The B2B Relationship and the Importance of Company Culture

Be Different. Deliver Excellence.

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    Team members enjoy having some fun at a meeting in the boardroom.

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    Team members take a break on the GreatAmerica putting green in the first floor living area.

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    Employees enjoy a night of celebration at the Annual GreatAmerica Awards Banquet.

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    Getting creative and working through ideas with post it notes in a meeting.

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    Team members celebrate monthly WOW Awards for providing customers with "The GreatAmerica Experience."

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    Team members enjoy smart technology in the meeting rooms.

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    Team members talk in collaborative open meeting areas.

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    Employees have a meeting in the first floor living area while eating an ice cream sandwich!

Jul 03, 2018

What Does Your Company Culture Mean to Me, and Why Should I Care?

On the surface of the B2B world, it would appear that the most prized attributes of any relationship center around operational efficiency, transactional speed, and consistent service or product delivery. But if you dig deeper, you’ll find gold in a company’s culture and how a business treats its employees and celebrates accomplishments in the workplace. That’s how we built our company and our customers have rewarded us for this foundation.

A research study1 currently making the rounds online states “Eight in ten [decision-makers on the executive level] felt company culture was the most important attribute: being clear about what the company stands for and believes in can be game-changing for the business – especially if the company’s core values and beliefs can be encapsulated in some form of marketing asset.”

Yes, efficiency and operational excellence are way up there in importance, but to sustain those areas requires consistent employee engagement. And how do you keep team members engaged? Create a company culture where they are recognized for implementing core values and delivering on commitments. Happy employees = happy customers. Duh!

B2B Prospects Seek Partners with a Good Culture Fit

But the focus here should be the link between a company’s culture and how it can influence a prospect’s purchasing decision.

We have discovered that businesses seeking a partner and not just a one-off transactional relationship really put time into investigating the inner workings of a business.

They want to know where you stand on critical decisions that could impact their customer relationships and reputation. If your B2B partner is going to trust you with their customer, they want to know how baked-in your values are throughout the company and if you walk the walk when it comes to sustained employee engagement and integrity.

Evidence of baked-in culture can come in the form of employee benefits, recognition events, and informal gatherings that have a resemblance of family.

We just finished our largest recognition event of the year last month—The 26th Annual Employee Awards Show--where we celebrated 102 team members with awards ranging from functional recognition (sales, credit awards) to cultural awards for employees who consistently demonstrate our values and brand promises to our customers. Winners are peer selected and customer selected. Our WOW! Of the Year Award is based on external recognition. . .when a customer is Wowed.

All the awards are important, but the WOW! Award gets a lot of our partners’ attention because it’s awarded throughout the year and is a day-to-day reminder of how to uphold our brand promise to our partners. Many of our partners’ customers contact us directly, and our performance, etiquette, and helpfulness are a direct reflection of our partner. So we better be great and engaged!

Share Your Company Culture with B2B Prospects

If someone is poking around your website and kicking the tires to see what you’re made of, be certain they are measuring your culture. Analytics from our website and social media channels support this theory. Think of ways you can create sincere reflections of the inner workings of your company and enjoy the benefits when prospects become interested in doing business with you as a partner.

Build Your Company Culture by Design

1For the global study, a 315-strong pool of Financial Times readers (executives with business decision-making responsibilities) were surveyed, and an additional qualitative research panel by Russell Research, comprised of 24 senior executives, supplemented the research study.

Category: Business Practices

About The Author

Matt Doty

Matt Doty, GreatAmerica Vice President Corporate Communications, is responsible for maintaining image execution and brand continuity throughout the company. This includes written and verbal communications with internal and external audiences and overall strategic and tactical marketing activities.