Business is about the customer and they will choose a competitor if you are unable to provide the experience they expect.
Digital commerce is the modern way of doing business. Both for professional buyers, and for sellers doing business with other companies. Or B2B, simply put. It’s not an add on or a separate store. It’s an integrated way of serving your customers that touches on every function within your company.
To be competitive in this landscape, you must be able to serve your business customers wherever they are. Professional buyers are looking for information and services online. In fact, they spend more time online on their own than interacting in person with salespeople.
Customers won’t settle for anything rudimentary, they demand better service and a better experience, because they know what’s possible. If you’re not able to tailor to the potential customer online, how are you going to meet and serve them? How are they going to find you? Fundamentally, is your way of interacting with business customers on par with their expectations?
‘All business is about the customer and if you don’t align your overall customer experience, then your competitors will catch up and even outgrow you.’
To digitally orchestrate the buying journey, many processes inside your company need to be automated and digitised to allow customers to interact with you. Through automation and scaling, you’ll become more flexible, you can innovate, tailor your services better and reach your business goals faster.
In our experience, a digital immaturity within an organisation is often discovered when the customer journey is recreated for a digital commerce experience. There are many processes that need to supply information and communicate with the web-shop. We often see that even very advanced companies, with a good market position, have a big technical debt that needs to be addressed. Often, the systems have just not been developed with customer interaction in mind.
When moving from traditional field sales to digital sales, it is important to ensure that personal sales and digital marketing are linked and are working to reinforce each other. The sales funnel and customer journey need to be interconnected, thus harmonising the experience and information that is encountered by the customer across all channels.
The key to loyalty is meeting expectations and providing the customer with the right service all the time. From there, you build trust and value.
A good principle is to enable customers to find information themselves and to self-serve wherever possible. Then bring in your personal sales representatives as experts providing advice when the customer needs it along their buying journey.
We see from time to time some resistance when implementing a digital commerce platform. There is often a concern that digitalisation of the sales process can result in losing the personal relationship with a customer, but it is important to realise which parts of the interaction chain add value and which parts a customer prefers to perform themselves using self-service. In general, professional buyers would like to access pure information themselves and handle transactions whenever it suits them.
However, this doesn’t eliminate your personal sales team. By including them in the project as the layer that contacts customers for their feedback is important, as well as underlining their role as experts. They should still be the experts who closely follow a relationship with the customer, focusing on helping, advising and guiding them when that expertise is really needed, as well as ensuring they pop up in the digital sales journey at the right times.
We understand why many B2B sellers can feel overwhelmed in the beginning concerning where to start, which is why it is important to find a good entry point and an efficient approach to scope the project.
It is time to ask whether your digital commerce platform is meeting your customers’ needs.
Are you interested in knowing more? Contact our experts today to take the next step on your digital commerce journey.