Do B2B Buyers Prefer An All-Digital Experience?

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Do B2B Buyers Prefer An All-Digital Experience?

14/06/2021 Categories: Articles

About Our Expert: Ted Stenstrom is an ecommerce and digital solutions business leader with over 15 years of experience strategizing and implementing ecommerce platforms. As Kensium's VP of Client Engagement, Ted helps Kensium clients digitally upgrade their companies by advising them on the processes, technologies, and overall ecommerce game plan that best suits their specific line of business.  When it comes to knowledge about ecommerce, Ted never stops seeking new information and trends. Due to this comprehensive expertise in the industry, the Kensium Marketing Team asked Ted to explain some of the most ubiquitous ecommerce-related questions on the Internet. This time, the focus is on B2B ecommerce and how B2B buyers are coping with an increasingly digital future.   Do B2B Buyers Truly Prefer An All-digital Experience? The human elements of B2B sales are not obsolete; in a longer buying process, relationships and face-to-face meetings are still critical to providing an excellent customer experience. That being said, B2B customers have high expectations these days. Modern ecommerce has become so easy and convenient that B2B buyers are entitled to a better digital experience when doing their job.   In-Person Vs. Digital Journey B2B buyers are always going to come prepared. Their job is to be 100% informed on what needs to be bought on behalf of their company, and the customer experience needs to reflect that. Human interactions and relationships become less focused on lead generation and sales capture in this environment and more focused on facilitating an engaging and valuable experience with the brand. According to a recent Accenture survey, data collected from 700 B2B buyers and 1,500 sellers found that the leading sellers achieving both higher profitability and growing market share have a couple of traits in common:  A perfectly calibrated balance between human and digital sales interactions. A strong

and implementing ecommerce platforms. As Kensium's VP of Client Engagement, Ted helps Kensium clients digitally upgrade their companies by advising them on the processes, technologies, and overall ecommerce game plan that best suits their specific line of business. 

When it comes to knowledge about ecommerce, Ted never stops seeking new information and trends. Due to this comprehensive expertise in the industry, the Kensium Marketing Team asked Ted to explain some of the most ubiquitous ecommerce-related questions on the Internet. This time, the focus is on B2B ecommerce and how B2B buyers are coping with an increasingly digital future.  

Do B2B Buyers Truly Prefer An All-digital Experience?

The human elements of B2B sales are not obsolete; in a longer buying process, relationships and face-to-face meetings are still critical to providing an excellent customer experience. That being said, B2B customers have high expectations these days. Modern ecommerce has become so easy and convenient that B2B buyers are entitled to a better digital experience when doing their job.  

In-Person Vs. Digital Journey

B2B buyers are always going to come prepared. Their job is to be 100% informed on what needs to be bought on behalf of their company, and the customer experience needs to reflect that. Human interactions and relationships become less focused on lead generation and sales capture in this environment and more focused on facilitating an engaging and valuable experience with the brand.

According to a recent Accenture survey, data collected from 700 B2B buyers and 1,500 sellers found that the leading sellers achieving both higher profitability and growing market share have a couple of traits in common: 

  • A perfectly calibrated balance between human and digital sales interactions.
  • A strong organizational focus on the overall customer experience.

What’s the commonality between the leading B2B companies? They concentrate on creating singular customer experiences and use customer satisfaction as their central metric. 

A Happy Medium - The Right Amount of Digitization

The complexity and stakes of B2B sales mean that companies need to strike the right digital/human balance to maintain market position and buyer retention. 

Consumer brands can adopt 100% digital self-service solutions because the transactions are smaller, simpler, and more personal. B2B transactions are the complete opposite: large, complicated, and on behalf of an organization. As an example, in the video Ted mentions the Kensium client that sells massive tanker trucks used for gas and oil. He cites the tanker trucks as worth approximately “a million dollars apiece… that will probably remain a personalized transaction for the foreseeable future.”

Kensium’s client digitized sales of individual tanker truck parts since these are simpler and more low-stakes sales. It also gave sales reps the time to focus on the big-ticket items, namely the full tanker trucks. If you’re buying million-dollar tanker trucks on behalf of your company, do you really trust the purchase without talking to a single other human? 

While B2B buyers expect digital elements to help them along the buying process, engaging with an actual human being will never go out of style. They’re able to provide the B2B buyer with a sense of security, assurance, and expertise. In short, while machines are still probably taking over the world, they have a little way to go before they begin dominating B2B sales. 

For more expertise and advice on all things ecommerce, check out more from Kensium and learn from the very best in the industry. 

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Ted Stenstrom
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About Our Expert: Ted Stenstrom is an ecommerce and digital solutions business leader with over 15 years of experience strategizing and implementing ecommerce platforms. As Kensium's VP of Client Engagement, Ted helps Kensium clients digitally upgrade their companies by advising them on the processes, technologies, and overall ecommerce game plan that best suits their specific line of business. 

When it comes to knowledge about ecommerce, Ted never stops seeking new information and trends. Due to this comprehensive expertise in the industry, the Kensium Marketing Team asked Ted to explain some of the most ubiquitous ecommerce-related questions on the Internet. This time, the focus is on B2B ecommerce and how B2B buyers are coping with an increasingly digital future.  

Do B2B Buyers Truly Prefer An All-digital Experience?

The human elements of B2B sales are not obsolete; in a longer buying process, relationships and face-to-face meetings are still critical to providing an excellent customer experience. That being said, B2B customers have high expectations these days. Modern ecommerce has become so easy and convenient that B2B buyers are entitled to a better digital experience when doing their job.  

In-Person Vs. Digital Journey

B2B buyers are always going to come prepared. Their job is to be 100% informed on what needs to be bought on behalf of their company, and the customer experience needs to reflect that. Human interactions and relationships become less focused on lead generation and sales capture in this environment and more focused on facilitating an engaging and valuable experience with the brand.

According to a recent Accenture survey, data collected from 700 B2B buyers and 1,500 sellers found that the leading sellers achieving both higher profitability and growing market share have a couple of traits in common: 

  • A perfectly calibrated balance between human and digital sales interactions.
  • A strong organizational focus on the overall customer experience.

What’s the commonality between the leading B2B companies? They concentrate on creating singular customer experiences and use customer satisfaction as their central metric. 

A Happy Medium - The Right Amount of Digitization

The complexity and stakes of B2B sales mean that companies need to strike the right digital/human balance to maintain market position and buyer retention. 

Consumer brands can adopt 100% digital self-service solutions because the transactions are smaller, simpler, and more personal. B2B transactions are the complete opposite: large, complicated, and on behalf of an organization. As an example, in the video Ted mentions the Kensium client that sells massive tanker trucks used for gas and oil. He cites the tanker trucks as worth approximately “a million dollars apiece… that will probably remain a personalized transaction for the foreseeable future.”

Kensium’s client digitized sales of individual tanker truck parts since these are simpler and more low-stakes sales. It also gave sales reps the time to focus on the big-ticket items, namely the full tanker trucks. If you’re buying million-dollar tanker trucks on behalf of your company, do you really trust the purchase without talking to a single other human? 

While B2B buyers expect digital elements to help them along the buying process, engaging with an actual human being will never go out of style. They’re able to provide the B2B buyer with a sense of security, assurance, and expertise. In short, while machines are still probably taking over the world, they have a little way to go before they begin dominating B2B sales. 

For more expertise and advice on all things ecommerce, check out more from Kensium and learn from the very best in the industry. 
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