It's no secret that different businesses are at various stages of digital maturity — and with the relentless pace of digitization in the B2B sector and ever-increasing market competition — most are actively working to advance to the next level. That’s why it’s so critical for B2B leaders to have a firm grasp on their current level of digital maturity as well as understand what a higher level of digital maturity looks like and the path required to get to it. Enter Master B2B's Digital Maturity Assessment, designed to help business leaders gauge their organizations' digital readiness and chart the path to improved digital capabilities.
Created in partnership with commercetools, the assessment recognizes four stages of digital maturity and identifies four pivotal dimensions of digital maturity: Digital Tools, Team Culture, Customer Experience, and Data and Insights. It enables you to score each of these dimensions independently to identify which stage you are in for each one as well as combine all 4 scores to determine your overall digital maturity level. You can also use it to assess your competitors to better understand what stage they are in. Today, as the first in a series of four blogs dedicated to delving deeper into each dimension independently, we explore how to assess the maturity level of your digital tools.
According to a 2023 Master B2B survey, 60% of B2B executives say they’ll be looking for a new eCommerce platform within the next two years. Considering that digital transformation for commerce-driven businesses has been a priority for at least the last five years, this is a powerful statistic. It reinforces that for the majority of companies, their existing commerce platforms aren't meeting the industry’s current standards or the expectations of their buyers. And, without the right commerce technology, i.e. modern, flexible and scalable, it’s almost impossible for businesses to advance their digital maturity to gain the competitive advantage needed to thrive today.
This is why Master B2B identified Digital Tools as the first dimension to consider in assessing your stage of digital maturity. Master B2B proposes that the question a B2B leader needs to ask is “On a scale of 1 to 4, how much is my organization taking advantage of the technology available to streamline operations and improve the customer experience?"
Companies that are at the very beginning of their digital transformation journey are in Stage 1 in terms of the Digital Tools dimension. They haven’t embraced modern technology, mainly because they’re still grappling with the challenges of prioritizing digital investments.
The main challenge these companies face is that their leaders fear change. This is simply due to a lack of understanding of the pivotal role that digital tools play in modern business operations — from enhancing operational efficiency to driving customer satisfaction — and it creates a barrier to growth and innovation.
To push digital maturity forward, it’s essential to shift the mindset of leadership. Master B2B proposes that accomplishing this requires identifying key people within the organization who can start evangelizing digital growth and gain buy-in from executives. The main goal is to help leaders see how the right digital tools can streamline processes throughout all business aspects, from product development to sales, leading to overall business growth, and thus, higher revenue.
Companies that understand the value of digital tools are considered to be in Stage 2. While advancing from Stage 1 to Stage 2 represents a shift in mindset regarding the role of digital tools in business, the challenge is there’s still a lack of digital knowledge and expertise within the organization. At this point, Master B2B advises to start scouting for digital experts from the outside who have the specialized skills to spearhead a migration to a more modern technology stack. This is critical to advancing to Stage 3, as according to Master B2B’s research, 62% of executives said the lack of qualified eCommerce team members was a significant barrier to growth.
By the time a company hits Stage 3 maturity in the Digital Tools dimension, they have a mostly modern tech system in place, operating in real-time. They can confidently call themselves a digitally driven organization — one that is delivering noteworthy digital wins, frequently by leveraging composable architecture.
To reach stage 4 in the Digital Tools dimension, Master B2B advises B2B leaders to allot both the time and budget for their teams to experiment with using AI-based tools to solve problems and enhance productivity.
If a B2B leader is able to quickly respond “4” to the original question, “On a scale of 1 to 4, how much is my organization taking advantage of the technology available to streamline operations and improve the customer experience?” then the organization has reached full digital maturity. It’s operating on flexible, scalable tech architecture that’s integrated with all critical systems of record and is recognizing tangible results from the transformation.
While only a small number of companies are currently at Stage 4 in terms of the Digital Tools dimension, every B2B can — and should — strive to achieve this level. Though it might sound intimidating, it’s important to remember that the journey to digital maturity is a marathon, not a sprint. Each step, no matter how small or slow, pushes your organization closer toward comprehensive digital transformation.
To get a clear picture of where your B2B is now, and what needs to happen to move your business forward, download Master B2B’s full report, Establishing your Baseline: Assessing B2B Digital Maturity.