Digital disruption in the B2C world is catching up to B2B companies. How? Disruptors have figured out entirely new ways of doing business like filling orders, developing products and providing customer service. Disruptors offer more convenient, affordable, faster and better ways to give consumers what they really want. Uber, Skype, Spotify, WhatsApp, Netflix and Airbnb – these are just a few examples of B2C digital disruptors that have changed their respective industries.
Malek Tayara, Siteworx Managing Partner and a digital industry expert, says that digital disruption is less about the technology and more about understanding the problem that customers face. Successful disruptors then come up with a smart idea and use technology as an implementer and enabler for those ideas.
“Digital disruption is forcing B2B companies to rethink how their customers purchase,” said Malek. “B2B companies need to think through elements that are core to their business. They need to look at their sales team, how they work with partners, how they reach customers and their customers’ customers.”
Malek offers this advice for B2B companies that are ready to reap the rewards of a new approach to business:
- Get to the core – Companies need to develop a strategy around elements that are core to the business. With a focused view, an effective digital commerce strategy will emerge.
- Start small – Change a few things at a time rather than everything all at once. Test your processes and make sure the customer experience is a good one, then expand.
- Sell a service, not a product – Rather than simply promoting the features and functionality of your product, think about the customer’s journey of how and why they buy. Help them figure out how the best way to use your product so that they see the maximum return.
- Evolve – Best Buy has been able to keep up with the online marketplace by changing its strategy. If customers find a product in their store for a better price online, Best Buy will match the sales price. Not only do customers benefit from cost competitiveness, but they benefit from having knowledgeable sales people to help in the purchase decision.5.
- Tools that sell – Help sales teams and partners engage more with their customers by developing tools that enhance the sales process. Think about the value of a partner being able to show case studies and product demonstrations via tablet or smartphones. The more they sell, the more they will want to work with your company.
“B2B companies cannot afford to remain stagnant,” cautions Malek. “They must change in order to meet customer and partner needs, and ultimately get ahead of the competition.”
In the future, companies won’t be considering a digital strategy. Digital will simply be a part of the overall business strategy without a second thought. The B2B industry has different challenges ahead. Beating the competition requires significant organizational change and a significant shift in how you approach business. If you don’t change, evolve and re-think, someone else will. Why take the chance?
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