Building bundles for B2B customers
Defining the specific components of a B2B communications service as part of a bundle can be tricky. Increasingly, operators recognise that they need to provide different tiers, with different functionality and capabilities to meet the needs of a much more diverse audience. This trend will continue, mirroring approaches taken by other SaaS companies.
B2B communications service bundles are essential tools for operators
Bundles are a key tool when selling to any customer, but they have particular value for B2B users. As we know, a bundle is the combination of connectivity, allowances and any additional items, that is offered to a customer when they subscribe to your services. Almost all of our customers provide a specific offer to the B2B users – but some also offer different packages, depending on the size of the company.
As such, they are a key tool for building value. While for a long time, the B2B service component has tended to be the same offer (e.g. a mobile VPN or mobile PBX service), that’s changing, as operators seek to provide services that cater to the needs of different organisations. They may also promote a base package, with add-ons that increase value to the operator and utility to the customer.
So, getting the bundle right is essential. However, while historically many B2B service providers have focused on a single bundle, which they offer to all customers, this approach is changing.
There is a growing need for differentiation and tiers
That’s because customers are increasingly seeking for services that match their organisational needs and are less inclined to take a ‘one size fits all’ solution or approach. They are now selecting different business software solutions based on the same logic – so are comfortable in adopting the same approach to their communications solutions.
One way to address this is to focus on specific segments – for example:
- SME <50 employees
- SME < 250 employees
- Enterprise >250
And so on. Many of our customers have taken this approach and have directed all their efforts to a single segment – B or D, for example. However, increasingly, they are trying to address all segments but with different offers that are optimised for each. Essentially, they are building multiple B2B bundles to layer onto their connectivity service offers. As such, they will provide several bundles – three is now typical – aligned with the core functionality that different size businesses typically require.
Some position these as “starter” “advanced” and so on, but they are basically oriented to match the segmentation criteria that makes most sense in individual markets. This approach is identical to the way in which most “Software as a service” or SaaS software companies position their solutions, with an increasingly number of features being included with escalating subscription price points.
What features are required for each level?
In this case, the trick is to define the core (base) functionality and then to select the features necessary for each additional tier. In one sense, it doesn’t much matter what the differences are – the point is to make them appreciable, so that there is clear daylight between each level.
Just as with other SaaS offers, it is also important to allow migration from one tier or level to another. So, as a business evolves – perhaps through growth or organisational complexity – there should be a clear pathway. We can help advise on the right combination of features for each tier, based on experience gained across different horizontal segments.
Vertical approaches will become more common – especially with 5G
Another approach is to gear offers to different industries and sectors – for example, healthcare, hospitality and manufacturing. This creates the potential to add other software solutions to the mix, thus broadening the portfolio and appealing to very specific audiences.
To achieve this, operators and service providers need solutions that can support this segmentation – horizontal and vertical – as well as integration with any complementary solutions that may be included in the bundles.
In particular, with 5G demanding an absolute focus on the needs of different business customers, operators need to get ready for these differentiated approaches now, as such diverse bundles are likely to be key to success with a more demanding business audience, irrespective the size of the target organisation.