Â Let’s face it, selling enterprise software has never been harder. A perfectly crafted sales strategy can be easily hobbled by patchy Zoom calls and audio lags. B2B companies looking to sharpen the path to purchase need to build longer-term changes in digital selling strategy to gain quick wins. Sharon Ruddock, Head of SAP Digital Commerce at SAP says with most of the world now working remotely, B2B organizations must put everything a customer needs at their fingertips to thrive.Â
The global pandemic is creating a shift in how organizations interact and do business together. According to Statista, the global B2B e-commerce market was valued at $12.2 trillion in Opens a new window 2019 and is only expected to grow. Customers’ ability to efficiently make purchases digitally is more important now than ever before, and online B2B marketplaces hold the key to keeping businesses agile in the current landscape.
Digital Solutions at the Tip of Your Fingers
Every day, B2B companies look for ways to stay relevant among competitors, and the COVID-19 crisis continues to increase this need for relevance. To keep businesses moving, customers must be able to connect virtually with vendors to buy what they need when it’s needed. With this in mind, a successful digital purchasing model can support remote work by allowing business decision-makers to purchase the software they need from the comfort of their remote office â€“ wherever that is.
Data from Futurum Research shows 80% Opens a new window of organizations believe that the traditional annual software buying cycle in the enterprise is a thing of the past. This statement holds even truer as companies look to consolidate services and move to the cloud. People want immediate solutions to business challenges, especially now with the complexities caused by COVID-19.Â
In fact, from the B2B perspective, buyers want the same experience and interactions as they would have shopping for clothes or home goods on the Amazon app, for example. B2B customers come to online marketplaces to solve problems for their business and procure solutions they need quickly.Â
To be an effective online marketplace that maintains ongoing customer loyalty, B2B organizations must sharpen their path to purchase and create a simple and efficient model that puts everything a customer needs virtually at their fingertips, so they can effectively run their business remotely.
Driving Digital Buyers With a Simple Path to Purchase
With remote working at the forefront of many companies’ futures, the business opportunity for B2B sellers to promote sales online is high. However, B2B companies must first step back and pose this question: If I were a customer coming to my digital marketplace to buy software, would my path to purchase be quick and easy?Â
According to Futurum, convenience, as well as time and resource efficiency, are top reasons why organizations choose to buy their enterprise software solutions digitally. As the toll of COVID-19 continues to create seismic shifts in how businesses stay agile and support their remote workforces, B2B buyers continue to look for a digital experience that supplies convenience and time efficiencies even further to mirror that of B2C transactions.Â
They want to know:Â
- Is it a quick, simple, and flexible process?Â
- Are things like solution details, trials, and final pricing details transparent and easy to find?
Successful B2B marketplaces make sure to mitigate potential barriers to purchase. They provide one-click purchase options, various secure payment portals, transparent terms, and conditions as well as the ability to connect with a salesperson whenever needed throughout the customer journey.
B2B leaders have an opportunity to address a lot of confusion and complexity brought on by the pandemic â€“ and up-leveling the digital selling process is a crucial way to maximize that opportunity, especially as remote work continues. The longer employees are remote, the more profound an effect it had on how B2B companies interact with their customers on a day-to-day basis. Statista’s report further showed that compared to the B2C global market, the B2B marketplace is over six times as valuable.
B2B leaders have a vast opportunity to take action. Going forward, it will be even more paramount to listen to what customers need, at the moment they need it, and pivot accordingly. Doing this will increase the bottom line and help companies remain successful through mass business disruption and be able to move forward.