HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A study released today by PROS® (NYSE: PRO), a cloud software company powering the shift to modern commerce, reveals new data and insights into the state of B2B sales. The report – Accelerate Your Journey to Modern Commerce – illuminates the challenges companies face in making the transition to better serve their customers in the digital era. Three hundred B2B decision makers – evenly split between the United States and Europe, including the United Kingdom, France and Germany – responded to the April 2017 commissioned study, conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of PROS.
Forrester defines modern commerce as a means of doing business where the buyer is in control, highlighted by frictionless, transparent and consistent experiences across all sales channels. These experiences are made possible through dynamic, personalized offers and pricing, powered by machine learning and data science.
“The data reveal, above all else, that businesses are at a crossroad and must adjust their selling models to address the rapidly occurring changes in buyer preferences,” said PROS Chief Visionary Officer Craig Zawada. “In the digital era, modern commerce has become an imperative for companies around the world to support the new buying and selling dynamics for both customers and partners. The Forrester study mirrors our own experiences working with PROS customers. We see firsthand that modern commerce helps competitive enterprises create personalized and frictionless experiences for their customers, fueled by dynamic pricing science. We’re enabling companies to configure, price and sell their products and services with speed, precision and consistency across all sales channels, which improves the buying experience and helps maximize revenues.”
Shifting Preferences Force Change
Forrester notes in the study that B2B sales dynamics have changed, and buyers now demand to be served when and how they prefer. Much like B2C industries, 93 percent of B2B buyers indicated a preference to buy online, driven in large measure by the speed and convenience of the experience. As companies attempt to address the needs of more empowered buyers, many organizations have created one-off, disjointed processes as they battle growing competition for customers.
According to the study, sales organizations are dealing with modern commerce challenges, with most still relying on traditional relationship-based sales processes. Forrester estimates that by 2020 more than 20 percent of B2B salespeople will be displaced by self-service eCommerce.
How Companies Must Adapt
Forrester notes that adopting a modern commerce strategy requires synchronized orchestration across the entire end-to-end sales process, particularly as companies look to overcome the hurdles:
- 48 percent indicate challenges with consistent cross-channel buying experiences.
- 45 percent highlight struggles with transparent pricing and sales processes.
- 45 percent indicate difficulties with dynamic pricing and personalized offers.
- 44 percent find the process of creating a frictionless buying processes complex.
Despite these challenges, companies have already begun to make the fundamental shift toward a modern commerce strategy as they address disruptive changes in customer buying habits:
- More than half (51 percent) are working to create a unified buying experience across channels.
- 54 percent are focused on making buying processes more transparent.
- 51 percent plan to offer personalized offers and pricing to their customers.
- Nearly half – 48 percent – are focused on enabling customers to buy in real-time.
To download the Forrester study, visit the PROS website here.
Visit the website to download PROS modern commerce e-book – Are You Ready for the New Era of Digital Business? – which offers a perspective on how today’s global enterprises can reimagine their go-to-market sales strategies in response to evolving buyer expectations.
PROS Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: PRO) is a cloud software company powering the shift to modern commerce by helping companies create personalized and frictionless buying experiences for their customers. Fueled by dynamic pricing science and machine learning, PROS solutions make it possible for companies to price, configure and sell their products and services in an omnichannel environment with speed, precision and consistency. Our customers, who are leaders in their markets, benefit from decades of data science expertise infused into our industry solutions. To learn more, visit pros.com.
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