The changing dynamics of B2B commerce, have reflected a need for accelerated adaptation to industry expectations and needs. It is no lie that digital transformation has not only been accelerated by the pandemic, but has been constantly evolving for several years. Specifically in the B2B model, customers today demand more and more digital interactions, similar to those received by customers in the B2C segment.
In the B2B segment, a dynamic between buyers and sellers started to become evident, with certain challenges such as: finding new suppliers, building more direct and agile relationships with them, from whom, what and how to buy, etc. Omni-channel selling is perfectly adapted to the new requirements of suppliers as it constitutes digital interactions, very similar to those already naturally present with consumers.
In the new, all-digital normal, B2B buyer expectations have changed. Did you know that 37% of B2B companies still sell through 100% face-to-face channels and only 41% sell through online digital purchasing options?
If your company falls within this 37% the friction of your buying process is losing customers and revenue. In a rapidly changing and almost entirely online world, how important is it to allow your customers to self-manage online?
On the other hand, one of the most important aspects that is being lost by not fully utilizing digital self-service purchasing options is capturing quality data. Without this invaluable data, which describes how your customers move from product to product, how they interact with the purchase, when they make the purchase, etc., you won’t be able to optimize the sales process to its full potential.
You may be wondering, where do I start?
In order to offer a minimally frictionless buying process that is easily scalable and sustainable, you must invest in digital and self-service buying options through e-commerce. This paves the way for implementing digital options such as an ERP, CRM and many other digital solutions for complex business operations. Streamlining and automating these processes opens the door to greater flexibility to scale, increased productivity and revenue growth.
B2B selling has actually changed much faster and more dramatically than many would have imagined. Did you know that 94% of companies consider today’s omnichannel B2B reality – where customers buy face-to-face, remotely and online – to be as effective or more effective than before COVID-19, and furthermore B2B customers now regularly use ten or more channels to interact with suppliers.
Suppliers will have to fight hard to retain loyalty if customer needs are not being met: Eight in ten B2B decision-makers say they will actively seek a new supplier if performance guarantees are not offered through the digital channel.
Omnichannel sales are more effective than ever.
Doubters have become believers. Today, 94% of B2B decision makers say that the new omnichannel sales model is as effective compared to the sales model they used before the pandemic. Having said that, B2B suppliers must continue to adapt to cope with this new omnichannel reality. Undoubtedly, the shift to a more varied sales approach is not a simple process.
Customers are using more channels than ever before
Omnichannel really does involve many channels. The number of channels B2B customers use has doubled in the last five years. B2B customers say they now interact with suppliers through ten or more channels, up from 5 in 2016.
Part of the reason customers are engaging across a wider range of channels is that suppliers are finally catching up with demand. More companies than ever before also started offering e-commerce as a sales channel. Video conferencing and online chat also increased during the year. Importantly, now is the time to make sure your sales and marketing teams can work together to improve the overall customer experience.
The next normal for B2B sales is here, and there is no turning back. The pressures of the new normal have accelerated change. To stay ahead of the curve, companies will need to remain flexible and dynamic to meet the needs of their customers.