The consumerisation of IT has began to impact the buying patterns of CIOs, shifting the sales process out of the control of the seller, new research has revealed.
Enterprise IT buyers have started to mimic consumer-shopping behaviours, with the value of the customer experience now seen as more important than price, the study by Avanade discovered.
According to the research, business buyers are now willing to pay up to 30% more for a product or service that offers an improved customer experience.
Furthemore, 61% of business decision-makers reported third-party sites and feedback from business partners, industry peers or social channels are more important than conversations with a company’s sales teams when making a purchasing decision.
To help navigate this change, companies are enlisting new people and departments to manage the customer experience, led by customer service, IT and marketing, Avanade said.
Whilst 70% of respondents believed technology will primarily replace human interaction with customers in the next 10 years, 80% said their companies have changed at least one business process in the past three years to better interact with customers.
The new global study builds on findings from Avanade’s Work Redesigned research conducted in January 2013.
The company found that businesses are changing processes to embrace the new buyer by increasing customer sales and support technologies (44%), the number of employees interacting with customers (40%), and automation to the sales process (32%).
The research also showed that businesses investing in technology to support better customer service, and modifying internal roles, are seeing positive results, citing customer loyalty (61%), revenue (60%) and customer base (60%).
“The consumerisation of IT is dramatically transforming the traditional ways companies sell products and services to other businesses and consumers,” said Mick Slattery, executive vice president of Avanade’s Global Service Lines. “Businesses have lost control of the sales process, and B2B and B2C buying models are merging.
“It’s no longer business-to-business or business-to-consumer; it’s business-to-everyone. Those businesses that understand the nature of today’s complicated customer relationships are creating longer-term and more lucrative relationships with customers.”