Selling to Both Businesses and Consumers
Title is important when selling to businesses, because it tells the marketer what the contact person's job and authority is likely to be. Knowing a contact is in purchasing, receiving or management can help greatly in directing future contacts.
Method and Timing of Contact
For business clients, it often makes sense to have outbound telesales and/or salesperson contact to support the relationship. For accounts spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a regular basis, additional sales from more personalized contact can more than pay for the added selling cost. It is not uncommon to have a completely different selling approach for businesses than for consumers.
Businesses make decisions further in advance than consumers. They need more time to allocate budgets, make selections and get approval. As a result, seasonal offers need to be made much earlier to businesses than consumers. By the time consumers are ready to respond, businesses have long since made their decisions.
Whom to Contact
Consumers are generally treated as a household, and the most recent contact person is the one who will receive the next contact. The most recent contact person is considered the decision-maker.
When a data capture system geared toward consumers is used with business customers, the best contact(s) may not be in the database at all. The contact may be accounts payable, or the contact address could be a shipping address.
In business-to-consumer marketing, when a household has made a recent purchase, they are considered an active buyer. A business customer, on the other hand, could make several purchases, and not be considered a buyer at all. For example, Jane Smith, head of marketing, may buy corporate gifts each year for clients. If the data show only accounts payable as the client, Jane is not considered a customer. She could be dropped from future contacts.