A lot has happened in 2022. From continued coronavirus variants to inflation surges, it was yet another challenging year for most B2B companies. Despite these obstacles, suppliers pushed forward to ensure success for their employees.
This past year we’ve seen several large companies fall due to poor management and unforeseen events. We witnessed price increases push customers away. And we watched many companies suffer layoffs. And your company, unfortunately, may have been hit with some of these experiences.
Not every part of your marketing and sales goals may have been met, but you powered through like you always do. So, as 2022 comes to an end, it’s time to reflect and acknowledge the hurdles and lessons learned in the B2B industry that will help you succeed in 2023.
1. Stuff Happens
- Supply Chain Issues
- Omnicron and other Covid Variants.
- Inflation Surge
- Gas Price Increase
- Major Heat Wave
- World Political Tension
The list above includes just some of the major events that occurred in 2022 that had many B2B businesses scrambling to make due. A major takeaway from this year is that stuff happens, and you just have to either be prepared or be prepared to adjust. 2022 saw record-breaking inflation rates across the world and United States. Many businesses were faced with increased material costs in addition to needing to raise the prices of their goods to make a profit. B2B companies adapted and learned quickly that good customer service goes a long way, while others failed with the mentality that long-term clients would stay even with price increases and no added benefit. There were many challenges and roadblocks, but with 2020’s pandemic, 2021’s shipping container crisis, and 2022’s inflation rise, it’s clear that B2B businesses should go into 2023 with the mentality that “stuff happens” and you’ll have to push through.
2. Don’t Depend on Longtime Client Revenue
The phrase “don’t put all your eggs into one basket” will be a cautionary story many will use in 2023 after many long-term clients switched suppliers. The year taught B2B owners that one client should never be responsible for more than 15 percent of revenue. During price increases or needed budget changes, many long-term clients were deciding to switch suppliers. Blindsiding many suppliers. In 2023, you can learn from this B2B lesson by keeping in mind the top 4 reasons buyers switch suppliers:
- To solve a problem
- Lack of communication
- Poor service
3. Culture Prevents Turnover
What is the number one reason employees leave their job? It must be better pay, right? Wrong. A whopping 75 percent of people quit their job due to having a bad manager. Now, it’s fairly easy to assume if your managers in place are “bad,” there is likely a larger issue with the culture overall. So, why does this matter? Well, after 2021’s “great resignation,” it shifted the mindset of many employees. Employees would rather leave a job even if they’re paid well, just to get away from the toxic work environment. Now, it’s not all about a bad work environment. What happened in 2022, is the bar was raised. Many B2B companies found that just two months into training a new employee, they were already out the door. More options equal higher turnover. So, unless your company has an inclusive culture, and cares for its employees, you will likely experience continued turnover in 2023. To learn from this B2B lesson, focus on keeping your current and new hires happy. Not only do happy employees reduce turnover, but they also increase sales! Check out these three reasons salespeople who love their job make more sales:
- They are confident
- They are motivated
- They care
How to Boost Culture:
- Celebrate Small Sales Victories
- Invest in Your Employees’ Sucess
- Organize Group Events
4. Adapt or Fall Behind in the B2B Industry
Between balancing retaining customers AND employees, it can be exhausting to not fall behind in either avenue. IN ADDITION, to already needing to stay ahead of the curve in your industry. 2022 taught many B2B companies, that you either adapt to all the changing aspects, or you fall behind.
Due to inflation, many buyers were faced with increased pricing. However, 2022 taught us that depending on how the business approached this deeply impacted the result. Common reasons buyers switched suppliers in 2022 were due to their budget, the value of the product, the service they received, and any neglect they felt. Across the board, many B2B companies raised their prices, so buyers weren’t switching because they were getting an unbelievable price deal. They were switching because the price, even if MORE than their current provider, included additional features and good customer service. 2022 was a lesson learned by many, that just because you have a solid product, doesn’t mean you can slack on service. Because another company may, and will, win over longtime customers if they provide both.
Due to many switching careers for more work-from-home opportunities, or a better work culture, 2022 was a wake-up call for B2B businesses to adapt to the new norms of a good work environment. In addition, allowing employees to design their work according to their preferences will improve their job satisfaction, resulting in higher productivity.
There is No Innovation
The nail in the coffin for many businesses, no matter the year, is not innovating or staying up to date with trends. Investing in technology and product development is essential for scaling any B2B business. To grow your B2B business, you must understand what your customers are using or could benefit from. Additionally, you should be monitoring your competitors’ actions and implementing changes accordingly.
5. Listening is the Key to Your Companies Success
Having innovative products or services won’t do you much good if you’re not listening to your clients or employees. While this isn’t a new lesson that only appeared in 2022, it is a recurring problem for many B2B companies, and maybe it can be a lesson learned that stops the cycle in 2023. To achieve this, work on keeping full transparency between both employees AND clients.
Employee: By paying attention to complaints and taking them seriously, you are more likely to attract highly skilled and motivated employees to your company.
Buyer: Sometimes, the saying is true..the customer may always be right. If you’re noticing a pattern complaint from multiple buyers, it is time to actually listen and make changes accordingly.
Final Thoughts on B2B Lessons Learned in 2022
Many lessons were learned this year, but it may not be easy to tackle all these tasks alone. By working with a lead generation company, you can focus on improving your business, closing more sales, and addressing your 2022 lessons, while the experts bring in high-quality leads.
If you’re looking to boost sales in 2023, worth with 360Connect. With 360Connect, you can connect with targeted, true-intent leads requesting quotes for your products and services. If you’re ready to improve sales and grow your business in 2023, sign up today!