Omnichannel explained. Why do you need it for effective B2B sales?
Omnichannel is the new buzzword in B2B sales and marketing. However, not many people understand what it actually is. Our mission is to explain it and help you understand why it is so important. We want to show you how Meetsales can support your omnichannel strategy as well. You'll see that there's nothing to be afraid of, and this mysterious term is quite easy to understand. Moreover, when you implement this type of approach, it's highly beneficial for your business and customers. Shall we begin?
The definition of omnichannel
Omnichannel is a business concept that helps companies to provide customer-focused services in a complex environment. It emphasizes the interaction and integration of different marketing channels and focuses on a complete customer experience within all offline and online touchpoints. Omnichannel refers to the variety of channels through which information can be delivered to the buyer.
Businesses recognize how important it is for them to identify potential customers wherever they may be, whether it's across digital channels or traditional ones. They want to deliver consistent, individually tailored experiences for each client every time they connect. Omnichannel is when everything happens within a unified structure. It's when buying and selling, marketing materials, technology, and human resources are all one cohesive process that is designed to make the prospect most happy with their purchase.
Your customers shouldn't have to deal with all the processes in your company before they buy from you. They want to get answers immediately and complete transactions fairly quickly. The B2B world expects to get everything on-demand, just like B2C, which made us used to convenience and quick fixes. The client doesn't care that there are three different emails they need to read. They just want something shipped as soon as possible, so they can use it if they want it. Your job is to help them achieve that. Omnichannel strategy is the solution.
Multichannel vs. omnichannel
We know what you're thinking. "Doesn't multichannel and omnichannel mean the same thing?" Not exactly. The difference between these strategies lies in their focus points. The multichannel approach means selling the entire range of products and services through different channels. Omnichannel, on the other hand, is dedicated to improving the customers' shopping experience through cross-platform interaction.
While multichannel concentrates on providing content for customers via multiple platforms, omnichannel combines marketing plans for all the platforms to create a holistic approach towards customer engagement. Regarding contact with customers, multichannel does not focus on interactions across different channels. It is based on engaging people in one particular channel or activity at a time. With omnichannel, there is more of an emphasis on meeting prospects anywhere they may be.
Some definitions suggest, that omnichannel is a type of multichannel approach.
Why is omnichannel important in B2B sales?
According to research, 80% of B2B buyers prefer to learn about vendors through content rather than advertising. 55% of decision-makers check out the vendor on social media before they purchase or even reach out. It's not surprising that clients expect content that is tailored to their specific needs and interests. The demand for omnichannel has been constantly growing for the past couple of years.
The Future of Customer Engagement and Experience portal published their report on omnichannel, and it states that:
"B2B buyers also have high expectations of cross-channel visibility and omnichannel fulfillment options. They want to:
- Look up product information across any channel (74 percent)
- Return or exchange across different channels (64 percent)
- Buy from a branch and receive delivery directly (73 percent)
- Receive same-day delivery (61 percent)"
If you aspire to grow your business in 2022 and beyond, it’s not the best idea to ignore these statistics. Meeting your clients' needs and expectations is crucial for further expansion.
A comprehensive omnichannel strategy is essential for B2B sales teams because it enables them to better understand buyers’ habits and preferences while providing personalized service during every interaction with customers. For example, customers appreciate being identified by name when connecting with support reps over the phone or on messaging apps. Omnichannel also helps to make the eCommerce experience more seamless and enjoyable, which positively impacts customer retention.
The benefits of the omnichannel approach
Here are several advantages of investing your time and efforts in the omnichannel strategy you should be aware of.
- It enhances customer engagement
Customers expect similar interactions across all digital and physical channels. They want to be able to contact you through email, phone, and messaging apps. Moreover, they expect to receive quick feedback with useful information. If you manage to meet their needs, they are more likely to engage with your company and become loyal clients.
- It provides better customer service
Customer service should be available at all times through all possible channels. It's not only about answering basic questions, but also giving people the possibility to suggest ideas for product or service improvement. By providing personalized support via all places, your company builds its position as a trustworthy brand and builds loyalty.
- It increases revenue
The numbers prove again, that betting on omnichannel is the best strategy you can go for. Check it out: "Companies with extremely strong omnichannel customer engagement see a 9.5% year-over-year increase in annual revenue, compared to 3.4% for weak omnichannel companies." The same study shows that cost per contact is lower for businesses that provide a unified experience across all their touchpoints.
- It grows the number of prospects
The more channels you use, and the more effective you are at engaging leads on them, the greater your total audience and the greater your pool of prospective buyers. By reaching out to them on the channel they use most (email, phone, chat, social media, video conference), you improve the closing rate and gain long-term partners that will come back to purchase more.
- It improves the efficiency of the sales process
Omnichannel tools have a lot of features that make B2B sales easier and more effective. For example, they can integrate various communication channels with your CRM system so that employees can review every interaction with each client in real-time. This way, they can get all the necessary information about them at any moment and deliver better results.
- It supports data-based work
While many companies have a CRM, it may not be comprehensive enough or may require significant manual input. Omnichannel allows you to import data from various sources and automatically update contact information when it changes or becomes irrelevant. It also allows your team to collect data from numerous touchpoints and make decisions based on stats.
How to build an excellent omnichannel experience?
Customers make purchase decisions in a different manner than they used to. Both B2B and B2C users like to switch between various devices, sources, and channels. That's why it is crucial to guarantee that everything your customers seek will be presented at any time and anywhere across all your sales channels. A good example of an omnichannel strategy is showcasing your product in various ways on many platforms - website, social media, and e-commerce shop. Then, you can add a personalized sales connection to make sure your client feels taken care of and receives individualized treatment. Meetsales can be a perfect tool to complement your omnichannel presence.
When it comes to omnichannel, B2B sellers should be taking full advantage of best-in-class technology and business processes that are established in B2C already. The same basic idea applies to B2B companies: one brand, multiple interaction points. Here are some tips and tricks on building an exquisite omnichannel experience for your customers:
- Find out which channels are used by your customers the most and start integrating them.
- Make sure each touchpoint is easily available, no matter which devices your audience uses to access them.
- Understand the buyer’s journey of your customers and ensure every channel is optimized to serve their needs at each stage.
- Create consistent, but also personalized, content for every place your brand uses to communicate with your clients.
- Build a centralized system for collecting data across all touchpoints to facilitate seamless collaboration between sales and marketing team members.
- Utilize tools that will help you deliver an on-point experience every time your client wants to make a purchase.
- Automate activities that don't require human control.
- Use A/B tests and other methods of researching and measuring the accuracy of your strategy.
Meetsales - a solution that supports your omnichannel efforts
An interesting fact: 7% of buyers purchase goods only via online channels. 20% of customers do it exclusively in brick-and-mortar stores. Meanwhile, 73% of people use multiple touchpoints, both online and offline, to interact with brands they want to buy from. If you are a B2B seller, you shouldn't invest only in traditional or digital channels. Use both, find harmony between them, and be available to your customers whenever and wherever they need it.
Meetsales is a unique platform that can help you provide a highly personalized sales process for each of your customers. It's a video sales command center, which means it maintains human interaction between a salesperson and a client known from traditional sales channels. At the same time, it is extremely convenient and accessible thanks to being remote. It is a fusion between digital and offline channels. It can perfectly match your omnichannel strategy.
How? Meetsales allows your sales team to schedule calls, but customers can also do it via a widget installed on your company website. When they meet up on a call, the salesperson presents products and answers questions just like during a face-to-face presentation. However, the client can instantly add items they are interested in into the cart and place an order right away, while still on a call. Our platform also processes payments in real-time and automatically generates orders that are sent to the customer's inbox. All of that comes down to an individually adjusted experience that can be in tune with the rest of your sales strategy.
Are you considering leveling up the omnichannel game in your business? We can help! Schedule a demo to test Meetsales and see how it can optimize and improve your sales process. We can promise you it will become one of your favorite channels to conduct B2B sales and your clients will be satisfied beyond words. Sell more and better with Meetsales!