The key to accelerating revenue growth for B2B sales organizations is a low-effort, digital buying experience that helps customers feel more confident about their decisions, according to Gartner, Inc.
“The B2B buying journey has fundamentally changed in the last year, with COVID-19 accelerating the shift toward digital and remote buying. Many organizations have failed to adapt to this change, leading to lost and stalled deals,” said Craig Riley, senior principal analyst in the Gartner Sales practice. “Mapping this new customer buying journey to understand how buyers are using both digital and human channels, often simultaneously, will be key for B2B sales organizations to unlock growth in the next three years.”
Gartner analysts said it is imperative that B2B sales organizations differentiate themselves by delivering a customer-centric buying experience that reflects today’s buying journey and meets customers new expectations.
To do this, CSOs must prioritize and balance four growth pillars to exceed growth targets and create a buying experience aligned to the new way customers buy.
B2B sales organizations need to shift their go-to-market strategy to continuous, parallel engagements where sales, marketing, customer service and customer success teams align to help buyers complete critical buying tasks. This could mean removing the distinctions between sales, marketing and customer service entirely, where all commercial resources are consolidated into a single commercial operations team.
CSOs must implement coordinated customer engagement designed with channel-agnostic and digital buyer preferences in mind. This means that all information and support provided to B2B buyers must be consistent, complete and connected across all digital and human channels. This approach will help to lay a strong foundation for dynamic customer engagement (DCE) which leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to deliver customized next best actions and guide customers toward the channel most likely to have a positive commercial outcome.
In order to overcome organizational complexity – the leading roadblock B2B buyers face in their purchase journey – sales organizations must focus on creating a low-effort buying experience to build customer decision confidence.
“Decision confidence is the customer’s belief and feeling of affirmation that they are exercising sound judgment when making a purchase,” said Robert Blaisdell, senior director analyst in the Gartner Sales practice. “Our research shows that when B2B buyers have high levels of decision confidence, they are 3.6 times more likely to opt for a high-end or premium offering instead of settling for the less ambitious solution.”
As AI plays more of a central role across the organization, it will be critical for CSOs to embed AI throughout the commercial engine to augment decision making. This is crucial as AI helps to deliver more precise insights, better predict customer needs and shape everything from sales execution to channel engagements with DCE.