Hello, B2B, Your Revenue Grows When Your Sales Goes Digital!
We have heard about omni-channel in B2C for a while: combining physical shops with an online presence and everything in-between, with a focus on targeting the consumers. In short, the channels are connected to ensure that your customers get the best experience when buying your products or services. However, omni-channel in B2B and sales processes across various channels are an unexposed area. Why is this when it is just as important to master omni-channel in B2B as B2C?
In this article, you can read more about why synergy between online and offline sales in B2B is going to be very relevant in the future. It is not just a thing to consider – it is a must!
Is the sales model in your B2B company still primarily offline? Have you considered the buyer’s journey across your different channels? Keep reading. There is plenty of digital potential to aim for, and it is proven that digital front-runners achieve higher growth in revenue and earnings than other companies.
The good news is that all B2B companies can get there, but it demands a better and more integrated orchestration of ERP, master data, CRM, and other marketing and sales tools, as well as connected commerce platforms and customer service. It may sound expensive and confusing to get started with ‘all-in-digital’, but when done right it will ensure a good ROI and, in the long run, is a necessity to stay competitive.
How do you go omni-channel?
The three most important elements of a truly flexible omni-channel setup are:
1) a micro-service-based architecture that separates all-important business logic into core services
2) a unified data definition across all relevant platforms that defines a Single source of truth about data and last but not least
3) real-time data flow across the entire system landscape
This enables fast time to market when the business changes while still ensuring a stable overall solution.
With good data architecture as a foundation, you can support the buyer’s journey across channels (omni-channel) and embrace your customers’ needs with a tailored, personal and efficient cooperation. The keywords should be ‘ease of doing business’.
When you use data as a starting point, you can begin to make good, supportive processes across online and offline sales. We often see that this is not the case. Many companies miss sales opportunities or are subject to manual processes, for example when the customer doesn’t have access to prices online, or when the salesperson doesn’t know what customers are searching for or buying. This is also the case when customers can’t get simple questions answered or when missing product data prevents purchase conversions.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we see B2B companies trying to create synergy between offline and online sales. They present real-time data to their customers that can predict churn based on behaviour and then send their salespeople after the customers that will have the highest probability of converting.
Basically, most of these initiatives are about figuring out what service fits the specific customer. These disciplines are the difficult part of good digitalisation, and you should start with the fundament: to digitalise all basic existing sales processes.
What if you have a functioning Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) solution and orders from customers come through automatically – that’s great, right? For some sales, yes! But an EDI solution is not the most optimal when you wish to onboard many small- and medium-sized companies. Nor is an EDI-solution optimal when you are moving into a new market and start scaling up.
Talking about EDI, an unexposed parameter is real-time monitoring of buyer behaviour. Companies tend to be late discovering customers that are downscaling their engagement, but it is important to focus on reporting and alerting salespeople of opportunities.
Danish analysis: Your revenue grows when your sales go digital
Danish Industry (DI) made a B2B e-commerce analysis showing that company revenue grows when sales go digital. It also indicates that B2B companies find a lot more advantages, such as increased revenue, new customer and distribution channels, and a strengthening of the company’s brand.
As a B2B company, you need to get started! You can get your customers used to online behaviour – and my experience is that they are quite happy about it.
Are you curious about how Novicell is working with Single Source of Truth?
Feel free to contact me to find out more.