Clear Seas continues to provide Industry Perspective on the Challenges of Today. This research, about the effects of the COVID-19 crisis to customers across the country, provides data around the new reality of our B2B world as we emerge from the crisis, enter back into the work world, and begin to chart new paths to success. Our findings line up very closely with McKinsey’s Global B2B decision-maker response to Covid-19 survey
Some of the key insights we have discovered are:
- Over 70% of businesses now promote social distancing, wearing masks, and “virtual meetings.”
- 60% of B2B companies have reduced their business spending.
- Over 40% prefer Digital only interactions. Only 2% now prefer in-person business interactions (such as sales, trade shows).
- 65% now say business will be back on track within 6 months.
“Contactless” business is likely here to stay for at least 6 months, and likely even longer. ”Virtual meetings” spiked recently on Google and indicates that work colleagues, vendors, and sales should prepare for a “digital first” approach to everything. How will this affect your business? Your interactions with vendors? And your sales team? The sooner a company can prepare and accelerate their contactless business operations, the sooner they can excel.
With many B2B companies reducing some of their spending, Clear Seas encourages clients to think contrary in this situation. Research has proven that “Those advertisers that maintained or grew their ad spending increased sales and market share during the recession and afterwards.” Not only that, but certain companies have even accelerated their hunt for talent. The crisis has sped up demand for digital talent in virtually all sectors and all businesses. Investment in Industry 4.0 has also seen increased urgency as all of the key elements of Industry 4.0 reduce the necessity of face-to-face contact.
Now is the time to focus significant energy on the digital customer experience. Companies will be accelerating their digital offerings, making commerce simple and easy, and create experiences that customers will want to share verbally or socially (preferably word of mouth as that has actually increased in importance according to our research). Customers want contact-less commerce, and would like to keep visitors out of their office. That means sales needs to be advised to promote “virtual meetings” over in person interactions.
Our respondents tend to paint an optimistic picture of business being “back on track” within 6 months. This positive attitude and resilient optimism shows that together, Americans are looking to fight back against this upheaval and rebuild their businesses stronger.
Clear Seas encourages all brands to take a moment and survey their customers to get feedback on the changes that might present opportunities, new products, or additional ways to provide a digitally-enhanced socially-distanced customer experience. Take this time to listen and then take action based on the words of your customers as you move towards success.