We all watched the B2B landscape continue to evolve in 2019 and saw one constant- buyers are increasingly demanding that same personalized, omni-channel purchasing experience of the B2C market. No longer are deals being won by sitting in the right market, offering a superior product or service, or by simply being the lowest-cost producer. B2B buyers are expecting more and B2B companies are reacting by putting customer centricity and experience at the heart of their strategy. Going into 2020, we expect to see many B2B manufacturers continue to react, but anticipate more companies will come out strong by eliminating problems before they have a chance to appear, creating a true competitive advantage for their future growth. We are sharing several key strategies that will help make these B2B manufacturers stand out and see success into the new year and beyond.
- Breaking down organizational silos. In order to build a culture that prioritizes the customer and is proactive, you are going to have to work towards creating transparency amongst teams and improving efficiency in order to innovate and evolve with buyer demands. To do this will require breaking down organizational silos, which largely intertwines itself with a digital transformation because it more times than not requires the integration of new technology in order to create such visibility and communication. However, breaking down organizational silos is just one part to allowing the business to become customer driven end-to-end and one piece of a larger transformation.
- Focusing on the customer. A customer first initiative can take on a variety of different forms and specifically for this blog I am touching on the digital customer focus. This means things such as enhancing digital personalization capabilities, adopting an eCommerce marketplace model, or selling on other marketplaces (Amazon, Alibaba, etc.) as a third party, and even automated/self-service capabilities for the buyer. By prioritizing customer satisfaction and loyalty, you will find that your digital channels will need to be leveraged more and your traditional sales, marketing and customer service team roles will evolve to more meaningful personal relationships with customers in large part thanks to the data you are (hopefully) able to gather from their digital interactions.
- Using Big Data to understand the customer better. That was the perfect segue to our final key strategy for B2B manufacturers in 2020. By focusing more on the customer you will be inclined to improve their experience with your brand, beyond that of even digital interactions. Big Data offers you the ability to better understand the customer and continually make their experience with your company meaningful and worthwhile. This can touch on everything from improving your product offering, realigning and personalizing content using key insights, and reevaluating how you promote your products.
It is easy to see that all of these strategies intertwine, and are huge steps in a larger digital transformation strategy. The actual transformation is a profound change of a B2B manufactures business operations, competencies and business models which allows the organization and individuals to fully leverage all digitization efforts. With that mindset then, when we talk about a digital transformation it’s actually not about the technology, but the customer. B2B manufacturers who are serious about becoming customer centric and pushing forward amongst a sea of competitors need to be able to master these strategies in order to pivot and evolve with ease.
If you enjoyed this blog post, you might enjoy downloading our latest resource on creating an effective customer centric user experience.