We recently published our fifth annual report “Scandinavian B2B Commerce 2021”. Apart from many interesting insights into the driving forces behind digital B2B-sales, we also created a B2B Commerce Maturity Ladder to better understand how far companies have come in their digital transformation.
The ladder is divided into five steps: Getting ready, Walking, Running, Sprinting and Flying. Every step is an indicator on how far a business has come in their digital journey.
The five steps of the Maturity Ladder
- Step 1: Getting ready (8%)– Companies that have not yet engaged in digital sales but plan to launch a webshop within the next three years.
- Step 2: Walking (36%)– Companies that do not offer a digital sales channel but support traditional sales through its digital channels. They do so by providing the option to either browse a digital product catalogue, before contacting the company or request a price or a quote online.
- Step 3: Running (32%)– Companies that enable their business customers to buyproducts or services through a professional webshop/ecommerce solution. Digital sales is seen as an important complement to traditional B2B sales channels.
- Step 4: Sprinting (15%)– Digital sales and ecommerce are integrated and important components ofthe company’s business and sales strategy. Digital sales are supported through sound marketing in digital channels.
- Step 5: Flying (10%)– Ecommerce is at the core of the company’s business model and represents a significant share of all sales. Data and continuous business analysis are seen as essential to developing the business.
Using the B2B Commerce Maturity Ladder
The intent of the B2B Commerce Maturity Ladder is not to provide a blueprint for companies wanting to become more digital. But rather serve as a benchmark, to understand what is happening in the B2B-market and what opportunities lie ahead. The digital arena is huge, and there are several viable solutions to pursue, for those that are in the race for further digitalisation.
Even though many companies start by just letting customers request a quote online or to browse a digital product catalogue before contacting the company, other solutions might prove to be better for your company. For instance, your customers might already be many steps ahead when interacting with your competitors. Furthermore, they might even exist in a totally different venue, where a partnership might be the best way for you to reach them.
Many also miss the fact that data and analysis are large parts of optimising digital sales. Mapping the customer journey, understanding conversion and having a clear system for analysis and channel management are crucial parts of moving up the ladder, truly reaping the benefits of a digital transformation.
To summarise, the ladder can be used as an effective tool in trying to decide what step your company should be taking next. Making sure that you continuously move in a positive direction, giving customers what they want while both increasing sales and in the end your profits. For more detailed information and insights into the world of digital B2B sales, download the full report here.