B2B Succumbs To Digital: Buyers Prefer It To Other Sales Channels

COVID-19 has driven B2B sales online — and 80% of buyers want to keep them there, according to a study from McKinsey & Company.  

And it’s no small thing: Of the B2B decision makers polled, 70% are prepared to make self-serve or remote purchases of more than $50,000. 

To be precise, 27% are ready to spend from $50,000 to $500,000, 12% from $500,000 to $1 million and 15% over $1 million. 

Moreover, 41% plan to increase their capital expenditures (capex), with 9% who plan to increase them by more than 15% and 32% by up to 15%. In addition, 40% expect to boost investments in operating expenses, with 10% who expect to boost them by more than 10% and 30% by up to 15%. 

This means they email systems for:  

  • Direct sales contact
  • Email marketing
  • Triggered alerts and follow-ups

B2B suppliers also require the ability to pull data and profiles based on behavior, interactions and a host of other factors. 



In a sign of the new digital reality, 75% say the new digital sales model is more effective or as much so than before. Of the total, 31% describe digital as somewhat more effective and 15% describe it as much more.

Overseas, the percentages who say digital are more or just as effective as the old models are as follows:

  • China — 81%
  • South Korea — 78%
  • Brazil — 77%
  • UK — 75%
  • Italy — 74% 
  • Spain — 73%
  • France — 71%
  • Japan — 70%
  • Germany — 57%

Perhaps predictably, traditional go-to-market sales have plunged by 52% during this period — to 29% 

In contrast, video conferencing with a sales representative has risen by 41% — to 53% of interactions — and online chat has risen by 23% to 49% of the total.  

In further proof of the way B2B has changed, 79% of salespeople now prefer video to phone when meeting with others in their company. And 76% choose the same lineup for meeting with existing customers. 

In addition, 76% prefer video to phone for meeting with prospect, an 77% for meeting with vendors/suppliers.

Meanwhile, 76% say the new digital sales model is more effective, or just as effective, as it was prior to COVID-19.  

What do they plan to do in 12 months? In August, 89% said it was likely they would sustain the new go-to-market models through that time, while 46% said they were very sure of it and 43% said they were somewhat so. 

Only 8% report that this is unlikely, and 3% have not made any go-to-market changes. 





Next story loading loading..