Consumer habits are changing dramatically and borders between B2B and B2C purchase or research behaviour have become blurred. With empowered consumers researching different channels in order to find ideal solutions and products, web analytics data and digital learnings become important factors in boosting traditional offline sales.
Empowered Buyers Reshaping Traditional B2B Environments
The ongoing digital transformation has an enormous impact on B2B research and buying behavior. As more and more buyers apply their natural online habits, researching the web and other channels becomes the norm. Future buyers will not be hesitant to question the established and self-confidently search for the best products and solutions themselves.
According to the 2014 State of B2B Procurement Study, more than 80% of B2B buyers research a supplier’s website first before they make a final purchase decision. Furthermore, 77% stated they would consult Google to initiate their search for solutions or learn more about a specific product. For businesses, it is now time to take advantage of that trend and transform these additional digital insights into learnings and boost their offline sales efforts smartly.
Ensuring a Coordinated Digital Strategy
Traditionally, web-analytics is often considered as appendage of the digital marketing team. In order to benefit from web analytics data it is crucial to challenge established structures and get marketing and sales on one table. Understanding sales’ needs will allow the digital marketing team to collect, measure, and provide data in a more target-oriented way. At the very same time, sales is required to regularly provide offline insights that help to improve the quality of the website and to meet real customer needs in a digital environment.
In many cases, the relationship between sales and marketing is completely undefined. This is often the case, when both disciplines have grown independently. Those relationships can be observed particularly often with traditional B2B businesses where both disciplines do not have a clear understanding of what the other party does and how they could benefit from each other.
Ideally, sales and digital marketing work closely hand in hand, sharing their expertise and following a coordinated strategy in order to reach their business objectives most effectively.
Smart Use of Digital Insights
In order to fully benefit from digital data, an integrated approach is required, making sure sales and marketing work in a coordinated fashion. Moreover, both teams must learn to speak the same language and agree on certain KPI to measure their efforts’ success.
With smart analytics and the right tracking in place, digital marketers will quickly be able to provide their sales teams with highly valuable insights, such as
- Better understanding of which potential clients research their solutions
- Features and solutions particular prospects are interested in
- Information that has a positive impact on the purchase decision
- Information that is still missing
- Up-selling opportunities
Understanding what a potential prospect is searching for gives sales a strategic advantage and allows them to proactively prepare and establish contact. Instead of relying on cold-calls, sales representatives are suddenly able to use these digital learnings in order to better meet prospects’ expectations and needs. Smart analytics insights allow brands to react to their customer needs, efficiently test different sales and marketing techniques and measure their success efficiently.