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The Procurement Shift: Understanding the New Digital Dynamic Between Network Buyers and Sellers

80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels by 2025, according to Gartner. It’s said that this is as much affected by the fact that millennials, a generation with extremely high technical competency and an affinity for digital technologies, will, sooner rather than later, become decision-makers in this space, as much as it is to do with the shift that current decision-makers are undertaking to digital platforms in order to improve ease of use, speed to market, and efficient scale-up strategies for their businesses. We're diving deeper into this shift and the impacts it’s already having on network buyer and seller operations and interactions.

The growing digital-first agenda

Digital-first and cloud-first strategies are increasingly becoming the norm for business operations, globally. And this is only set to intensify as new technologies that support and enable these strategies become more readily available and continue to solve the current challenges of manual, offline processes. 

Enterprises are taking up digital technologies, not because the software they use, or the type of cloud storage and compute they adopt alone will automatically enable them to reach all of their business goals – but because these digital technologies can help them to support more effective business outcomes. This might include driving more efficient operations and logistics, building and strengthening customer relationships, or tracking and analyzing their business activities in a more meaningful way.

Underpinning all of this is the ‘new gold’ as many call it: data. With powerful data comes the heightened ability to make strong business decisions. Enterprises that can effectively unpack and use data to inform the way they operate, buy, sell, and automate. Data empowers enterprises with the transparency and knowledge to effectively strategize, and ultimately, progress their business forward. 

There’s never been a more crucial time to adopt a digital-first agenda. We’re seeing an unprecedented number of businesses driving digital initiatives to remain competitive in a challenging global market, regardless of the industry they work in. As the need to go digital-first increases, the platforms and technologies that are going to support this become ever more important to ensure organizations don’t get left behind. 

New interactions connecting buyers and sellers 

Facilitating this new shift to digital, when it comes to exchanging services, platforms that are aligned to the ways in which buyers are increasingly procuring those services, and new ways to support sales teams in delivering those services, are creating new kinds of connections between the two. 

Digital platforms for buying and selling, such as online marketplaces, are enabling intuitive interactions between service providers and customers by cutting down the layers of traditional communication. With access to industry data and market intelligence that fuels information on the services a customer needs, knowledge around what they’re buying, and which providers, both global and local, can fulfil those requirements, digital platforms can be invaluable in making way for better communication processes while enabling buyers to make more informed decisions on network services.

Not only this, but marketplace platforms are speeding up business between buyers and sellers by streamlining and centralizing the process.

Cloudscene Marketplace enables the buyers of network services to find the optimum service providers for their projects based on requirements they input into the platform which then match-makes them with relevant vendors, and notifies those vendors to submit quotes to receive competitive pricing and detailed network info to inform their decisions. The platform’s capabilities specifically enable them to then shortlist and select vendors with the click of a button, and manage quotes and responses easily in one centralized place. 

No, it’s not the typical, traditional process for sourcing network services and yes, it does streamline communication, speed up procurement, use data-driven practices, and ensure users, and companies as a whole, have improved governance with the ability to track and log activities. This all equates to enhanced productivity and efficiency through new means for both buyers and sellers. Read more about sourcing on Cloudscene Marketplace here.

Enabling sales operations through digital channels

With all this said, it’s believed that virtual selling could become the dominant channel for reaching customers, with buyers now only spending 17% of their time physically meeting with suppliers when they are considering a purchase, according to Cristina Gomez, Managing Vice President for the Gartner Sales Practice.

Aligning with this shift to a new buyer experience is advantageous for sales teams to continue supporting current and future customers in a meaningful way – i.e. enabling them to buy services faster, easier, and more efficiently. 

Automating, digitizing, and centralizing the sales cycle could mean that sales teams are also able to better support more customers in more markets (including in underserved regions) as expanding reach globally is easy – almost instantaneous – when you’re working across a data-driven digital platform. 

Even if the shift to digital-first strategies wasn’t gradually becoming the case for many buyers globally, incorporating digital platforms into the sales process is an opportunity for sales teams to embrace efficiencies on their side, too.

When you streamline the sales pipeline, access smarter ways of communication with buyers, simplify the connection process, and have tools for managing and tracking activities, you can not only easily unlock savings but also reach your end goal (driving sales and supporting customers) more quickly.

Cloudscene Marketplace is highly suited to the modern way in which service providers can sell. They are intelligently connected with informed buyers of network services who are actively sourcing what they’re offering. From there, the platform enables sales teams to see a detailed breakdown of their needs, indicate their interest in providing a quote, submit full or per service bids, and centrally manage the communication and fulfillment process from there. They can also browse more global buyer requirements to look for more customers to support. Read more about selling on Cloudscene Marketplace here.

The shift to digital-first strategies has been taking place gradually, however, the exponential growth in this area means technologies are also shifting to suit the needs of the modern buying and selling experience. Cloudscene Marketplace is supporting the digital-first agenda by enabling the buyers and sellers of network services with a data-driven and streamlined platform to reach their business goals. 

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You can find out more about the recent upgrade and new features for buyers and sellers on Cloudscene Marketplace here. If you’re ready to kickstart your digital procurement and sales activities, create a free Cloudscene account now and discover Cloudscene Marketplace, where buyers and sellers connect.

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