Personalization, comprehensiveness, speed, and omnichannel experiences boost the B2B world, thanks to digital forces.
If you have not embraced the digital way of Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing, you are missing out. Today, digital roadmaps are being applied easily, even for complex B2B sales areas.
This is clear in the way this space is expected to explode as per many analysts and experts. By 2020, revenues from B2B digital commerce are estimated to double. They could even make almost half of all B2B revenues, as per an Accenture report. For instance, in the U.S., the B2B Commerce market will touch $1.2 trillion by 2021.
Consider how global revenue from offline commerce channels can slide down by almost 20% in that same period. In another study, over 70% of B2B buyers—and a growing number of sellers—have indicated that virtual sales calls are as effective as in-person calls for complex products. This applies to even those areas that involve high customization or configuration, (Bain Research study).
So how can you be a part of this digital revolution?
Simple, just follow these five new ways to underline your business strategy:
1. Think end-to-end
As the Accenture report suggests, B2B companies should see digital as more than an order-entry point. It is, instead, a driver of end-to-end customer experiences. A B2B marketplace is not just for listing your products. Smart marketplaces can help you advertise and get the attention of the right customers and also help you complete the transaction digitally. It is a place to build your brand.
2. Say yes to complexity, no to complications
Remember that customer journeys are not linear. They have multiple touch-points. 61% of all B2B transactions start online. Customers do preliminary research on online devices, move to a funnel, contact a sales representative to resolve queries and discuss and negotiate delivery & pricing, and finally make the purchase online. The entire journey should be made digital and easy. A B2B marketplace can help you take the customer from the top of the funnel to the end smoothly: starting from the enquiry, communication, and negotiation to the finalization of the deal and payment. This helps avoid the distractions of multiple touch-points and gives a focused approach to customer acquisition.
3. Connect with real buyers
B2B marketplaces are a great place to discover new buyers. But not all enquiries generated by such portals are genuine. A smart B2B portal can help you with verified and genuine buyer enquiries. This saves tons of time usually spent in cleaning your database and trying to find out the authenticity of the prospects. Trust can fast-forward the speed of transactions.
4. Save investment in digital infrastructure
Creating and maintaining your own website with hundreds of products takes time and money. Plus it involves substantial work in tech development.
A B2B marketplace has no such headaches. All you need to do is keep updating the product list, and the portal takes care of the entire backend technology. You don’t need a website maintenance person, nor investment in payment infrastructure. This puts you on par with your high-end competitors who operate with their own websites.
5. Invest in visibility
Look for the right platform that elevates your presence and also allows engagement opportunities with precision and speed. A good B2B platform provides for opportunities to get noticed by a wider set of buyers and reach out to new customers through features like Classifieds.
The B2B transaction today is not a transaction. It is the first step of an entire customer experience journey. As long as you have the right digital strategy, you could stand apart and build a long-lasting, loyal, and profitable relationship with your customers.
Please do not invest in digital for the sake of it. Do it with a big-picture context and start gaining that big advantage from the very first day.