Your Journey to Modern Commerce, Part 3 – The 3 Pillars of Competitive Advantage

This post is a part of the “Your Journey to Modern Commerce” series. See also Part 1 – Meet the New B2B Buyer and Part 2- The Very Real Risks of the Status Quo.

We’ve written rather extensively about our commissioned research conducted by Forrester Consulting on the state of modern commerce in today’s business environment. There’s a good reason for that: the study Accelerate Your Journey to Modern Commerce 1 contains a wealth of information with all sorts of different threads that illuminate how companies are currently adapting to changing buyer behaviors.

We’ve covered the new B2B buyer; how the dynamics of B2B sales have changed (or should change) to accommodate buyers who demand to be served when and how they prefer. We also got into the risks of NOT adopting a modern commerce approach. Forrester’s findings are particularly thought-provoking on these implications, demonstrating the very real consequences of falling behind, such as losing deals to competitors and decreased customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Today we’ll shift from the bad news to the good: the proven benefits of a modern commerce approach. While the risks of failing to move to modern commerce are stark, the upside to making the shift is equally powerful. Forrester found that, overall, an effective modern commerce strategy improves the customer experience and drives profitable growth. Those are very worthwhile goals for any organization.

By adapting to the changing needs of their evolving buyers, B2B companies deliver the services and experiences that differentiate their businesses. We’re not the only ones who believe this to be true, 89% of B2B sales strategy decision makers agree that modern commerce:

  • Puts the buyer in control
  • Creates frictionless, transparent, and consistent experiences
  • Delivers that experience across all sales channels
  • Allows for dynamic pricing and personalized offers
  • Puts the latest machine learning and data science to work for their organization

These advantages to the buyer translate directly to business advantage. Companies who accelerate their journey to modern commerce, based on the data and recommendations in our study and infographic, typically see three primary benefits: better customer experience, increased customer retention, and profitable growth. Rolled up, those three pillars support a growing business with a fierce competitive edge.

PROS Accelerate Your Journey to Modern Commerce Infographic Part 3

Of course, hitting those milestones is easier said than done. As we mentioned in Part 2 of this series, there are definitely roadblocks along the way. Slightly less than half of the respondents in our research with Forrester faced each of the following challenges:

  • 47% juggle excessive touchpoints in the sales process
  • 43% worry about different processes across channels
  • 42% suffer from disjointed solutions
  • 45% struggle with personalized pricing and offers
  • 45% find it difficult to make the buying process frictionless

All of these issues are common and understandable. If you’re wrestling with them, you’re not alone. They can’t be 100% solved by technology, although the computing power behind tools like PROS certainly helps. To overcome these obstacles and achieve the benefits of modern commerce, you need both the right technology and the right expertise. At PROS, we’re happy to offer both.

We’ll conclude this series next time with a four-step roadmap to meeting your modern commerce objectives.

1Based on Accelerate Your Journey To Modern Commerce, an April 2017 commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of PROS

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About the Author

Craig Zawada

Craig Zawada joined PROS in 2010 and serves as its Chief Visionary Officer. He is responsible for creating and articulating the vision for how PROS uses the latest technology to help companies drive incremental sales growth and profit improvement. Prior to joining PROS, he was a partner and leader in the Marketing & Sales Practice at McKinsey & Company. Zawada is a widely published author, with articles that have appeared in many high-profile publications, including Harvard Business Review, Forbes.com, Mergers and Acquisitions, and the McKinsey Quarterly. Zawada co-authored both the first and second editions of “The Price Advantage,” which has been recognized as one of the most pragmatic books available on pricing strategy.

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