In B2B customer relationships, ‘O what a tangled web we weave’


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The “tangled web” woven in this famous poem is about practicing deceit. Integrity makes life much easier in account managment too, but the “tangled web” in B2B is the complexity of roles and relationships that must be developed.

For example, large customer-side relationships include purchasing, corporate executives, key decision-makers and influencers by function and BU, and of course end-users. Channel partners add layers of relationships, including for customers behind the channel.

This complexity makes journey mapping the B2B customer experience quite challenging. The array of personas have varying expectations themselves, not to mention within unique customer segments or verticals served. For example, Purchasing and Decision-makers may well have total cost or ROI more top of mind than influencers and end-users, who care more about the core product’s ease of use and product quality. Channel partners tend to look more for training and marketing support than direct customers, who seek technical support. But some of these priorities adjust according to buyers in markets as distinct as, say, telecom vs. financial services.

The myriad of relationships and expectations in B2B makes creating the maps all the more valuable, because they help clarify the internal message about what key customers want, from the the variety of personas. Which are the real “moments of truth” to emphasize, for not only account managment/sales, but support, marketing and R&D as well?

B2B journey mapping helps untangle the web.


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