Summary of The B2B Executive Playbook

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8

Qualities

  • Innovative
  • Applicable

Recommendation

Many business-to-business (B2B) firms pattern their marketing efforts after those of successful business-to-consumer (B2C) firms. But B2B firms aren’t like Apple, Starbucks or Procter & Gamble. B2B companies need their own playbook, so consultant Sean Geehan wrote this one. The recipient of Ernst & Young’s 2002 Entrepreneur of the Year award, Geehan brings 25 years of experience advising B2B firms to this effort, which includes instructive case histories of successful B2B firms. His touchstones include Intesource, the procurement services company with nearly $50 million in annual revenues, and the $40-billion computing giant Oracle. getAbstract recommends his effective, real-world toolbox to business students, and to B2B entrepreneurs and executives.

About the Author

Sean Geehan is founder and CEO of Geehan Group, a consultancy for B2B firms. He won the Ernst & Young’s 2002 Entrepreneur of the Year award.

 

Summary

B2B Isn’t B2C

Far too many business-to-business (B2B) firms follow the strategies of business-to-consumer (B2C) companies, even though their formulas for success aren’t parallel and the strategies aren’t appropriate.

For example, B2C firms can sell tons of merchandise on the strength of a clever ad or a celebrity endorsement. However, famous spokespeople and captivating commercials won’t convince business customers to purchase products or services. B2C companies need to understand their true market differentiation and base their strategies on how they market, sell and deliver their goods and services.

Characteristics that differentiate B2B providers from B2C businesses include:

  • B2B success depends on just a few customers – For most B2B firms, more than 60% to 80% of sales come from just a few customers (typically fewer than 10).
  • Relatively few executives at customer firms determine the fate of most B2B companies – Although other participants help evaluate and possibly even influence purchase decisions, only one to two senior executives ultimately have the authority to buy a B2B firm’s offerings.
  • B2B firms rely on their...

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    A. A. 3 years ago
    What seems to be missing is the proper factoring in of mission, vision, and values of the two partnering businesses. It could be considered as being within the realm of the ECAC's responsibilities, but how do you align and hence effectively work with an 'Employee First' attitude business when your business has and hence expect a 'Customer First' mindset from your partners?