[“What It Takes To Build A Multi-Million-Dollar B2B Strategy” originally appeared on Forbes and is written by Larry Myler.]
Every company comes with its own culture, strengths, needs, and priorities. This is good news in two ways:
- Because every prospective customer is different, you can grow your revenue by increasing your ability to understand and adjust to the specific needs of individual client companies; and,
- Because your company is different from your competitors, you have unique strengths on which to build and execute a potent business model.
If your strategy takes into account these two fundamental concepts, you will be prepared to grow your business to the next level.
When looking at the needs of individual customers, and your own unique strengths, keep these best practices in mind:
- Focus on the right customer. Who, exactly, are your intended customers? Small business owners? That might be too general of an answer. Small business owners face an array of unique problems, depending on the industry in which they compete. If you want to go deep in offering them support through your product, try focusing on a specific industry and adjusting your offering to fit those explicit needs. But even within the same industry, you will find that sales happen more easily when you can customize your offering to individual customers within that industry. This kind of specialization can make customers feel like each of them is your biggest priority.
- Gain a deep understanding of your customer’s business. Once you really know who your target customers are, you can start to gain a keen understand of what problems they’re facing and how you are going to solve them. Put yourself in their shoes – what would make your job ten times easier? By truly empathizing with your customers, you will find that you don’t have to “sell” so hard because they’ll relate to you more as a “solver.” Speaking of solving problems, is there a single pervasive problem you will run into with every B2B customer? You can best answer that question by asking this one: How will your offering benefit your customer’s customer (the end user)? You will become indispensable to B2B customers when you show them how to sell more of their own offerings by using yours.
- Build for differentiation. No matter what you’re selling, it’s safe to assume there are many competitors who are tackling the same problem. Why are you the best choice? Can you explain in simple language what your key differentiators are? If not, you might only be able to reach multi-hundreds-of-thousands in revenue, not millions.
Fintech leader, YapStone, has been serving the vacation rental industry since 2005, and currently powers online payments for global marketplace leader, HomeAway. We can learn from their example of customer focus, deep understanding, and differentiation.
The online payments company is currently processing over $15 billion in electronic payments, and rapidly growing. Just this week, the California based company is opening an International Headquarters in Drogheda, Ireland, and will be adding fifty new hires by the end of the year.
“Our mission is to change how the world pays,” says YapStone Founder and CEO Tom Villante, “and having a deep understanding of our customers’ needs is the first step to achieving that.”
“Once we know how our customers’ industries operate, we can custom tailor our solutions to individual companies by handling more than just the transaction. We do the heavy lifting—risk management, underwriting, customer support, pay-in, and disbursements—for the merchant acquirer or the merchants themselves,” says Villante. Beyond delivering these customized payment solutions, the YapStone team has committed to partnering with individual customers to create white label payment solutions, which is a level of customization that gets YapStone more business by helping customers win more deals.
Villante concludes, “As the payments landscape becomes progressively more complicated in pricing, regulation, compliance, risk and licensing, we believe that our approach will serve as a significant competitive advantage, and continue to differentiate our company.”
Take your next steps toward a multi-million-dollar company by targeting the right customers, understanding their needs, and giving them compelling reasons to choose you over your competition.