It is not the secret anymore that B2B companies that embrace digital at a strategic level and not just for back office management will see growth in productivity and revenue. Their customers are demanding better and faster service and those who deliver it will drive higher customer value.
Some of the top B2B performers like GE decided to invest about $1 billion in creating their own software solutions and hiring their own developers, UX experts and data scientist.
A true digital shift can be really hard for any company out there, especially wholesale brands and distributors, but making your own solution from scratch is not something everyone can afford to make nor do they have the necessary resources.
On the other hand, why would you make such an expensive digitization investment like hiring your own development team, when there are affordable ready-made customizable solutions created for the sole purpose of being easily integrated with your current ERP systems that can help you achieve the same results as if you were developing your own?
According to the McKinsey research, most B2B companies struggle with disjointed selling models that make it hard for customers to make a shift from face-to-face selling into the online model. This research also shows that those customers who interact with multiple channels such as field sales, digital catalogs and so on spend a lot more than those who only purchase from a single channel.
Multiple surveys proved that customers of industrial machinery and component, for example, are not happy with their buying experience. They think it should be far easier and less time consuming, but with equal or bigger amount of information about the company and the products.
Sales reps still have an important role in selling complex products and maintaining personal relationships, but some purchasing processes can be far simpler and covered through an omnichannel solution.
What is omnichannel sales solution?
Omnichannel has been the favorite buzzword in sales for a while, but with a good reason. Forrester research showed that 75% of B2B buyers around the world would buy again from a supplier with good omnichannel capabilities. Apparently, buyers exposed to omnichannel strategies are likely to be more active, more loyal and higher-spending customers.
Omnichannel is an approach to sales and strategy that provides an impeccable customer experience across multiple channels, no matter if your customers are buying in person or online. Whatever channel buyers decide to use, B2B companies must be able to align inventory management, order delivery and fulfillment to give customers the experience they expect.
If you wish to make your omnichannel successful, you need to provide consistent customer experience, which is also highly personalized and optimized for individual buyers according to their needs.
Better Resource Management And Better Customer Service
By connecting all of the dots like supplies, pricing and sales and adjusting them in real-time, business owners are able to manage their organizations more easily, having a clear insight into resources and how they should be relocated. At the same time, customers get faster service where mistakes are reduced to minimum and customer satisfaction is significantly increased. Plus, omnichannel solution increases collaboration among departments in a company and reduces the mundane tasks of filling up orders and data sheets to the minimum, leaving more time for the actual act of sale thus increasing their productivity and enabling them to take up more clients.
What is more, your omnichannel solution helps you optimize your business for mobile, which is becoming prevalent among B2B buyers who are using it during their purchasing process. Simultaneously you are giving your field sales an actionable on the go solution that can be transformed into a valuable marketing tool.
The omnichannel solution helps simplify the complexities that are unavoidable in large organizations like wholesale brands and distributors.
Making The Best Possible Use Of The Data
Customer data is gradually collected through your omnichannel platform of choice by integrating all the data points from your ERP systems, digital catalogs, finance, accounting, route planning and other similar features. This will in time give you a clear overview of your customer’s purchasing habits, the amount that they are willing to spend and their sales cycles.
All of this information helps you increase your future sales and anticipate the needs of your clients and prospects since you’ll be knowing exactly what they’re interested in, who did they talk to and what was said. This complete 360 view of your customers enables you to better understand your customer’s journey.
It also empowers your sales reps to act as a trusted advisor that they should be, to always approach a customer with the exact information that they need, ultimately helping them close the deal faster.
In return, marketing and sales, but also the entire organization, are able to understand what kind of offers and incentives work best and tailor them for maximum success in the future, while C-level management has a clear insight into the success of the business and customer behavior.
Why are companies slow to implement omnichannel solutions?
There are hundreds of reasons why B2B companies stray from the necessary path of digitization. Some think that implementation is too robust and expensive. Some are faced inwards, non-transparent and confused about roles within the company and their C-level executives are lacking the initiative.
However, winners in the B2B field like above mentioned GE or pharmaceutical giants Merck, are eager to implement the digital solutions and adjust their organization accordingly. They start small by implementing easy to use affordable omnichannel solutions that can help them see the bigger picture more clearly and lay the foundation of the deeper and more complicated improvement in the future.
Whether you decide to start using the omnichannel sales solution or not can majorly affect your business and your brand. But one thing is clear – those who embrace new technologies and use them to improve their productivity will leave the unbelievers far far behind.