A modern commerce approach to B2B sales is critical to your profit margins, competitive differentiation, and customer experience, to name a few. But it’s not easy. Conversations about modern commerce can seem stuck at 30,000 feet, filled with emphatic statements (like the first sentence of this blog) but lacking any practical guidance on what to do about it.

It’s our job at PROS to make modern commerce real, to give you the tools to understand what it means and how to get there. This was a primary focus of our recent event, Outperform, where we heard from dozens of modern commerce experts, from high-level strategy to down-in-the-weeds implementations. If you missed it, you can check out the highlights here.

However, we’re not the only ones talking about the importance of modern commerce. An April 2017 commissioned thought leadership paper conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of PROS, Accelerate Your Journey To Modern Commerce, not only does a fabulous job of clarifying exactly what modern commerce means – it also provides concrete recommendations on how to adopt a successful modern commerce approach.

The most interesting findings in the Forrester study, in my opinion, focus on the disconnect between what B2B sales orgs think buyers want, and what buyers actually want (based on Forrester’s surveys.) For example:

  • 65% of B2B sales folks agree that “B2B buyers increasingly choose to buy online” – but 93% of real B2B buyers surveyed say that they prefer to buy online.
  • 53% of B2B sales people think that “the role of direct sales is increasing in importance in B2B sales” – but 59% of real B2B buyers prefer NOT to interact with a sales rep as their primary source of research.

The study delves deeply into what today’s B2B buyers want and how B2B companies can adapt to these changing needs. But it doesn’t shy away from the challenges. Forrester also asked its survey respondents what hurdles they faced in moving to a modern commerce strategy. They found that approximately half of organizations struggle with creating an omnichannel buying experience, offering dynamic and transparent pricing, and achieving a frictionless buying process.

In spite of these challenges, the risks of NOT adopting a modern commerce approach are too serious to ignore. The likelihood of losing deals to competitors, damaging customer loyalty and satisfaction, and undermining your partners will surprise you – and should definitely light a fire under your modern commerce initiative.

The best reason to read the Forrester study, however, is its recommendations. It makes modern commerce tangible. In a ten page study, you’ll learn how to:

  • Implement the key elements of modern commerce, including dynamic pricing, personalized offers, and support for omnichannel sales
  • Overcome common challenges with the move to modern commerce
  • Embrace the real preferences of your buyers (not what you think they want)
  • Choose and use the right technology tools to enable your modern commerce strategy
  • Run a 5 step process to kickstart modern commerce at your organization

Whether you’re just starting out on your modern commerce journey or looking for ways to augment your current strategy, Accelerate Your Journey To Modern Commerce from Forrester Consulting includes a wealth of strategic and tactical insights. Highly recommended for anyone in B2B sales.

Download the study: Accelerate Your Journey To Modern Commerce