Thursday, September 28, 2023

Through headwinds to win B2B in 2023

Must read

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

Tim Beyer is the global COO of technology scale-up Sana Commerce.

It would be a lie to say that 2022 was an easy ride. We’ve all been through some bumpy spots due to inflation, conflict, and supply chain constrictions. It’s been a tough slog.

The coming year unfortunately looks set to bring more of the same along with a looming recession. We’re sailing against the wind, but this doesn’t have to be a death sentence. While B2B companies like ours are no exception to the challenges ahead, by capitalizing on key e-commerce trends, smart leaders can cut through the headwinds to achieve success in 2023.

The key elements I believe B2B companies should focus on to move forward include efficient pricing practices, customer loyalty, and hyper-personalization.

efficiency and prices

The password for 2023 will be ‘efficiency’. How can you get your organization to do more with what you already have? A trend towards efficiency that I think we’re going to see more of? Real-time prices.

In stable times, prices tend to be static. When uncertainty hits, such as with a grunt in the supply chain or a drop in the supply of a critical resource, prices rise. But these prices are not rising in a vacuum. For example, if the grain supply collapses, grain prices rise. Rising grain prices are driving up meat prices as farmers have to pay more for their feed. Rising meat prices are driving up restaurant entrance fees; it’s all connected.

B2B companies are aware of these rising costs. The question becomes, how do you price your goods and services effectively when faced with rapidly changing costs?

One solution is contextualized real-time pricing. Instead of manually changing prices quarterly or even once a month, you can use pricing logic from your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform to automatically price your goods based on the changing cost of inventory and shipping. Through integrated e-commerce solutions, you can ensure that these ERP-calculated prices are reflected directly in your online store.

Compared to manually changing your prices for all your channels (a huge demand during price volatility), setting your prices automatically with real-time pricing can save you a lot of resources – resources that you can put into new investments instead of tedious labor.

Customer loyalty and retention

In lean years, prospects are less likely to invest in new, large projects. Instead, they probably want to stick to what they know and what they trust. That’s where you come in.

For your existing customers, now is the time to show them that they made the right choice by choosing your company. First, as always, continue to provide your products and services at an exemplary rate and quality. In lean years, at least work harder to reaffirm that your services are critical to their success.

From there you have options. The first option is to focus on cross-selling and upselling. You already have a solid working relationship and deliver the highest quality work – your client knows that investing in your business will benefit them. That’s your opening; use your existing business as your sales pitch and proof of concept to help them move to a higher level of service. In the field of e-commerce, you can use AI tools to recommend products to your customers based on their behavior. When customers see products that are more relevant to their needs, they are more likely to make a purchase.

Another solid option? Referral Programs. With a referral program, your customers become your advocates and your marketers. This is another effective channel that increases your market share while strengthening your customer loyalty. As your existing customers become your advocates (and are rewarded for their advocacy), they will build a stronger sense of loyalty to your company. For a small investment, you can earn strong dividends.


Don’t be put off by the octosyllabic word or Blade Runner-esque terminology. Hyper-personalization helps buyers and drives sales. This is a win-win situation.

Here’s an example that happened to me. I am looking for phones from android to apple. The last time I was on Apple’s website, there was an ad saying how easy it was to switch from Android to Apple. That ad was personalized to my experience. It gave me the information I needed to make a purchase.

This is hyper personalization: using customer information based on cookies and other trackers to show relevant and specific ads that meet the needs of your buyers at the right time. Now, some customers may feel uncomfortable if their ads seem a little too personal. We’ve all heard stories of ads knowing someone was pregnant before they’d even announced it to their parents.

The key therefore lies in providing agency to clients. You should enable customers to take advantage of personalized advertising while also giving them the option to opt-out if they feel they are being intruded. But when hyper-personalization is done effectively, sales soar. I don’t see it as a “nice-to-have”, but a “must-use” feature to boost sales, even in lean times.

Be proactive to win 2023

In 2023 we will have to be creative; we need to do more with less. Where we once had the wind of a roaring economy at our backs, we are now probably sailing into recession-tinted headwinds. When we are complacent, we get completely off track. To survive, we must proactively chart a course through these choppy seas and respond nimbly to changing conditions. Where once we could say, “oh, we’re adjusting prices once a quarter,” we now need to react more quickly to make sure we don’t miss out on revenue.

Each of these trends I’ve outlined represent ways we can make our B2B businesses more efficient so that we can still manage to survive in a tumultuous economy and achieve growth, profitability, and success.

The storm is here: are you ready to set sail? Business Council is the premier growth and networking organization for entrepreneurs and leaders. Am I eligible?


More articles

Latest article