October 4 by Lin Shearer
The digitally empowered customer is nothing new — businesses everywhere have rushed to accommodate consumers armed with information at their fingertips for quite some time now. However, many Business-to-Business (B2B) companies have yet to realize how much this paradigm has extended beyond the consumer market. B2B buyers are also armed with more information than ever before and have more leverage over sellers.
B2B buyers now turn to newer channels such as e-commerce and are demanding value-added buying experiences. Indeed, B2B customers value an experience that is efficient, convenient, and saves time; they will reward B2B sellers that streamline their ordering operations. Sellers now must respond to a wide array of different buying scenarios across a variety of touch-points and serve these B2B omni-channel buyers.
Winning, serving, and retaining B2B omni-channel buyers should be of paramount importance to B2B sellers. Forrester confirms that 51% of B2B sellers said their omni-channel customers increased spending with them in the past year, with only 7% saying those customers decreased spending. A recent study Apttus conducted with Forrester Consulting of 207 IT and business decision makers confirms that to attract B2B omni-channel buyers, sellers must:
› Respond effectively to newly empowered B2B buyers. More B2B buyers than ever live and breathe online. 68% of them prefer to research online on their own, up from 53% in 2015. It should then come as no surprise that 89% of decision makers say that their organization’s B2B selling priorities are either very or extremely influenced by the expectations of these digitally connected customers.
› Offer both self-service capabilities and human-assisted interactions. The data indicates that B2B buyers are not seeking to make every purchase via either self-service or full service. Instead, they gravitate toward a mixture of both modes across a variety of different purchasing scenarios. This presents an opportunity for sellers to migrate B2B buyers online and convert them into higher value customers.
› Recognize the need for a high-quality buying experience. Nearly all respondents (97%) find the experience itself — one that is convenient, efficient, and saves time — to be important for their organization, and they acknowledge that this experience can be incredibly helpful in allowing them to meet their overall B2B selling priorities.
› Acknowledge the business benefits associated with delivering
a high-quality experience. Decision makers may have traditionally been focused on winning, serving, and retaining new customers, but offering a high-quality experience across touch-points is ultimately more efficient and lucrative for the business as a whole. Indeed, 83% of respondents recognize that the experience improves the ease
of doing business, and 85% recognize that it increases customer lifetime value.
Get more insights and discover how B2B e-commerce, configure-price-quote, and CRM solutions in the cloud empower you to deliver the high quality experiences today’s business buyers expect—get your complimentary copy of the full study now: B2B Omnichannel Commerce In A Machine-Driven World.