A new survey by technology solutions and managed services provider Avanade on the changing sales process and buying patterns of business and IT decision-makers found that consumerization is changing how enterprise buyers make procurement decisions, with customer experience becoming more important than cost to business and IT decision-makers.
According to the report, customer experience now leads price as the buying decision factor for enterprise decision-makers, and business buyers are willing to pay up to 30 per cent more for a product or service that offers an improved customer experience.
And much like consumers are turning to their social networks and independent customer reviews to drive buying decisions, businesses are also looking to their peers to help drive the buying decision. Some 61 per cent of respondents said third-party sites and feedback from business partners, industry peers or social channels were more persuasive than conversations with a company’s sales teams to drive their buying decision.
Companies are also investing in technology to help improve the customer experience at their own companies. Customer support and call centers, IT and marketing are playing leading roles, and 70 per cent of respondents said they believe technology will mostly replace human interaction with customers in the next ten years. Technology investments, business process and organization changes are already being made in anticipation of this shift.
“The report demonstrates the significant change in how Canadian companies conduct sales, which is a result of the ‘consumerization of IT’,” said Dean Olmstead, Avanade corporate vice-president, Canada operating unit, in a statement. “Sales can no longer be clearly defined as B2B or B2C; it is now business-to-everyone. Canadian businesses need to recognize and embrace this shift in order to have stronger, longer-lasting customer relationships.”