57% of the B2B purchase process has already been completed before the decision-maker contacts a sales rep for the first time

57% of the B2B purchase process has already been completed before the decision-maker contacts a sales rep for the first time
January 17, 2016 DMG Blogging

Why is it important to develop full digital strategy for your company?

We started with data from Germany based on Google research and Roland Berger, a leading consulting company. Based on our experience we may tell that in Bulgaria the situation is not much more different. The digital world is entering the business very rapidly and companies need to change their strategy in a way it will respond to their needs.

 

Facts you need to keep in mind

New players on the market set the big ones at risk

There are lots of new companies fed up with the start-up culture and the digital world. They put at risk existing businesses, because they are able to position themselves better, to manage faster their commercial process, to spend less human resources, etc. New players, however, bring with them the good and bad examples of that every business should learn. During the last Webit EMEA conference in Istanbul there were shown data that over 20% of today’s market leaders will lose their competitive advantage from companies created after the year 2000. The main reason will be lack of adequate digital strategy.

 

The clients: more requirements and expectations

Even if they don’t buy from you, the online customers want to see that your appearance on the Internet is secure and stable enough.  They like to be part of companies which are developing and make investments. Although low price is a major factor; it hasn’t been the only indicator for choosing provider. Clients love to feel important everywhere they reach your company. The lack of active position on social media, of well-maintained website can drive them away. The clients expect to learn the way they are going to be served even before they make a purchase from you.

 

Most of the buyers even at the B2B market are under 35 years old

This means they are naturally seeking information online. It’s a lot easier and suitable for them to ask Google, than calling your sales person. They are used to things happen quick, clear and transparent. The Internet environment gives them this sense for safety when purchasing.

Even at the B2B market the buyers are looking for “amusement” – meaning the way heavy information is being introduced to them in an interesting and intuitive enough way in order to ease their choice.

 

The clients are searching on the Internet

Over 90% of the B2B buyers are searching on the Internet by keywords, while 70% are watching video (!). Be prepared to sell when your clients are still at the beginning of their search and didn’t take a final decision. Give them experience which will make them turn to you.

This is the main reason for areas like UX (user experience) design to be rapidly developing at the field of creating customer interface.

 

What should you do?

 

  • Make the digital process a high priority in your company and not just part of your strategy

 

Whether you want it or not most of the things will be happening online in the future. Your business has to accept the facts and to reorient as quickly as possible. Invest in your own education in the field of digital technologies, but also in your employees’ education, who also have to learn to change their mind. Think of ways to make digital the various resources your company holds – from project management, through marketing till client service.

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  1. Start with small, but with high priority digital projects

Building, maintaining, actualization of corporate website is the first thing you have to do. There are still businesses that don’t pay attention to this resource enough. And parts of them are not small and middle sized.

Building a system for client’s relationship – business cards are a good thing, but in the digital era think of CRM systems too or other digital form through which you will be able to manage your contacts effectively. Think of everything that could optimize the processes in your company and to minimize the mistakes.

  1. Change your sales policy NOW

The salespeople are no longer supposed to be the active part of the business. They have to able to give precise answers to questions by the buyers. In B2B sales it is important to know that if someone approaches you with questions via phone or mail, there is a big chance that they are almost ready to buy from you. You need to have well developed sales policy to respond to their expectations.

The client is the one who is driving the market. No matter how good salespeople you have, the market’s requirements are different and you have to support them with digital assets in order to be able to respond to the market’s needs.

For example you can equip your salespeople with tablets, through which they can take the orders from your distributors and to send them to headquarter or impress the clients with developed interactive presentations.

 

  1. Find partners who will support you in the digital process

These could be other companies – from marketing agencies, software providers, digital agencies, IT companies, etc. Don’t count on fighting digital process on your own. You will probably not have the needed resources and knowledge. The dynamic is extremely big and it is good to trust the specialists who invest their time to inform themselves about the new thing on the market. Be prepared you won’t be working with only one company, but you will have to hire several sources which will support you at the digital assets process management.

 

  1. Develop online sales channels – your website or Facebook profile are no longer your business card on the Internet. They could turn into serious asset which generates incomes and to support your company’s strategy. Develop your online media content based on your user’s’ requirements – be mobile, speak at their language, ease their search. Think of how you can improve their experience – many companies are still stressed when they receive an online question, no one knows who is taking care of that who is supposed to serve them, whom salesperson is responsible and so on. Online sales are going to develop rapidly especially at the B2B area.

 

  1. Surround you with providers and partners who implement digital in their companies – this is a great way to develop together, to share experience. The world is evolving and it is not weird that you don’t know about it. Your partners could a great inspiration source. Share what you have learned too. This is the only way to explore new things and to make improvements. The people and companies you work with are the best source of information, when you know how to gather it. They can show you your mistakes, your strong sides, etc.

 

  1. Build a solid infrastructure – beside software, it is good to pay attention to the company’s hardware too. Think of uploading your information using cloud technology, how to manage the company communication better by using software platforms, how to optimize the processes at the company and to delegate part of your activities to machines 🙂 Think of throwing away the old servers and to delegate the process of assets storage to someone who is doing it better than you.

New technologies require new solutions.

 

  1. Make the online marketing an essential part of your marketing – online marketing investment pays off – data shows that even a regular Google Adwords ad for the B2B market could pay back multiple times the investment. Most important thing is to think how to integrate the entire company and brand communication using digital solutions. Developing a digital strategy doesn’t have to be any different front the marketing strategy, it has at the base of it.

 

The digital process is a not just a manner of expensive technical solutions, but mostly of serious investment by the managers for the way the company’s business model would be build up.  That’s why it is crucial to spend serious amount of time, to learn the best tactics on the field, to steal know-how from other areas, to educate the employees about the changes that are about to happen. Companies which succeed to change their way of thinking, will succeed to grow their business.

Because your business is digital business more than you probably imagine.

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