Digital transformation encompasses several activities: from the adoption of new technologies to strategy, from culture to organization, from business models to go-to-market approaches; it’s all about change.
Companies need to embrace new ways that they do business with each other. How they buy, sell, partner, and collaborate as well as how they reach their end users.
B2B digital transformation means diversifying their sales strategy, up to the point that might even impact the product or business model, be it manufacturing goods, intellectual services, financial services or others.
To embrace these changes, companies need to examine their internal existing processes as well as identify new opportunities and understand which technology choices make the most sense for them in their digital transformation.
A common misconception is to equate digital transformation with e-commerce: an online catalog, a procedure for ordering online – and the business is transformed.
E-commerce alone is not systematically the first answer to digital transformation, there are many more appropriate approaches to tackle this challenge. In particular, B2Bs who operate on tight margins and complex sales models with purchasing scenarios that may vary between industries and geographies are likely to find e-commerce tools unable to fulfill their requirements.
So just how can B2Bs prosper and transform? Here are three key considerations:
Look to diversify and explore how you sell. Do your supporting technologies and processes enable you to implement new sales channels and optimize existing ones?
Put your customer experience at the heart of your strategy (how they buy). For experience to be disruptive, it has first to be frictionless. Can you enable seamless transactions by giving your customers rich, memorable, and frictionless online experiences from brand awareness to purchase and beyond? Also, can you make it personal? Your customers will be more ‘sticky’ to your brand if you ‘recognize’ them and give them relevant content and quick ‘buy again’ options.
Innovation is no longer optional. Digital Transformation of course involves innovation – exploring new approaches, be it go-to-market models, new digital experiences, new pricing strategy or even new business models. Do you have the necessary agility and flexibility in the tools you use to innovate and quickly adapt? Can you what works and what doesn’t, do you have the ability to fail as well as succeed? You’ll need to be ready to explore and fail, many times, and change and adapt an offering, before finding the best setup or strategy.