B2B sales fail to keep up with market demands

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B2B sales fail to keep up with market demands

As many as 65% of B2B sales representatives believe that e-commerce in their companies is not functioning as it should. Many are struggling to implement digital transformation in their organization. This diverges with the expectations of buyers in the B2B market, who demand a perfect e-commerce experience. B2B sales companies still have a long way to go to provide buyers with the standards they know from B2C e-commerce.

These are the key findings of a survey conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by Zoovu. More than 400 executives from companies that engage in B2B commerce and are based in North America and Europe participated. They were interviewed in early 2024, and the full report is available for download here.

A superior customer experience will provide a competitive advantage

B2B buyers are increasingly demanding fast, convenient and personalized shopping experiences, something they know and appreciate when they privately purchase goods and services. B2B sellers hear these voices, but in most cases they have yet to successfully digitally transform their sales operations. Their efforts to develop e-commerce have often stalled.

As the main reason for this, respondents cite the lack of an effective product data strategy for making products available and searchable online. 83% of executives from companies with B2B sales say their organization’s product data is incomplete, inconsistent, inaccurate, unstructured or outdated.

Thus, companies with B2B sales need to limit the amount of products that buyers can purchase online. Noteworthy – only 44% of respondents believe that their company offers buyers access to some form of search, so that the latter can independently review products online.

A suitable e-commerce platform is a must have for B2B transactions

As many as 81% of respondents believe that the problem of poor data quality is compounded by the company’s use of an insufficient e-commerce platform. In this context, the most frequently cited are: lack of appropriate tools, inability to manage product complexity, scale, and/or collect customer data from online buyers.

According to representatives of B2B sales companies who participated in the survey, the lack of a proper e-commerce platform leads to:

  • customer frustration (35%),
  • lower conversion rates (29%),
  • increased sales costs (28%),
  • lost revenue (27%),
  • increased customer churn (25%).

Sales automation in the B2B market is still a privilege few companies can afford. As many as 83% of those surveyed said their corporate transactions required some degree of human interaction – whether it was traditional customer service, assisted e-commerce in which buyers turn to the sales team at the end of the process, or online sales that use digital tools to enhance traditional sales channels.

A successful remedy to the problems of product data management and online sales is to implement a PIM system and an advanced e-commerce platform tailored for B2B commerce. If you are interested in these solutions, please feel free to contact us.

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