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Facelift France and Holland. Far from standing on the sidelines, B2B companies have embraced the digital revolution. Most are outpacing consumer companies in digitizing back-office workflows and resource planning and in modernizing their existing IT architectures. Digitization has made providing consistent, high-quality customer interactions a competitive differentiator, no matter the channel. B2B companies need to adjust accordingly.
Right now, however, selling models remain firmly planted in the offline world. Company websites, though rich in product descriptions, are often little more than digital brochures that fail to provide an easy way for customers to buy. And while sales teams are working harder to navigate deals that stretch longer and involve multiple influencers and buyers, they often lack or are unable to apply the analytics needed to manage the sale profitably, understand who the real decision makers are, and what sorts of outreach might prove persuasive.
B2B players must contend with shrinking product shelf lives, greater price transparency, and a changing cost basis on the one hand while simultaneously growing the capabilities needed to create consumer-like experiences on the other, with personalized service and hassle-free purchasing across platforms and devices. Nontraditional players like Amazon Business and Alibaba are already cashing in on this trend by providing business buyers with simple and convenient digital marketplaces.
So what to do? Our research is clear: by investing in a targeted set of digital capabilities and approaches, B2B companies can improve their financial performance—and not just by a percentage point or two. Rather, the B2B companies that master these areas are generating 8 percent more shareholder returns and a revenue compound annual growth rate CAGR that is five times greater than the rest of the field.
The study shows that B2B companies trail consumer companies in terms of their overall digital maturity: the average DQ score for the 50 B2B companies in our study was 28, compared with 35 for consumer companies Exhibit 1. While that might not be surprising—B2B companies, after all, generally contend with a more complex environment, longer deal cycles, lengthy RFP processes, the involvement of many vendors, decision makers, and influencers—comparing the scores of B2B and B2C companies was helpful in order to reveal and better understand those areas where B2B companies could most profitably improve.
Moving up the digital curve matters because B2B digital leaders turn in stronger financial performance. Top-quartile B2B players generate 3. Our research shows that six digital practices have an outsize impact on performance. These are the areas in which digital leaders excel and where B2B companies can do better.
Outperforming companies create digital strategies that are designed to make and shape markets, and they back those efforts with the necessary resources. At most B2B companies, however, digital strategy is a sideshow. Initiatives are less likely to be anchored in customer needs and often falter from insufficient investment.
Only 10 percent of the B2B companies in our survey, for instance, said that digital was a top investment priority. When held off to the side, digital strategies often splinter into smaller initiatives that are too diffuse to gain momentum and too limited in scope to make a material difference.
As a result, top-quartile B2Bs across sectors have an average DQ of 44, compared with 50 for consumer companies. To make its digital strategy the de facto way of operating, GE consolidated each business unit under a chief digital officer. GE also went on an ambitious hiring spree, bringing in thousands of new software engineers, user-experience experts, and data scientists to acquire needed skillsets and embed the right innovation mind-set.
Strategic shifts like that are hard. They require gaining management consensus around a shared vision, challenging time-honored institutional truths, and learning new skills and practices on the fly, but it can make a huge difference. B2B buyers who interact with multiple channels, such as field sales, online web stores, and so on, spend more than those who only purchase from a single channel.
Taking advantage of that fact takes strong cross-channel integration. Mobile especially has changed the way B2B decision-makers interact. More than 90 percent of B2B buyers use a mobile device at least once during the decision process, 3 3. B2B leaders are doing things differently. At the Netherlands-based bank ING, for instance, corporate clients have a single point of access to real-time account overviews, customized reporting, and the ability to execute payment and hedging transactions wherever they are in the world.
To make that happen, the bank had to overhaul its customer-data processes and make it possible for information to be updated across all channels automatically. Now customer-service personnel, marketers, and account managers can track where a customer is in his or her decision-making journey and respond with tailored offers and advice. Our benchmark shows that only 15 percent of B2B companies feel they have a complete view of their customers versus 20 percent of consumer companies , and only 19 percent say they understand the customer journeys that matter most to core segments versus 31 percent of consumer companies.
By contrast, top-performing B2B companies are using advanced analytics to improve their insights-generation capabilities and deploying tools that help marketing and sales understand what offers, content, and services will hit the right notes with key segments.
At an electronics manufacturer, for instance, marketers could tell when a prospect opened an email, but their customer-relationship management systems had no way of tracking how long a customer spent reading that email or what action they took next. To gain more predictive muscle, the company invested in next-product-to-buy NPTB analytics that presented a list of recommended actions, scored by relevance. More effective targeting insights helped the company increase sales by 8 percent.
Advanced analytics can also help sales reps navigate a more crowded purchasing environment. Those insights were funneled into a specialized iPad app that reps could use in the field. If the app flagged that procurement was likely to be engaged, reps could press a button and generate tailored punch lists and other add-ons designed to meet procurement specifications and simplify the RFP process for internal buyers. In tests, the iPad tool shortened the selling process by about 30 percent and increased conversion by 8 to 10 percent.
Similar data-enabled marketing practices allow B2B companies to create highly targeted campaigns that can break through the noise and forge meaningful relationships—a critical capability in a competitive or fragmented market. Vestas, a wind-turbine manufacturer, knew from customer research that turbines could play a major role in driving down business costs, but most companies still saw them strictly as an energy-solutions provider, which was narrowing their market.
To change perceptions, they used customer analytics to create a campaign focused on gaining the attention of Fortune C-level executives—the lead decision makers for their product. Customer-decision-journey analysis revealed that busy CEOs were more likely to engage if presented with targeted data that addressed company-specific issues. So Vestas partnered with Bloomberg BusinessWeek to hand deliver a series of custom page inserts filled with company-specific data that spelled out tangible wind-energy benefits.
That targeted, data-driven campaign helped Vestas achieve a ten-times improvement in conversion rates. Effective presales activities—the steps that lead to qualifying, bidding on, winning, and renewing a deal—can help B2B companies achieve consistent win rates of 40 to 50 percent in new business and 80 to 90 percent in renewals.
But that level of success requires close coordination from front office to back, and while many B2B companies have done a good job automating the back office, they fall short when it comes to connecting those processes to the front end. That lack of integration can lead to multiple customer handoffs between functions, long turnaround times for quotes, missed delivery dates, and a proliferation of unnecessary technologies, applications, and data.
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And I have this Witwicky who keeps calling me. Five times today.
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English to Spanish translation results for 'five times' designed for tablets and mobile devices. Possible languages include English, Dutch, German, French. five/ten/many etc times used to say how much greater, more etc one thing is than another Sound travels four times faster in water than in air. There were. Five Times Five: Directed by Frank P. Donovan. With Alexander Woollcott, Annette Dionne, Cecile Dionne, Emilie Dionne. Cecile, Annette, Yvonne, Emile and.