October 13

The Challenges of Digital Transformation in B2B

Your B2B clients and partners have evolved expectations. Daily, they enjoy sophisticated digital experiences in their personal lives and now seek the same quality in their professional interactions.

According to a Gartner study, by 2025, 80% of sales interactions between B2B vendors and buyers will occur digitally (source). Therefore, it’s crucial for B2B businesses to accelerate their digital transformation.

Even if you aren’t directly involved in B2C, it’s vital for a B2B brand to reach and influence the end consumer via online channels, a concept often termed as B2B2C. By doing so, you can spark interest in your products or services and guide consumers in their purchase decisions through your distributors.

Four Pillars of B2B Digital Acceleration

Pilar #1: Digitalize the pre-purchase journey:

Most sales journeys intertwine with digital touchpoints, especially your website. A McKinsey study found 70% of buyers favor remote or entirely digital interactions (source).

Is your online presence optimized for visibility, especially on search engines? Monitor key performance indicators, such as website sessions and visitor engagement.

Re-evaluate your website to provide clear navigation tailored to your offers. Ensure you guide prospects effectively to request quotes, contact, or even make online purchases. For instance, a global leader in automation solutions revamped its purchasing process to cater to its customer segments with an omnichannel approach (source).

Pilar #2: Rethink omnichannel sales processes:

Digital discussions often revolve around eCommerce. B2B eCommerce is a clear growth driver. Enable your clients and prospects to:

  • View real-time personalized prices
  • Request online quotes based on purchase volumes
  • Make regular purchases of your products with ease

But remember, B2B eCommerce poses complexities exceeding B2C. You’ll have to:

  • Handle often intricate product catalogs
  • Cater to the unique commercial conditions of diverse clients
  • Offer specific purchase and delivery choices like tiered discounts for bulk purchases or payment through credit lines.

These challenges are surmountable with the right project methodologies and relevant technologies.

Moreover, digital commerce should complement, not cannibalize, traditional sales channels, offering a seamless buying experience. For example, a customer might opt for an online purchase on your site one evening for a straightforward reorder, then request a sales rep visit for a more intricate order a few days later. In preparation, they’ll have researched your products. The sales rep can use digital tools to showcase your products and perhaps place orders collaboratively using specialized tools.

Pilar #3: Automate client relations leveraging data:

CRM is an instrumental growth lever in B2B. It’s essentially the spine of your organization, facilitating all interactions with clients and prospects.

All the relevant data is centralized in your CRM, which aids in aligning marketing and sales processes.

Initially, marketing plays a significant role, collecting and qualifying leads (MQLs). “Lead nurturing” techniques are crucial for converting “cold” prospects into “warm” ones.

Then, sales teams work on these leads (SQLs) to transform them into successful sales.

The CRM also plays an instrumental role with your conventional sales channels. Scoring and segmentation techniques allow your salesforce to concentrate on the most significant clients and opportunities.

Pilar #4 : Explore Novel Business Models

You might be operating in B2B, but have you considered Direct-to-Consumer (DTC)?

For example, numerous sportswear manufacturers have been using DTC strategies for years.

A DTC strategy enables you to:

  • Understand end consumer behaviors and preferences through collected data
  • Better control your profit margins and diversify revenue streams
  • Safeguard market access, especially in extraordinary scenarios like the COVID pandemic.

The marketplace model is particularly suitable for B2B, enabling you to connect buyers and sellers on your branded platform, offering potential avenues for growth.

For instance, the Upply marketplace amalgamates numerous transport providers. Thus, a B2B buyer has access to such a broad range of logistics services that it meets all their requirements.


It’s evident; B2B digital transformation is enthralling.

For the past 18 years, I’ve been assisting brands across various industries in their digital transitions. It always boils down to two primary queries: “Why do I want to digitalize my business?” and “How can digital skills improve my marketing and commerce strategies?”

If these questions resonate with you, don’t hesitate to reach out to discuss your goals and aspirations.

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