In todays digital age of technology, making a purchase has never been easier, with many businesses integrating both a physical and online component to the buying experience. Many B2C companies have actually tried to combine this experience in an omnichannel-like approach, such as department stores offering an “order online, pick-up in store” service.
Why does this affect me?
Despite being easier than ever before, this actually poses a challenge to B2B businesses. Since customers are attuned to this type of seamless experience in their day-to-day B2C purchases, the same has become expected in a B2B setting. In fact, the B2B industry is already beginning to take some of those B2C strategies into their own day-to-day, comparing potential partners on Google like one would compare prices while shopping.
On the other side, B2B businesses expect B2C-level customer responsiveness. Strategies like using chatbots on websites try to capture leads and prepare them to buy by pushing out quick replies and in-person style conversation.
B2B online and offline connectivity is being impacted, as well. Website visitors need to be transformed into actual customers through a comprehensive sales approach. With the ability and access to a multitude of options online, customers will spend much more time in the “awareness” and “interest” stage of the sales process unless businesses can deliver a push with a holistic and desirable sales process, thereby creating more leads.
In essence, B2B business is changing, and now has never been a better time to take an omnichannel approach in selling to your customers. One of the best first steps? Automation.
Automate Your Sales Processes
Manually integrating every sales process for each customer would be a near impossible task. Automating these channels not only saves you time and resources but the connectivity it brings to the user helps retain existing and potential leads. Three out of every four B2B buyers would do repeat business with a company if they had strong omnichannel capabilities in their sales structure, according to a research conducted by Accenture. Not surprisingly, it would appear that a well-connected buyer is more responsive to a consistent and integrated sales process and, in turn, would be more willing to conduct business again. Repeat business is also a fantastic way to boot-up cross-selling efforts once a strong connection is established with the customer. Don’t forget the power of word-of-mouth, too: happy customers bring in even more happy customers.
Automation and SDRs
Another great step towards an omnichannel approach using automation rests in your SDRs. This method of outbound prospecting, while effective in its original state, risks becoming quickly outdated. It can take anywhere from 3 to 16 months to fully onboard an SDR, and an additional year on average to maximize productivity, per research conducted by The Bridge Group. The model itself has some harmful flaws, too. Often SDRs are compensated for quantity instead of the quality of their leads — what good are 100 leads if none of them are useful? The truth is, this is a task best suited for intelligent automation that can analyze data and make the best decisions for your company, scoring you actionable leads.
To do this, SDR’s are automated and optimized using both internal and external data. Externally, applications like ClearBit help enrich new records of leads and update existing ones with better data, all done automatically. Internally, you can connect your CRM to your own application by way of an API and track how your current customers are using your product/service. Then, you can use the available data to make better decisions prospecting leads in the future.
A reliable first step
Starting off with CRM systems as a way to effectively automate sales is a great step in the right direction. One of them, the Salesforce Sales Cloud, aims to solve the integrated sales conundrum by making it easy and efficient to stay connected with your sales processes. The intelligent software accelerates productivity and capitalizes on the latest data and reports for you to make smarter decisions with better leads. You’ll stay in the know and give the buyer the connectivity they’re looking for, and soon after watch benefits flow right in.
Learn the next steps in automating your sales processes by contacting Zuzana and see how Enehano can get you to reap the benefits of being connected in sales.
Hungry for more? Read part one of this series, Omnichannel Structure in Marketing, here.