Reimagining B2B Customer Engagement in An Experience Economy

In retail, the consumer experience has emerged as a way for brands to differentiate themselves. Yet, it’s not limited to the B2C marketplace. Experience matters just as much within the B2B ecosystem.

This only makes sense. B2B buyers are merely transferring their consumer preferences into their jobs. Whether shopping for a personal item or a service for their company, they take many of the same pathways. They conduct their research online, ask questions via multiple channels, and expect to receive and respond to invoices online. Essentially, they are mirroring the engagement journey of a typical B2C customer only in a corporate setting.

Unfortunately, many businesses have clung to their traditional B2B marketing and selling workflows. This leaves them unable to offer impressive experiences to their leads and clients.

Consider the lack of personalization in B2B sales. Often, B2B sellers send out content that is formal and templated, lacking the customization that around seven out of ten people desire, according to McKinsey & Company.

Or think about the limited ways B2B businesses offer customer service. A Zoom-commissioned survey revealed that 85% of customers want minimal wait times for support. However, many B2B companies only provide service during “normal” business hours, leading to potentially lengthy client waits.

While revising a business’s engagement and client experience strategy from the ground up is complex, it can yield significant benefits. Offering second-to-none concierge digital and human interactions can shorten the sales cycle and improve the likelihood of repeat orders.

So, what are some methods for your B2B organization to reimagine your client experience and become an engagement leader?

1. Focus on educating your leads and buyers.

Well-educated B2B buyers are more informed and more likely to understand the value of your product or service. Review all the content on your website and other owned pages. Are you educating viewers or just trying to capture their personal information? Most B2B buyers are hesitant to disclose their data without a compelling reason. You’ll naturally increase your engagement if you publish proprietary insights unavailable elsewhere. They’ll perceive you as a thought leader and expert, reducing their resistance to becoming clients.

Educational content can be diverse: blog posts, videos, infographics, or even corporate podcasts. Get creative in turning your B2B brand into the go-to voice for your industry.

2. Ensure your team has the tools for engagement success.

As you revamp your marketing and sales processes, arm your team members with the right tools. For example, if you want more personalized email outreach, introduce automated software to create individualized content, which sales reps can tweak before sending.

Increase your team’s comfort with change by providing training on enhancing the client experience. Consider bringing in an innovation keynote speaker and offering regular workshops. These can help your team view their roles in a new light and reconsider how they interact with clients.

3. Consider making more of the sales journey rep-free.

A Gartner executive suggested that more B2B companies might benefit from rep-free sales flows. He noted that 54% of Millennial B2B buyers preferred to bypass the sales rep. This doesn’t mean eliminating your sales team but reducing their engagement touchpoints. They could make fewer calls or act more as guides than closers. Some B2B buyers will always prefer human interaction, but digital natives might appreciate a more streamlined online buying experience.

Take time to reflect on your B2B client experience. Is it providing the engagement that the market currently craves? If not, start exploring innovative strategies to modernize your business practices.