The Cost of Inaction: Why a Modern Commerce Approach to Selling is Necessary to Maintain Growth – and Even Viability

February 8, 2017 Doug Fuehne

I recently spoke with a building products manufacturer about the company’s future strategy and growth plans. Increased price transparency is affecting revenues, and, like many companies, they are concerned about Amazon displacing some of their traditional distribution partners. Without a strategic shift, the company is in danger of missing revenue targets and risks increased customer dissatisfaction. To help address these trends, we had a great conversation around “modern commerce.”

In a nutshell, modern commerce is the critical sell-side component of the digital transformation most industries are going through today. Modern commerce helps overcome the challenges of outdated, status quo sales processes by establishing a frictionless buying experience that delivers personalized offers across all channels in real time.

At PROS, we are seeing the trend toward modern commerce sweep through all of the industries we support, from industrial manufacturing and food to airlines. In the age of Amazon, B2C buying habits are now firmly entrenched in the B2B world. Time and again, we see that today’s buyers expect a consistent, personalized and timely sales experience regardless of where or how they buy. For the up- and-coming generation of purchasers, this sales experience is likely all they have ever known. Companies that fail to address these new buyer expectations will face a steep decline in customer satisfaction and loyalty, resulting in higher churn, lost revenue, and, potentially, obsolescence over time.

The company mentioned above was facing high price variance at the end of the channel. Like many building products companies, it had a multi-tiered channel that included distributors, contractors and installers. Of course, every manufacturer would love to be as close to the customer as possible, but the traditional channel structures prevalent in this industry have made this difficult.

One of our building products customers has taken a modern commerce approach to addressing these industry-specific challenges. They have invested in a solution that is used by installers at the end of the channel to help them deliver personalized, real-time offers to customers. This also provides the manufacturer with great insight into end customers, and helps them shape their efforts around future development, offering and bundling.

Other PROS customers across many industries are enabling modern commerce today by embedding dynamic pricing science – one of the essential ingredients in modern commerce – into their sales strategy and processes. With it, they can generate the right offer at the right price for that moment in time, ensuring pricing and offer consistency across all channels and accelerating deal velocity.

The age of modern commerce has arrived, and the time to act is now. Hopefully we’ve piqued your interest, so stayed tuned for an upcoming PROS eBook that will show how forward-looking companies can create the personalized and frictionless buying experiences today’s B2B customers demand.

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