The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many industries to change their system and way of working to be digital, and the B2B environment is no different. Although it started as a crisis response, this digital transformation has become the new approach for B2B to conduct their businesses. This shift is here to stay for the foreseeable future and beyond. As far as B2B sales’ concerned, going digital is the next step in the future. This article will inform you of the many changes the pandemic has had on B2B marketing and how these businesses will function moving forward.
Buyers and Sellers Alike Chooses Digital Reality
The world was forced to go into lockdown as soon as the pandemic hit and began to affect people’s quality of life. B2B businesses quickly altered their engagement from on-site interactions to digital self-serving and remote human interactions. Although this transition was carried out not by choice, it has been steadily intensified and encouraged even after the lockdown ended. There are a few reasons behind this. The obvious one is to keep all parties’ safe and not contribute to the pandemic. Still, the other reason is that self-serving and remote interactions have made it easier for potential buyers to acquire the necessary information regarding the products and services, place their orders, and arrange a service inquiry.
McKinsey & Company has conducted research that showed around 70-80% of B2B decision-makers prefer remote human interactions or digital self-service. Because it eases the scheduling process, decreases travel expenses and uphold the safety of everyone involved. This digital and remote engagement shift has been proven to work, and decision-makers worldwide have followed suit. As a result, what started as an involuntary and enforced action has become a conviction to make B2B business thrive.
Online Services and Remote Engagement Equals Purchases
One of the most apparent proofs that this digital transformation has worked is that B2B buyers are willing to make large purchases and reorders online. Utilising e-commerce as a platform to accommodate potential buyers is a great way to provide convenience for them, and as such, these e-commerce platforms have become a place where different kinds of products with multiple price ranges can be bought and not just the notion for smaller items and fast-moving parts. Noticeably, 70% of B2B decision-makers are open to making new fully self-serving or remote purchases at around $50,000, and 27% would even spend over $500,000. These purchases are possible because of the available online services and the effectiveness of online and remote selling as they triumph over regular in-person engagement. McKinsey & Company’s research stated that 75% of existing customers by August 11th 2020 has deemed the new sales model in reaching and serving customers would be effective. It supports both selling and prospecting, not to mention, 76% of new customers think the same way. This is further proof that a convenient online services platform and engaging remotely would boost the number of purchases like never before.
Video and Online Chats
Entering the digital era means that video and live chats have emerged as the dominant avenue for B2B customers’ interaction and sales, all the while in-person interactions and sales-related activities have decreased massively and unexpectedly. Not only has the usage of video and live chats risen, the amount of revenue generated has also risen tremendously, as high as 69% since April 2020. Both e-commerce and videoconferencing now account for 43% of all B2B revenue. A McKinsey & Company study has shown that traditional/in-person interaction’s go-to-market sales model during COVID-19 for traditional/in-person interaction has decreased by 52% from 61% to 29%, whereas digital interaction using video conference and online chat has increased by 41% 23% respectively. Furthermore, traditional/in-person interaction revenue has dropped a massive 55%, whilst digital interaction with video conference and online chat has risen by 69% and 31%, respectively. This data is the living statement that utilising video and online chats will undoubtedly increase B2B’s revenue and diminish the risk of going bankrupt. Embrace this new way of interaction and engagement to solidify your business’ livelihood and stature.
Digitalising your B2B strategies and application is a proven method to keep your business alive and thriving, as stated by the points above. As a digital marketing agency, we are ready to help you on the marketing side of things! Don’t hesitate to contact us!