The business-to-consumer shopper experience has undergone a seismic shift in the past few years. Improved personalization enables consumers faced with a vast field of purchase options to select the brand that best meets their needs and desires.
Business-to-business buyers rarely enjoy the same rich buying experiences. While 90 percent of B2B leaders say customer experience is key to their companies' strategic priorities, 72 percent have no direct influence over it.
It's time for B2B leaders to take a more active role in their companies' CX decision making. The ability to deliver a modern, effective experience that meets buyers' expectations has evolved into a key component of the B2B model.
While digital tools represent a big step forward, technology is just a bandage for companies with a larger customer experience problem.
Unlike most B2C companies, the B2B companies produce superior products to solve specific problems. However, that type of background often makes it harder for them to focus on the customer experience side of the equation.
In our modern economy of choice, producing the best product no longer is a sufficient sales argument. B2B buyers want a seamless end-to-end experience, from a simplified sales discussion to an all-inclusive customer dashboard, to easy access to support.
B2B executives can help ease the transition to a modern mindset by showing their organizations that CRM and CPQ aren't just sales tools -- they help support the goals of every team member. Yes, sales teams utilize the analytics that result from CX software, but customer data also provides development teams with feedback that is crucial to shaping new solutions. It also allows maintenance departments to schedule and predict both preventive and recurring maintenance more accurately.
Shifting your B2B company's culture to a customer centric and data-driven mindset helps team members realize that technology will enhance their roles, not hinder or replace them.
Deploying CRM and CPQ organization-wide helps demonstrate the value of tech to stakeholders and potentially sceptical members of your organization. Data silos ultimately hinder your progress. If employees can point to negative effects of new tech, you'll have a harder time gaining company-wide buy-in.
Digitizing your B2B organization to bolster CX will have a trickle-down effect in your organization, improving the way sales representatives interact with customers face-to-face. The universal accessibility of information allows sellers to present buyers with a slate of product options and provide instant answers about current stock, customization and turnaround time.
When B2B leadership becomes involved in the CX improvement process, it empowers the entire team to think big. Mid-level managers tend to be a risk-averse group, but when the C-suite leads by example and sets the tone, they understand that ideas and change are not only necessary, but also welcomed with open arms. When your B2B organization is unified on strategy and goals, the positive effects will be reflected in your customer experience.