Today we had an exciting lecture on how to perform Business to Business (B2B) sales by Dr. Albrecht Ricken Sr. Director at SAP, Business Development for SAP Innovation Management. He was a perfect match for today’s lecture considering that SAP is a huge and positioned company that carries out mostly B2B sales. His experience and knowledge are very extensive in the mentioned domain.
It was an interesting and important lecture for us since we have elements of B2B sales in our project, which also applies to several other groups participating in the summer school. We wanted to summarize the important take-aways of today’s lecture in a couple of small paragraphs.
Our business case of large portable batteries has different variable costs and therefore we have been considering different pricing strategies for different types of usages. However we have learned that the simpler the pricing is, the better. Users may basically be pushed away by complex pricing that is difficult to understand.
Furthermore, different licence strategies have been discussed. We have learned that there are 3 the most popular strategies in B2B sales: One time purchase, Subscription based and Usage based. Each of these has its own advantages and disadvantages. The easiest one is usually one-time purchase. On the other hand, usage based strategy is the most flexible and convenient for the majority of customers. Therefore, we consider this last strategy to be the best way in our case.
While creating our pricing strategies, we should not forget about the very popular strategy of Bundling. This enables companies to reach customers that otherwise would not consider buying the product that does not satisfy all of their need, or has too many features. Automotive industry is one of the examples of such pricing. You can purchase the base model or you can pay extra money and get extra features on the same car. Our product could be part of a bundling that aggregates possibilities currently unavailable to the most affordable electrical vehicles.
Furthermore, we have discussed in the marketing funnel in depth. Realizing ahead of time the seemingly low efficiency of the sales process will be useful when contacting leads in the future.
We have also discussed different “personas” that drive and influence the purchase of the product and how they can be used to test the value proposition. Also how and where key leads or champions could be approached. In this aspect, the importance of networking was mentioned several times, as well as knowing what these people are interested in and what they are actually doing within the organization.
For lunch we went to the main KIT Mensa on one of the darkest days we have experienced in Karlsruhe. As well as waited in the longest queue for food that we could imagine.
During the afternoon session we got the opportunity to receive first hand feedback from Dr. Ricken. It was an ideal space to work on the concepts learned today and the last week. All groups seemed focused and were typing away.
On our group especially, a good mix of typing, brainstorming and discussing took place. We focused on our market segments, go to market strategy, key selling points and even did some estimates of cost scenarios. We finally finished the day by walking/biking home in the rain…..