The CX Gap: the Existential Threat B2B Sales Forces Don’t See Coming

7 December 2018

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Business-to-business sales forces confront a "customer experience gap" born from the suddenly widening distance between buyers' expectations and experiences. B2B buyers now want two things they're accustomed to from consumer experiences, but that most B2B suppliers can't do simultaneously: accurate, on-demand answers addressing their unique issues, and interactions across a dizzying array of channels and media -- web and social platforms, partners and resellers, virtual and face-to-face interactions, and with representatives from sales, service, marketing, and other commercial functions. But B2B suppliers manage these various channels as separate functions, not an integrated whole. With no single owner, the CX gap only widens, even while any single area -- sales, marketing, etc. -- might be executing flawlessly within its functional silo.

This is less worrying to suppliers that differentiate on cost or product superiority. For everyone else -- that is, for any B2B firm that competes on customer experience -- the CX gap is an existential challenge.

Closing the CX gap begins with connecting all front-office applications and generating integrated buyer insights, while reducing complexity. This session offers examples of how successful firms have accomplished such transformations, while simplifying key sales processes, improving value to customers, and speeding important buyer communication. The role of artificial intelligence is given special focus as a means of capturing deep insights from rich data streams, and using them to enhance customer interactions.

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