Business to Business is DEAD

18 July, 2014

When I started in business you were immediately put into the B2C sector or the B2B sector, which seemed to make complete sense (back all those years ago). Business was a lot more fixed and rigid, defined and well rehearsed. Then something happened, there began a real culture shift as people started to engage through the internet. No longer did you need to rely on what the rep from an organisation was telling you and compare it to the next rep from that business. Instead, all of a sudden, you could Google exactly what you were thinking and get tonnes of information about it. Not only that but you could joins groups, read posts and reviews and even very quickly see what competitors were offering.

This turned the traditional ‘business to business’ model on its head as the purchaser increased its confidence and knowledge. In effect they were empowered to inhabit the place that the traditional B2C customers operated in: a very public and open competitive market with lots of comparisons.
Then came the great recession. This drove some manufacturers to totally bypass their traditional business reseller route to market and create webshops that sold direct to businesses, blurring yet another line between manufacturer and retailer.
Behind the above was also a more relaxed attitude from businesses to empower team members to make buying decisions. Where as once the Finance director may have needed to sign things off, the modern economy saw all levels of staff given at least some authority or influence on purchasing.
So did this lead to a culture where the traditional idea of business to business sales has been totally replaced with business to consumer? No this isn’t totally correct either...the real evolution is to a new progressive economy where businesses don’t sell to businesses or indeed to consumers.
The reality is that the successful current model is Human to Human sales. If your business isn’t in the H2H market place then you are keeping the past alive, but not for long...