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B2B: The human factor

B2B: The human factor

Using the Five Mys in a B2B context can help to provide the same holistic understanding of how clients make choices. Not only are the same factors at play in a business context, but the people making commercial decisions and managing relationships up and down the value chain are all, ultimately, customers – and our behaviour and experiences at home undoubtedly influences our professional lives.

My Motivation: although typically tied to financial drivers, B2B decision-making has become characterized by wider aspects of a trusted and sustainable relationship. Cost is rarely a sole or primary driver of choice, with changing expectations around service and transparency having a significant influence on commercial motivations.

My Attention: the pressures on the attention of different members of a decision-making unit are under just as much of an assault as in our lives as customers. Work attention has become fragmented as technology has changed our relationship with information and communication. Understanding how this changes for different roles within a client organization, and at different phases of a clients' business calendar, can help to identify who and what else is really competing for the time and attention of our target audience.

My Connection: understanding how different members of a decision making unit are connected, how they interact and how they influence one another's choices is key to understanding how to tailor messages, proposals and experiences for a client organization.

My Watch: time is just as precious a commodity in a business context, and can span both an individual and an organizational level. For the individual, this ranges from the time and effort spent negotiating and executing the transactions, to implementation, servicing and being serviced. Whereas for the organization, time can take the form of payment terms, delivery terms, implementation timetables and guarantees.

My Wallet: budgets are inevitably a critical influencer on any commercial decision, but understanding more broadly the the company's balance sheet, income statement, working capital and other financial dynamics can help to yield insight into the pressures on the company wallet – and identify potential opportunities to add value through the structuring of the financial aspect of commercial relationships.

Just as for customers, the Five Mys are both interconnected, and constantly changing. To look at any one of these underlying drivers of decision making in isolation risks failing to understand the nuances that can make or break a commercial transaction, or a client's unmet needs and the tradeoffs that can help shape experience and relationship design.