B2B Digital experience has changed in the last 6-7 months. Long before Covid-19, most companies saw the opportunity to engage their B2B customers more effectively online. Since the Covid-19 crisis began, to be more digital and data-driven have become top priorities. B2B sales leaders have moved from being “forced” to adopt digital in reaction to the widespread shutdowns in the early stages of COVID-19 to a growing conviction that digital is the way to go, according to a survey of B2B businesses conducted by McKinsey.
Here are a few things organizations can do to accelerate analytics and AI in order to better engage their B2B customers digitally.
Harness Web Analytics to Deliver Seamless B2B Digital Experience
According to the survey, there is a pronounced trend of preference for self-service channels across every stage of the customer decision journey after the pandemic started, and more than three quarters of buyers and sellers say they now prefer digital self-serve and remote human engagement over face-to-face interactions – a sentiment that has steadily intensified even after lockdowns have ended.
In the time of COVID, you don’t want to simply ask your customers or potential customers to just go meet you in person if they can’t figure anything out on the website. Even if they don’t end up going to your competitors, being forced to venture out would be a terrible experience for them. Companies need to make rapid improvements to their digital channels, starting with addressing the most pressing pain points, frustrations, and common concerns, which can also help cut sales cost and improve efficiency.
- the length of the ordering process,
- difficulty of finding products,
- technical glitches with ordering,
- confusing websites,
- a lack of information on delivery and technical support,
- and difficulty setting up payments.
Web analytics can provide insights into such as which advertising banner brought the user to the website, which web page the user visited at what time, for how long, keywords the visitor used to search and whether he or she have clicked on the search results, the device he or she used, the screen size and geolocation…
With these data, companies can quickly identify where there may be barriers and opportunities and then test ideas to improve user experience.
Work With Big Data to Break Silos and Accelerate Automation
With the massive shift to digital resulting from COVID-19, video conferencing and live chat have emerged as the predominant channels for interacting and closing sales with customers, according to the survey. These chat transcripts can be extremely useful with the help of natural language processing (NLP).
Although many great analytics tools, such as Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics, have user-friendly interfaces that provide many commonly used analyses.
However, if you have access to the raw clickstream data, you can connect your website’s live chat transcripts to their web visits and CRM data more easily, and pull the chats from the web visitors who were highly engaged but never closed the deals through either online or offline channels. And then with topic modeling, you can see what’s stopping them in order to address the issues.
Other than enabling organizations to export and query the raw data in Hadoop or Cloud, tools like Adobe Analytics and Adobe Audience Manager (Data Management Platform) also provide programmatic access to their data through API calls. These different options give you more flexibility, and allow you to better integrate, build, and automate analysis or dashboards or action on them automatically in real-time or near real-time.
Leverage Data Science and AI to Build Stronger Relationships Safely
In a global survey of 800 executives representing a full range of industries, McKinsey found that 67 percent of companies have accelerated automation and artificial intelligence (AI) since the start of the pandemic and roughly half of the executives increased digitization of customer channels, for example, via e-commerce, mobile apps, or chatbots.
Here are a few more examples on how to leverage data science and AI to further improve user experience.
- To generate more qualified leads, use lookalike modeling to find audiences that look like your best customers and focus marketing efforts on them.
- To enhance digital experience and increase conversion rate, capture as much useful information about users as possible and deliver personalized marketing and website…
- To retain existing customers and reduce churn, identify root causes of potential churn, predict when a churn might happen and then act proactively.
- To make sure customers or potential customers can get proper help safely right away when needed, many organizations have installed AI-powered virtual assistants in low resource settings.
Choosing the wrong way to measure the return on investment (ROI) of your marketing and sales efforts could mislead you to a completely opposite direction. B2B organizations should revisit their account-based attribution to better decide where to cut budget, how to maximize ROI as well as make sure the leads generated by upper-funnel marketing efforts can eventually turn to sales too.
Because of the pandemic, the ongoing shift to digital hit fast-forward. According to the B2B survey respondents, these pandemic-induced patterns are likely to become permanent. Only about 20 percent of buyers said they hoped to return to in-person sales, even in sectors where field-sales models have traditionally dominated, such as pharma and medical products. Companies that can stay ahead of the curve will not only survive but also benefit from the improvements and thrive in the next normal.