By Steve Kellam and Larry Walsh
Digital transformation is forcing companies to change their business models and adapt to a new market reality. The evolution of the B2B buyer journey is impacting the way businesses engage with each other and the end consumer. Influence mechanisms, such as Google ratings and social media reviews, are as important to businesses as they are to consumers. This shift in buyer experiences has ushered a new era of B2B digital transformation initiatives.
However, according to research from IDC, while two-thirds of the CEOs of Global 2,000 companies will shift their focus from traditional, offline strategies to more modern digital strategies to improve the customer experience before the end of 2019, 47 percent of companies haven’t even started their digital transformation yet — while 59 percent are worried that it might already be too late for them.
And there’s good reason to worry: The same study found that 55 percent of businesses believe that they have less than a year before they start to lose market share.
For the channel, similar challenges exist. While digital transformation is already taking place in the market, unfortunately, many vendors are behind. According to data from the latest 360insights Channel Pulse Report, four in 10 vendors say digital transformation either hasn’t begun yet or is just getting started among their channel partners, while less than 7 percent say their channels are completely transformed.
However, perhaps the greatest hurdle within the channel is not only for brands to complete their digital transformation initiatives, but to also encourage and even enforce their channel partners to do the same. This, however, is easier said than done. Thus, while brands continue to double down on digital transformation efforts, the channel is not adapting fast enough.
As digital transformation reshapes the B2B customer journey, today’s forward-thinking businesses must find new ways to enlist their channel partners to deliver the experiences buyers demand. To help them with their efforts, channel leadership from around the country will be gathering at Channel Chiefs Meet-Up, hosted by 360insights and The 2112 Group, in Napa Valley to discuss these said challenges, as well as the solutions that will help brands and channel partners align in their journey to drive better customer experiences and increase sales. The solutions that will be discussed are as follows:
Manufacturers are adapting to a changing marketplace and calling on the channel to do the same. They’ve accepted that digital transformation is taking place and are trying to make headway within their own organizations. They expect their resellers to do the same and forge new connections with digitally empowered buyers.
In fact, companies that do transform digitally are creating highly engaged customers. And these customers are six times more likely to try a new product or service from their preferred brand, four times more likely to have referred your brand to others, and twice as likely to make a purchase with their preferred brand, even when a competitor has a better product or price.
Vendors and manufacturers want in on all of this loyalty and resulting revenue. However, when their channel partners aren’t as far along in the transformation process, it can hurt a company’s ability to …