As the pandemic has progressed and business begins to return to a new “normal,” our 2021 B2B Report shows B2B businesses must be open to change to be successful. Buyers are becoming picky when it comes to selecting their preferred suppliers, and they’re looking for superior digital experiences in a post-pandemic world. In fact, 90% of B2B buyers would turn to a competitor if their supplier could not keep up with their needs. And when it comes to making changes, 68% of buyers strongly agree that B2B companies have to become more comfortable with change in order to thrive in our transformed business landscape. Let’s dive into some key findings that our researchers discovered when it comes to making changes.
Essential Workplace Accommodations
Since many employees shifted fully online, coming back to work at full capacity may be challenging for B2B businesses. Flexibility for remote work is an accommodation employers need to offer to retain top talent. 27% of those surveyed say flexibility to work remotely as needed is important once they make the return to their office.
Despite the challenges that hybrid work may present to B2B businesses, buyers are optimistic that their organizations will rise to the challenge. Buyers have witnessed dramatic transformation over the course of the pandemic. From working fully remote for the first time, engaging with transformed digital marketplaces, and migrating from desks to laptops, business understand that they need to make changes quickly to adapt. That is why 77% of buyers believe their organization will rise to the challenges that the changing landscape presents.
Buyers anticipate new budgeting changes as well. More than half of buyers expect a budget to invest in new technology to remain a priority, long after the pandemic has passed. The pandemic was temporary, but the changes and standards that employees have been presented with are here to stay for the foreseeable future.
Obstacles to Change
When management teams look at the changes in their workplace and budget, they need to realize that change begins from the top and funnels its way down. What employees demand may be different from the vision of the leaders. Lack of leadership buy-in and lack of peer buy-in are major obstacles to change according to the B2B report. In fact, 20% of employees and 19% of buyers do not think ongoing change is important. While this number is small, it is not insignificant, and resistance to change can make digital transformation difficult. If a portion of your team isn’t open to change, they will not be ready for unforeseen events like the pandemic. They may disagree on how to improvise and adapt if they are not open to change. If you (as a leader or employee) don’t want change, then you don’t want to hear the conversations that might save your business or make your business more competitive.
Lack of planning for change on either end will create problems in the future, as the buyer’s demands will ultimately affect the pace of the business. Being ahead of the buyer’s pace will maintain loyalty and create brand awareness, setting B2B brands apart from competitors who failed to adapt to change before their time was up.
It’s time to stop making excuses. Don’t miss out on your chance to learn about the latest B2B trends. Learn more in our annual 2021 B2B report here.