What does it take for a B2B app to be successful?

Even the most mindless apps serve a purpose: filling time when you’re bored. We call these “time hackers.” They take up time needlessly, but they are entertaining. Most times, you’re not looking for those mindless apps though — you’re looking for an app that can improve your way of life, an app that solves some need. This is especially the case with apps you use at work, and more specifically, B2B apps. This app genre requires that a company pay specific attention to a few key aspects of app development:

Answer a need with efficiency
When developing B2B apps, it’s important to recognize what makes them successful in the first place. To start, and yes this is true of all apps, the app itself must fulfill a need. This means answering a question, solving a problem or simply making the buying process easier. In essence, an app that adds to the efficiency of the decision process and the work day.

Locate your market
No, this doesn’t mean geographically. Locate your market is a nod to where your target goes to look for new apps. Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store are not the only two that exist for B2B apps. While these are popular places to start, expand your horizons a bit. In particular, Salesforce AppExchange is a key space to find your B2B market. Salesforce is without a doubt a leading platform within the B2B industry. Bottom line, it’s a good locale to research when developing B2B apps.

Niche marketing
B2B markets are small…smaller than their B2C counterparts. When marketing your B2B app, be picky. You probably didn’t try to promote your chemical company on theSkimm. The ROI on that would be laughable. You may, however, have found a useful plug on your industry’s leading e-newsletter. Do a little research. Find your niche, create a persona and target it.

Make it simple
When B2B company colleagues are trying to make a buying decision, the last way they want to be spending their time is trudging up the mountain that is the learning curve for an app you’ve poorly designed. Take this into account during your prototyping phase. Try it out with a segment of your target. App abandonment is a huge concern and problem in app stores across the board, and slow onboarding is generally the culprit.

TL;DR
When developing or ideating for a B2B app, focus heavily on a very specific target. Map out personas and test early on in order to ensure a successful, usable, reliable app experience.

Thanks to Amanda Vera for editing this post and the lovely @globalHMA designers for image selection and sizing!

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