snail mailA recent posting on the highly useful Marketing Profs newsletter provided some excellent insights into How B2B Commerce is Changing. The article, written by Ayaz Nanji, presents and analyzes the results of a survey of:

— how business-to-business (B2B) interactions are changing,

— why these changes are occurring, and

— the challenges that companies face in adapting to and facilitating those changes.

In general, the survey and accompanying analyses reinforce the not-surprising message that multiple factors are changing B2B commerce in much the same way that those factors have influenced B2C commerce. In summary, what has historically been a hands-on, offline experience is rapidly becoming one that is increasingly online and reliant on self-service.

While this overall message and the supporting survey results were interesting, one data point in particular has implications for the incentive program service provider.  And that point is that 47% of survey respondents cited “Bringing customers from offline to online self service” as a challenge to capitalizing on the trends in B2B commerce. I read that to say that resistance to change can be an obstacle to adoption.

At Quality Incentive Company, we have direct experience that suggests that one effective way to address this challenge is to implement  points-based channel sales incentive programs that award customers for placing orders online rather than using traditional methods. Naturally, a prerequisite to applying such a program is the vetting of the online tools it supports to ensure that they deliver a better, more efficient commercial experience for the customer. Assuming that this important precondition has been met, incentive programs of this type have proved to be extremely effective in raising customer awareness – and eventual adoption – of those online commercial tools vital to the long-term success of companies in the B2B sector.

At Quality Incentive Company, Rob is responsible for leading the company’s business development efforts in both the employee recognition and sales/channel arenas. He has more than 10 years of experience in the recognition and incentive industry, having served as president and CEO of Atlanta-based Loyaltyworks before joining QIC in 2011.

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