salespersons in developing a better relationship in the selling process with the decision makers. Most importantly, B2B marketing is not a short-term fact that can be ended with a customer after buying a product only once. B2B sales model is a long-term process that will continue until the parties end any deal (Anaza et al. 2020). However, the sales personnel will get the opportunity to nurture the relationship with the decision makers of B2B companies. Hence, the interaction between the salesperson and the buyer is the most important factor when it comes to developing the values of the company.

Loyalty is another key term in this aspect that can be gained from the customers only after developing a better relationship with the following behaviour after and before any purchase. For example, techniques of selling high-cost items and long-term services include developing a better relationship with the customers by having a higher level of commitment for the end of the salesperson as it takes longer time in the decision-making process.

Being a good listener is always a key process to earn the benefits of knowing the needs and the demands of the customers. It is not possible for any company to provide the best services and products to any other company without knowing their needs and demands. Understanding the clients always helps in tailing the sales pitch as per the challenges and needs of the client (Bages-Amat et al. 2020). Moreover, the listening process starts with the open-ended questions and uses of non-verbal cues at the time of the interactions. Connection on a personal level with the client is another important and effective way to reach the demands and needs of the company.

Establishing expertise is the most important factor when it comes to gaining the trust and loyalty of the B2B business organisations. In this case, expertise of the company and the salesperson plays an important role in presenting the services and understanding of the industry. It becomes easy for the organisations to gain advantages of industry knowledge from the clients to get the deal after showing them the expertise in any specific matter ((Verbeke et al. 2021). Relationship selling plays a vital part in reaching the goals and objectives within the industry from the usage of knowledge and insight of the industry with the needs and demands of the client by maintaining a balance between the promise and the final delivery of the product or services.

Proving reliability is the most important factor in securing a deal from the end of the client by providing them the services exactly as per the promises. Commitments are the key of a successful relationship with the clients in business, and this can be maintained by working as per the commitment (Ulaga, 2018). Providing the same quality products and services as per the promise is the most important factor when it comes to adding the values to the sales cycle of the business deal.

Honesty is the key term that helps a business organisation to gain respect from customers by presenting the details of the product along with any type of information without providing any misleading information that can destroy the image of the salesperson along with the entire deal (Leung et al. 2019). It is much more than the image of the salesperson in a business engagement as it is all about the brand image of the company along with the business deals. It becomes quite tough for the organisations to gain trust and loyalty from the client after facing breaking promises. Hence, the relationship selling, and creating a better relationship with the clients while selling is always beneficial for the company.

Why does nurturing relationships with the decision makers matter in the B2B sales model?

Maintaining a better relationship with the clients is beneficial for any company in a B2B sales model. However, it is also essential to identify the reason for nurturing relationships with the decision makers all the way to bag a great deal. The most common mistake a sales organisation commits is to imply a strategy of treating every contact equally within the B2B organisations. It is an undeniable fact that all managers in a business organisation do not have the same buying authority. At the same time, it is also crucial to know the relationship between the prospective company and the competitors (Jensen, 2020). The top decision makers keep the private information limited to them by not letting any lower-level managers get access to the information.

Nurturing relationships with the decision makers till the end will only help in demonstrating the value that a company can add to the prospective organisation. Hence, it is essential to provide every information to the top decision makers regarding the dedication of the sales company along with the ability to add value. Primarily, a B2B sales model is all about selling products and services to a business, and the deal happens between two organisations. Connecting with top decision makers is helpful from the context of significant spending (Gilbert, 2022). Most importantly, it is not the product, it is the people of an organisation who make decisions regarding selecting any organisation as their suppliers. In this case, it is quite tough for the organisations to make multiple decision makers happy with the product only. Therefore, the need to nurture a great relationship with all of the decision makers becomes essential in the context of slower purchasing processes.

Finding and attracting the buyers who can get the best solution from an organisation is the most essential aspect regarding creating generosity, authority, and trust. The relationship between two organisations and their decision makers cannot be built without having trust.

The most important reason for nurturing the relationship in B2B business models with the business organisations is to retain the customers through establishing a better relationship with the decision makers. Decision makers play the most important role within an organisation to select the most effective supplier for the company; however, it is not possible for every manager to get access to the crucial information and get the authority to approve the product. Hence, the conversional funnel is long in the case of B2B model, and the marketers require to develop an effective relationship not in hurry. It is a step-by-step relationship process that leads to the success in the long funnel of the conversion and closing a sale.

Another important reason for developing a better relationship with the decision maker through nurturing the relationship is to maintain the personas. It is not enough for a company to build a relationship only. It is also crucial to document the part of the strategy and identify the different types of customers along with the identification of the prototypical customers. Strategic documentation is the most important factor in the process of development of updated business persona. Big data regarding business intelligence along with the strategy of developing a great relationship with the decision makers (Verbeke et al. 2021). Constant update in the relationship is also essential to maintain a successful business by retaining the consumers and getting a big deal from a business organisation. Talking about the issues and the needs is a major factor to resolve the challenges and getting solutions for any problem regarding the product to the decision makers.

Authorities of decision-making process consider production capacity of the company along with the quality of product as per the need of the company. In such a case, supplying capacity is crucial for meeting the deadline of delivering products and services. It will become only a wastage of resources and time for the company if the company does not have the capacity to produce the required amount of product (Jiwat and Zhang, 2022). Hence, decision-makers are concerned about the timely delivery of the products, and the salesperson is required to develop a relationship with the top decision makers that can help in getting their approval at the time of need as per their requirement. Therefore, listening to the needs and requirements of the B2B buyer is essential to build up a warm relationship. It is much more than a professional relationship when it comes to sustain the approval of decision makers.

Adding values is the only concern of the decision-making authority within an organisation while dealing with a business-to-business company. In such a situation, it is only the concern for the salespersons to engage the authorities in the process of describing the capacity of production and timely delivery along with improving the engagement of the buyers on social media. Social media has become the new place of spreading word of mouth related to any product, and this aspect has affected the entire process of reaching the condition of buyers. At the same time, the decision-making authorities and the personnel get the opportunity to work more efficiently and gain the advantages of adding value (Ulaga, 2018). Relating on a personal level is also important for engaging the buyers and providing them with a home feeling while completing any deal.

Importance of a good relation with the decision makers in retaining customers

In B2B companies, decision makers look at the factors such as product performance, expertise, product durability, production capacity, and product pricing. Therefore, retention of good relationships with the key decision makers of the business organisations to deal with depends on multiple factors. For example, product performance is the first key to get the consideration of B2B decision makers while making a purchase (Saura, 2019). In this case, having a good relationship with the decision makers along with providing updates related to the product performance even at the time of improvement through advanced technology such as Artificial Intelligence can help in getting the deal. In this part, the decision makers go through the demonstrations of the product along with the white papers and product descriptions. Social proof is another important factor that the decision makers consider as the essential part of providing a product. Case studies, testimonials, and customer reviews are other important parts to lock the deal.

 B2B buyers seek expertise while making decisions, and this aspect affects the decision-making procedure. Developing a communication skill for the salesperson is very important to meet the demands and needs of the decision makers. Decision-making process for an organisational team is not easy as it is required to go through the ability of the people to meet the requirements of the customers. Durability of the product is another key parameter for the buyers to test the sustainability and quality of the product (Jensen, 2020). Hence, the decision makers of the B2B buyers want to get every detail regarding durability of the product, and it is a long-term process to find out the maintenance process and the durability. In this specific place, nurturing the relationship with the decision makers and top managers plays a crucial role in sustaining the deal.

Transparency comes first whenever a company wants to get the best suggestions and support related to the pricing of the required product. Reflection of the value is essential for the B2B buyers considering the competitive prices and the no hidden cost. Hence, even in this case, the nurturing relationship with the decision makers help companies to ensure the trust and honesty in the business deals. This approach helps in improving the process of generating revenue without facing any problem. Pricing procedure also comes with purchase decisions such as allowances, credits, and discounts, and these factors can be managed efficiently only through a better relationship with the decision-making authority.

A relationship matters in business organisations in every form of enticing customer experience and personalised approaches from different facts (Saura, 2019). Long-term business success is not a matter of fact only, it is all about the development of best practices within an organisational setting even at the time of finding the touchpoints of determination.

Conclusion

B2B sales models require meeting the needs of multiple stakeholders along with meeting the requirements of the top decision makers from buyers. In this case, relationship selling involves developing a deep and intense relationship with the decision makers along with nurturing the relationship all through the process helps in getting the deal. At the same time, the improvement of advanced technology and the product development has intrigued the need for providing proper information to the buyers. Social media presence is quite helpful for the visibility of the business, and reviews of the company from the end of the real-life users also help the decision makers to get an idea regarding the services and products of the company. Hence, development of a better and long-term relationship always helps the salespersons to get the final deal.

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