The buying cycle is a complex process which involves stakeholders and disconnected arguments. It is often difficult to determine which components ultimately convinced your customer.
Virtual par excellence, digital seems particularly disconnected from the reality of the customer relationship. Yet unlike your other sales channels, you can track the customer experience of online users. Why and how to prove the ROI of digital investments? Your B2B customers who are still hesitant will be quickly won over by the competition. As a business ally, you have to convince them by the facts.
The Digital Customer Experience has Nothing to do With Virtual
Companies and individuals combined, 80% of buyers prefer automated purchasing interfaces. They only want to contact a seller in the case of a complex request, or to confirm their purchase decision. The increasing weight of digital in the customer relationship is undeniable. But it is easy to understand why your B2B customers are concerned. The sales cycle seems to slip them by. They do not even have the opportunity to speak directly to their customers. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. On the contrary, the digital customer relationship multiplies the channels of contact with consumers. Website, emails, chats, text messages, free reminder, etc. Far from alienating them, adapting to the Internet users' new preferences can reinforce their confidence in your brand.
You must first reassure your customers. Abandon your position as a salesman: your goal is not to force the sale of the products that do not appeal to them. On the contrary, become their adviser in the digital customer relationship.
Build a Digital Customer Relationship Dashboard
Your advisory role starts with highlighting the facts. Only 24% of companies track the performance of their digital investments. Yet your customers can accurately measure their ROI, as long as you know which indicators to follow:
- Customer Acquisition Cost includes all marketing and sales expenses, based on the number of customers acquired. Apply it to your digital performance, counting only the costs incurred by your digital strategy and online customer conversions.
- To optimize your strategy, you can then compare it to Recurring Monthly Income (RMI) generated by each of your customers acquired online. You will be able to measure how many months it takes for your digital strategy to reach its point of profitability.
- Finally, Customer Lifetime Value. Multiply the RMI by the average duration of your customer relationships. It gives a good forecast of your income.
If your RMI is too low, it's time to review your target market. If this is not the case but your customer lifetime value is disappointing, investing in customer loyalty will make your model more sustainable.
These acquisition data are centralized by collection software. Depending on the customer experience observed on your digital channels, you can assign a financial value to each conversion step. It will depend on the probability of conversion of the prospect, or committed expenses accumulated at each stage.
The best service providers - such as Agendize - offer you a custom dashboard. You can follow your digital performance live. If necessary, you can also build your own dashboard. Google Analytics, one of the gems of the Google Suite, is one of the most used tools.
In addition to automatic data collection, do not overlook satisfaction surveys. This classic barometer of customer satisfaction has passed the tests of the digital age with flying colors. You can adapt it to your targets, and carry them out at the appropriate moment of their digital journey.
Experiment to Accelerate the Transition to Digital
Scholarly formulas are not your only way to be persuasive. Are your customers having trouble imagining the impact of digital on their businesses? Demonstrate it through experience.
To validate the purchase of a solution, suggest to your customer to try it in experimental mode:
- There's nothing like Proof of Concept! Make your solution available to your customer, but on a small scale and for a limited time. The fulfillment of a project is very convincing. Define success indicators in advance with your customer. Attempt a realistic experiment: integrate your tools with their own by means of an API.
- If your tool is ready, go for a Freemium Propose free access to the basic features, and the complete solution on subscription.
- Are you left undecided between two campaigns? A/B testing lets you launch them both, on equivalent samples, and for a limited duration. You will see which one gives the best results!
Field experiments are exciting not only for decision-makers, but also for their teams. Operational managers will become fully engaged and may reveal business issues often unknown to their superiors. They will also be much more quick to adopt your new solution. Why? Because beyond the measurable ROI, digital eliminates operational irritants for your customers and your teams.
Better Than a Long Speech: A Quick Win
Dashboards are essential to control the effectiveness of a digital action. But what will convince your customers are the "quick wins". With one click, you fix the nagging problems to which they had resigned themselves. Take the example of making appointments. Sales teams spend considerable time reorganizing calendars to meet the needs of their customers.
Making appointments online immediately transforms the daily lives of salespeople and their managers:
- 75% of time saved compared to traditional paper-based management.
- 40% of appointments taken outside of your office hours: your sales representatives can focus on more difficult customers.
- And, the application automatically optimizes the calendar, simplifying the managers' mission in the process.
The impact of this type of action on the customer relationship goes further than we imagine. For 67% of buyers, the ability to make an online appointment is an advantage over the competition. And whether they use it themselves or not.
Like any customer relations policy, digitalization has a double ROI:
- Direct effect on winning and retaining your customers;
- Indirect effect on strengthening your model.
Because you offer them a multi-channel customer relationship, your customers value you more - even if they do not use it personally. It is first of all the proof of your state-of-the-art, and of the attention which you convey to your market.