B2B Projects & Solutions are always Complex

If you are involved in a new Project, you know it: there are no simple projects. Whatever their size and value, they are always complex to manage.

B2B Projects & Solutions are found in such sectors as:

  • Industry
  • Infrastructures
  • Transportation
  • Energy & Utilities
  • IT, Software, Telecom
  • Security & Defense
  • Construction & Engineering

For example, it can be a new website for a SME, the modernization of the IT system in a hospital, a new public administration building, or a new megaproject in the energy sector.

B2B Projects & Solutions in industry

The 4 characteristics common to all B2B Projects & Solutions

New_Multi_Decided at the start_High stakes

These B2B Projects & Solutions, apparently widely diverse, have a common pattern: they share four characteristics. They are always:

  1. NEW
  2. MULTI
  1. NEW: B2B Projects & Solutions are always a “first time” and unique. This involves some levels of innovation, risks, and changes.
  2. MULTI: B2B Projects & Solutions are always multi-people & decision-makers, multi-functional, and cross-organizational. They involve at least one client and one supplier. The solution is co-created.
  3. HIGH STAKES: B2B Projects & Solutions are always important for all involved. This creates tensions, politically, socially, and financially.
  4. CRITICAL AT THE START: B2B Projects & Solutions run over 3 phases (Development, Implementation, O&M); the Development phase is where most decisions are made; They’d better be right for the project to succeed.

These characteristics are interrelated, making B2B projects and solutions inherently complex. Therefore, we refer to them as "Complex projects," "Complex sales," and "Complex procurement."

Unfortunately, this complexity is often underestimated or even ignored, leading to ineffective approaches and ultimately, failure.

Grasping this inherent complexity is essential to address B2B projects and solutions in the right way.

Overcoming Complexity in B2B Projects & Solutions through Structured Collaboration

The complexity we face in B2B Projects & Solutions can only be overcome by COLLABORATION between stakeholders, people, and their organizations.  Collaboration helps solve the complexity and maximizes the chances of mutual success. Ideally, collaboration should occur during the development phase when complexity is highest.

Other approaches tend to accentuate complexity and fragmentation, leading to negative project outcomes. The lack of collaboration is often the root cause of problems and failures in B2B Projects & Solutions.

In other words, collaboration is the ingredient that determines success or failure in B2B Projects & Solutions.

Therefore, if collaboration is the right strategy to address B2B Projects & Solutions, then how manage it in a structured way?

This is the purpose of Managed Collaboration (the MCO Method). The MCO Method is a structured framework that helps stakeholders work together effectively, leading to positive outcomes.

How to manage Collaboration in a structured way?

Overcoming Complexity through Collaboration

Sales Methods in B2B Projects & Solutions

Suppliers and their sales professionals use sales methods in B2B Projects & Solutions for a long: John Paterson, the founder of NCR, developed a methodical approach to sales already more than a century ago. Selling cash register machines was experienced as complex at that time.

Sales methods have flourished until today, going by various names: Complex sales, Solution selling, Strategic sales, High-Value Sales, and so forth...