Tuesday, 20 March 2018 13:50

The B2B Elements of Value


It’s Saturday, and a chief operating officer who last week negotiated a multimillion-dollar deal for a fleet of vehicles for her company is feeling pretty good. To reward herself, she’s shopping for a convertible sports car to enjoy on weekends. Surely the price-value calculation she makes for a fun personal purchase is different from the one she made when negotiating at work, right?

Maybe those two calculations are not all that different. Her fleet decision obviously included objective criteria such as price, warranties, and service levels, but other, more subjective criteria figured in as well. For instance, the vehicles have to reflect the company’s brand. And their design and handling need to appeal to the employees who drive or ride in them, especially with the higher-end models for executives.

In reality, the differences between business-to-business and consumer decisions are not cut-and-dried. True, B2B sellers need to optimize prices, meet specifications, comply with regulations, and follow ethical practices. Procurement teams rigorously evaluate vendors and run total cost-of-ownership models to ensure that rational, quantifiable criteria around price and performance shape their analyses.

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