1 February 2011
Comments: Comments Off on B-to-B Accounts; Their Loyalty Criteria is Different!

B-to-B Accounts; Their Loyalty Criteria is Different!

During a recent Client workshop discussing their survey results when measuring their account’s feedback it became very apparent that the B-to-B business environment has much different and more complex loyalty criteria than the consumer to supplier environment. Consumers appear to base their supplier preferences (loyalty) more around emotion, price, relationship and convenience. While in the B-to-B business environment accounts appear to base their loyalty more around 5 driving factors (similar yet very much different):

  1. High-Wide-Deep Relationships
  2. Ease of doing business
  3. Strategic importance
  4. Economic Value (ROI) – or price when there is little or no value
  5. Satisfaction with quality and performance

These factors are not stack ranked in any specific order but ease of doing business according to our most recent account loyalty survey feedback results is beginning to establish itself as a key if not the key factor in determining account to supplier loyalty. Another important consideration is that earning an account’s loyalty (long-term sustainability) is very influenced by the initial experience an account has with any supplier; i.e. ease of doing business right from the start . Creating an extraordinary Account experience right from the beginning of the relationship appears to be one of the most important account relationship objectives a supplier can have.

Some final thoughts…

  • In a global economy are we as one global supplier making it easy for our global accounts to do business with us everywhere?
  • Are we effectively measuring our performance as perceived and realized by our Accounts?
  • Are these feedback measurements (metrics) being integrated into our decision-making processes and Strategic Account Management processes? Are we an inward out or outward in focused supplier?

My conclusion…

We are on the verge of a need for capturing and measuring more complex analytics about our Strategic Account relationships. Effectively knowing and measuring account relationships is going well beyond a simple test of “will they recommend us” (NPS type assessment).  Much like quality engineering became the basis for success in the 80s we may now be approaching the next mega trend in B-to-B business; measuring and optimizing Strategic Account experiences. Just a thought!