World is undergoing hyper change as transit toward the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) industry 4.0. One of the very core variables is the digital economy and digital transformation (DT). The B2B business model is undergoing hyper change, you either adapt to it or you are lost to your competition. It is not about you getting the scale, scope, speed matter, if you are not leading to new directions open up as emerging technologies change the very nature of how business is doing now. You need to have the mentality now, not tomorrow or future yet to come, as under the current digital economy, everything happens instantly and in the matter of now.
As technology keeps advancing, more channels out of the traditional are open up for B2B, as the B2B player, you need to either catch up with it, or you are for sure to be extinct sooner than you expected.
As the new market behaviour changes and acceptance for remote-first engagements, which initially an adaptation to the pandemic, is expected to be an important change. In the past a lot of manufacturers or software developers depend on their local channel partner to provide the local support, but as the mega trend changes, their direct engagement with the modern technology make it viable to do so, either they do it in visible or not so visible in the market.
Manufacturer or software developer, practice for direct owned key, strategy and large enterprise account is not something new. It has been practiced for a very long period of time. While letting the rest of channel partners to serve smaller, no key, no strategy enterprise accounts. The proportion of the hybrid sales, where increase for the direct portion you will notice it. Unless for the local purchase, where the said manufacturer or software developer do not intent to make the oversea expansion by setup local business incorporation, where also serve as the standing for the respective market for the customers, then the value for the channel will remain, but in diminishing roles to play, compare with the past.
For the same, traditional channel players be it distributor, it depends on the approaches, but going direct or setting up more different names of business and channel-in business to those is not the trade secret. What I really want to highlight is that the shift from “traditional” to “hybrid” is the mega trend. In the end, it depends on the core value and unique value proposition of each B2B player. If the player is indeed invest and possess value added services and delivery capability, from single source to complete the entire complex purchase, and make so hassle free for the buyer, it continue to possess value, that go beyond whatever supplier product they carry, the more likely they will be sustainability in the market, because for both the supplier and buyer, the said player possess something value-added, it is the ideal synergy every party is perceived. But if the player is dependent on the passive, reactive and does not really possess any value-added in the B2B transaction, for sure, it will go extinct sooner than you may expect.
You reap what you sow, it is one of the natural laws and principles that is universally applicable to almost every situation. Change in the positive side, it make those who willing and continue to develop value-added beyond the product, continue to deliver the end-to-end solution delivery capability for the enterprise customer who needed, from the consultancy, project, supply, training and maintenance, include various advanced and complex requirement such as global technology sourcing, import, integration, customisation, modernisation, project coaching, managed outsourcing, or in the form of point solution.
New hybrid approach is about omnichannel in nature, orchestrates the customer journey across multiple touchpoints, goes beyond just a remote call center, but is also flexible, scalable to reach more buyers via adoption of remote and e-commerce, to serve customers in the variety they prefer to buy. It should be the buyer that determines what is the right mode to be served, not the traditional push anymore. As more B2B buyers are increasingly comfortable turning to digital and online channels to meet their purchasing needs. The rise of the various supply-chain platform adaptations or setting up own supply-chain platforms is nothing new.
Let me tell you the below for quick check and audit, how many channels do you possess? Email, in-person, phone, supplier website, e-procurement portal, procurement department, mobile app, trade show, video conference, web chat, Google/web search.
Modern buyers are having more say on their preference across their respective channels. Some turn away from those asking to meet in person, as they are busy enough. Some prefer to give them fast and easy access to suppliers product and subject-matter experts via the remote engagement session. Buyer wants to access the right resources in shorter notice than before. As more enterprises adapt to hybrid workplaces, which result in office-space reductions and make some positions remote-to-work only, and popular acceptance for making remote meetings, with all those market changes, so did the B2B supplier need to make the change. Digital engagement works due to technology connectivity, it is a wake up call for most of the traditional B2B players. Remote sales reps can be at least 4 to 5 times more productive, due to the time saved on the travel on the road. Remote human interactions or digital self-service across the sales processes, is acceptance and be equal measure they meet buyers’ expectations.
E-SPIN Group in the enterprise ICT solution supply, consultancy, project management, training and maintenance for corporation and government agencies did business across the region and via the channel. Feel free to contact E-SPIN for your project requirement and inquiry.
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