Fundamental shifts in the business economy continue to occur due to competitive and disruptive developments in technology. Long before the pandemic, ecommerce had been slated for victory and has become a catalyst for digital transformation. The COVID-19 crisis, however, changed the way we business forever – enabling digital transformation to be the backbone and crux for survival of big and small businesses.
The disruptive influence of the more agile and innovative B2B players has never been more obvious in a digitally enabled world. Organizations must adopt and execute a well-planned ecommerce strategy to become disruptors in their markets, outsmart their competitors, and see the opportunity to expand their footprint.
Digitally Transformed Businesses are Digital-First Companies
According to a Forrester study, more than 60% of the B2B purchasing decisions are made online even before making any contact with the brand representative. This proves the significance of having a strong online presence where B2B customers can start forming and executing their buying decisions using information found on business’ websites, social media channels, or ecommerce platforms.
Digital Transformation Changes Everything Within a B2B Organization
When a company decides to adopt a new ecommerce strategy, it impacts the whole internal operations. Sometimes, there is a tendency among teams and departments to perceive that they are exempt from the forthcoming changes; in reality, a digital first business will be available on multi-channel platforms so that customers can reach them at their most convenient time using their preferred devices.
Let’s look closer at how digital transformation impacts every area of an organization.
The main goal of Marketing is to be where the customers are. Acquiring and retaining customers online means knowing how, when, and where to market to them digitally. Marketing efforts to acquire and retain customers will become key initiatives. Digitally transformed businesses need to know how to market digitally.
From interactive websites, social media profiles, and display ads to e-books, customer testimonials, and email marketing – all these digital marketing assets will help in reaching the target audience with strategically conversion-oriented messages to guide them as they move down the sales funnel.
As soon as channel shift takes place, the Sales team will feel the impact of digital transformation in their day-to-day tasks, requiring them to adjust their roles and adapt to the changes. The main goal is to create consistent customer experiences across all digital channels that move the sales process forward.
- Implementation of customer relationship management software (CRM) and sales force automation technology (SFA) to digitize the sales process and use collected data to improve sales strategy
- Delivering the right message at the right time across various digital platforms and regardless of customers’ device preferences
- Coordinating highly orchestrated campaigns and touch points that span multiple digital channels seamlessly to trigger the right response from prospects and leads
- Integrating the competencies that digital technologies bring into the overall sales cycle to achieve high customer satisfaction and preserve sales rep compensation
- Analyzing consumer data to quickly and correctly forecast which customer data fit specific products and services
Digital technology has revolutionized consumer habits. Consumers are constantly connected, app-native, and digitally conscious – setting the bar high for Customer Service team which are expected to be open and accessible 24/7/365. Despite the challenges that may go along with this round-the-clock coverage, organizations can inform their customers the availability of a wide range of channels to get information and support from. More than just about being reactive, a digital first company must be proactive in communicating and engaging with its target audience – striving to meet their expectations whenever they need it.
The digital transformation journey of an organization can put a strain in supplier relationships as both manufacturers and distributors now have direct access to customers across multiple digital channels. Managing channel conflict between partners is important to avoid price wars, logistical complexities, devaluation, lower margins, and compromised customer experience.
To prevent channel conflict and maintain healthy supplier relationships:
- Gain more control over the narrative of how, when and where your products/services are sold through partners and retailers.
- Build a watertight contract or negotiate strong terms without alienating or angering your partners and retailers.
- Offer products/services on your website or ecommerce platform that are exclusive to you.
Operations and Infrastructure
Infrastructure and operations (I&O) organizations in the digital era must restructure their businesses to align with CIO (Chief Information Officer) priorities.
“To stay relevant in today’s enterprise, I&O needs to become more agile and customer-centric,” says Chirag Dekate, Senior Director Analyst, Gartner. “As digital adoption grows, top-performing I&O organizations are rethinking their structures, metrics and skill sets to align more closely with business stakeholders.”
Adopting recent technologies and processes that nurture digital business accelerates agility, speeds up the pace of business, and transforms the workforce for digital productivity and efficiency.
Technology and R&D
Global brands and enterprises spent $2.3 trillion on R&D in 2019 alone. This staggering investment is about 2% of global GDP and has been steadily growing at 4% annually for more than a decade now. For businesses, determining how much to invest in digital transformation is unfamiliar territory.
Considerations for investments in technology and R&D:
- Understand what a company wants to and what it can actually deliver
- Prioritize how to develop, acquire, or access the needed R&D capabilities that will help offer marketable solutions to target audience
- Choose the operating model and organizational design to maximize the innovation investment and long-term company value
Steer Your Business Towards Digitization
At ClinkIT Solutions, we strive to help our clients adapt quickly and thrive in this dynamic digital era. Our digital transformation solutions are based on a trusted foundation of experience and expertise that empowers businesses to accelerate desired outcomes.