The pandemic brought about radical changes in work environments everywhere. There was a rush to adapt to the challenges of working remotely, and while some companies were able to adapt, some struggled. What’s interesting to see is how different parts of the business have been impacted by the forced shift.
Customer service teams have been working on a digital approach for a long time. The internet made it easy for CS operations to be conducted from pretty much anywhere. Many customer service personnel already worked from home since online communities and knowledge bases, combined with multichannel contact centers have been the norm for a few years now. As a result, these people barely saw a change in speed as far as day-to-day operations were concerned. Online support was a thing long before it became a necessity.
Similar to customer service, digital marketing has been at the forefront of business strategies for a while now, even though the circumstances meant companies invested more time and energy into it than ever before. Even traditional industries have had to invest heavily in digital ads and content marketing as people were forced to spend more time on digital platforms.
However, in light of the improving situation, and with declining covid-enforced social conventions, we have seen a rebound in the return of offline marketing channels. Consequently, companies seem to prefer a hybrid approach as opposed to a strict digital first inclination for marketing strategies.
Quite understandably, the sales team was affected the most due to the Pandemic. While e-commerce exposure was common in B2C interactions, for B2B companies, the forced changes presented multiple challenges. The necessity of moving the field sales teams to a remote work environment pushed businesses to establish new protocols, and the tools in place were simply not geared toward selling online. In other words, CRM at the time was not fit for purpose if the B2B companies wanted a smooth experience for their sales teams. They had to catch up quickly.
In the last couple of years, things have actually evolved to the extent that a majority of B2B customers now prefer remote sales assistance. According to a recent survey, omnichannel sales are considered equally or more effective than traditional methods.
What does this mean for modern CRM solutions targeted towards B2B selling? They need to be:
- Consistent across multiple channels, for seller and buyer alike
- Quick to deploy, flexible for different business needs
- Intuitive and user friendly
- Capable of automating simple processes
Changes in the traditional work environment considerably impacted business strategies. Remote work can increase employee productivity which helps the business grow. In addition to that, flexible schedules due to remote work allow employees to deal with customers from anywhere in the world, reduce workplace distractions and save on operational costs, ultimately resulting in higher profits.
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