Led by a new generation of buyers, a shift has occurred in the business-to-business (B2B) buying experience in today’s digital first economy. These new B2B buyers prefer digital and self-service channels, are less loyal, and often depend on trusted community sites and peer reviews during the product evaluation process. According to Gartner, as little as 17 percent of the B2B buyers’ time is spent interacting with potential suppliers, while 80 percent of buyers prefer virtual meetings and self-service options. And while B2B buyers are more conscious about how their data is being used, they also expect experiences to be tailored and relevant. A preference for digital engagements also means that brands need to be more thoughtful and impactful with their limited interactions to create meaningful connections with their B2B customers.
B2B brands wanting to create long-term relationships with their customers and deliver impactful experiences, must show a deep understanding of each individual within the account, their relationships with others on the team, and the business goals of the buying group. Additionally, as organizations across industries expand and find new opportunities for growth by serving both consumers and business professionals, there’s a new mountain to climb: how to have a single view of a person with whom they have multiple, relationships across different lines of business.