For Solid B2B Relationships, You Need to Focus on What Matters Most

B2B Relationships

It happens all the time.

I’m on a call with a customer. We’re spending all of our time talking about something that I feel is unimportant. By the end of the call, we never get to the substantive work required to impact results that lead to ROI.

I’ve always struggled with building the patience to take the time to explain to people what seems obvious to me.

However, I’ve also learned over time how important it is to do just that for building strong long-term B2B relationships.

Everyone is Unique. Don’t Fight It – Roll with It to Build B2B Relationships

Everyone has different priorities and communication styles. If you don’t acknowledge and respect that, along with different personal styles, you will never establish a foundation for long-lasting partnerships built on trust and mutual respect.

In today’s landscape with constant changes and increasing competition as well as smart and agile companies vying for their piece of the pie, acting quickly and focusing on what’s most important is critical for building B2B relationships in your company and outside.

Focus on What’s Best for the Company’s Health

All employees must focus their time and energy on the actions that will yield the best results for the business as quickly as possible.

It’s crucial for each employee to realize the unique challenges of their CEOs and Executive Leadership. It’s up to you to get your company to grow and profit in the shortest amount of time possible.

It doesn’t matter if you are in in a startup company or a big enterprise that’s been around since the beginning of time.

During every meeting, in each project, while completing each task, sending each email – you should always evaluate the situation based on the value that it can bring to the overall health of the company.

The most valuable employees will remind their colleagues of the importance of doing the same as they build B2B relationships.

Contract negotiations, for example, is one of the most critical areas for all key stakeholders to come together as early as possible. They need to understand each other’s perspectives and concerns immediately so they can agree on resolutions efficiently and put plans into action.

Sometimes, a week’s delay in reaching an agreement on a deal can cost a company hundreds to millions of dollars. With these B2B relationships, literally millions of dollars are at stake.

Everyone involved in those negotiations must understand the business impact for a delay.

Stop Thinking of Your Work as a Means to an End

It’s no longer about “how many hours” did you work today. Instead, it’s more about “what have you accomplished that will result in a good business outcome and positive growth?”

Ironically, the work you must do to justify the time you spent growing the business is exactly the work keeping you from growing it even more. Nevertheless, this work is still critical to your long-term success as you forge B2B relationships

Never assume that people “know what you’re doing.” After all, they are busy “doing their own thing” in their own world, too.

Sorting out attribution challenges between sales and marketing technology solutions like MAP (marketing automation platform) and CRM (customer relationship management) tools as well as the time you spend creating reports and presentations are necessary to securing sponsorship from people you are dependent on for success.

While you may reach a solution faster alone, you will get farther and grow higher as a team.

That’s what it’s all about.

Executive understanding and sponsorship are vital to securing the resources you and your business require to succeed. It’s always a challenge to strike a balance between doing the work and telling the right people about the work you’re doing.

5 Examples to Build Solid B2B Relationships and Grow Your Team

I’ve always felt like the best ways to learn and grow B2B relationships from articles like this is to read and absorb specific examples.

Here are a few practical examples based on my experiences during the last six months leading the Hushly Customer Success team.

1. Put the Argument on Hold and Meet Halfway

Don’t argue over terms of an agreement negotiated before your time. Focus on what you can do NOW to “meet in the middle” by the time it comes time to re-evaluate that partnership.

2. Table the Meeting Until You Have the Resources and People You Need

Don’t spend an hour talking about things you can’t fix because you don’t have the right people in the room.

Wrap the meeting early and figure out how to get the people you need in the next meeting.

Identify the people on both sides who will be responsible for bringing those people together as quickly as possible.

3. Get Specific and Realistic with Goals

Rather than spending time hammering on about “what people are doing,” get a clear and specific agenda you’ve defined in advance. Decide what you’ll accomplish by the end of that meeting.

4. Don’t Waste Time Debating. Put the Numbers Together

Don’t spend time debating a particular point based on what people think. Instead, agree on a test plan and the metrics which will prove the point either way then put it into action.

5. Sleep on It and Come Back with Fresh Thoughts

Instead of spending time getting increasingly more upset because you don’t believe your “point of view” is being heard or understood, agree to end the conversation and write out points of view. The following day, come back together for a calm, clear, friendly conversation.

We’re Only Human, After All

At the end of the day, we are human beings.

It’s good to be passionate about our points of view. We are all different – not wrong – simply different. The best possible outcomes will only happen when we can simply agree on common priorities and discover the best way to get there together as quickly as possible.

How to Maximize the ROI on B2B Marketing Technology

B2B marketing technology

I thought that moving from Sales to Customer Success was going to be easy.

No more unanswered emails, people bailing out of meetings five minutes before they start while I’m in the lobby signing in at the reception desk, or problems with follow through on the few things they have to take care of in order to achieve the goals they provided me.

I was headed for the easy street, right?

Wrong.

Very wrong.

5 Ways to Increase the ROI on Your B2B Marketing Technology

As it turns out, even though B2B marketing technology is literally designed to support success, it often seems to actually get in the way.

I never blame the customers, though.

The truth is that there are a number of different reasons it can be extremely difficult for companies to fully realize the benefits of the products and services in which they invest.

Many of them have inherited the responsibility of managing a project, piece of technology, or service without having any input in the decision to purchase it.

In many cases, this person is looking to learn and manage dozens of solutions as well as multiple internal stakeholders who have no idea or insight into the business value of this technology. It’s just one more thing on their plate.

Fortunately, I’ve also discovered that it doesn’t need to be this way.

In fact, I’ve come up with a list of five factors you can focus on to ensure that your organization is able to maximize its return on investment in all new technology. Prioritize them, and I think you’ll find they also help to minimize stress and may even lead to a promotion.

1. Align on Expectations

Put together a schedule, clear goals, and KPI’s and clearly define roles and responsibilities on both the customer side, as well as the customer success team on the B2B marketing technology or service vendor’s side.

2. Take Advantage of Your Customer Success Managers

As their titles make clear, Customer Success Managers are there to help you succeed and want to do everything they can to make your life easier.

So, schedule regular meetings with them. Schedule them frequently in the beginning until you become comfortable in using the product and running its reports. Among other things, this will demonstrate its value to other people in your organization.

Never be shy about letting Customer Success Managers know what you need from them, including:

Again, their success depends on your success with their B2B marketing technology. Give them every opportunity to help.

3. Show Off What Your New B2B Marketing Technology Can Do

Organize a big show-and-tell or some type of roadshow for as many people in your organization who are interested in learning about the capabilities and opportunities related to a particular technology.

Even though content and campaign teams may not use the technology, the more they understand the capabilities before planning the content, the more successful everyone will be at getting it to the right audiences and increasing engagement and conversions.

4. Follow the Leaders

Chances are that other companies have already invested in these same platforms and found success using them.

Look at use cases of how the longest term and most successful customers are using this B2B marketing technology. They’ve likely done a lot of learning that you can benefit from without having to go through the same exact process. Ask for examples and connect with the community when possible so that you don’t spend a lot of time reinventing the wheel.

5. Secure an Executive Sponsor

Find at least one Executive sponsor who can make adoption and implementation of the technology much easier.

This could mean removing roadblocks, helping you when you have too many competing priorities, and being there to recognize a job well done once the investment has paid off. That last benefit is extremely important because it will help secure further buy-in from the rest of the staff.

Invest in the Right B2B Marketing Technology for the Best ROIs

Finally, one of the easiest ways to see better ROIs from your B2B marketing technology is simply making better choices about which versions you invest in for your business.

At Hushly, we’re extremely proud of the version we’ve created, specifically because it offers such a concrete ROI. In fact, we’re so confident in the power of our platform that we actually guarantee it will increase your lead-generation and ABM conversions by at least 51%.

Want to see how?

We’d love to show you. Just contact us today for a no-obligation demonstration.