I was first exposed to accounting in business school back in the late 1990’s. It was part of the coursework required for my finance major. The classes were boring but the practical work, while repetitive, was in a way satisfying. Accounting is relatively well bound in its practice but buying accounting services, sometimes called bookkeeping, […]
Supplier diversity, simply put, is a business strategy that ensures a diverse supplier base when dealing with procurement of goods and services for any organization. This includes private business, non-profit and governmental agencies. When we discuss supplier diversity, we emphasize its creation of a diverse supply chain that ensures inclusivity of diverse groups within the […]
Consultants are often considered as very prohibitive resources that only a few can truly afford. There is clearly some truth to this especially if you are a novice consulting buyer. In reality, management consulting services do not have to be viewed as a cost but instead can be an investment with tangible, measurable results.
In our previous post we spoke about the location trade off when hiring consultants. The need for expertise and local intervention were the two attributes we looked into to support that decision. While determining if the expertise required exists locally or not is now clear, the question remains as to whether you need an industry […]
Many of you may have seen the movie Up in the Air where George Clooney plays the role of a high flying consultant that specializes in downsizing. As a former consultant myself, the image is not too far out from reality. But does this mean that location is inconsequential when buying management consulting services? As […]
Today, we are thrilled to announce the launch of our web app for Koble 2.0. The web app brings the ability to search for over 11 million companies in 30 categories, to an SMB or corporate buyer’s desktop. The web app features Koble Pages – smaller than a website and larger than a listing – […]
Coming up with an effective marketing strategy is all about what works for you and what does not. Whether you are a big or small business owner, you have to come up with a plan that will suit your needs and budget. The first step to doing so is by learning the market trends. We […]
Koble, which is a partner of America’s SBDC and an official ambassador for America’s SBDCs 3rd Annual SBDC Day, helps SMB companies with a focus on selling and buying from other businesses solve their number one business challenge — discovering the right new companies to do business with! Koble supports the mission of the SBDCs […]
A year has passed since our first annual Koble SMB Sales and Growth Confidence Survey. A lot has changed for small- to medium-sized businesses over the last 365 days. The Trump administration’s new tax reform officially went into effect, the employment rate continues to tick higher, the longest government shutdown in history came and went, […]
Online reviews are becoming an increasingly popular way for people to make buying decisions, and these reviews carry significant weight for a business’ reputation. Today, an online presence is an essential part of any marketing strategy. And, despite not being under their control, companies should treat online reviews as a crucial piece of their digital […]
B2C businesses around the world have utilized social networks to their advantage with great success over the last decade. Meanwhile, B2B companies have been much slower to adopt social and digital practices that yield similar results for their unique business structures. Even though B2B audiences may be slightly more niche, B2B companies need to be […]
Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of Koble 2.0 for iPhone and Android! With Koble 2.0, small and medium-sized businesses, as well as global corporations, can find the right companies to do business with the swipe of their thumb. With the launch of Koble 2.0, 11 million Koble Pages are going live for SMBs […]
At Koble we believe in supporting small businesses which are the lifeblood of our economy. We have chosen to support the ASBDC on SBDC Day this coming March 20th, 2019. It gives us a great reason to celebrate the small businesses across our nation and locally in our community. This is SBDC’s third annual national celebration that praises the success and impact that America’s Small Business Development Centers have.
While building a loyal customer base is difficult in any field, building solid B2B relationships with business customers can be especially daunting. Small to medium-sized businesses, in particular, often find it challenging to set themselves apart from much larger sellers that have long standing reputations, scale, and standardized services.
Let’s be honest: advertising often costs too much as a small B2B business and you can’t really depend alone on customers finding you organically. That leaves you with the often manual process of targeted outbound sales. However, simply surfing the Web or swiping your mobile device to find new business prospects is hard!
The beginning of the year is a time ripe for reflections and projections. We look back on what we’ve done in the past, and use those lessons learned to look for ways to change and improve, to avoid previous failures, and replicate or ensure successes.
We’d like to wish everyone a happy holiday season! 2018 has been a very productive and fruitful year for Koble, and we hope you had great success as well. Each year seems to fly by faster and faster, and we’re so excited to see what 2019 has in store.
Nothing is worse than getting an email from an address that looks like your friend’s only for you to open it and realize it’s a phishing scam. Not only is it really annoying, but it compromises your information.
If there’s one thing that love and doing business have in common, it’s trying to find that perfect match. In your quest to find “the one,” you’ve probably made a wish-list of qualities that your perfect match possesses.
It’s easy to get blinded by big numbers. Statistics tend to be more impressive when the numbers are staggering. Profits look better when multiple commas separate the numbers, and business appears to be booming with an uptick in the number of clients.
Everyone knows that there’s more than just a certain prestige that comes with claiming a big company as one of your clients. Big clients are obviously great from an optics standpoint, but more importantly for small enterprises, these contracts and revenue can really be a game changer for the balance sheet and the future trajectory of a company.
B2B marketing has come a long way from the days of direct mail. This, of course, comes as no surprise, given the recent rise and projected growth of B2B ecommerce. With the sector heating up, there’s a greater need for connecting with and attracting sophisticated business buyers.
While buying online is often looked at as something that consumers do, it is becoming impossible to overlook the dollars that businesses are now spending online in transactions with other businesses. In fact, Forrester estimates that B2B ecommerce could reach $1.2 trillion and account for more than 13% of all B2B sales in the US by 2021.
For a long time, when it came time to sell a product or service, the company, or seller, tended to have an advantage over the buyer. The seller held all the cards because buyers didn’t have unlimited access to information about the seller and its product or service. Today, buyers are in control and they can often be hiding.
Koble commissioned a Google Survey administered to 500 owners and managers of small-to-medium sized business across the U.S. with fewer than 100 employees. Here’s what we found with the results of Koble’s 2018 SMB Sales and Growth Confidence Survey.
We’ve blogged about the importance of building a network before and also why you shouldn’t be afraid to share your network. But for this post we’d like to share some of our thoughts on what to avoid when creating/expanding your network.
Swiping or scrolling are no longer just for dating. The gestures once associated with Tinder and eHarmony are now invading the business world. The tech world has found ways to hack itself into our professional lives to make it easier and more fun for us to find our next business relationships. Can these gestures work in the business context? And is one better than the other?
So, you’ve created your Marketing content and now you want to post it to grab the attention of your target market. How do you proceed? Here’s some tips and ideas on how to get the most out of what you post:
At Facebook’s F8 conference in 2016, Mark Zuckerberg said “(Instant messaging) is going to be the next big platform for helping you connect with all kinds of services in new ways”.
When you consider that this is the man who spent the best part of $22bn buying WhatsApp, you can be pretty sure he knows what he’s talking about.
But where is instant messaging or instant chat heading and what does this mean for businesses?
Exactly a year ago on October 17th Koble was launched to help large and small businesses to meet, connect and communicate. And as we progress on our mission we’ve learned a lot. And there is no better time than our first anniversary to share with you 3 of our key findings.
Lead generation is the backbone of most companies’ B2B sales strategy. But in today’s competitive environment it’s extremely hard for a B2B company to avoid overstretching yourselves and end up cracking under pressure.
Does your company depend on a lead generation system that brings in inconsistent results? Are you struggling to establish a stronger sales pipeline that will ensure you obtain and retain steady growth? Or are you looking for more effective B2B lead generation ideas to test?
This week’s post has been written by Peter Smith, Chief Research Officer, Managing Director – Spend Matters UK/ Europe.
I’m not an Uber user, but my daughter (and many friends) are and I can absolutely see the consumer benefits that the firm offers. However, I was pleased to see the Transport for London decision on Friday not to renew Uber’s licence to operate in the city.
The ability to conduct an effective supplier evaluation is one of the key responsibilities of any professional procurement role. In the past, buying just meant focusing on the lowest cost option. But in modern procurement, the buyer has a much more hands on role in evaluating suppliers and performing these to the best of their ability these is crucial for success. To help you succeed, here’s 8 tips that you can think of when evaluating your next suppliers.
It’s a known fact that it’s quite difficult for SMEs to sell their goods and services to larger companies. The process in theory can take too much time and resources, with lots of red tape and cumbersome procurement processes. It’s no wonder that many small businesses focus on selling to other SMEs
But what is the situation really like? As a company with a mission to connect SMEs to larger Procurement departments, we’ve got some ideas about what constitutes best practice, on both sides.
When you look at Procurement in its basic form, it’s all about buying something because that supplier is good or because that supplier is cheap.
In Procurement, you always have to be cost-conscious. You always should have the financial health of your organization at the forefront and It is your responsibility that you don’t allow your supply base to enjoy excessive profits or power at the cost of your company. So is a cheaper supplier actually better?
When you think about Procurement, what word springs to you mind? Risky? Complex? Procurement is evolving, so it no longer has to be the daunting process it used to be. Done well, Procurement can bring many benefits to your company, so here’s 4 tips on what to avoid.
We’ve written about ABM and its uses before where we presented that it is a much more focused marketing tool that traditional methods. The usual metaphor is that traditional marketing is like hunting with a net, while ABM is hunting with a spear. So just how big is ABM going to get and how exactly are marketers currently using it? Let’s take a look at a few key charts courtesy of e-marketing.com.
We’ve posted recently about how to engage your audience and why you should use Content Marketing to stand out from the crowd, but we’ve never actually gone through what we think are the best types of Content Marketing that Marketers can use. So to change that, here’s what we find the most effective:
Engaging with SME suppliers offers a range of opportunities for corporate organisations. The agility offered by SME suppliers and the increased focus on customer satisfaction make SME suppliers a good option for organisations. The benefits are wide ranging
Our platform, like social media platforms allows Marketers and Salespeople to post content related to their business. However, the real trick is to get your target audience to actually respond and engage with what you post. If you’re not getting any engagement, here’s some tips to help.
In June Facebook passed the 2 billion monthly active users mark. As a single site it is now the largest media property in the world. And as it grows it will continue to attract marketers to tap into this uniquely dense population creating massive opportunities for Facebook and its partners.
Last week we posted about using the right channels in your marketing and we had some interesting feedback from it. One of the main points of discussion was a company were sure that they were posting on the channels that their customers were visiting, but they weren’t getting any traction with their lead generation. This may have been due to the lack of an effective call to action on their content.
As a small business you may think that the options available to you when marketing your offering are overwhelming. This may be the case, but a solid Marketer will know that promoting your offering over a wide area isn’t the most cost-effective method. So, how do you ensure that you are using the right channels that work best for your audience?
Last Friday Red Herring announced the winners of its Top 100 North America 2017 event, recognizing the continent’s most exciting and innovative private technology companies. We’re happy to announce that we were one of them.
Last year we wrote about why lead generation forms are dead. We still believe this and we thought we’d update our thoughts and share some experiences that we’ve encountered since we published that article.
We’re delighted to announce that we’ve been selected as a finalist for Red Herring’s Top 100 North America award, one of the technology industry’s most prestigious prizes.
Koble is pleased to announce that we have been named by Spend Matters as one of their 50 providers to watch for 2017.
We’ve recently been advertising various promotions on our social media channels and we’d noticed a rise in the amount of followers we had. This should sound great, but the reality is that we didn’t know at the time how many of these new followers are actual real people, or how many are Bots which got us thinking “How will these bot accounts affect us?”
At Koble we have 2 main goals: 1 for Professional buyers and procurement teams to source new suppliers quickly and anonymously and 2. For SME’s to have a channel to show themselves and their capabilities to these Buyers directly, without the need for SEO knowledge or large marketing resources.
So, you’re looking to launch an account-based marketing (ABM) strategy that will target bigger deals. You have many targets on your list selected by sales, but you’re a team of one. How do you proceed? Where do you start? What is ABM?
Last week we wrote about why you should build relationships with your Suppliers, but this week we’d like to share our thoughts on why Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) should not be overlooked and what procurement departments can do to engage this marketplace.
CPOs are noticing how important it is to improve the relationships their company has with suppliers. Poor supplier relationships can negatively impact your business in a number of ways. The main way is money, discounts will hardly be forthcoming if there’s no relationship between you.
Many leading companies are already utilizing digital technologies to revolutionize the way they are working with procurement. But we still see many companies struggling with how to apply these digital concepts to their own way of doing business.
In our previous blogs we’ve talked about the benefits of creating and expanding your business network and how you can stand out from your competition using compelling content marketing.
Your business network isn’t as private as you think it is.
In the Marketing world, competition is brutal. No matter what industry you’re in or how long you’ve been in business, we can almost guarantee that one of your competitors is seemingly streets ahead when it comes to promoting their brand to their audience.
In order to grow your company, developing your business network is essential. 21st Century technology has changed the way we all network. Instead of cold calling or sending out unsolicited email, we’re now seeking out connections on social media and obtaining referrals to help build our networks – and ultimately business.
I was recently forwarded a Techcrunch article which talked about how search engine optimization could be next in line for software-powered automation, potentially putting hundreds of thousands of ‘SEO consultants’ out of a job.
Even though Account-Based Marketing has been around for over a decade, it’s still seen as being under-utilized when comes to a B2B Marketing Strategy. Traction is starting to pick up with the general marketing audience though, as you can see from this Google Trends graph from the last decade.
How many times have you read a post claiming that ”email is dead”? A quick online search shows hundreds of articles all claiming this over the last few years, but email is still here. Will 2017 herald the sound of emails death knell?
Technology now allows us to be connected 24/7.
An article on Forbes¹ looked into the founders of Tinder’s next ideas. In the article they talked about matching business networks in a similar way to people who use their app. Here’s a quote from Tinder founder Sean Rad from the article:
“LinkedIn provides a helpful way of organizing existing business contacts, but it’s not effective for sparking new relationships. Connection requests from strangers on the network are just as unwanted as those on Facebook….
According to a survey of over 500 Procurement professionals , one of the biggest supplier-related issues that Procurement professionals face is actually finding new innovative suppliers.
When sourcing, you have many options: You could go to a major player such as Accenture who will do all the hard work for you, but then this may not be financially feasible for companies who don’t have the budget.
According to World Bank numbers, there are 42 million¹ registered companies globally. However, less than 2,000² publicly listed companies have a revenue of $2 billion and over. This concentration of wealth offers these giants considerable power. Their sheer size and bargaining strengths can determine competition and expected outcome. For the rest of us, battling against these behemoths is daunting and often demoralizing, especially for SME’s.
Although they’re often overlooked, your employees are a huge marketing asset for your brand. By reinforcing your company’s messages on their social media profiles, they can exponentially expand your brand’s reach and influence.
Finding the right supplier for your business isn’t just about managing your spend and finding the best deal. With increasingly complicated supply chains and a wide variety of suppliers, B2B companies need to take a controlled, systematic approach to souring if they want to be successful.
B2B sales and marketing teams often get a bad rap for being rivals instead of teammates. Although they’re ultimately working towards the same goal—growing your business—the two departments often focus on different tasks and metrics, use different tools and have a hard time seeing the value in what the other department is doing.
Live chat software allows vendors and B2B buyers to directly communicate with each other in real time.
Instead of sending an email to an unattended firstname.lastname@example.org or calling and waiting in a long cue, potential buyers can use live chat to speak directly with vendors. This real time communication is powerful.
Let’s face it, it’s not practical to make 6,264 cold calls to close four deals.
Today’s B2B buyers are extremely connected, informed and socially empowered. To sell to them, you need to be personable, responsive and socially aware. You need to take advantage of social selling.
Let’s face it, no one likes filling out a long form to get to unlock a piece of content. When buyers are in the middle of researching a product or service, they don’t want to stop what they’re doing to give away their personal information, especially if they know what this will likely mean (continuous phone calls interrupting their day and constant emails filling up their inbox).
Networking is a powerful tool for business. It can expand your knowledge, connect you with new customers, create partnerships and raise your profile. But while it’s certainly an indispensable method for boosting your business, networking also has its awkward moments.
A salesperson calls a lead only to hear “He doesn’t work here anymore,” “You have the wrong number,” or “The number you’ve reached is no longer in service.” A marketer pulls a list from the CRM, only to have their emails bounce and performance rates plunge due to undeliverable emails addresses.
You’re dealing with dirty data.
Today’s acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft marks a historical turn for the future of professional networking. The underpinning synergies of the deal suggest the inevitable merger of enterprise cloud software and business networking.
Koble is the only platform that lets you compete for more business, easily, transparently and without incurring huge costs. Through posting content, and letting the software do all the work to find the right, interested parties for your content, you will be in position to grow your presence as far as you see fit.
The World Trade Organization in its latst report on International Trade Statistics 2015, tells us that in 2013, B2B global e-commerce was valued at about US$ 15 trillion and B2C e-commerce at more than US$ 1 trillion, with these figures forecast to rise steadily.
The Twitter world has been on fire in the last couple of weeks with news of Stephen Fry suspending his account. Fry, the British author, actor, national treasure, TV personality and all round cleverest guy in the country, was upset after people criticised his comment when presenting the Bafta Awards .
The new year has started with very dramatic movements on the world’s stock markets. Concerns about an economic slowdown in China, and what looked like a “bubble” in share prices in that country, have driven the Shanghai market down by over 20% in 2016 already.
The first known use of the noun “company” dates back to the 13th century according to Merriam Webster. It’s origin can be traced back to the word “companion” and a company often refers to an association of people.
So you are sick and tired of sending out thousands of flyers, making unwanted and ill-received phone calls, listening to the sigh as you hear “I’ll talk to my boss and get back to you,”and attending monthly breakfast networking events with not a relevant bite in site.
Why do procurement people always feel like they are on the back foot when it comes to the world of suppliers? Is that why they stick to the same ones year in, year out?
“Let’s just stick to what we know”.
In many ways, that is one of the most dispiriting sentences in the English language. Let’s go back to that same resort we’ve holidayed in for the last 20 years, the restaurant or pub we use every last Saturday of the month, the same old TV programmes.
Let’s imagine I’m the procurement manager at a mid-sized UK firm. We have a couple of factories, a warehouse and two offices around Birmingham. We’re not huge, so the procurement function is just me and one assistant.
Online matchmaking works incredibly well: more than a third of all marriages are now between couples who met on a dating site. Yet in B2B sales, buyers and vendors are having a harder and harder time getting together – online or off.