Ankita Ghosh Author's Perspective
3 Minute read

Where B2B Buyers Want to Go Digital - And Where They Don't

Digital B2b

Trends are rapidly changing worldwide with increasing digitization and companies moving their business processes online for smoothening operations. With the coronavirus pandemic driving people indoors, sales processes have also transformed.

While B2C businesses have long been realizing the importance of digitizing their processes before the 2020 pandemic, B2B companies have been somewhat more skeptical about adapting to a digital-first approach. While some B2B businesses have been giving it a shot, most have been reluctant to do so, or have been finding it difficult to execute the entire endeavor.

Regardless of where on the decision spectrum your B2B business is, disruptive buyer dynamics are now forcing businesses to digitize the buying process to increase B2B customer satisfaction. But to make their customer bases happy, B2B companies must understand where B2B customers rely on digital and where they don't.

Where Are B2B Customers Skeptical About Going Digital

While most industries globally gladly embrace digital power, B2B customers still prefer to talk to someone instead of communicating with AI before making some decisions. Let's find out when -

B2B Customers Prefer Talking to Sales Reps Before Making a Purchase

While many companies have effectively tried to decode the B2B customer's mind, research by Mckinsey showed that -

  1. 78% of B2B customers find it extremely helpful to talk to someone while purchasing a completely new product.
  2. With this, approximately 52% of B2B customers seek customer support while re-purchasing a product.

Mckinsey B2B Customer Journey Survey

B2B Buyers Want Faster Responses

Furthermore, the Mckinsey study also showed that - a slow response time is a buyer’s biggest complaint.

Mckinsey B2B Customer Journey Survey 2016

Today's B2B customers look for a faster customer support solution while making a purchase. With online shopping just a click away with B2B ecommerce, a slower response time can lower customer retention and higher cart abandonment rates. They look for a customer representative to address their needs immediately and trust a human to give adequate instructions to the seller while making a purchase online. As B2B sales require you to understand the customer's demands better to help personalize customers' shopping experience, a sales rep can help with better clarity due to the human touch.

Slow Responses Can Make B2B Businesses Lose Customers to Competition

Mckinsey B2B Customer Journey Survey Exhibit 3

B2B customers often seek fast customer support to streamline their post-purchase CX. Research by Microsoft suggested that" 90% of Americans use customer service as a factor in deciding whether or not to do business with a company." In addition, Salesforce research also said that "89% of consumers are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer service experience."

As 76% of B2B buyers expect businesses to know their unique needs and demands, delivering a personalized customer experience is the need for today's customer-driven market. B2B companies can make the most out of customer intent by directly interacting with their target audience through their B2B marketers and sales reps across the buyer's journey.

Where Are B2B Buyers Going Digital?

B2B buyers today are looking for simple B2C-like digital experience to help them move up the sales pipeline. While effective customer service with a human touch can help companies expand, combining these B2B marketing strategies with digital options can help companies grow.

Understanding the customer becomes all the more critical in such cases. B2B businesses today are turning to personalized, omnichannel experiences for better customer retention. They're adding these strategies from the first step of the buyer journey for better conversion rates. Here's how -

Lead Nurturing Via Digital

Not only do B2B customers look for a smooth digital experience while making the product purchase, but post-purchase CX is also equally important for higher customer retention and customer lifetime value. To achieve this, a B2B organization must interact with its customers using optimal quality content.

With processes becoming digital, customers are looking at B2B companies to remind them about re-purchase, new discounts, incentives, and other lead nurturing techniques to increase B2B sales and retention rates. Research suggests that "lead-nurturing emails get 4-10x times the response rate compared to standalone emails." These numbers essentially throw light on the dynamic needs of today's customers and the need for B2B companies to embrace these marketing strategies to stay at par with the competition.

Work Smarter with Smartphones

With a smartphone in the hands of every B2B buyer, connecting through them has streamlined the collaboration process. With improved communication systems across countries, B2B companies can leverage these digital tools to expand globally. Companies today use essential digital tools like smartphones to improve field service. For instance, the service agent can get to places on time, increasing the on-time delivery metric. Using smartphones can also simplify customer support by helping service agents assist customers over video chat and even text messaging. In addition to this, field-service technicians can also use their phones to take a picture of an unfamiliar part and send it to the company for identification and then purchase.

Better Analytics with Digital

Research by PwC showed that 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for an excellent customer experience. With customer experience overtaking price as a differentiator, B2B companies must provide their customers with optimally personalized CX to stand out in the market. For this, understanding the customer's mind is vital. Companies today use various marketing automation and analytical tools to help understand the customer's behavior across multiple channels like websites, ecommerce platforms, and mobile applications. These companies can get deep insights into the customer's intent and continuously improvise to provide better customer experiences with strong analytical capabilities.

Bottom Line

Today's market trends are rapidly changing, and B2B companies must keep up with the dynamic customer demands. Like B2B customers, B2B customers are also looking for simple ways to make purchases with easy payment options. For this, B2B businesses must up their sales and marketing strategies by adding a human touch to their digital strategy. Even with the rapid digitization across the globe, there are still some areas of business that customers prefer not to have digital. It is crucial for B2B companies to identify these areas and provide a better online and offline experience to the B2B buyer.

To better understand how you can maximize ROI from understanding your customer better with the right marketing strategies, get in touch with us at Our technology experts will help you chart the right digital strategy roadmap to take your business to the next level.

Ankita Ghosh

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