There is B2B, I2I and O2O. Here’s how to understand the terms and the concepts.

There is B2B, I2I and O2O. Here’s how to understand the terms and the concepts.

While the terms B2C and B2B are familiar to you, you might wonder what i2i and o2o stand for.

These terms add an interesting twist to the concept of B2B selling. The first term, i2i picks up on the fact that in a B2B environment people buy from people and not from organizations. The term i2i (individual to individual) expresses just this. An individual at the customer organization buys from an individual of the seller’s organization. This situation actually implies a relatively simple deal structure.

Effective Relationship Management : What are the vital data elements?

Effective Relationship Management : What are the vital data elements?

When you ask Key Account Managers (KAMs) to show you the relationships they established in their account, they will most likely show you some form of organization chart. Sophisticated KAMs have annotated those graphs with additional information about the people involved. Usually, this information is accompanied with the remark: “It is a bit out of date, but I just did not have the time to update it yet. Things are changing so fast in this organization”. A sustainable up-to-date view of your relations in a complex account starts with having a more granular view of the data elements you need to describe your relations allowing for more flexible faster updates.

How do you become a trusted advisor?

 How do you become a trusted advisor?

Informed decisions

Holding the purse strings gives you the power to act, decide, veto, choose, etc. You can step in at the last minute and decide to call the whole thing off.

Obviously, information is shared and discussed during  complex decision-making processes.  Sales teams prepare sales messages, kits, demonstrations, etc. The potential client holds internal meetings, they look at the literature and compare solutions, they meet the sales force.  There may be a pilot study, the results of which are shared and analyzed. There are additional internal meetings, during which the outcome of the pilot study is discussed : return on investment, adoption rate, customer satisfaction, etc.

And yet, sometimes someone suddenly comes out and stops the whole process, meaning the whole thing is dropped. This someone may or may not have had access to the information during the evaluation period.

Building Bridges: when less is more

Building Bridges: when less is more

Mark Granovetter is famous for his ideas on weak ties within social networks. Although his most famous work is over 40 years old, it’s still relevant nowadays. I’ll start with an outline of his main ideas, if you want more detail I recommend you read the original article in the American Journal of Sociology (1973).

Granovetter starts with the premise that within social networks there are different degrees of relationships. He suggests that intuitively we recognize our relationships as strong, weak or absent. Two people who share a strong tie are likely to spend time together and share interests as well as character traits. They are also likely to share friends and relationships. This leads to the development of a close network of people.