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Omnichannel in B2B: what are the trends for those who want to ride this wave?

Around 90% of decision makers have a strong expectation of the permanence of the digital and remote models in negotiations within the B2B market. This information was collected by McKinsey in late 2020. Thus, we can say without a doubt that Omnichannel in the B2B market is already a reality. But what to expect from this new panorama?

Omnichannel Relevance in B2B
The reality of how we market has changed dramatically. With Generation Z becoming an increasingly relevant audience, especially as they are entering the job market, the way sales are conducted has had to change.

Incidentally, this buyer profile significantly impacts the B2B market itself. Indeed, according to a survey conducted by Google, buyers between the ages of 18 and 34 have risen from 27% to 46% in recent years. This age group is marked by an intense digital presence, seeking convenience and convenience in shopping environments.

Nowadays, it is unthinkable to desire excellent sales results without considering the use of the Internet. At the same time, it would be harmful to think of setting aside offline purchases and sales. Therefore, joining these two universes, the offline and the online, is the most efficient solution. At least for this moment.

According to Google research, 97% of shoppers state that they would not mind making purchases of more than $50,000 in a digital self-service model. This is why companies should invest so heavily in Omnichannel strategies and solutions.

The Gartner report released in 2020, on the other hand, points out that compared to B2C companies, B2B-type companies are lagging behind when it comes to the use of digital platforms.

In this way, to be an even more successful B2B company, it has become essential to have a quality digital structure to meet various operation demands, including the important issue of buying and selling supplies to companies in all industries.

Rethinking the roles of the sales team
According to a LinkedIn survey done in 2021, digital platforms have a relevance not only for the buyers themselves, but even for the company's sales team.

In that professional social network report, it was found that about 48% of those who have ever purchased B2B services or products have not met the sales rep in person by early 2021. Nevertheless, the aforementioned Gartner report states that only 17% of B2B buyers spend time with sales reps.

Another report - also from Gartner - highlights an even more surprising near future: by the year 2025, approximately 25% of the interactions that take place between buyers and suppliers will occur only through digital channels.

This, again, has a lot to do with the aforementioned generational change. After all, many of the so-called millennials have reached management positions, and a significant portion of them (44%) have a predilection for not interacting with a sales representative in B2B commerce.

The Benefits of Omnichannel
Gartner also increasingly notes the growth of investments in technology to power sales. Those who are sales leaders need to look to use artificial intelligence to not only make sure that customers have a better experience, but also that the sales team itself has its processes improved and optimized.

By the way, the aforementioned LinkedIn survey evidenced that 65% of sales teams in Brazil have acquired technology to deal with and overcome the challenges presented by the pandemic in the year 2020. The trend is that these investments in technology will grow more and more.

Taking into consideration the importance and usefulness of Omnichannel and its impacts inside and outside the company, it is worth noting some of the advantages of this type of strategy:

Increased customer retention
According to Aberdeen, companies that implement a smart omnichannel strategy are able to retain 89% of their customers. On the other hand, those companies that do not have a good omnichannel strategy are able to retain only 33%. So investing in digital platforms pays off.

Experience directed to the needs of each person
It is important to emphasize that Omnichannel does not mean to be present in necessarily every possible and imaginable digital Channel. In fact, the most relevant thing is to be present in all the channels where your ideal customer is. That way you can serve them in the way they prefer.

More significant sales results
Unquestionably, the difference in sales results between a simple type approach and an Omnichannel approach is quite discrepant. Nevertheless, an Omnichannel approach is able to convert seven times more than a simple approach.

Results and possibilities
Despite the impacts that the Covid 19 pandemic caused, many companies in the wholesale and distribution business, for example, obtained a 5.2% growth in their revenues, according to data from the Abad/Nielsen Ranking, released in 2021 for the Brazilian Association of Wholesalers and Distributors (Abad).

With regard to the industries, the numbers are less optimistic. This is because the rise in raw material prices and the shortage of inputs ended up causing a retraction of 1.7% in the sector in 2021.

However, in any case, it is essential to keep an eye on the sales trends of the B2B market and the respective preferences of the consumers in this niche. It is irrefutable how much investing in good technology, quality digital platforms, can completely make the difference.

By Renato Ferraz, CEO Easy B2B.

See the article published in Inforchannel here

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