The continuing evolution of new technology has caused an ever-changing rise in consumer expectations, which is now impacting B2B business. These increasing demands are forcing companies to develop new strategies to keep up with these continuously evolving advancements.

Our latest SCI Technology Summit on October 24th, brought together top industry experts to talk about this new age of B2B consumerism. Our speakers and panelists discussed the impact of new technology on B2B business and shared insights on how they’re keeping pace with growing technology demands.

Below are my top five takeaways from the summit:

1) B2C is impacting B2B expectations

B2C customer experiences are setting the bar high, and expectations that customers have in their personal lives are directly impacting B2B decision-making habits. According to Salesforce, an astounding 72% of businesses buyers say they expect vendors to personalize each interaction based on their needs.

To succeed in this ever-evolving environment, companies should consider how to become an extension of their customers to better understand their needs.

2) Focus on a great customer experience

With more transactions happening online or through technology like AI or chatbots, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to personalize the customer relationship.

Yet it’s clear the customer experience remain paramount, with 60 per cent of customers saying are willing to pay more for something with which they have had a great experience (CompTIA research).
Companies need to have a clear customer experience vision. Knowing your customer personas and habits and soliciting feedback in real time can also help businesses personalize the customer journey in a digital age.

3) Optimize machine learning

Machine learning is a field of research that allows a computer to be able to learn from past experiences and is an aspect of technology that is becoming increasingly important, particularly for inventory management.

Machine learning can be used to manage complex and high volumes of data, as well as understand the potential uptake of specific products. It can also be leveraged to predict future sales patterns and foresee when a product may become obsolete.

All of this can help optimize the supply chain and drive improved customer experience and sales.

4) Re-purpose instead of recycle technology

The rapid evolution of technology is causing a high level of “tech waste”. When it comes to end-of-life tech, it’s much more sustainable to reuse technology parts than to recycle.

In the end of life process it is not just about the part any more but also about the data held on any devices being recycled. While 93 per cent of companies say data security is important, only 2 in 10 had a company to assist in managing their obsolete technology and ensure all confidential data had been erased.

It’s imperative for companies to ensure they are properly managing end-of-life tech both for sustainability and security reasons.

5) Adapt to the Speed of Change

To succeed in this current, fluid marketplace, companies need to focus on the customer journey and have the flexibility to scale up or scale down, depending on customer needs.

As expectations continue to rise, technology remains key in building and maintaining strong customer relationships, managing staffing needs and even when considering new real estate space.
I’d like to thank all our speakers, panelists and guests who attended and participated in these important discussions at the recent summit.

It was a great day of information sharing, networking and learning about the impact and influence of technology on B2B business, and it’s clear technology will continue to impact and drive B2B trends for years to come.