B2B Offers And Incentives That Will Get Your Ideal Customer To Buy From You
When it comes to increasing sales in a B2B business, offers and incentives can be extremely beneficial. However, whereas in the B2C sector, creating enticing offers and incentives is fairly straightforward, the craft isn’t always so clear-cut for B2B businesses. ‘Out of the box’ offers such as free shipping, discounted rates, tiered discounts based on purchase volume, and free trials of products or services might be applicable to your B2B market and help to encourage customers and drive sales, but many of these B2C strategies aren’t directly transferable to a B2B context.
A personalised special offer and incentive strategy
In general, B2B customers require a more nuanced and personalised approach to special offers and incentives than B2C. Loyalty points for long-term customers, account-based individual discounts, target-based loyalty programmes, referral rewards, or specialised customer service perks all have the potential to promote repeat purchases and generate more interest in your business' offerings among B2B buyers.
You could, for instance, give a permanent percentage discount to long-term customers that increases year by year or institute a price freeze for existing customers. Alternatively, your customers may benefit from value-added incentives, such as free telephone support, an improved on-site support SLA, an extended warranty, or free or discounted consultancy services.
Ultimately, when exploring which offers and incentives are best for increasing sales with your B2B business, it's important to pay attention to both your industry standards – i.e. what kinds of offers and incentives are already offered by market leaders in your sector – and customer preferences to ensure success.
Some types of offer may be so common within your industry (e.g. free initial consultation, free online after-sales care) that they are no longer viewed as incentives by customers, while others – e.g. volume discounts – may not be relevant for high-value business assets and services that are only purchased infrequently or in small volumes.
The key to success with B2B offers is to tailor your incentives to address the pain points and challenges experienced by your buyers – as identified during your buyer persona research. A straight monetary discount may not mean all that much to a B2B buyer, who, in many cases, isn’t playing with their own money.
If a common problem experienced by your buyers, for example, is poor or unreliable communication, you could encourage sales by emphasising rapid turnaround for quotations and estimates and providing a step-by-step project plan that makes it easier for your customers to achieve their own targets and KPIs.
These incentives may not cost you much money or involve discounting your products and services, but nevertheless, provide genuine value and a real-world purchase incentive for prospective buyers.
B2B products and services are not consumer purchases as much as they are business investments. Purchasers need to feel confident that they are getting value for money from their expenditure, and that their investment can be quantified in terms of a positive ROI within a reasonable timeframe. This may be essential for mid-level decision-makers to get buy-in for your products and services from their directors and senior managers – especially when budgets are tight.
Long-term value-added support services, therefore, are a strong incentive for many B2B industries, as these not only encourage customer loyalty and retention but also help customers derive greater returns from their spending with you. These incentives may include bespoke training to reduce implementation time for a new asset or service or support tailoring the service or product to align with the needs of the customers’ team and their strategic business goals, in order to save them time and money on setup.
Discounts for referrals
Another way to encourage B2B customers to do repeat, long-term business with you, while simultaneously expanding your customer base, is to offer discounts for referrals. This means that if a customer refers another business to you, they will receive a discount on their next purchase, or a value-added service at a discounted rate or for free. This is a great way to generate word-of-mouth marketing for your business and greater exposure on LinkedIn and to attract new customers through face-to-face sales channels such as tradeshows and conferences.
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