This year’s Salesforce Connections conference focused on how customer experiences in B2B and B2C have evolved and driven technological innovation. According to Salesforce’s State of Marketing 5th Edition, 78% of customers expect continuous experiences across sales, service, and marketing. But Avionos research shows that 87% of B2B buyers experience pain points in the eCommerce buying process. The future of customer engagement relies on data-driven and customer-focused innovation. The Avionos A-Team attended multiple sessions across the three-day conference; take a look at our key takeaways below.
As Avionos CEO Scott Webb discussed in his theater session “B2B Buyer Beware: Complexity Beyond Consumerization,” ecommerce experiences are anything but simple in the B2B space. Unique commerce capabilities like ship-to price selection, precise pricing for bulk items, and customer-specific pricing and enhanced searchandising set superior ecommerce experiences apart. Keeping customer needs in mind – and relying on timely data that accurately reflects segment needs – allows commerce teams to drive towards experiences that make complicated demands feel simple.
This year’s keynote speaker, Salesforce CMO Stephanie Buscemi, emphasized the importance of bridging business and IT efforts to create unified customer experiences. She emphasized the need for deeper insight into marketing ROI through multi-touch attribution and personalized marketing automation journeys. But these insights require filtering massive amounts of data into easily interpreted dashboards that can guide strategic decision making. New fall rollouts like Salesforce’s Customer Data Platform within Customer 360 will enable marketing to build a unified customer profile to better manage customer insights by unifying disparate customer profiles across an organization. Advanced audience segmentation capabilities will allow for easier identification of groups to engage. Customer 360 aims to allow companies to personalize customer engagement at scale, nurture leads effectively, and drive to sales at the proper moment.
Sales & Service
The Customer Data Platform launch will provide increased visibility into customer behavior. But with a surplus of data readily at a salesperson’s fingertips, understanding how to create actionable insights has never been more important. Here, Salesforce turns to AI to filter through massive amounts of data and direct salespeople towards success. AI-enabled dashboards review information on a lead’s professional title, interaction with marketing content, and visits to web pages to determine when they’re most likely to buy. Sales teams leveraging this information will increase their ratio of leads to opportunities won by pitching at precisely the right moment and with relevant content. As the future of customer engagement continues to evolve, it’s important to remember that technology comes second to customer experience. 99% of buyers expect suppliers to prioritize innovation across a range of eCommerce areas, including sales, service, and marketing. Maintaining an accurate and holistic understanding of your customer should be the primary goal as we move into the future of customer engagement.