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Best practices for SMEs and Large Company Procurement depts.

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.

Is Using a Cheaper Supplier Actually Better?

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?

4 Procurement Pitfalls to Avoid

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.

How Big Will ABM Get?

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.

What Type of Content Works Best?

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:

Why You Should Work with SMEs

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

The Ultimate Guide to Increasing Engagement.

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.

Blurred signals: marketers and the social network dilemma

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.

Using an Effective Call to Action to Generate Engagement

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.

Are You Using the Right Channels for Your Marketing?

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?

We’ve been chosen as a 2017 Red Herring Top 100 North America Winner

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.

Why Lead Generation Forms are Still Dead

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.

Koble Named as a Finalist at 2017 Red Herring Top 100 North America

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 Named as one of Spend Matters 50 Providers to Watch, 2017

Koble is pleased to announce that we have been named by Spend Matters as one of their 50 providers to watch for 2017.

Bot on the Landscape – Why Real People And Real Analytics Are Vital.

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?”

How Can SMEs Understand Customers Better? 5 Tips to Help You

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.

Can SMEs Run Account Based Marketing Campaigns? Of Course, Here’s How.

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?

Looking to work with SMB Suppliers? 4 Tips that can help you.

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.

Why You Should Build a Good Relationship with Suppliers

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.

Keeping up with the Procurement Joneses? Or How Procurement is Evolving…Fast.

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.

Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Share your Network.

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.

Using Content Marketing to Stand Out from the Crowd.

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.

The Value of Creating a Business Network

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.

Will Automated Software Replace Human Intuition in B2B Purchasing?

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.

5 Reasons why Account Based Marketing can boost your business.

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.

Will 2017 be the Death of Email?

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.

Tinder for business? Close, but not quite…

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….

Is Searching Online the Best Means of Sourcing Suppliers?

According to a survey of over 500 Procurement professionals [1], 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.

To Reel in More Customers, Is a Bigger Net Necessary?

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.

How to Increase Employee Engagement on Social Media

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.

6 Benefits of Supplier Relationship Management

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.

10 Ways to Improve Sales and Marketing Collaboration

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.

10 Reasons You Need Live Chat for B2B Lead Generation

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 info@companyname.com 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.

What is Social Selling and Why Should You Care?

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.

4 Reasons Lead Generation Forms Are Dead

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).

How to Make a Business Introduction

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.

7 Ways to Clean Up Your Dirty CRM Data

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.

Sound familiar?

You’re dealing with dirty data.

LinkedIn + Microsoft

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.

3 Tips for Marketing Success on Koble

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.

Challenging the Traditional Marketing Space – A New Ocean for Suppliers to Swim in

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.

Stephen Fry Leaves Twitter – What Are the Business Implications?

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 .

Procurement in Difficult Times – Don’t Use Your Hammer, Use Your Brain!

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 Enterprise Fabric

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.

The Salesperson’s Lot – If Only There Were Another Way

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.

Procurement Doesn’t Have To Be Disadvantaged When It Comes to Supplier Knowledge!

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?

Don’t Get Stuck – the Dangers of Incumbent Bias

“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.

The Problems With “Search” for Procurement Professionals

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.

Making a Better Match

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.