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  • Writer's pictureTom Levers


What does Omnichannel mean?

Customers have a choice... in-person, remote, and e-commerce when evaluating and purchasing B2B products and services.

B2B decision-makers confirm that Omnichannel is not simply a trend nor a pandemic workaround; instead, it is a critically important fixture for B2B sales globally.

The pandemic has cemented omnichannel interactions as the predominant path for B2B sales. Even as in-person engagement reemerged as an option, buyers made clear they prefer a cross-channel mix, choosing in-person, remote, and digital self-serve interactions in equal measure.

The equilibrium is no accident as B2B buyers moved to remote and digital ways of engaging. For example, the use and preference for e-commerce, self-serve, has grown year over year. Buyers also moved quickly between in-person and remote sales as quarantine restrictions shifted, with the choice of the channel coming down to practicality and timing more than efficacy.

You Can Optimize Your Omnichannel to Improve the Customer Journey by implementing some of these Best Marketing Practices:

  • Drive Brand Awareness and Get Visitors to Your Site by Using New Search Terms with emphasis to promote B2B Omnichannel Call to Actions (i.e., Download Now, Lunch and Learn, Find Partners Near You, The Users Perspective),

  • Create a UX experience for The Customer Journey to Maximize Your Touchpoints,

  • Use Content and Personalization using "Push/Nurture" to Your Customer and Prospect,

  • Leverage PIM (Product Information Management) and a Deep and Robust Product Content Strategy to Convert Customers Faster,

  • Develop Customer Self-Serve Partner/Client Case Studies

McKinsey Research found B2Bs say Omnichannel works and even surpasses past approaches.*

Omnichannel gained urgency during the crisis and will be imperative from now on. Eight in ten B2B leaders say that Omnichannel is more effective than traditional methods sentiment that has grown sharply throughout the past year, rising from 54 percent at the start of the pandemic to over 85 percent at the end of 2021.

Moreover, 85 percent of B2B leaders believe that Omnichannel selling is a more successful way to prospect and secure new business than traditional, "face-to-face only" sales approaches, a notable sign of confidence, given the higher cost and hurdle acquiring new customers.

Your Omnichannel Success Hinges On Digital Platforms And Best Practices

If you've spent time optimizing the buyer journey, take that work and throw it out the window. There is no single buying journey. Your buyers dictate their journeys. And they increasingly include stops at new locations — like vertical magazines, online marketplaces, product reviews, and partner channels. It's up to you to meet them how, when, and where they want to buy.

Digital business leaders need organizational alignment and shared goals, but the execution requires digital platforms that emphasize the power of the Omnichannel experience delivery. These platforms provide key content and transaction services. Still, they also offer the correct information from pricing to availability to fulfillment lead times and role-based experiences for customers and your sales and service/support staff.

Key Takeaways

A Unified Buying Experience Across Touchpoints Has Become Table Stakes for B2B buyers and must be digital-first, yet they still have to navigate the complexities of B2B buying dynamics. Siloed approaches for digital, direct, and indirect sales models don't work. B2B buyers expect you to take the steps necessary to unify the buying experience across all touchpoints.

Customer obsession should not be limited to those buying from you. If you want to address your customer experience problem, your definition of "customer" needs to include your customer-facing employees. Your digital enablement plans need to address their needs as well.

Omnichannel Goals Dictate Your Org Model, Culture, And Technology Approach

The mandate is clear: Serve your customer where they are and when they're in need—leverage best practices for igniting your omnichannel strategy.

*McKinsey B2B Pulse Survey 2021

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