A new 2016 Salesforce study tells us a lot about what B2C and B2B customers alike are thinking. With this data, we can put together a snapshot of what experiences B2B loyalty programs should offer. Here are the three things your loyalty plan needs in order to stay relevant and valuable to your channel partners:

Mobile-Ready Online Rewards Tech

We all expect B2C customers to be on their mobile phones, swiping madly on flash sales and carefully researching product reviews. But mobile connectivity and other tech communications are very important to B2B consumers as well. According to the report:

  • 83% of B2B customers say tech has kept their company more informed about product choices than ever.
  • 82% say tech has made it easier than ever to take their company’s business elsewhere.
  • 77% say tech has significantly changed my company’s expectations of how companies should interact with them.
  • 79% say they feel significantly more empowered as a decision-maker than they did five years ago.

b2b customer loyalty and tech

To ignore these stats is to do major damage to your B2B partnerships. Make it easy and rewarding for your channel partners to do business with you, or they’ll find someone who will. Use an incentive program mobile app to make your loyalty program faster and more convenient. That way, your sales reps, distributors, contractors, etc. can earn points from the field, in real-time for sales, warranty registrations, survey completions, online training, and more. This kind of B2B relationship isn’t just beneficial to you—exchanges are rewarding for both parties.

Personalized Rewards and Exclusive Offers

If you thought that you didn’t need to get up-close-and-personal with B2B customers, think again. The Salesforce study revealed that 89% of business buyers expect companies to understand their business needs and expectations. The brands that provide informed, valuable, personalized benefits and communications are the ones they’re loyal to. Look at these numbers:

  • 68% say that whether a company offers rewards for purchases influences their brand loyalty.
  • 35% say whether a company sends personalized or exclusive offers and discounts influences their brand loyalty.
  • 58% say whether a company offers rewards for referrals, feedback, or product reviews influences their loyalty.
  • 74% say that sending personalized or exclusive offers and discounts influences their loyalty.
b2b customer loyalty brand valueb2b customer loyalty rewards

Show your appreciation to your B2B customers through personalized offers and loyalty rewards relevant to their particular needs and goals. When you establish that kind of direct, immediately recognizable value to your B2B partners, you’re much more likely to retain them.

Trained and Trusted Sales Reps

Lastly, this new Salesforce study tells us that B2B companies want to be able to trust their partners. They expect to interact with sales reps who understand their existing relationships, their market and their needs. Here are the things survey respondents said were most important to them when it comes to interacting with a sales rep:

  • 79% say it’s very important for a sales rep to also act as a trusted advisor.
  • 83% say the sales rep should have intimate knowledge of their products or services.
  • 80% say the sales rep shouldn’t to sell them something their company doesn’t need.
  • 79% say the sales rep should understand their existing relationship.
  • 78% say the sales rep should have a clear understanding of their market.

Use online training rewards to educate your salesforce so that their interactions with customers are seamless and productive. This will help ensure your customer relations go smoothly and increase your B2B partners’ trust in you as a valued, informed asset to their goals.

Keep this study in mind as you implement or refine your B2B customer loyalty program. As trends in customer demands change, you should adapt your loyalty rewards and plans.

<strong>About </strong>Steve Damerow

About Steve Damerow

Steve Damerow is the Founder of Incentive Solutions, an incentive program provider in Atlanta specializing in helping B2B companies increase distribution channel sales, establish customer loyalty and retention, and develop long-lasting channel partnerships.

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