March 7, 2011 | By Rey Villar
It’s been one week since we launched Ajilitee’s Groupon Stores offer for a 50% off consulting engagement, a $25,000 value for $12,500. It turns out it’s the largest deal ever offered on Groupon. No buyers yet, but our intrigue with the possibility of adapting this B2C channel to a B2B buying cycle is shared by industry commentators, including cio.com and others.
To make this work, both sellers and buyers have to modify the way they interact. Sellers like us figure out how to be flexible when there is an opportunity. In our case, we extended the offer beyond Groupon Stores’s 7-day limit with an extension on our website to 21 days. Impulse buys are not common business practice, after all. We encouraged people to call us first because such discussions are always part of our sales cycle. And we’re allowing people a full year to exercise their purchase so it can be integrated into a work plan.
Now, are our buyers ready to think out of the box in order to take advantage of a really good deal? Hmm…a buying cycle that typically takes many months and involves group decision making and might involve a procurement department? Challenges are everywhere— especially for IT buyers bound by these processes. Business buyers with urgent needs figure out how to get things done, with or without IT.
“The readiness is all,” said The Bard (otherwise known as William Shakespeare). Social media buying is still in its earliest stages, dominated by consumer buying. We believe it’s only a matter of time before businesses will buy through these channels. After all, everyone wants a good deal, especially when they address burning corporate imperatives (like business intelligence and cloud computing). Stay tuned for more updates on this intriguing offer.