Data-Driven Procurement: A Shift in Buyer Behaviour
Buyers don’t shop like they used to. Studies indicate that the global eCommerce market is expected to total $5.55 trillion at the close of 2022, with the number of online shoppers growing significantly in recent years. By the end of this year, eCommerce will account for 20.4% of global retail sales, up from only 10% in 2017.
This boom has been driven by several factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, but the key takeaway for business owners is that consumer behaviour has radically shifted, and teams need to strategize accordingly. Businesses across all industries are navigating this new paradigm, and network procurement is not exempt.
Telcom buyers are increasingly turning to digital procurement platforms and software to fulfil their requirements, favouring the speed and convenience of online procurement over traditional methods. Service providers are joining these platforms in droves to compete in the overly saturated network market and save time and money on sales activities.
In this article, we’ll discuss how online procurement platforms benefit service providers and enable them to develop highly efficient Go-To-Market (GTM) strategies.
Traditional Procurement vs Online Procurement
Traditional procurement occurs when a network buyer manually searches, compares, and negotiates with several service providers to fulfil their requirements. This process heavily relies on customer research and relationship building between the buyer and provider. Although this method was often advantageous for both parties, it was needlessly time-consuming and could be intimidating to smaller, inexperienced businesses.
Online or digital procurement offers the same benefits as other virtual shopping platforms. Online procurement platforms, like Cloudscene, enable buyers to easily search and compare thousands of vendors without having to set up thousands of meetings. Buyers can enter their location and service requirements and instantly find a provider that fulfils their unique requests. This saves procurement teams a significant amount of time and offers businesses an independent, carrier-neutral platform they can trust.
Benefits of Online Procurement for Service Providers
Procurement platforms extend several benefits to service providers. On Cloudscene, providers can virtually onboard their sales teams and assign tasks to specific team members. This allows businesses to streamline the sales cycle and significantly improve risk governance. Interacting with team members and prospective clients on a virtual platform means organizations can easily track all activity and communication. This ensures risk-free pricing for providers and buyers alike and allows team members to smoothly hand over customer information in the event of personnel changes.
Cloudscene also enables providers to run a variety of marketing and advertising activities to help them communicate directly with their target audience. The platform is used exclusively by motivated and informed telecom buyers looking to procure network services. By advertising on Cloudscene, teams can be confident that their budget is being used to advertise exclusively to an audience that understands your value proposition.
Finally, modern buyers are becomingly increasingly motivated by data and brand reputation instead of relationship building. To compete in the current market, service providers must adapt their approach and create a viable eCommerce option to attract customers. While the days of long lunches and convincing sales pitches are not completely over, providers need to recognize that many buyers value convenience and transparency over all else. By joining a procurement platform like Cloudscene, service providers can engage with a large market segment while simultaneously mitigating risk, saving time, and reducing overhead.
Developing a Holistic Go-To-Market (GTM) Strategy
A GTM strategy is a plan that outlines how a business can effectively engage with customers to influence their behaviour and gain a competitive advantage. As we’ve discussed, the widespread digitization of modern business has heavily impacted how companies operate and interact with their customers, forcing them to re-evaluate their GTM strategies.
In the Comprehensive Guide to GTM, GTM Partners write, “This environment of instant information has increased expectations… To put it bluntly, if a buyer doesn’t like the way you interact with them, they will go somewhere else… So, we believe that the unification of GTM functions (Marketing, Sales, Success, Service, RevOps, Enablement and Product) … will allow B2B companies to execute more strategically, outmanoeuvre their competitors, expand their markets, and drive customer lifetime value to new heights.”
In other words, businesses can target customers more effectively by creating a holistic GTM strategy that incorporates marketing, sales, and product, rather than enacting plans for these pillars independently.
Joining a procurement platform like Cloudscene enables service providers to onboard their sales team to streamline lead generation, track engagement and customer behaviour, create and manage a host of marketing activities and procure services to expand to new markets. Providers can use this centralized hub to easily connect with motivated buyers, save time, and improve governance.
Partnering with Cloudscene
If you’d like to learn more about Cloudscene, visit our website or create your free account today. Our friendly team are available to answer any queries you may have about the platform, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.