The business to business (B2B) landscape is transforming rapidly. COVID-19 has accelerated the inevitable digital revolution in B2B sales, forcing companies to shift from traditional approaches to digital channel leveraging. A recent survey by McKinsey & Company says “around 90 percent of B2B decision-makers expect the remote and digital model to stick around for the long run”.
With a much younger and tech-savvy workforce joining the revolution, Indonesia is prudently moving in the same direction. The government is targeting the digitalization or digital integration of 30 million out of 64 million micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) by 2023. On top of industry transformation, this initiative also aims to advance recovery of the national economy.
However, any transformation entails challenges. Most B2B businesses remain apprehensive over the lack of digital infrastructure, technical expertise and employees to digitize sales. B2B companies also have a very complex environment, as well as many moving parts and longer deal cycles.
According to YCP Solidiance’s white paper, Transforming B2B Digital Sales in Southeast Asia, “while 60 percent of sales managers believe that digitizing sales will be critical to the success of the business, at least one-third of B2B companies still do not provide online sales channels”. Further, it says: “Among B2B manufacturers, only 37 percent of them have a dedicated marketing team to manage these online sales channels effectively.”
The above data seem to highlight the fact that many B2B players are (still) missing out on the importance and urgency of digitization. It is therefore important to understand the three main benefits of digitization for businesses before jumping into the fray.
In this unprecedented time of the ongoing pandemic, there has never been a more urgent time for B2B companies to go digital than now. It is better being early than missing the momentum. Here are three tips on how to kick-start your transformational journey:
Moving forward, digitization will shape purchasing decisions, whether your company adjusts or not. B2B buyers who cannot find important materials in the information-gathering phase may opt for a different supplier, but you will never be informed about it. Remember to make sure all decision-makers shoulder responsibility in your company’s digital transformation. We need to help B2B companies ace their digital transformation.
The writer is Indonesia country manager at Zilingo, a technology platform powering the global supply chain.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.