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6 Ways Covid-19 Changed How B2B Customers Buy

It’s a fact: Covid-19 has changed our world and turned our lives upside down. And enterprise organizations and their B2B customers have had to pivot in order to survive.

Looking back on 2020, we had no idea how much our lives would change. As Americans, we don’t like to be told what to do. Yet, we were told to:

  • Shelter in place
  • Wear masks
  • Practice social distancing

In some ways, our lives have changed for the better. We can get curbside pick-up on everything from pizza to prescription medications to your entire grocery order. We use Zoom and Facetime to connect with friends and family members. Our mobile phones have become our lifelines to online banking, Amazon purchases, ordering take-out food, tracking our fitness, playing games online, and so much more.

And B2B sales is changing right along with everything else that’s happening in our lives. When the world stopped last March, many enterprise organizations hunkered down and put a halt to all but the most necessary activities.

But, for those companies that pivoted and were responsive to customers and prospects, they thrived and were ready and able to give customers the service they needed. According to a McKinsey survey, 70% – 80% of B2B decision makers prefer remote – or digital interactions, due to the ease of scheduling, travel cost savings, and overall safety.

Here are 6 strategies you can incorporate now to better serve your B2B customers in 2021:

Digital is the new reality

B2B sales leaders have shifted from being forced to work via digital channels to realizing that digital is the way of the future. In fact, more than 80% of B2B buyers hope not to return to face-to-face interaction.

Changes in the B2B buyer experience

B2B customers are more comfortable in making large purchases and reorders online, and that shows a maturity in digital sales today. The same McKinsey study stated that B2B customers were willing to independently purchase new items online in excess of $50,000, and 27% of buyers are comfortable purchasing in excess of $500,000. Once a B2B buyer experiences a simple, seamless, and satisfying online business purchase, there’s no going back to the old way. A new habit has been cemented.

Deliver a 24/7 sales cycle

Before Covid-19, B2B sales cycles were driven through trade shows and conferences, decades-long relationships, and typical buying cycles for each industry. When everything was turned upside down, businesses rushed to adopt self-service options. Trade shows typically provide ebbs and peaks in the buying process. But, the good news is that enterprises can now expect the same online revenue every month. A self-service B2B sales environment is here to stay. But if your customers want to buy from you online or in-person, tell them you’re ready and able whenever and wherever they want to talk.

READ MORE: 7 Simple Steps To Upskilling And Reskilling Your Remote Workforce

Connect with video and live chat

Covid-19 forced us to find other ways to communicate. Sealing the deal over a meal in a restaurant or shaking hands in the conference room were no longer an option. Video conferencing, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet, became the new normal. Live chat and chatbots also became preferred ways to communicate digitally with clients.

Adopt new ways of working

Your sales team is more than likely working remotely at least part of the time. There are benefits to everyone being virtual. It’s easier and faster for reps to organize and present a digital demo than to travel to a physical location. In addition, your sales reps may have a specific territory or vertical that they service. Now days, digital technology makes it easy to reach a prospect anywhere in the US, or even around the world. Your talent pool is in the same situation. You staff and sales team can work from home, work in the office, or work on the go.

READ MORE: Selling From Home: 6 Pro Tips To Help You Get Results

Consider an enterprise mobile platform

At CatalystXL, we want to help you quickly and easily share information and foster collaboration across your entire organization – with employees and customers alike. We can deliver a no code, custom branded enterprise mobile platform that unlocks answers and provides insights via our Cardware™ platform – sharing categorized content in a powerful flashcard format.

Book a demo today!