Access to virtually unlimited sources of information allows buyers to research their options independently of a salesperson. This is a fundamental shift in behavior that carries dire consequences for businesses that fail to provide content responsive to the buyer’s research.
Buyers will no longer give up their time to meet with salespersons representing companies who fail to qualify themselves online with content that addresses their research. Furthermore, they will not do business with companies that fail to eliminate friction points which develop when information and knowledge aren’t consolidated into software systems, so they can be shared with all stakeholders.
In an industry that has generally been slow to embrace digital platforms and implement integrated information technology systems designed to enhance the value proposition and convert exponentially increasing volumes of data into actionable business intelligence, there is a rapidly increasing risk of irrelevance.
The combination of market shrink and customer churn as buyers locate alternative sources represents an existential threat likely to eliminate many independent resellers in the office products and business equipment channels.
It is rapidly becoming futile to try and compete in a digital world with analog work practices.