Interactive technology and self-service in B2B environments are no longer new. Instead, as companies seek continuously improve efficiency, are fast becoming the new normal. Businesses are increasingly crossing international borders and time zones to configure their supply lines, inventories and shipments, so the trend towards interactive technology is likely to gain more traction.
In fact, McKinsey Research clearly shows that an increasing number of people prefer this approach to B2B commerce. Both buyers and sellers benefit from the increased speed and accuracy of digital commerce. Furthermore, the shared belief in the effectiveness of online transactions is growing in all markets. Businesses view digital commerce as a means to increase engagement, not decrease it.
Increasing traffic requires new frameworks and infrastructure. Interactive kaon is a leading interactive sales and marketing platform for B2B brands interested in educating and engaging customers during the sales process. Kaon sees the digital realm as a means to deepen customer profiles and increase loyalty.
Recently, Kaon CEO Gavin Finn answered some common questions about the role of interactive technology in an increasingly remote sales ecosystem.
How has a digital-first strategy changed the B2B sales process during the pandemic?
Gavin Finn: The key to success in digital strategies is active customer participation, where the differentiated value of a brand’s solutions is the focus of the process.
This is in contrast to traditional customer engagement practices that focus on the sales rep’s interpersonal skills or product experience. Those soft skills will always be necessary, but we must also find ways to translate them to the digital field.
In the world of B2B sales, the dynamics of the sales funnel have changed 180 degrees. Time has changed the dynamics of the sales funnel from a sales-led “show and tell” process to a customer-led “discovery and learning” process. Controlling the process is where we find the most dramatic change. That is a powerful thing. At the same time, it’s understandably scary for B2B sales teams. Will there be a place for human sales reps in the brave new digital world? The answer is “Of course”.
When companies turn to interactive technology tools to improve their sales process, what are some of the applications?
GF: Visually interactive applications are very effective in providing an easy way to convey a complex story. When sales teams have acted on this information, it results in a better understanding of key value propositions and also promotes excellent knowledge retention.
These highly engaging applications are typically used to demonstrate how a company’s products, services, and solutions solve specific customer problems. They can include immersive digital renderings of a factory, hospital, sports stadium, office complex, or anything, really, to show how solutions deliver value in the customer environment.
People can also use immersive interfaces to explore and experience 3D product tours. Instead of looking at physical products, customers and prospects can delve into the details of how the products actually work. More importantly, these interfaces show why they are best suited to customer needs. They do this by allowing customers to form a more complete mental picture of what the company offers.
What are some of the ways these advanced tools change the efficiency of the sales process in complex B2B transactions?
GF: When customers interact with these apps on their own, rather than watching a sales demo or video, they are much more focused. Simply by being in control of the process, the active participation of a potential customer results in fewer distractions. According to research in cognitive science, this approach enables them to learn more effectively and remember about four times more than they would if they watched a slideshow or video.
There are three science-validated reasons why these experiences are most effective.
On the one hand, customers interact in a multisensory way by touching the screen of the mobile device or moving the mouse. Second, they are control the information transfer process. This ensures that what they are learning is relevant to them and their problem. Third, the process is engaging and fun, creating an emotional connection.
Cognitive research has shown that strong synaptic links are formed in the brain when there is multisensory compromise. Furthermore, these bonds are also formed through the transfer of relevant knowledge and emotional connection. The result is better understanding and greater retention.
To transform the sales funnel, interactive technology brings a lot to the table. It plays a vital role in improving user experience, enhances engagement, and helps users remember product details. Additionally, immersive interfaces allow customers and prospects to power their own experience, making remote brand and product interactions much more fruitful.
Customers continue to show a preference for remote and self-service interactions. Likewise, e-commerce brands must adapt and use these technologies and others. This will help brands ensure they remain competitive and succeed in the ever-evolving retail space. For anyone still in doubt, Kaon Interactive has already made a strong, data-backed case for this.
Image credit: cottonbro; cpexels; thanks1