Episode: Exploring the B2B Digital Buyers’ Journey with SAP’s Amanda Mountain


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Exploring the B2B Digital Buyers’ Journey with SAP’s Amanda Mountain

On this episode of the Futurum Tech Podcast - Interview Series, host Daniel Newman welcomes Amanda Mountain, the Global Vice President of Marketing for Digital Commerce at SAP to discuss digital software buying, COVID-19 and some key findings from the 2019 B2B Digital Buyers’ Journey: Trends, Challenges, and Predictions report.

 

B2B Digital Buyers’ Journey

 

In late 2019, Futurum Research, in partnership with SAP published a research report on the digital buyers’ journey. Prior to the study, there was existing research that identified the consumerization of the B2B experience. Amanda shared that SAP was changing the way they were selling their products to an organization, but what she didn’t know was if that change was a result of the way buyers were changing or if SAP’s change made buyers change. In essence, we wanted to know which came first.

 

The Need for Immediate Solutions

 

Daniel shared that four out of five people surveyed said that the traditional annual software buying cycle in the enterprise was over. It makes sense with the move to the cloud that companies are looking to get what they want when they need it. People want immediate solutions. And that has never been more apparent than right now with COVID-19.

 

Another interesting area the research uncovered is that not all software is created equal. Different categories were more commonly purchased digitally than others like analytics, business intelligence, and CRM software. But these categories and some of the findings might be different now that companies are forced to go digital due to the current pandemic.

 

Amanda shared that developer tools were not a high digitally purchased priority in the research, but in Q1 of 2020, Web IDE, a developer tool from SAP was the top seller for the digital channel. COVID-19 has forced companies to reimagine development and really solidified the notion that every company is a software company. COVID-19 has also shown that software developers need to be more agile, productive, and efficient pushing developer tools to the top of digital buying categories. 

 

Drivers of Digital Buying

 

Daniel and Amanda discussed that it’s not surprising that the shift from traditional buying to digital buying is almost entirely aligned with the digitization of the organization and the promise of streamlined frictionless operational efficiency.

 

What was surprising to Amanda though, is operational efficiency ranks higher than cost savings. Organizations are clearly looking to save their employees time and effort during the procurement process which is critical for B2B software companies to understand.

 

The Digital Buying Ecosystem

 

In recent years, companies like SAP, as Amanda said, have focused more on digital selling. Early research showed that B2B buyers wanted the experience to match B2C experiences. They wanted speed, transparency, flexibility, simplicity and personalization. Companies like SAP have worked to improve digital buying experiences with a better ecosystem that can deliver what B2B buyers want.

 

The ecosystem that is built for digital buying is just as important as the software solutions. Partner extensions, add-ons, and enhancements need to be as easy to get as the software itself if you want digital buyers to continue to work with you.

 

If you’d like to learn more about the digital buying experience check out the findings in the research report or listen to the entire conversation with Amanda and Daniel. This is one you don’t want to miss.

 

While you’re at it, be sure to subscribe to the Futurum Tech Podcast so you never miss an episode.



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