The digital landscape allows for thousands of potential touchpoints between businesses and their customers. Now that customers have “all” avenues to engage with their seller, they want to make purchases that meet their needs. The pressure is on B2B companies to better understand their customers’ engagement preferences, and to bridge the gap between what customers want and what they can deliver. Today’s digitally-fluid customers expect companies to sell to them seamlessly across all channels.
Consistency beyond the transaction
Buyers expect the same messaging, content, pricing, and customer support whether they engage online, over the phone, or in person. It’s difficult to achieve because critical departments that impact sales are often siloed. These silos prevent cross-functional alignment, which is vital for achieving an omnichannel commerce strategy. One solution is to create a “single source of truth” for pricing. The company can use AI to deliver prescriptive outcomes that further tailor the buying journey based on a single data source.
Remember that all B2B buyers are human. The digital buying experience is seamless, quick, and simple. Because B2B buyers have come to expect this level of service, sellers must replicate it while accounting for much more nuance in pricing, personalization, and buyer history. Customers of one food retailer were tired of ordering and receiving customer service only by phone. The retailer then offered customers the option to order online, allowing them to choose their preferred channel. The retailer went above and beyond to ensure there was no channel friction felt by the customer. Pricing was consistent whether ordered by phone or online, which increased customer trust and loyalty.
B2B sellers and marketers
Marketing teams, like sales teams, are vital in establishing a company’s omnichannel platform. Marketers who understand their customers and tailor their outreach and engagement can help the organization achieve this consistency.
Providing relevant content to the right people at the right time has never been more important. Marketers can use buyer intent and engagement data to fine-tune digital media targeting. To better understand visitors, marketers can segment them based on their industry, persona, intent, journey stage, and more. One shipping company reported that customers expected sales teams to know more about shipping. This company knew it needed to use customer data more consistently to make prescriptive, dynamic offers. Customer offers improved and personalized after the company implemented a data-driven solution to better manage customer data.
Creating an omnichannel commerce plan
Enterprise organizations face a major challenge in automating and streamlining their sales processes. The first step businesses can take to use AI in sales and marketing is to ensure they have the right data. Surprisingly few businesses track who visits their websites. Understanding basic demographics of customers and website visitors is critical to personalizing interactions with them based on their browsing habits.
In 2021 and beyond, B2B companies must focus on increasing customer engagement and providing exceptional commerce experiences across all channels. To make this happen, sales and marketing teams need to work together. Both teams must work together to provide consistent customer service, advice, and offers. Given the abundance of information available online, enhancing the customer experience with a high touch, tailored approach will build trust and encourage repeat purchases.