Updated: Apr 16, 2020
I personally confess that for a long time I thought that the development of the industrial B2B sector could increase the unemployment rate. Today I have a completely different view. I believe more that if the B2B sector develops in a collaborative sense, it will make the B2C sector grow and that will create more jobs.
B2B in the past decade has received the attention of many of us. However, I believe that with this crisis, B2B is and will be the complete Revolution. B2C will depend on that same Revolution. More channels are being developed, more information available to companies, more technology and machinery. Simple individuals will now have difficulty to find what they want or for the price they want or they used to, at least in the first post-pandemic phase. New production centers are beginning to flourish in Europe for example and many companies are now adapting to survive. Your entire business is being rethought. However, B2B businesses (some of them unicorns) are now more advanced than before and more efficient and can find alternatives to respond to markets needs. With this revolution, new professions may emerge, people more capable and endowed with more scientific, technological knowledge and further optimize systems, in order to minimize risks and ensure more productivity and wealth. New types of leadership will emerge and even new organizational forms. Everything that can be done within a click can be valued. There is thus a huge potential in B2B business that will revolutionize the whole way of organizing a company and consequently the economy. Tradition is no longer what it was. Today more than ever I think that we will have to work even harder to obtain the results and in a satisfactory way, because we cannot afford to make mistakes, there is no time for that. The responsibility of leaders, managers is going to be huge. It is a change that I would say radical, namely in the industrial sector. We were very customer-oriented, which is not wrong, however, I think there will have to be some change at this level. I believe that today in this uncertain and still somewhat obscure reality that we live in such a short time, we will have to focus not only on new product entries or replacement products, but on finding ways to get what we have at hand, getting quick answers , efficient and with quality, alternatives case by case. I do not mean to say that the usual partners will cease to exist as is the case of China, but I seriously believe that there will be changes. Companies will not be able to stop more than they already did and will have to find alternatives. They cannot be waiting for raw material constantly coming from outside, to only produce when it arrives. There is Innovation, Technology, and they will have to use it. I am referring more specifically to perhaps more complex products that companies have so far tried to arrange for the most demanding customers. This is going to be more and more for an elite, which even now is affected by this crisis. These are now challenges for many of the companies that have bet on these niche markets and that now they may have to rethink what their priorities are.
I was born out of a family of small industrialists and I have always dealt with the B2B sector. I know exactly what that means. But there are differences even in this B2B sector. We have the Powers and OTHERS: The answer, in my view, is in the innovation and technology that has already started and will now be leveraged. Companies in the B2B sector that have the ability to continue to invest in innovation will have that opportunity. All the rest will have to readjust and rethink their Core businesses and who they want to work for. It's a matter of survival and also Collaboration.
Are we at the level of a market leader or are we just imitators or followers? We have to have that awareness. A lobster is not the size of a shrimp, but it may be one day or vice-versa. We have to know the place that each one occupies in the value chain.
The fact is that these few Power Companies that have been able to do so far have doubled their performance and continue to grow. At the moment, experts say that there is a lot of stock to sell, but the purchasing power has decreased and is going to decrease further.
If there is Austerity, it will be even worse, as there will be no purchasing power to sell production. Hence I believe that nothing will be as before.
I think for the first time here we have the opportunity for the Great Ones to be able to think that isolating themselves is not going to be good for them either.
But their role is important for everyone else and it will be your conduct going forward that can make a difference. They will not stop being Big for this, on the contrary, but they will be seen in a much more positive way. And this is VALUE. We need you more than ever!
How are these Power Companies different from others? . They have technology and create innovation. . They invested in Science, in the Development & Research. . They collected and continue to collect Data. . They manage to make purchasing simpler and easier, they have created technological ways to achieve this, viable anywhere in the world, in all possible ways and at any time for everyone. . They valued the customer, taking the product to the background (not that it is important, obviously). . They have created solid partnerships and collaborate with each other. . They grew faster than the others, given their capacity, even for lobbying and privileged information. . They were able to anticipate and personalize some situations and scenarios. . They optimized their practices and we can see clearly their performance indicators. . They created an effective collaborative network and a new ecosystem of values and principles, priorities.
Today B2B is more than a product, it is also design, just-in-time services, capacity and execution, turnkey product. It's a good monster that we all need, whether we want to accept it or not. Take the health sector. Leading medical device manufacturers today offer much more than extensive diagnostic products or systems. They are also beginning to specialize in education and training, correct use of equipment, new software at the service of these professionals, new organizational and pyramid forms, Medical Apps that help in combat or statistical, operational control, among many others. In the case of Sales in the B2B sector, we can further add that they are now relearning how to identify their needs in terms of their customers, being able to predict other types of similar situations (for example a new outbreak of the pandemic and the consequent paralysis of the economy), so that they can maintain the chains between partners and face a déjà-vu, but maybe this time, even worse than the first (hopefully not). Those at the forefront and more prepared for these types of scenarios, to which we attribute more competitive advantages, show higher indicators than all the Others. However, it is too early to predict the evolution curve.
The word CAUTION is still an imperative and a wrong step could be catastrophic. Fast-changing environment can be dangerous and I believe that the right order of things could be the Best Practices that could turn out to be tomorrow's liabilities. One thing I know, the future of sales in the B2B sector seems increasingly clear that Leaders today are much more prepared than they were before and will do everything to keep up with these market trends. We have to admit that the relationship that exists between trends and changes affecting this sector is based on Best Sales Practices and not just on the symptoms or problems of a competitive environment. Leaders motivate the sales of organizations. Will we then have to be more Collaborative? Or not? I think so. We all know that the Big Ones need the Little Ones and if everything at the base fails, just like at the Maslow Pyramid, everything else will fail. We have had enough experiences to realize it. It is, therefore, advisable that the Big Ones think about the Little Ones. There is an urgent need for involvement to strengthen. We will all benefit from this. Humanity and Economics are grateful. Fighting now for a more collaborative future may be our only opportunity and this is done from the middle, not from the bottom or top. It is everyone's problem, Governments, banks, businesses, citizens, everyone. The result can be great and certainly faster, more exemplary, because a Balance
can only balance if there is a weight on each side, and the secret is always in the middle (if the metaphor allows me).