Most firms are involved in some form of coordination or cooperation with other firms, and most firms are also involved in larger networks with other firms, customers, suppliers, employees or other stakeholders. Estimates suggest that more than half of all transactions in developed economies take place between firms.
Business-to-business (B2B) marketing distinguishes itself from consumer marketing in several ways, among others that decisions are more strategic, that the culture is more technically oriented, that values are often created in close collaboration between with customers, that transactions are large and complex, and that customer relations tend to be long-term and governed by long-term contracts. In addition, personal sales, relationship development, and negotiations are particularly important when the customers are other firms. In this course these different topics—B2B marketing, sales, and negotiations—are therefore integrated and seen as closely connected. As part of the sales concept, interpersonal communication is seen as important for influencing current and future customers.
The course is divided into four main modules, each with different sub-themes.
a. What is business-to-business (B2B) marketing?
b. What is the role of B2B marketers and salespersons in generating income for their firm?
II. Strategy analysis for B2B marketing
a. Organizational buyer behavior: What characterizes organizations as customers?
b. Analyzing B2B transactions: how to identify potential cooperation problems and transaction costs?
c. The external environment: (1) Factors affecting B2B firms and (2) identifying market opportunities
d. Segmentation and positioning: How to segment B2B markets?
III. B2B marketing strategies and strategy implementation
a. General principles for B2B marketing and modern sales: What roles do value, value creation and value capture play for strategy development, buyer-supplier relationships, and the sales process?
b. Defining the customers’ value capture: (1) Product strategies, (2) customer solutions and problem solving, and (3) pricing strategies
c. Governing the value exchange in buyer-supplier relationships: (1) Governance forms, (2) relational contracting and trust, and (3) formal contracting
d. Communicating value to customers, with and without the help of digital tools.
e. Organizing to deliver value to the customers: (1) managing the sales function and using CRM-systems, and (2) organizing distribution channels
a. Distributive negotiations: Succeeding in negotiations where values are to be shared
b. Integrative negotiations: Succeeding in negotiations with potential for value creation
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