B2B – Business to Business
B2B – Business to Business describes transactions or interactions occurring between two businesses, rather than a business interacting with individual consumers (referred to as B2C or Business to Consumer).
In the context of ‘converting demand’ and B2B website design, B2B websites prioritize achieving goals over exhibiting design flare, that is, design for the sake of design. B2B websites should clearly articulate the problem, the solution and steer users along the buyer journey. A B2B buyer is not as impulsive as a ‘B2C’ buyer, so B2B websites need to accommodate that journey as a series of steps.
Gartner has this amazing graphic showing the B2B buying journey here. It shows the complexities of the journey. The B2B buyer does more research and analysis. There are multiple stakeholders that need to approve the purchase. One must properly vet a purchase from both a financial and technical integration point of view.
B2B Buyer Personas
There are often two distinct buyer personas in B2B software, the ‘C suite’, the CEO, CTO, CRO, etc. and the developer or implementor of the technology. You need to understand both of these buyers and design and implement steps along the buyer journey for each of them.
For the C suite buyer, this could translate to providing the buyer case studies and testimonials. These case studies and testimonials talk about positive experiences with the product and show actual ROI for the purchase.
For the developer, or implementor of the software, you could have quick access to more detailed technical white papers, access to APIs and an opportunity to see a live demo. By allowing technical folks to start interacting with the software quicker in the buyer journey, you could shorten the time to purchase.
Finding the balance in your website where the language and design speaks to both C suite and technical personas simultaneously is a challenge. In a future post, we will dive deeper into this topic.