As enterprises navigate through the spectrum of new technologies powered by the Internet, cloud computing, mobile applications, and artificial intelligence, the landscape of how B2B enterprises engage and transact with their customers is undergoing a dramatic transformation. For one, the onset of the pandemic forced most companies to adopt digitalization in a big way. This meant a shift to virtual sales – which helped significantly improve sales effectiveness as organizations had a lower cost per visit despite an extension in reach.
Several studies also reveal that B2B enterprises today expect omnichannel experiences that are on par with B2C organizations as it offers a seamless and holistic consumer experience. In truth, for many organizations, 57% of decision-making happens before connecting with the sales personnel! Meaning – B2B enterprises need to focus on multiple engagement channels to drive their consumers. This brings us to an interesting revelation.
“Transformation isn’t restricted to people, processes, or technology, but there’s an integral fourth dimension: Data.”
Enterprises today are focussing on foundational elements such as ensuring the right data quality, automated processes for operational efficiency (with use cases across sales, marketing, supply chain), and mapping customer personas with the right content channels, all of which lead to customer experiences that go beyond customer support. With AI entering the mix in functions such as sales, marketing, even supply chain, the push on driving superior experience becomes real. This is essentially done by:
- Personalized omnichannel CX
- Contextual product recommendations
- Digital self-serve AI assistants
In the webinar, Nicholas Miller expands on some scenarios that could help B2B enterprises:
- Setting Objectives and Creating Charters: Before embarking on the transformational journey, setting objectives and creating a customized charter will be crucial. This will require identifying the enterprise challenges and analyzing the requirements. Getting buy-in from all stakeholders on the objectives and setting clear expectations beforehand will be important to achieve success.
- Executive Buy-in: Enterprises will have a lot to gain if they identify key stakeholders and get the executive buy-in within time. They can then go the extra mile to drive engagements that are well-suited to different touchpoints in the consumer’s buying journey, which is at par with the experience of engaging with B2C companies.
- Roadmap for Success: Creating a detailed 30-60-90 day plan by surveying all pros and cons will ensure that there’s a ready roadmap that not only aligns with the key stakeholders but also helps chart out a successful path.
- Capabilities: Enterprises embarking on such transformation journeys have to ensure logistics and the availability of resources. For example, the availability of a data warehouse, the method of disseminating information/communication, or the tools required for data visualization for all the projects coming in.
While these are integral to B2B enterprises, eventually, it all comes down to key decisions that are further influenced by boardroom decisions. These include:
- Business buy-in: This is crucial because it’s necessary to get the actual business units’ buy-in to determine what they need to do to achieve their objectives. By analyzing a cohesive set of information, and inter-team communication, one can achieve the necessary permissions.
- Execution Blueprint: Finalizing The actual execution plan, right down to the specifics, is important too.
- Build vs. Buy models: It comes down to what’s good for the business and the future potential when it comes to deciding the actual build versus buy options.
- Execution: Having a mix of internal and external resources to build, maintain, and develop the roadmap is also critical.
While all this gives one an imperative edge, it’s the EYES framework, short for End goals, Yardstick milestones, Engage stakeholders, and Setting up for success – that is instrumental in driving revenue growth in a planned and regulated manner.
End Goals: The Five Ws & 1H might look like a very basic checklist for enterprises, but it’s also the most crucial because it answers the fundamental questions:
- Who are we building the AI solutions for?
- What are the KPIs for the stakeholders?
- Who are the Stakeholders?
- Why will your insight help the clients make data-driven decisions?
- Where/When is the final end-product needed.
- How often are these needed? Could it be a daily/monthly/quarterly deliverable?
Yardsticks and milestones: This stage emphasizes the importance of communicating well with the clients and delves into the details of the project plan including the set-up, requests, access to the right tech, and checkpoints which will help address various stages, including prototypes or the launch, operationalizing and evolving the software to suit requirements.
Engagement of stakeholders: It’s crucial for enterprises to keep the stakeholders closely aligned on the tasks to pre-empt surprises at the end. Making sure that there is constant feedback is one way of guaranteeing a win! It would be very useful for enterprises to understand who’s utilizing the end product and what is the impact of your enterprise’s contributions in their journey?
Setting up for Success: A strong enablement plan combined with FAQs and playbooks, are key to ensuring that enterprises can remain focussed on the end goals. This, combined with the ability to evolve, regardless of situations, will help enterprises cinch many a deal!
Author: Spurti Devadhar
Note: This blog has originally published at this link by BRIDGEi2i