Business-to-consumer (B2C) sales have shifted dramatically in recent years. The internet has made strides in providing new channels for customers and enhancing the information available to them 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The epidemic prompted an avalanche of B2C digital transformation projects to help businesses withstand the onslaught on brick-and-mortar establishments and retain customers. Before clicking “add to cart,” these customers can now locate what they want, when they want, compare reviews, and obtain all the post-purchase information they want.
Those who work in B2B sales know how crucial digital transformation can be, especially in the aftermath of the epidemic. In the quest to obtain a competitive advantage and prepare for the future, it’s survival of the fittest. And the game of the future will revolve around digitization, virtualization, and networking. If B2B sales firms do this right, the industry’s new wave of digital transformation will be transformative.
So, what has changed in the B2B sales landscape specifically? The shift in negotiating power toward customers as a result of globalization and market openness is undeniably the elephant in the room.
Customers’ requirements are continually changing as a result of the negotiating power they have obtained, which has intensified since the implementation of COVID-19. As a result, organizations have been forced to engage in change management procedures in order to become more customer-centric and agile. This entails refocusing their efforts on developing more engaging customer experience tactics and streamlining their consumer purchasing process.
Another difference is the emergence of a “middleman” between suppliers and clients. This process, known as disintermediation and reintermediation, has reshaped the whole supply and value chain, elevating industrial competitiveness to new heights.
Emerging B2B sales practices and trends
Here are some of the growing B2B sales strategies and trends that will help B2B firms overcome the aforementioned issues.
Simplify the purchasing procedure.
You want to establish a company that provides a smooth consumer experience. A company that is “simple to deal with” and reduces the reasons a consumer could select another company over yours.
Consider your systems and procedures, and remove any possible purchase hurdles. Follow the client buying journey as if you were a consumer using your company’s services or products. Determine where the “bumps in the road” are and note that you may need to redesign some aspects of the experience. Then, look for opportunities to spend in enhancing these areas.
Another option to streamline the process is to give 24/7 access via as many channels as possible while retaining the potential to digitize them at the forefront of your plans. An omnichannel approach is one option that can help with this. Customizing and customizing client encounters may make the entire purchase process easier and more appealing to customers.
Increase customer value propositions
As a customer’s negotiating power grows, sellers must identify and develop new ways to provide value to customers. The majority of B2B product offers consist of more than simply the product or service itself. In other words, these services now include a focus on customer solutions.
This might involve including user training as part of a product offering or providing free 24/7 assistance for the service provided. These are known as “productized or solutionized products.” For B2B firms, this may be accomplished by asking yourself, “What can we give in addition to the product or service that will bring value to our buyers?”
Another approach to providing consumer value is through collaborative networking or collaborations. Offering access to external partners outside of your business that may assist in meeting unique client requirements and issues can strengthen the perception that your organization is a “subject-matter expert.”
You may believe that this is a method of directing clients to rivals. It’s the inverse. By introducing external partners that can satisfy demands that your product or service does not, you give value to your clients, making them see you as more than simply a vendor.
Alter the perception of customer value
Customer value must be reframed and redefined in B2B enterprises. This, in turn, can alter the emotions associated with it, leading to further opportunities to build on the value offered to them. Big data analytics and modern technology, for example, can assist in matching clients with products and services based on prior purchases or browsing history.
So, B2B firms may change how they give value to a client by using customer information to generate value beyond what a consumer can find themselves. Another example is utilizing algorithms to monitor crucial data points left on frequently visited websites. This type of automated technology may generate a thorough buyer profile to aid in redefining customer value. Consider Amazon or eBay, which generate these profiles in order to offer things to buyers based on prior purchases, recently seen items, or wishlists. Virtual customer environments, simulated experiences, and augmented reality are emerging methods of informing customers about the potential value of a product or service.
6 Things How to Avoid Being Left Behind
To get your “foot in the door” in the rapidly changing B2B sales market, start by taking the following measures to ensure you can stay up:
1. Create a seamless, “always on” consumer experience.
2. Get rid of any unneeded charges and prices by outsourcing time-consuming chores.
3. Consider process and system automation.
4. Implement measures to improve and simplify the B2B sales process.
5. Transform growing B2B sales practices into competitive possibilities across your company’s life cycle.
6. Consider how you may use digitalization, networking, and virtualization in your B2B sales process.
These processes are difficult to accomplish and need a great deal of detail and consideration at each stage. If you want to foster business growth, sustainability, and future success in today’s market, then the points above are important to you. Disruption and change may be unsettling for both B2C and B2B firms. The increased demand for innovation has become critical, and digital disruption is assisting companies in remaining competitive. The future of B2B sales is digital transformation and knowing this is the key to ensuring your organization is competitive and ready to take on any future problems.