Customers want an always-on, personalized, omnichannel experience. The world’s best sellers are giving it to them.
fter two years of nearly nonstop business disruption, B2B companies have finally flexed to meet their customers’ omnichannel expectations. Or so they think. McKinsey’s most recent global B2B Pulse reveals that B2B companies have reached equilibrium in their omnichannel capabilities—just in time for customers to disrupt that balance again.
Our research, which just surveyed close to 3,500 decision makers in 12 markets (and over 21,000 since 2016), found that what customers want from omnichannel is “more”—more channels, more convenience, and a more personalized experience. And if they don’t get what they’re looking for, they’ll take their business elsewhere.
The results are a wake-up call. B2B companies that assume they’ve cleared the omnichannel bar in sales and marketing will need to think again. Among the headlines:
- Omnichannel is a path to share growth. The more channels a sales organization deploys, the bigger the market share gains.
- There are no exceptions. All B2B customers prefer omnichannel, no matter their industry, country, size, or customer relationship stage.
- B2B loyalty is up for grabs. Customers are more willing than ever to switch suppliers to gain exceptional omnichannel experiences.
- Make your numbers. The new bar for omnichannel excellence is ten or more channels over three engagement modes (in-person, remote, and self-service), delivered 24/7.
- Master the five “must dos.” Customers are resoundingly clear on the five capabilities they most want from omnichannel—and they want all of them, from performance guarantees to real-time customer service.
But good news is buried in the more than 300,000 data points we’ve gathered in our latest B2B Pulse. If keeping up with customers’ omnichannel expectations has felt like a game of two steps forward, one step backward, B2B companies now have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shift share meaningfully—through greater orchestration, integration, and personalization.
The great rebalancing: From channel spikes to omnichannel equilibrium
Customers have been clamoring for omnichannel sales for years, and our research shows that more B2B companies are getting the message. Gone are the pandemic-related swings that led some B2B companies to go all in on e-commerce or sharply revert to field sales after lockdowns ended. Instead, B2B companies are beginning to provide what customers have long wanted: the right balance across many channels.
And customers are responding. A major finding from our global B2B Pulse is that the “rule of thirds” has become entrenched. Given the choice of traditional (for example, in-person), remote (for example, video conference or phone) and self-service (for example, e-commerce) interactions, buyers globally have shown they want them all—and in equal measure throughout