Original Title: Talking about the Difficulties of To B Business
Source: Caoz's Dream (ID: caozsay)
Recently, there is a saying that the new growth point of Chinese Internet is to B business.
And a frequently mentioned fact is that, compared with Chinese and American Internet giants, the profits and market value of To C business are close to each other. Although there is a gap, it can at least be compared. In To B business, the market size of American giants is two orders of magnitude higher than that of similar companies in China.
I have mentioned such a case before. When I worked for a boss in Beijing, I worked for him part-time when I was studying in university. This time it will be back to 1997. When Hong Kong returned to China, the boss still had a good vision. In 2000 or so, it was said that Sales Force was amazing and must be a great tool. When Baidu launched its bidding ranking in 2001, he said, This is what he said. It's a powerful thing. There's no limit in the future. By the way, he seems to be one of the top 30 customers in Baidu who opened the bidding ranking. At that time, when one clicked on a dime, he bought Baidu keywords.
Later, I went to Baidu to do data analysis, and found that the ID of this enterprise account is very high. Salesforce now has a market capitalization of more than $100 billion, but back in 2000, how many people in China knew about the company?
He wanted to be a salesforce in China. He sold his old company around 2000 and took CRM as his business orientation. However, after being brutally beaten by the market, China hasn't come out with the same enterprises and products as salesforce for so many years.
Nearly 20 years later, the giants of To C in all areas of the Internet in the United States have been copied by Chinese Shanzhai and experienced numerous local innovations. But in To B business, it's still the scenic spot.
We should know that the original business model of Chinese Internet giants was also intended to do To B business, such as Baidu, which initially provided search engine technology support to portals; Tencent, for example, initially wanted to be a value-added service provider for Telecom operators; Ali, for example, started from the yellow pages of enterprises; Netease, for example, was the first place to earn money for Telecom post office systems. A barrel of gold. As a result, facts have proved that sticking to To B is a dead end; transforming to C, the sun shines brightly.
But in recent years, the wind seems to have changed.
Ali's new growth engine is Aliyun, which has already seen good market prospects. Not to mention Ali's overwhelming propaganda, its intentions have been clear.
Tencent Chairman Ma Huateng publicly announced that Tencent will be able to empower traditional enterprises, and to B business will also be the core growth engine.
At present, while the competitiveness of C-terminal is declining in an all-round way, the business of B-terminal has already taken on a considerable scale.
So why has To B business been developing hard in China these years, and how can enterprises be competitive in this field?
As I said, I used to do CRM, OA with that foreseeable boss. Of course, at that time, my product concept was totally wrong, but there were some experiences and insights to share with interested readers.
The politically correct thing is to say that if the product is good enough, the service is in place, and it is valuable to the customers, there will be a market naturally.
Unfortunately, the reality is often incorrect.
First question, who is your customer?
It looks like an idiot question, but most people answer it at the idiot level.
Who is the customer? Aren't businesses customers?
In fact, when we say to B, there are actually many different subdivisions, and each so-called subdividing area has a huge market.
For example, the government, the army, monopoly agencies, this is a category. Industry giants, big companies, this is a category, small businesses, private enterprises, self-employed operators, this is a category.
So when we talk about To B business, there are actually many branches of customer types. The service mode and target characteristics of each customer type are quite different.
Who are the customers?
Your customer is not the government, not the enterprise, not even the owner of the company. Strictly speaking, there are two parts, one is the person who can make the purchase decision, the other is the person who can influence the purchase decision. Who are these specific people and what their appeals are, in many cases, they will be wrong at first.
To C is easy to understand, because user needs are user needs, and the subject of demand-based decision-making is very clear. (Of course, that's not absolute. In the fields of To C, children's education, children's clothing, children's toys and so on, the purchase decision is made by parents, and children only influence the purchase decision.)
But to B is a little more complicated.
For example, if an enterprise wants to set up a management system, the person in charge of the business or the vice president in charge of information technology may have decision-making power. What is his appeal? Maximizing corporate interests? Not necessarily. For example, sometimes the appeal is that he and his department have a sense of existence in the enterprise. How can you possibly get an order if you don't even know what you want?
So many people think that it's enough to make decision-makers, but in fact, many enterprises are very complex, and there are many people who influence decision-making. Some small people who look insignificant can also make your efforts completely frustrated.
Financial and administrative aunts have said that this system is useless and can't be operated. Maybe they didn't spend any effort to study your product experience and operation mode, just because your product is not the same as the product they used to be familiar with, so they can't use it.
Why people who influence decision-making give negative feedback, and how to get their positive feedback, and how these people influence decision-making in the position of the impact of decision-making, this is a lot of To B business is easily overlooked.
Second question, where is your value?
Is it not value to add value to an enterprise?
The politically correct argument is to increase corporate revenue or reduce operating costs.
Unfortunately, the reality is still often incorrect.
Value comes from comparative advantage.
What is comparative advantage?
First, what are the advantages of the products and services you offer to decision makers and those who influence them, the products or business tools they are using now? Many people do not understand the decision-makers and influence decision-makers, so many of the starting point of decision-making is wrong.
For example, you think that when sales use your tools, bosses can better grasp their performance and efficiency, but maybe the backbone of sales is an important factor affecting decision makers, and for their own benefit, it will conflict with your system, and ultimately you will not be able to complete the implementation of this system.
Second, what are your advantages over competitors?
People who do To B often have the illusion that I can provide enough value to customers, so it's reasonable for me to charge such a fee. It's not expensive at all, but the problem is that competitors who can provide the same service may only need one third of your fee.
Competition is probably not what we think of as the same products, but those that can be given alternative applications.
For example, you worked hard to build a customer communication software, you think you did a great job, you think that the competitive products on the market are far inferior to you, you go to the enterprise to promote your products, then, what are the obstacles you encounter? People say that we use Wechat to communicate with customers. Your opponent is Wechat, although Wechat is not your opponent at all.
Thirdly, it compares with cognitive common sense.
In business decision-making, people's price judgment is often based on some cognitive common sense, such as a software should be worthless, while the hardware seems to be more valuable.
Information security industry has experienced such a history, some security protection systems are originally some software codes, but must be made into hardware boxes to sell a good price.
There is a paragraph like this. In order to make the hardware box more expensive, a piece of iron is welded inside, which makes the customers feel heavy and weighty, so they think the money is worth it.
You do something that may be highly technical and valuable, but you can't sell it without the user's perception. Therefore, to make a product, on the one hand, we need to have internal work, on the other hand, external perception, many times the education market, many times the process of the education market is long and cruel, such as in the field of information security, for a long time, the user's perception is low, a lot of tear lessons and tuition pay, the user finally understand that the investment of this thing is worthwhile.
Third, where are the obstacles to implementation?
First, implementation costs
The cost of implementation is easily underestimated, and human nature is difficult to challenge. For ordinary people, they are willing to devote more time and energy to games and entertainment than to work and study. In vernacular terms, you can't expect company employees to study your products with the spirit of playing games.
Most To B products are for the boss, but for employees, it often means more burdens and constraints. I know many bosses complain that their employees hate nails very much.
Second, credit risk
The decision-making leaders of a large enterprise are often senior or middle-level managers and professional managers. When choosing To B products, they not only start from performance, but also consider their own risks.
In vernacular terms, such a common decision-making idea has been heard long ago.
I choose the products of listed giant A company. If something goes wrong, that's the problem of A company, not my problem, because people are listed companies, industry leaders, the boss will not say anything about me.
But if I choose the product of startup company B, if something goes wrong, it must be my problem. How do you choose such an unreliable product? Did you take advantage of others?
So when policymakers assess this credit risk, they often choose the products and services with the lowest risk for them.
Third, vicious competition
As long as China is fully competitive in the market, vicious competition is indispensable.
Do you remember Huawei's Hong Kong office? I guess none of the young people have heard of it. What's the cost of your offer of 30 million yuan? I report 15 million, what, I pay half? It doesn't matter. You can't pay for anything you say.
The vicious competition also includes all kinds of small behind-the-scenes actions, slanders, rumors, all of which are beyond our reach.
You don't know how your competitors will discredit your products and how they will secretly disrupt and destroy you during the execution of your project. In fact, the cost of interference and destruction is very low. Buy a few users of your customer company, then catch some small loopholes in your products, and then use them destructively, so that your reputation in front of customers completely collapses.
Fourth, account risk
Well, the old article mentioned that entrepreneurship should take account of account risk, not to mention it.
Fifth, joint and several liability
In To B business, sometimes you are an integrator, sometimes your products include third-party software, third-party frameworks, third-party fonts and so on.
In the event of authorization problems or third-party security vulnerabilities, you have to assume joint and several liability.
Do you remember how many to B outsourcing companies Ali used to pit in the open source framework eggs?
Some open source software licensing agreements have changed and no longer allow free commercial applications. Recently, there seems to be something like this. Your system itself is based on such open source software. Customers may have used it legally and become unauthorized in an instant. How do you explain it to customers? How do you fill in the licensing fee?
I will not mention the pit of the font, many entrepreneurs understand, the old article also mentioned, not to mention.
Of course, some of the above problems will be encountered in To C business, but to B's situation is more complex, because to C, you only need to serve and trust you, support your users, and to B is different, each customer is not an individual, is composed of many different demands, different goals of individuals, some people trust you, support you, based on their trust and support you get. Orders, but some people do not trust you, do not support you, even if you get the order, they are forced to use your products, so it will still hinder you, will not cooperate with you, this is to C business basically does not exist.
Individual demands of To C business are simple and direct, different individual demands of To B you face are inconsistent, decision-making influence is inconsistent, you need to fully understand the different demands of different individuals and achieve the most favorable conditions for you, which can be said that it is all areas I am not good at.
So, when it comes to solutions, I'm not good at them, and I haven't made much progress in this field, but let's talk about a few suggestions.
First, small and medium-sized private enterprises often make simple purchasing decisions.
The boss studies directly, as a matter of fact, for the sake of the interests of the enterprise, as long as he understands, he can push it in place, and the uncooperative boss will clean it up, you don't have to worry about it.
So, if you want to win by product and technology, choose your customer base, and choose those who make simple decisions to expand your business.
Secondly, in the field of full market competition, the follow-up effect is very meaningful.
In the same industry area, good service to the head customers, many customers will have a follow-up effect, so don't rush to open up the market, or a large number of contacts with customers, put the head customer service in place, make benchmarking effect, and then properly disseminate it. Their colleagues will come to you.
In the field of non-market competition, it's useless and people don't care.
Thirdly, understanding human nature can not be overdone.
Communicate with different roles and backgrounds of enterprises, listen to feedback and opinions from others, and understand their real demands.
Most of the time, the little people who use your products on the front line will have some unexpected concerns and appeals. You can actually solve their distress and let them influence their decision-making, thus forming a unique competitive advantage.
Fourth, respect users'habits.
Don't regard your users as Internet geeks. The mode that the Internet uses a gust of wind to drive geeks to follow up is not suitable for To B. Users of traditional enterprises have limited IT skills and conservative knowledge.
As far as possible to fit their existing use habits, as far as possible to reduce the cost of their understanding.
If your product users are traditional business non-IT people, don't use self-flattering interaction, it will only increase their confusion and resistance. Plain, direct, concise and fault-tolerant.
Fifth, the structure is flexible.
To B appeals are too different, then customize development for each major customer, the cost can not bear, but a product to dominate the world, customers may feel unsatisfied.
What is flexibility? It's a low-coupling, high-reuse sentence. Like building block boxes, I have a bunch of modules here. If you ask for them, I can assemble one for you as high as possible. You see, it's appropriate or not.
A few days ago, it was fun to see an appeal of Knowledge Planet. Some customers wanted to be a micro mall and asked who was the right choice. I said it would be good to have praise. They said that the goal appeal was not so complicated, very simple, and there were too many praise functions. They thought that the money was not worth it.
Look, the customer's value perception, your product is powerful, the customer thinks not so many functions, spend this price is not worth, the customer will not say, I will customize these two functions, the cost is much larger than this, right, the customer will not think so. Customers think it's cheaper to have functionality that's just satisfying. Of course, customers don't know what performance is, what security is, and what maintainability is. Concentrate on business, do not want to do research and development
But in retrospect, do we want to make money for this kind of customer? If you want to earn? Can you make the architecture more flexible? I have a few integration packages right, but you said you don't want these, you choose the module, choose the module you want to use, just pay for these modules, this is not flexible architecture brings business flexibility. Of course, the price of integration is certainly much cheaper than the sum of module prices, so the pricing strategy will not be overlooked.
OK, that's all. I wanted to say a few words about the problems of the industry, but think about it. First, it is easy to cause unnecessary disputes and discussions. Second, we all like to see Tucao and participate in Tucao, so the focus of the article is biased.
At first, I want to make a homophonic stem in the title and talk about the difficulties of 2B business. Later, I think it's over. That's it.