Increasing B2B Sales: 3 Lessons from B2C’s Customer-Centric Approach

Police and banks have warned consumers to be vigilant when shopping in this week’s Black Friday sales, with a rise in scams expected to cost shoppers milions.

You could make a very strong case for customer experience (CX) being the new battlefield for sales success in the B2B industry.

However, most companies operating in this sector have traditionally focused on product features, pricing, and core services when engaging with prospects. On the other hand, B2C organizations have pioneered customer-centric models that prioritize exceptional experiences by carefully curating their buyer journeys.

Clearly, there is a very low-hanging fruit for B2B companies to evolve their sales strategies by incorporating the well-refined sales strategies and tactics from B2C’s customer-first approach. By providing personalized interactions, omnichannel access, simplified processes, and data-driven insights, B2B businesses can align with shifting buyer expectations and boost sales significantly.

B2C Customer Experience and Its Influence on Sales

First of all, let’s start by appreciating some superstar B2C companies that have aced the customer experience (CX) game – and where else to start other than Amazon? The eCommerce behemoth’s use of individualized recommendations based on purchase history and browsing enables a personalized shopping experience like no other. When you couple this with 1-Click ordering and incredibly fast shipping options, you would be hard-pressed to find a more convenient place to purchase goods online.

On top of this, Amazon’s membership program, Amazon Prime, delivers an incredible amount of value to its members through personalized sales, exclusive access to Lightning deals, free same-day delivery, video and music streaming, and more. The value derived from this program back to Amazon is evident in the numbers – Prime members spend on average $1,400 annually, compared to $600 by non-members.

Another brand that is breezing through the customer experience game is Starbucks. Through its mobile app, customers can place orders in advance and pick up in-store. This provides an omnichannel experience that is extremely convenient. Starbucks Rewards also incentivizes loyal customers with freebies, birthday rewards, and special member perks. By making the experience more personalized and seamless, Starbucks has grown its Rewards membership to over 28.7 million active users.

Evolving B2B Sales Expectations

Here’s the deal – your B2B business buyers are also consumers in their everyday lives. As a result, their expectations are increasingly being shaped by their personal shopping experiences. After getting accustomed to the convenience of Amazon and the personalization of Starbucks, buyers now expect similar treatment when making business purchases.

In fact, research shows that 80% of B2B buyers expect a B2C-like buying experience. As such, recognizing these evolving expectations and adapting your strategies to meet them is the key to successful B2B sales. It’s a challenge, no doubt, but the reward of increased sales and satisfied customers makes it worth the effort.

Sales-Centric Lessons from B2C for B2B Success

Now, let’s dive a little deeper into four key lessons that B2B businesses can learn from the B2C sales playbook.

Lesson 1: Boosting Sales through Personalization and Customization

Let’s get one thing straight – personalization isn’t just a B2C thing anymore. Your B2B clients want to feel seen and understood; they want solutions tailored to their unique needs. And by personalizing your sales approach, you’ll not only meet their needs but make it easier for them to do business with you.

Of course, doing this manually (and at scale) is not exactly feasible. But, there is an increasing amount of sales enablement solutions that can help sales reps personalize their calls towards their customers’ needs and preferences. Demoleap, a real-time guided selling platform, enables sales reps to easily personalize their sales interactions during calls based on individual buyer needs and profiles. The AI-powered assistant provides in-call buyer insights and engagement metrics in real time based on verbal cues. Through having access to buyer data in real time, sales reps are better prepared to deliver tailored answers that resonate with each prospect.

Lesson 2: Increasing Sales through Omni-Channel Experiences

Today’s B2B buyers expect to seamlessly transition across channels when making purchases. However, many B2B sales processes still operate in silos – website, sales reps, and customer support all work independently. This fragmented experience frustrates customers who want accessibility across social media, online platforms, mobile apps and in-person interactions.

With this in mind, sales teams need to meet buyers at their preferred channel and provide unified transactions as needed. Tools like Intercom can help bridge gaps by connecting messaging across the web, mobile SMS, and social channels. By delivering this omni-channel experience, B2B companies can significantly boost engagement, satisfaction and sales performance. The key is connecting data and interactions across touchpoints into one cohesive buyer experience.

Lesson 3: Driving Sales by Simplifying Complex Processes

Purchasing from most B2B companies is complicated. From lengthy negotiations to convoluted contracts and confusing onboarding, many customers are forced to jump through hoops before they can get their hands on a product. This frustrates buyers and causes lost sales when people just give up on long and complex buying journeys.

Sales teams can turn this around by simplifying the deal process. For example, providing self-service portals through solutions like Moxo enables buyers to complete paperwork and transactions on their own time. Chatbot services can be set up to rapidly handle common questions and automate repetitive tasks for customers

By stripping away complexity where possible, you can enable faster purchases and capitalize on sales opportunities before buyers become frustrated. The key is identifying pain points across the journey and alleviating those by simplifying the process and involving automation.

Final Word

A customer-centric approach, while having its roots in the B2C world, can be just as powerful in the realm of B2B. It comes down to constant refinement based on changing expectations. Keep innovating to surprise and delight buyers with an intuitive, frictionless sales experience. This customer-first mindset is how leading B2C companies disrupt industries and drive growth.