I have played in several markets throughout my years in high tech and one thing always top of mind is how to make the selling process simpler. Amazon has set the standard here in B2C of course and their drive to leverage their expertise in the B2B landscape has many companies feeling the pressure to figure out how to do the same to serve their customers better.
There’s been a lot written about how B2B must evolve the purchase options they offer to include effective e-commerce capabilities. This is a good post on key foundation points for launching into e-commerce, for example. One area that they and most others don’t really talk about however is the rules and prices that need to be managed for this new effort to be successful.
Specifically, this includes things like guiding buyers to good-fit products based on the some simple questions and following that up with the proper price based on who they are and what customer segment (of yours) they might fit into. These rules are already managed internally for in-house salespeople and channel partners and should be extended to digital purchase options as well.
The ultimate goal, of course, is to allow your customers to buy simply and effectively while allowing you to price effectively, suggest new products in your lineup or upsell replacement products that drive better margin. Doing this well is what we are all after as it lowers the cost of sales and ultimately improve margins. The challenge has been doing this in sync with internal processes.
The ability to do this might be much closer than you think. One of the biggest barriers to this isn’t technology, but rather, it’s the emotion of change. As this post explains, the challenges of changing the culture from very high touch points to a simpler process while still maintaining some of the controls that sellers need as well as the partnership that buyers are used to is challenging. Emotions, both those of your customers and your internal team, are a key part of the B2B selling process.
It’s interesting to think how easy this all was for us to adapt to personally in B2C buying and selling; we have actually come to expect a simple buying process. Yet in the B2Bcompanies we work, it has been quite a challenge.
At Vendavo, we help customers streamline these processes for internal sellers by allowing them to build, manage and distribute these guided selling rules digitally. We couple this with suggested pricing based on a variety of strategies and the ability to turn this into a professional, customer-facing quote with CPQ technology that delivers great success for our customers. As these customers continue to evolve, they are now expanding these “internal” process to their partners and looking to bring them to a more public forum.
What do you think about the B2B digital selling process? Are you seeing some of the same challenges in your business?
Learn more about how Vendavo accelerates intelligent B2B e-commerce on our website.