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There's a world where B2B buyers ditch the traditional approach to engaging with vendors. Rather than go through the sales process, they craft informed buying decisions by taking advantage of self-service portals and other digital commerce tools.

It's really tough to imagine that reality right now. But thanks to a wave of tech-savvy buyers and the lingering impact of the pandemic, it's rapidly becoming reality.

Fully 90% of B2B leaders say the demand for digital B2B buying experiences has increased, according to recent research from Lucidworks and Google Cloud. Translation: time spent with sales reps is less important now.

The winds of change are a-blowin', and B2B companies must adapt or risk getting swept away.

That digital revolution harbors immense opportunity for those who embrace cross-functional alignment and unwavering customer-centricity. With the right steps, agile teams can seamlessly collaborate across Marketing, Sales, and IT to build buyer-centric experiences.

Here's how to get started.

Recognize How the B2B Buyer Persona Has Evolved

It's been some time since buyers passively participated in the sales process. Today's B2B buyers are research powerhouses who seek decision-making autonomy.

Driven by a younger generation that's comfortable navigating online landscapes, they crave self-service tools, comprehensive information, and the freedom to explore at their own pace.

Unfortunately, the current B2B digital landscape doesn't quite meet expectations. Our recent research revealed that only 24% of respondents were "very satisfied" with their company's digital buying experiences.

That gap between expectation and reality presents a golden opportunity for improvement. The report identified priority areas of improvement to bridge the gap:

  • Limited search functionality. having to rely on poor-quality or limited search functionality is like trying to access resources at a library with an outdated catalog. Your buyers are going to struggle with finding relevant products efficiently, and they'll waste time with clunky interfaces, inaccurate results, and lack of filters for specific needs.
  • Lack of personalization. Today's reality is that everyone expects a touch of "me-time." Why would B2B buyers be any different? When faced with generic content and recommendations, they feel they are ignored and their individual needs overlooked. Lack of personalization creates a disconnect and disengagement.
  • Inconsistent product information. Imagine the confusion B2B buyers face because of inconsistent product information. From incomplete specs to missing details and conflicting data, faulty product info breeds frustration and distrust, making it extremely difficult to make informed decision-making.

Those pain points aren't just minor annoyances. They're roadblocks to conversion and satisfaction. By addressing them directly, you'll win over buyer hearts and unlock the true potential of your B2B digital experiences.

Four Tips for Addressing B2B Buyer Pain Points

1. Sharpen your search

Don't wait for buyers to struggle their way through your search bar. By implementing AI-powered search functionalities, you can start to understand buyer intent and deliver relevant product suggestions even before they type.

That process can be finetuned by analyzing historical searches and browsing behavior, ensuring laser-focus and immediate answers.

Advanced filters for precise selection based on various criteria, such as price, technical specs, and compatibility, are also excellent ways to improve the buyer experience.

Finally, let them search using natural language they understand—not rigid product codes—and further build trust by integrating search results with valuable user ratings and reviews.

2. Win with content

Because content comes in many, many forms, the best way to think about it is from the buyer-experience standpoint.

Start by investing in rich product descriptions with high-quality images, detailed specifications, and clearly communicated benefits. Take it to the next step by optimizing those descriptions with relevant keywords for effortless search discovery.

You can also consider developing engaging video content that showcases product features, demonstrations, and real customer testimonials.

Articles and guides that address buyer pain points and offer valuable information about your products and industry can also be helpful.

Finally, recommend relevant content that speaks directly to each buyer's specific interests and needs.

3. Future-proof with self-service

Self-service is all about customer empowerment. Designing a user-friendly portal actually empowers buyers to track orders, manage accounts, and access support resources independently.

You can also offer real-time order tracking for complete transparency and reduced anxiety, something that will go a long way with B2B buyers.

Secure online payments with diverse options and trusted payment gateways, combined with chatbot assistance for basic inquiries, frees up human customer service teams for more complex issues.

4. Go mobile

It shouldn't come as a surprise that we live in a mobile-first world—and people are constantly on-the-go. So, neglecting a user-friendly mobile app is like ignoring half your potential customers. It's a wise decision to develop a dedicated app with intuitive navigation and cross-device functionality.

Go a step further by offering offline functionality for key features, such as product browsing and order tracking. Catering to situations with limited internet access could make or break relationships in the B2B manufacturing and distribution space.

The Customer Is Still King or Queen

Focus on user needs, personalize the experience, and strive to make the buying journey as frictionless and delightful as possible.

Seriously, take a step back and try to imagine the experience from their point of view. By doing so, you'll conquer your B2B buyer pain points and unlock a new era of customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The B2B revolution isn't just about technology. It's about people. At the heart of it all lies the customer, the royalty of your B2B kingdom.

Actively listen to customers' needs, prioritize their feedback, and build genuine relationships.

By fostering a culture of cross-functional collaboration and unwavering customer-centricity, you'll not merely survive the digital revolution but emerge as a leader in the ever-evolving B2B landscape.

More Resources on the Evolution of B2B Buying

The New Customer Journey: How to Reach B2B Buyers

Here They Come! B2B Marketing in a Gen Z World

How B2B Marketers Can Align With the Self-Directed Buyer Journey

B2B Commerce Needs a 21st-Century Upgrade

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image of Brian Land

Brian Land is VP of sale engineering at search solutions provider Lucidworks.

LinkedIn: Brian Land