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Channels of Growth

B2B customers are using more and more channels through which to make their buying decisions, and companies that enabled purchases through additional channels have gained market share.

B2B customers are becoming better at understanding their relationship needs. According to a February 2022 McKinsey study on B2B sales, those needs have increasingly centered on five different factors:

  1. Performance guarantee
  2. Product availability shown online
  3. Ability to purchase from any channel
  4. Real-time customer service
  5. Consistent experience across channels

“What customers want from omnichannel is more — more channels, more convenience and a more personalized experience,” the authors of the McKinsey study wrote. “And if they don’t get what they’re looking for, they’ll take their business elsewhere.”

From Sales to Sense Makers

That isn’t to suggest that business relationships will be replaced by digital sales channels. Future sellers, instead, will need to be positioned not as the source of information, but “‘sense makers’ who help customers make sense of everything they’re learning, irrespective of source or channel,” Kelly Blum wrote for Gartner in a study about the future of sales in 2025.

That shift is especially important due to the rise in so-called “everywhere customers,” of meeting customers where they already are.

“As face-to-face interactions with customers decline, suppliers still need to find ways to influence buying decisions. A good place to start is by understanding the reasons buyers make purchase decisions,” Blum wrote.

The next generation of sales could involve commercial hubs connecting sales, tech, data and analytics, with data insights helping to align sales reps where they are needed, and making face time with customers count.


“What customers want from omnichannel is more — more channels, more convenience and a more personalized experience,” the authors of the McKinsey study wrote. “And if they don’t get what they’re looking for, they’ll take their business elsewhere.”


 

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