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How to Make the Most of B2B Buyer Purchasing Power

When customers interact with a brand on multiple channels, those customer tend to spend more. That rather obvious realization, of course, has driven significant investment in omnichannel to date and it only stands to increase in the future.

If your company is keen on making the most of their customer's buying/purchasing power (and why wouldn't they be), it is essential to know how to optimize a digital experience (specifically an e-commerce experience) where touching multiple channels is increasingly the norm.

Andy Peebler of CloudcrazeAndy Peebler, general manager of West Region Business Development for CloudCraze, an enterprise-class B2B commerce platform built natively on Salesforce, shared some practical insights on what he believes makes some buyers so valuable and what today's B2B brands can do about it.

WM: Why do omnichannel customers spend more than others on average? What is it that makes these eventual buyers so valuable to brands and sellers?

AP: There are several components to the omnichannel commerce experience that contribute to increased buyer spend and long-term customer value. The first is the ability for a customer to purchase online, anytime, anywhere versus waiting to speak with a sales representative or submitting orders via fax. The second is supporting sales reps to engage with their customers offline and online, establishing a consistent customer experience across channels. Finally, the service team can proactively resolve tickets by having spare or replacement parts ordered on behalf of a customer. Not only does this streamline the resolution process but ensures that orders adhere to customer contracts (no cost or contract price).  

A digital, omnichannel platform transforms the customer experience by empowering the relationships between the buyer and the account team (sales, service). Capabilities like common cart, one-click purchasing, automated orders and promotional insights help enhance these relationships, leading to increased customer retention, loyalty and overall spend. 

WM: Managing an omnichannel presence can be overwhelming. What guidance can you provide for sellers when they are interested in being anywhere and everywhere their customers are?

AP: Managing an omnichannel presence does not have to be overwhelming. This sounds basic, but it’s worth repeating: 1) Define your strategy. 2) Define a plan to execute it. 3) Stick to it. 

If omnichannel engagement is required, identify a plan for unifying your CRM(s) and commerce platforms together to support these use cases. Our experience has been that a shared customer data model has a profound impact on the success of platform execution and can provide deeper customer insights to help drive cross-sell and upsell opportunities. The holistic view of the customer also informs new marketing programs, allowing for more targeted, compelling campaigns and experiences. 

Defining and executing your plan is the most critical step in establishing an omnichannel presence. Minimum viable products (MVPs) give businesses the ability to collect customer feedback and iterate the product to continually adapt and innovate based on that feedback. An iterative approach also ensures measurement of ROI is possible. Not only is ROI achieved faster, but the investment is maintained at a rapid pace making it easier to stick to your plan. Moral of the story: iterate fast, iterate often. 

WM What role does technology play in helping sellers make the most of buyer purchasing power and how?

AP: This era has been defined by the cloud technology. The right technology - combining both scalability and agility - is essential to supporting buyer purchasing behavior. Your platform investment needs to support the foundational needs of your business, your customers and your partners. 

Our experience is that the solution should be designed around the customer and partner versus the product. This ensures a greater degree of personalization - whether product, price or a combination of both - as you engage with customers across channels. Additionally, a customer-first model is imperative to powering engagement within the context of customer interactions - e.g., next best action and buying authority to drive new revenue potential, with a lower cost to serve.  

These are not new concepts. What is new is that today’s technology provides new opportunities to connect experiences across commerce, CRM and marketing, delivering personalized journeys that increase buying power. Couple this with AI and prescriptive analytics technology to support the brand value to customers to increase purchasing power.  
Andy Peebler of CloudCraze
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