A dramatic shift in B2B buying toward more digital, self-serve options has led to a steady decrease in the amount of time buyers spend with vendors when considering a purchase — as little as 17 percent of their time across all potential suppliers according to Gartner.
This shift is ushering in a new era of B2B customer experience centered around respect for a buyer’s time, process and privacy, and this means showing a deep understanding of the customer — the individual people, their preferences and their business — to earn their attention and engagement.
There’s a lot at stake when it comes to partnering with the right vendor — for the buying teams and the companies making the purchase. Suppose you’re about to spend thousands and potentially millions of dollars with a company. Your experience leading to that purchase is your best indicator of what your experience will be with the vendor after your make that purchase — that’s why vendors are being graded on the customer journey. But how can B2B companies build and maintain relationships with customers in a world of limited in-person interactions and always-on digital touchpoints?
They have to get creative. In today’s increasingly digital economy, B2B brands must find new ways to connect with customers across an ever-expanding set of touchpoints in a personalized, relevant way and do it at scale. Building relationships in the new digital-first experience economy requires a complete reimagining of how to engage with accounts and buying teams and it all starts with data.