A new study by Avanade, a managed services company, shows a paradigm shift in the sales process and buying habits of business buyers and IT-decision makers.The results show that in Australia, the trend of consumerisation is taking control away from the sellers, with enterprise buyers beginning to follow consumer shopping behaviours.
What this means is that price is slowly becoming less important to business decision makers, with the customer experience now being more valuable.
Some noteworthy and important findings from Avanade’s Australian respondents include:
- Enterprise decision-makers now view customer experience as the most important factor when making a purchase decision. In fact, business buyers are happy to pay up to 21 percent more for a product or service if it means having a great customer experience.
- Businesses are unable to control the information shared about their products and services. As much as 60 percent of business buyers turn to third-party sites, social channels, and feedback from business partners, consider them more important than talking to a company’s sales team before making a g decision.
- To address this transition, companies are hiring new people and setting up entire departments to manage customer experience. IT and marketing teams now play a bigger role in the customer experience compared to 3 years ago.
- As much as 69 percent of business buyer respondents believe technology will phase out direct human interaction with customers over the next decade. As such, businesses are investing in new technologies, and overhauling business processes and organisational roles.
- This shift in industry needs is seeing companies investing in different customer sales and support technologies, such as mobile devices, CRM systems, mobile apps, and social media.
When it comes to e-commerce, we at Enform believe Avanade’s findings mean that web design, usability and richness of content are factors that no longer just concern ordinary shoppers, but B2B clients as well. This means providing a customer experience that also addresses the needs of enterprise decision makers.
According to Australian Avanade country manager Jeyan Jeevaratnam, organisations are slowly coming to the realisation that the consumerisation of information technology is changing the manner in which products and services are sold to both consumers and businesses.
He adds that the days of the old B2B and B2C purchasing models are ending, replaced with a newer, more complex system of business-to-everyone. And while this new era of business sales may not be as simple as it used to, organisations quick to act are capitalising on the opportunity, creating stronger, longer-term customer relationships, all leading to more profits.
Several Australian businesses are embracing the new business buyer, with 50 percent of respondents investing in customer sales and support technologies, and 32 percent incorporating automation into the sales process.
Avanade’s research provides compelling reasons to make such changes, with businesses that invested in new technologies to provide enhance customer service seeing strong results.
As much as 62 percent of the companies surveyed reported an increase in their respective customer base, 60 percent an increase in revenue, and 43 percent an increase in customer loyalty.
Understanding the shift to B2E is about making sure that your content and user experience is about people and users and not a split focus of “trade” versus “retail”.