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B2B sales processes changing thanks to consumerization, says Avanade survey
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B2B sales processes changing thanks to consumerization, says Avanade survey 

 The global survey showed that respondents are willing to pay more for a product or service that provides an improved customer experience. In Canada, business buyers said they would pay up to 30% more to receive superior service. That number reflects a shift in the mindset of buyers on a global scale.

Those who purchase enterprise technology have been influenced enormously by the consumerization of IT. Fifty seven percent of Canadian respondents believe technology will largely replace human interaction with customers in the next decade. However, that does not mean that interactions with customers will cease completely. Eighty percent of companies in Canada and the rest of the world have changed at least one business process in the past three years to improve customer interactions.

Dean Olmstead, Avanade corporate vice president, Canada Operating Unit, sees the change in business buyers’ behaviour as part of a natural evolution. “The consumerization of IT, particularly the increasing availability of social and mobile technology, has lead B2B buyers to develop the habits of B2C shoppers,” he said. “This shift in habits has caused buyers to become more demanding, requiring sellers to adapt and provide a better overall customer experience.”

While this shift creates a challenge for vendors, Olmstead noted it also opens some new doors. “This trend means that there’s a great opportunity for businesses to learn how to monetize the customer experience. The value of a customer relationship goes far beyond a series of interactions today and now looks at the complete experience from the time of purchase and throughout their time with the product or service,” he remarked. “It also means that IT has a growing role in the customer experience and contributes significantly to the strategic direction of a company.”

One of the results of the survey showed that Canadian businesses that have already embraced this shift are faring better than their competitors. What does this mean for the business landscape? “The economy is moving so rapidly that companies need to urgently embrace the changes in the sales and buying cycles -in days and months, rather than years,” Olmstead replied. “If not, they may find it difficult to compete effectively and survive in a highly competitive environment.”

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