Covid-19 Pandemic was one of the greatest challenges that humans and businesses faced in recent times. As it spread across the globe impacting millions of lives and forcing business to change their strategies for survival slowly, it left us all with one key takeaway – Go Digital!
According to Mr. Sunil Kumar Gupta, founder of B2B platform www.exportersindia.com, post Covid scenario has led businesses to alter their traditional operational methods and adapt digital transformations. He further adds that paradigm shifts towards digitization for the B2B segment has made one thing abundantly clear that digitization is here to stay!
He goes on to suggest that not every business that embraced digital transformation was able to successfully execute this change, thereby exposing the weak links impeding their growth. He implied that lack of technology infrastructure and bewilderment during the migration processes posed the biggest challenges. He however, believes that B2B trends for 2023 delve deeper than this and suggests that involvement of leadership and entire business entity will determine organization’s sustainability in the longer run.
He lists five B2B Sales and Marketing trends that’ll impact business operation and survival tactics amongst ever evolving market trends in 2023. These are:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
He believes that businesses are adapting AI processes and Machine Learning (ML) for a better understanding of their target audience and to collect customers data for creating marketing strategies to boost sales. As such, AI will assist businesses to revise spending on developing tailor-made content, and personalized user experiences. He opines that AI recommendations via ML will certainly encourage sales to bridge the gap between their target and goals.
- Brand & Product Positioning
He suggests that gen-Z customers are altering sales trends across business segments. Comprising a large chunk of consumers, they don’t believe in making a purchase unless they connect with the brand and until the product speaks to them. It therefore, becomes imperative for the businesses to position their brand philosophy and product story on the front to ensure sales. He adds that Gen-Z believes in diversity & inclusion and hence, brands will have to integrate these in their digital marketing strategies.
- Data Privacy
He strongly believes that consumers today are well informed and technologically advanced. A large chunk of modern-day consumer makes informed choices online and are cautious about online risks especially regarding data privacy. As such, it becomes crucial for businesses to continuously develop new systems and run upgrades to ensure data privacy for their customers so they don’t feel wary about shopping on digital platforms. He reiterates that securing personal information encompassing names, addresses, card numbers etc. thus, becomes the core of ensuring data privacy to their customers when identity thefts, data breaches and cyber-attacks are on the rise.
- Human Touch vs Bots
Today, chatbots are readily available 24×7 but they lack the emotion, which a person-to-person conversations offer. Therefore, in a world abundant with AI operated chatbots, trends suggest a reverse shift to human interactions in terms of skilled customer representatives, who deal with customers while attempting to resolve their issues pertaining to order statuses, payments and receipt generations. He believes there is a great opportunity for B2B businesses to fill these gaps by hiring trained customer care executives, who’ll add values to post sales experiences through their intelligent communication.
- Corporate Social Responsibilities
A large number of modern-day consumers are influenced by the corporate social responsibility practices of businesses. According to him, consumers now prefer to buy from businesses that add value to the society and environment through their CSR initiatives. Therefore, the trend of adapting sustainable, cruelty free business practices will be monitored by consumers and influence their buying decisions. Consumers are willing to pay a premium for brands that showcase their CSR by using recyclable packaging material, replacing plastic with paper or plant-based alternatives, regularly donating to charities etc, he adds further.
According to him, businesses will have to upgrade their selling trends to stay afloat amidst tough competition.
(The author is Mr. Sunil Kumar Gupta, Founder, ExportersIndia.com and the views expressed in this article are his own)