Blog, Selling

The Real Magic Comes From Intelligence

By Mitch Lee
June 13, 2018

Last week was a great week in Orlando. Reportedly, 250,000 people convened in central Florida to attend SAPPHIRE NOW and the America’s SAP User Group Conference (ASUG). The numbers must be accurate, my Uber driver told me.

Besides good shoes for walking the 7 million square feet of events and exhibitions, organizations also brought their most pressing problems to the event. For enterprise organizations, the most talked about was how changes in B2B are being driven by demographics – those of their customers and their employees. The last best experience each individual has had as a B2C customer is now the standard for comparison in B2B.

At the conference, I heard broad agreement – the difference emerging between B2B and B2C is apparent intelligence. In B2C, the general expectation is that the entire transaction be executed flawlessly.  But flawless execution is table stakes today, in both B2C and B2B. For a customer to walk away truly pleased – the real magic – comes from intelligence.

Customer experience now means not just getting delivery of the thing they ordered, it’s also discovering relevant options to take care of ‘everything’ they need and a few things they didn’t even know they wanted in one simple engagement.  It’s the ‘customers who bought this item also bought’ suggestions that appear on your Amazon searches for example – and this only slightly scratches the surface of what intelligence can bring to commercial processes.

True B2B excellence will be driven by really understanding the customer’s needs and how what YOU do can make them more successful. That means getting the right price, the right combinations of products and services, to the right customer, all at the right time (ahead of your competitors.) But this intelligence requires appropriate, enterprise-ready solutions and the knowledge of how to effectively share that intelligence with the right people in your organizaton who are  positioned to take the right actions.

Knowledge is Power

With that kind of support, your sales organization can move from order-taking, shipment expediting, billing error fixing, and the other administrative demands that come from not having a good understanding of the customer specifics, to being a collaborative, knowledgeable partner. You will become known as the organization that brings intelligence to the table to add value for all parties. After all, a good customer experience only happens when the customer believes they are better off having done business with you.

  • Editor’s Note: To learn more about how Vendavo provides real-time intelligence, take a look at our Profit Insights solution suite.
  • ASUG , commercial excellence , customer experience , SAP , SAPPHIRE NOW

    Mitch Lee

    Mitch is a Profit Evangelist at Vendavo with 25+ years of experience in the technical, operational, marketing, and commercial arenas of the process industry. Prior to Vendavo, Mitch was with BASF and Orica in product marketing and business management, driving operational optimization, pricing excellence, and margin improvement, as well as personal engagement in high value sales negotiations. Mitch also has deep experience with raw materials supplier portfolio management having negotiated large scale and long-term agreements with global suppliers.