Today’s B2B Digital Transformation Stakeholders

November 21, 2019

Category: Best Practices

Today’s B2B organizations are facing immense pressure – from evolving customer demands, new modern technology, and digitally infused supply chains.

As Forrester puts it in their report Organize and Staff for B2B Digital Transformation, “As smart, outside-in companies, digital-first B2B organizations recognize that when circumstances change, so must they.”

In order to meet this pressure and successfully digitally transform, the entire organization needs to be aligned under the same digital strategy. This is because B2B eCommerce doesn’t just touch the IT department anymore, every vertical of an organization has a vested interest in the implementation and success of modern eCommerce.

That’s why it’s so important to include all key stakeholders in the digital transformation process. Each stakeholder has a different role and different eCommerce expectations. Coming together before beginning the digital transformation process will help eliminate some future issues down the line.

Here are the most important B2B digital transformation stakeholders:

Customer Support & Customer Service

Customer Support and Customer Service have slightly different roles, but similar expectations of eCommerce – help them make the customer happy. These departments and roles use technology as a way to interact with customers and solve customer problems. They need eCommerce to do things like:

  • Gather data to create customer profiles and personalize the buyer experience
  • Interact with customers across touchpoints like mobile, websites and contact centers
  • Place orders on behalf of customers and field and answer questions
  • Meet service level agreements and provide information on products and services

Sales

The sales team is an integral part of any B2B organization and they see eCommerce as an important tool in their selling toolkit. New, modern technologies allow them to sell more and add value to the customer relationship digitally. They need eCommerce to do things like:

  • Customize user experiences on an account level to display negotiated pricing
  • Allow field sales reps to place orders from anywhere and on any device
  • Streamline sales reporting and tracking with integrations into sales software. 

Finance

Finance is ultimately interested in the bottom line of the organization, so it makes sense that they would be involved in the approval of B2B eCommerce. They need eCommerce to do things like:

  • Reduce overall tech debt
  • Increase revenue through eCommerce sales
  • Eliminate manual human errors commonly associated with traditional eCommerce
  • Track key metrics to prove eCommerce ROI

Marketing

The Marketing team is responsible for internal communications, external marketing and communication efforts, and general awareness efforts. They have very invested in the success of eCommerce and oftentimes fund and staff eCommerce efforts. They need eCommerce to do things like: 

  • Measure and track key marketing metrics
  • Support marketing and awareness efforts through content and communication distribution
  • Maintain customer and prospect data

Technology

The most obvious of the departments to be involved in any eCommerce efforts. The technology department is responsible for building, maintaining and innovating eCommerce technologies, systems, and processes. They need eCommerce to:

  • Be built with modern technologies that encourage innovation such as APIs and headless architecture
  • Allow for the use of modern, agile methodology and development practices
  • Be easy to maintain, update and upgrade. 

While all of these stakeholders have a vested interest and need for modern eCommerce, not all of them are responsible for the final eCommerce decision. However, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be involved in the process. The key decision-makers need to ensure that they’re looking at digital transformation with a holistic lense. 

Each of these stakeholders is essential in the long term success of B2B eCommerce and all must be on board with the digital strategy. By aligning strategy early on, everyone’s eCommerce expectations can be met and you’ll get on the right path towards digital transformation.