There is a systematic shift happening in business. Organizations are becoming aware of the need to tap into new sales channels, but they often do so without adequate planning. B2B ecommerce is gaining increasing interest and adoption as a way to expand sales channels. Multichannel selling is a great path to increase revenue, but sales executives can’t tackle every channel, online, offline, mobile, ecommerce, etc., without the tools necessary to monitor, manage, and follow up.
The bottom line is that most organizations neither sell efficiently nor effectively. Despite the fact that a high performing sales organization is key to growth, our survey showed a clear disconnect between sales and the rest of the enterprise, hampering the success of the sales team. In far too many organizations, the sales organization works in a deep silo rather than in an interconnected, transparent setting. Despite the growing challenges for sales teams, the survey revealed optimism. Deal sizes are expected to increase throughout 2011 and hopefully beyond, pointing to anticipated growth. How can you ensure that your company is among those that fulfill those optimistic forecasts?
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For many business to business sales organizations, eCommerce is seen as a threat to the sales team, or quickly dismissed as something that won’t work for their customers/products/services. But eCommerce is not simply a trend to write-off: Your customers are your peers, who have adopted online shopping and are managing a multitude of transactions via the web day in and day out.
While B2B eCommerce does differ from B2C, the two are not either/or. Discounting and other pricing rules, advanced self-service and support requests, and customizable and configurable products and services and high volume orders can all be processed in today’s web sales software.
Still not convinced the move is right for you? Here are just 10 benefits for your customers and sales team that may be realized by adding B2B eCommerce to your sales toolkit:
- Provide product datasheets, descriptions and details from within an online product catalog. Your customers want information and no matter the time of day, day of the week, or busy schedule of your field reps, the information your customers and prospects need to make the decision to buy can be readily available via eCommerce web sites.
- Link prospects to multimedia marketing materials. Remember that YouTube video the marketing team created? It’s time to give more exposure to a one-time campaign and provide relevant media files from directly within your sales toolkit.
- Include warranty information where it is most likely to be read. Whether you choose to include warranty information with product descriptions and datasheets, or provide it from within an eCommerce shopping cart, you can ensure your customers are aware of the terms and conditions associated with their purchase.
- Let happy customers do the selling for you with user reviews and product ratings similar to Amazon.com’s thriving review community. Have you ever bought something with less than a 3-star rating? Your prospects don’t want to either.
- Integrate with social networks and promote social sharing and user communities.
- Enable auto-suggest search for prospects who may not know what they need. This widely adopted tool allows users to start typing a phrase while related product searches are suggested.
- Empower prospects with Guided Selling. Create survey-like questionnaires for customers to provide requirements, needs, and budget to return best-fit solutions.
- Provide product comparisons to engage prospects in the evaluation process and allow them to understand the benefits of multiple models or service packages.
- Include recommended items to increase average order value, and ensure customers never place an order without full knowledge of the parts needed to receive maximum benefits.
- Automate the renewal process with self-service options for eCommerce users. Besides the traditional shopping cart functionality, eCommerce portals can integrate directly to ERP and CRM systems to enable customers to renew, reorder, and renegotiate contract terms as well as process payments online
In all, these ten benefits of eCommerce allow sales reps to spend more time selling to highly qualified, highly informed and highly engaged prospects and less time doing paperwork. While customers are empowered with information at their fingertips, in real time, on-demand. B2B eCommerce is a win-win!
This is a repost of a press release from BigMachines
BigMachines, Inc., the leader in product configuration, pricing and quoting, proposal generator and B2B ecommerce cloud computing, today announced that Press Ganey Associates, the largest provider of satisfaction surveys and quality improvement services for the health care industry, has launched a new b2b ecommerce site powered by BigMachines. The ecommerce site serves doctors, hospitals and healthcare clinics, providing the ability to purchase satisfaction surveys and related services online. Read the rest of this entry »
Jeff Ogden of the Fearless Competitor recently posted “5 Sales Management Mistakes That Curb Company Profits” over at the B2B Sales Lounge. We couldn’t agree with Jeff’s post more, but wanted to add one more common mistake. Read the rest of this entry »
This is a repost of a press release from bigmachines.com
BigMachines today announced 16 industry-leading companies will be featured as Gold Sponsors and will facilitate best practices sessions at BigIdeas Chicago 2010, an innovative SaaS conference scheduled for October 24-26 at the Swissôtel Chicago. BigIdeas provides a forum for customers, business partners, industry experts and prospects to discuss innovative strategies and best practices for improving sales process efficiencies, increasing revenues and reducing costs. Read the rest of this entry »
This is a re-post from Acquiring Minds
The digital world is bringing great change to how buyers wish to interact with B2B sales teams.
B2B buyers who are at ease in researching, communicating, collaborating and buying on the internet are choosing to do business differently. Read the rest of this entry »
This is a re-post of an article on DemandGenReport.
Over the past decade, BtoC eCommerce has changed the landscape of selling products as leaders like Amazon.com have brought eCommerce to the mainstream — and the numbers are growing.
A 2009 survey of online consumer behavior conducted by Harris Interactive found that 48% of US online adults say that they are now conducting more online transactions than they did in the past. In the UK, the number is even higher as 53% of online adults say they are making more purchases online, with the ability to compare products and prices cited by 74% of these as the main reason. Read the rest of this entry »
BigMachines 10.1 is here! Like earlier BigMachines releases, 10.1 was developed with direct input from our customers (submitted and discussed on the My BigIdeas online collaboration portal), feedback from our Customer Advisory Board, and roundtable discussions on our product roadmap during our annual BigIdeas conference. Read the rest of this entry »