B2B buyers are now expecting higher digital capabilities from the companies they purchase from. With this, it becomes a competitive advantage to optimize – and personalize – the digital experience.
While it was already clear that the pandemic has accelerated the move to a primarily digital space, a Salesforce study has showed just how substantial this move has been. The study, including answers from 15 000 consumer and B2B buyers, found that 68 % of total respondents saw that the pandemic has raised their “expectations of companies’ digital capabilities”, while 86 % “expect companies to accelerate digital initiatives due to COVID-19.” Findings that, when seen alongside the prediction that most B2B sales will be digital by 2025, show how moving to the digital space is close to a necessity.
However, it is not merely about interacting with customers via digital channels, but also about actively focusing on the customer and their experience. In fact, a whopping 91 % of respondents in the Salesforce study agreed that “a positive customer service experience makes me more likely to make another purchase”, while more than 50 % said they “expect offers to always be personalized”. As the experience customers have is primarily digital, now, this means that it’s super important to create a great digital experience – where interactions are customized and personalized for the customer. Which can be a good way to bring in new customers – and get them to stick around.
Tips for your journey
In a recent Forbes Council article, they outlined a number of tips to optimize the digital experience for your customers. A few of which we found especially relevant:
– Understanding the customer and their journey
As the above mentioned study showed that more than 80 % “of business buyers expect sales reps to demonstrate a firm understanding of their business”, while close to 60 % said that sales reps oftentimes “lack adequate knowledge of their business”, the first step is given. Sales representatives need to have a solid understanding of who they’re selling to, and what they need. In addition to which sales reps should understand the customer’s unique purchasing process. When it can be a good idea to, for example, learn what info they need to make a decision, and how they prefer to get that info.
– Optimizing your web presence
Buyers are oftentimes doing a ton of research online, and your web presence should accommodate this buyer behavior. The Forbes article mentions to optimize your web page, where adding relevant information and FAQs along with fresh and engaging content is a great first step. Where we also would like to add ensuring that every possible, digital touchpoint with a prospect or customer receives the focus they need, and that your social media, showrooms and digital salesrooms are all showcasing a unified image.
“Your digital experience should be a differentiator that makes interactions as useful and engaging as possible,” the Forbes article says, which explains it very well and gives a good idea of how to think when creating the digital experience your customers will immerse themselves in.
– Personalize the digital experience
As we saw indicated in the previously mentioned Salesforce study, personalization can play a large role in having better customer interactions and relationships. A one-size-fits-all experience is, quite simply, not enough anymore, and sales reps will instead need to provide the customer with a customized experience. Why the first tip on understanding the customer is key, so that said customer can be given an experience that is actually customized to fit them.
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