Deep insights on B2B executive decision making amidst the global pandemic

Survey Indian B2B Decision-makers Respond To COVID-19 Crisis

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The Current Scenario

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused businesses across the globe to be posed with multiple challenges. These include, respond to opportunities, mitigate risks, decrease costs, maintain substantial revenue levels, shift to remote working, keep employees healthy, and at the same time, prepare for the future. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has allowed all organizations to rethink how they conduct their business. Many organizations have been forced to renovate their business models and, in some cases, even restructure.

What Indian Businesses Have Learnt From The COVID-19 Crisis?

The business part of the crisis is vital for a nation’s economy and hence is important that it recovers within a short period. Organizations need to take heed from the lessons that this pandemic has taught them, and venture into the future with a strong foundation. 

Businesses have now learned that ad-hoc inclusions or exclusions don’t work. To survive a crisis such as a coronavirus pandemic, businesses need to lay down the groundwork now for swift recoveries.

In light of the pandemic, B2B decision-makers are responding to the crisis quickly. Even though customer preferences vary in industries, B2B decision-makers are taking swift action to mitigate the risks. 

As companies and government bodies are working towards containing the Coronavirus pandemic and curb the rising human deaths, it is causing, and it’s economic impacts are also being felt.

Survey: Indian B2B Decision Makers Respond to COVID-19 Crisis

We have tracked the change in customers’ behaviors, spending, and expectations via global surveys. We conducted a series of surveys to gauge how consumer trends will evolve throughout the crisis. 

B2B decision-makers from India were posed with questions via our surveys, and some of the key highlights from the surveys:

Optimism among Indian B2B decision makers is relatively high

  • A majority of the B2B decision-makers in India have put forward the opinion that economic activity will be restored to its pre- COVID-19 levels within the next 3 to 4 months. 71% of the respondents believe this to be true and have an optimistic outlook.
  • Many of the B2B decision-makers have put forth the argument that a treatment or vaccine for the COVID-19 is just around the corner, which in itself solves a majority of the problems. 
  • They believe that, even though traditionally, it has taken years to come up with a vaccine for a virus, this time, the entire world is collaborating, thus reducing the overall time involved.

A majority of Indian B2B decision makers have curtailed their budgets

  • Approximately 65% of the B2B decision-makers in India have reduced their expenditure by almost half. They are poised to make further reductions in the coming weeks. Many of the B2B decision-makers have a skeptical view regarding the economic outlook.
  • The negative outlook of B2B decision-makers is stemming from the uncertainty revolving around the impact of the pandemic. They believe that many companies will go bankrupt at the end of the pandemic and are expecting further downfall in the economy. 
  • The crisis has disrupted many businesses and sectors, which were already performing weakly. This has caused them to opt for government funding to deal with challenges. However, the future for such businesses still seems to be bleak. These factors are adding on to the skepticism of B2B decision-makers.

Preference for digital mediums has increased among Indian B2B decision makers

  • With social distancing norms being adhered to everywhere, B2B decision-makers are turning towards the digitalization initiative. B2B decision-makers in India now prefer digital mediums approximately 1.5 times more as compared to conventional channels.
  • The rising importance of social distancing and the need to keep business functions intact, business owners prefer digital communication modes. 
  • Utilizing digital modes to communicate allows organizations to ensure the seamless functionality of their business activity. This also allows most employees to work remotely from the comfort of their homes, and ensure the most important thing in this crisis: Safety.

B2B decision makers are increasingly adopting digital channels for remote selling

  • B2B organizations in India have adopted digital channels and have set up remote sales infrastructure, as they believe this to be effective in the COVID-19 crisis. More than 95% of the B2B decision-makers surveyed responded that they had shifted their sales capabilities to digital sales channels. Moreover, 75% of the organizations have informed that the digital sales channels are equally effective as their conventional channels.

The disruption digital sales model is anticipated to be relevant for the foreseeable future

  • B2B decision-makers in India expect the new remote sales channel via digital mediums to be in use for a long time hereon. Approximately 55% of the B2B decision-makers believe the new sales model is here to stay for more than 12 months after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Way Ahead

The Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the way companies carry out their operations. Developing processes and plans for allocation of funds will not aid in an organization’s long-term goals. Companies need to rethink their strategies and renovate their business structure by placing the customer at its center. Organizations have to consider the scope of their investments and associated benefits, to make impactful plans, strengthening their foundation.

As the axiom goes, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’; it is time to take action. This wisdom in the current situation is for all business owners who wish to make through the current pandemic and thrive later on. The key to surviving in a post-pandemic world, and course through forthcoming recessions, is to take steps today to strengthen your business foundation.