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Inbound Digital is Fast Becoming the New Sales Channel Outbound for B2B Sales

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Braham Sniderby Braham Shnider

We as individuals are increasingly using B2C digital sales channels over traditional consumer channels. Through advanced analytics, B2C digital sales channels know what and who we like and don’t, who we are influenced by, what we want to buy, how price sensitive we are etc.

As B2B customers, many of us also want this hyper-personalized customer experience in the B2B buying process. According to Forrester, "73% of B2B buyers prefer buying from the web, or self-service functionality from the vendor." As a consequence…

Partner Brand recognition will overtake Vendor Brand recognition

  • Partner’s web sites and their digital assets will become the destination sites for B2B selling products and XaaS
  • The stronger these partners’ brands get, the more they will marginalize vendors by getting them to compete as low cost providers
  • Vendor’s brand equity will continue to erode and they will need to consider selling directly to keep their brands relevant with customers

We will have a changing B2B Channel ecosystems

  • B2C channels with increasingly overlap with and serve business customers
  • New partners will enter whose core business is a multi-channel, highly customized digital experience
  • Traditional SMB channels (long tail) will be threatened as the role of the SMB advisor diminishes in time
  • Vendors will need to play a greater role in the early stages of the digital buying process

Existing Channel Programs are often not important to the Digital Sales Channel

  • Traditional channel programs (vendor branding, targets, benefits, etc.) are not relevant to digital channels
  • Economic benefit could be partly modelled on the digital advertising model and expanded to include early stage (i.e., CPA or Revshare) sell, renew and customer experience

Digital needs to be part of Sales Channels Enablement efforts

  • The role of the B2B seller moves from being standalone to being a part of a multi-channel experience
  • Traditional certification programs not relevant. Digital badges may be the new order of certification.
  • Enablement needs to expand to the digital experience and how to customize that buying experience to the individual buyer.

Feel free to reach out to me to discuss or even better let me know if I can help you in your channels of the future.

Braham Shnider is a channel management expert, strategic thinker, change agent, and implementer of innovative hybrid sales models for global companies in more 30 countries. Braham was the founder and served as CEO for 13 years at Channel Enablers, a global channel training provider for vendor channel teams and channel consulting solutions company with expertise in multi-channel routes-to-market. He negotiated the sale of Channel Enablers to Miller Heiman Inc. in 2013. Braham continues to work with a select few global clients on their next generation channels and partner ecosystems.

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