However, B2B companies that don’t adopt digital will lose opportunities. Increasingly, buyers prefer to research online before talking to a salesperson. A savvy competitor could disrupt the market and cause huge sales decreases for legacy businesses, the ones that don’t evolve.
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Consider taxicabs. Uber has greatly disrupted this industry. Many believed that electronic technology didn’t apply to taxis. They were wrong.
To be certain, B2B companies have complex sales cycles. It is an ecommerce challenge and an opportunity. A complicated sales process is more difficult (but not impossible) for Amazon to replicate. And ecommerce is an chance to demonstrate value. Rather than thinking about how it can’t work, focus on how it can offer a better experience for prospective and current clients.
… B2B companies that don’t adopt digital will lose opportunities.
A Better Experience
When considering enhancing the B2B customer experience, ask how you can make the buying process easier, faster, and more efficient.
- Simpler. The practice of buying B2B items isn’t simple, typically. If it had been, salespeople would not be necessary. Buyers want to reevaluate finding and buying the proper items. A digital experience can offer the information they need when they need it.
- Quicker. Speed matters. Amazon can provide a product the following day, or even the exact same day. Minimizing the time a client has to await your product is valuable. Digital technology can streamline order fulfillment.
I’m aware, as an instance, of a textile manufacturer that sells to craft companies. The maker grew sales from companies that had bought from lower-cost overseas providers because the purchases would send the same day and arrive much quicker. This was possible because of integrating data between the company’s ecommerce platform and fulfillment system — for orders entered by clients or sales reps.
- More efficient. The value of B2B ecommerce extends beyond new clients. Reorders, replacement parts, and bill payments are expedited online.
Here are common ways, in my experience, that ecommerce assists sales employees.
- Strategic content, marketing automation, and direct scoring. A strong website includes content that answers questions of consumers during their purchasing procedure. There are often many questions, and often there are a lot of people involved in the B2B buying process. Use calls-to-action to request an email address in exchange for access to high value content. You then use a marketing automation tool — such as Pardot, HubSpot, Marketo — to evaluate users based on their behaviours on your website. Trigger your sales team once the prospects are showing signs they’re ready to buy.
- Ask a quote. A”request for quote” form could be easy (ask just for a name, email, and telephone number, plus a couple of questions about what they want and how to follow up) or it can be involved (buyers add products to their request). The latter is comparable to adding goods to an ecommerce shopping cart, but rather than paying for the purchase, the buyers submit an application to get a quote. This can all be done electronically, without the need for a telephone call, or it can expect a telephone call to be sure the quotation is accurate. The secret is to streamline the process to your clients — to make it easier, faster, and more efficient.
- Draft order. Another way to support your sales process is through an internet draft quote. This is where your sales staff makes a draft sequence using a login to the government part of your ecommerce website. They can construct the arrangement with custom pricing and transport costs and email it to that client, who then logs into the site and pays for the order . Your sales staff could do this after receiving a request-for-quote telling, or after talking with a client who has requested an arrangement.
Many buyers prefer to get an email and cover the purchase online. They can confirm the truth of the arrangement, and they’re more confident in the safety, versus studying credit card or bank information to a salesperson.
- Configure price quote solutions empower customers and sales staff to construct quotes based on specified rules. This facilitates faster quotes to clients, as it streamlines the inner pricing and approvals process. It allows greater internal control over margins and ensures that quotes are consistent. CPQ vendors include Apptus, Salesforce, Vlocity, SAP, and Oracle.
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