If you are roaming similar hiways, biways, cyways as I have been, you may have also heard this term gaining traction. Is it just new gobbledygook, or does it contain some inherent value? I am tempted to opt for the former, but upon casting aside my bullshit meter, I am seduced by some apparent merit in the latter.
Fair to say, that as many of us in B2B sales still feel that the GFC has not finished, and many markets have either been totally disrupted or otherwise continuously commoditised, the need to justify the size and expense of the sales team insidiously grows. I interpret that the proponents of the term “B4B” are trying to differentiate from B2B in a way that de-emphasises the supply chain perspective of the importance of commercial products and services flowing downstream, in order to emphasise the importance of a supplier partnering with the downstream customer where the value of collaboration and innovation for mutual benefit becomes more important than the supply of products and services paid for.
Here’s where the two worlds collide.
On one hand, we are having to justify the size, expense and relevance of the sales team. On the other hand, we can apply the company wide principle of transitioning from B2B to B4B to the sales team, and thereby reinvent its raison detre. In other words, a fabulous opportunity exists for those B2B sales organisations that re-design the role that the Sales Execs play from spruikers of widgets and wares to trusted consultant/advisors in the eyes of their customers. This re-invention will, additionally more than justify the size, expense and sales team return.
Roll on the case studies!