A B2B Technology Domain: Ten Steps to Success
Business to business technology sales can be a profitable endeavor, but like all industries, hard work and patience are required to ensure success. Some business practices and attitudes work better than others when selling technology, and selling to other businesses differs markedly from selling to consumers. Nothing guarantees success in any business field, but the following steps go a long way toward building a successful B2B technology sales plan.
- Research New Market Trends
Research in market trends and business needs is as vital when selling technology to other businesses as it is when selling to individual consumers. Gathering such research differs from researching consumer-marketing trends, however.
Consumers may be willing to fill out surveys or respond to cold call interviews, but such strategies are less likely to work with businesses, where intrusions on their time cost the company money. Offer businesses some perks to participate in your marketing research. A small honorarium may attract businesses to focus groups, whereas a cold call is likely to be brushed off.
- Customers' Needs vs. Customer Wants: Which Should Win?
There are two business maxims that often conflict when selling technology to business. One is the old rule that the customer is always right. The other is that what the customer wants isn't necessarily what the customer needs. To succeed, a technology or computer domain needs to address both of these concerns.
When selling technology to businesses, it's important to differentiate between wants and needs. A successful B2B technology domain focuses on both. An ideal sale gives the customer both what is wanted and what is needed. Ideal sales situations, however, are not always possible. Buyers may initially be happy with a product they think they want, but they'll quickly be
disillusioned if the product doesn't deliver what they need. In such cases, the customer is likely to blame the seller.
A successful technology sales business takes the time to explain how technology gives the customer what they need. The customer's wants should not be ignored, but often the purchaser has a limited knowledge of technology. In such cases it is the responsibility of the seller to discuss and explore the buyer's needs, and promote the product that best fills them.
- Follow-Up on Sales
No matter how happy a business seems with your technology, it's vital to follow-up on any sale to see how well it's working out. Following up shows businesses that your company values customer satisfaction, and gives the seller opportunity to gather valuable feedback from clients. Often, bad feedback is even more valuable than praise.
- Customer Service and Support
Few businesses are willing to purchase expensive technology without receiving some form of support. The more specialized the technology, the more vital a good customer service and technical support center becomes. Even if the purchasing business should run into serious difficulties, an effective customer service center can maintain, or even improve, your businesses reputation.
Depending on the nature of your business, customer service and support can be delivered in person, over the phone, by email, or even through technology domain chat rooms. No matter how you chose to provide customer service, complaints and concerns should be addressed promptly.
- Know Your Limits
Any successful business knows its own limits. A small technology domain is more likely to operate locally, and with fewer clients, than a business that employs several hundred people. Smaller businesses that focus on quality service to a limited number of clients are more likely to get repeat business than small companies that focus on selling without offering customer support.
- Get Online, Stay Online
A technology business without a website is at a severe disadvantage in today's competitive market. Businesses expect that any company that sells technology will be web-savvy enough to have a well-designed, successful technology domain with helpful features, including an online store. Once online, the technology or computer domain needs to be updated on a regular basis with new products, helpful content, and company press releases.
- Get to Blogging
Blogging may have started as online entertainment writing, but now it is embraced by the online business community. A regularly updated blog can improve technology domain rankings, and also provides a forum for site visitors and clients to leave feedback about company services and products. Businesses have gleamed valuable insights in their markets by paying attention to blog responses, and have begun dialogues with prospective clients that have ended in sales.
- Stay Connected through the Internet
Staying connected with clients, and potential clients, is much easier if your business is online. In addition to a blog, a technology domain can provide an opt-in newsletter which is emailed out once a month. As the clients opt to receive the email, they are likely to be more receptive to it than unsolicited spam.
Online newsletters should be kept short, and deal only with topics that would be of concern to your clients. While its possible, and even advisable, to add personal touches to a company newsletter, the bulk of the newsletter should deal with industry news and client concerns.
- Discover Really Simple Syndication
Companies can also make use of RSS, which stands for Really Simple Syndication. RSS provides instant access to any clients who have signed up for the business site's RSS feed. New reports added to the RSS feed allow the business to send new information, news, and website updates to clients faster than email.
- Old Fashioned Networking
The internet receives so much attention as a marketing tool that people sometimes forget how important good, old-fashioned networking can be. Attending seminars, trade fairs, and business conventions is as important now as it ever was. Person-to-person networking gives your business a human face, the one element that is often missed with online marketing.
Success in business-to-business technology sales requires constant analyzing and re-evaluating of the market and client expectations. Companies that stay on top of technology changes provide excellent company service. And if they stay connected with clients after the sales are complete, they are well on the way to long-term success. Professional pride and
willingness to stand by your product helps build your reputation and attracts new clients.
Technology Sales Online: Sell with Product Reviews on a Computer Domain
With new technology developing at breakneck speed, consumers need trusted sources who can recommend the best in software, hardware and technological gadgets. Product review technology or computer domains have become popular reference sources and have the potential to be profitable ventures when handled correctly.
Most technology or computer domains don't sell products directly, but instead users' reviews link to the product manufacturer's site. The review site owner is paid based on either the amount of traffic redirected to the site, or sales generated through redirected traffic.
Given how people make money with technology review sites, some sites link to multiple products and give each product a glowing review in the hopes of making a sale, any sale. This is a bad idea for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, consumers savvy enough to read product reviews before making a purchase are probably smart enough to notice if every review on a technology domain scores highly. This deducts from the visitors trust of site reviews, ultimately hurting the site's chances of redirecting traffic. If a computer domain claims to review portable laptops, logic dictates some products will score lower in reviews than others.
To avoid losing credibility in the eyes of your customers, create a series of criteria for product reviews and stick to it, judging each product on the same merits. This set of criteria and regular updates of the reviews will build trust with site visitors, who are than more likely to act on your recommendations.
Link to all the products you review, even if you give the item a low review score. Remember, while you provide visitors with the information they need to make a decision, you don't make the decision for them. If a site visitor chooses to purchase a product you scored low, you still profit from it. Your responsibility is to review honestly, not to prevent individuals from making purchases.
When building a review site, the scope of the review is important. Are you going to review audio systems or all technological gadgets? Although a technology domain can review all types of products, smaller sites, like a computer domain, are generally better off reviewing only specific types of technology. By focusing on one area of technology a website fosters a reputation for specialized knowledge. Also, sites that focus on specific topics tend to perform better in search engines than broader based sites.
Finally, as is the case with every successful website, a review site needs good quality content that is updated regularly. In addition to reviews of the latest products, a technology domain for reviews might also include industry news, tutorials on product use, an explanation of the site's review process, interviews with industry leaders, and other information that enriches and supports the reviews.