From the management of data, content, and product information, to experience platforms and digital and commercial services, the great news for B2B enterprises is that now, more than ever, all of these solutions can work together to deliver better outcomes for your business and your customers, if they’re harnessed correctly.
Some key areas of opportunity for enterprise selling online (and beyond) rose to the surface as conversations and budding partnerships carried on throughout the week at B2B Online conference in Chicago last month. B2B Online is an interesting event that represents the convergence of many previously disparate specializations that now contribute to E-Commerce success. Here are three important reminders:
1. Know and Own Your Channels
Don’t treat your E-Commerce processes like they live in a vacuum. You’ve probably got a range of touch points with your customers — some transactional, some not — and chances are your prospects are engaging with you in more than one of those channels over the course of a given deal. Make sure that you consider how E-Commerce fits in your overall sales ecosystem, and align pricing, configurations, and validations to reflect a lower-touch sales process.
2. Maximize Your Ecosystem
Harmonizing your experience and value proposition across channels is important on the front end, but it’s also critical to have a holistic and harmonized approach to your ecosystem of solutions as you build out capabilities and processes you might not have supported before. Make sure that the website folks work with the CRM administrators; that product management works with marketing, etc., so that a cohesive and collaborative customer engagement strategy emerges. Just like your customers will likely engage in multiple channels, they’ll move across your ecosystem as they go from a lead to a customer.
The convergence and expanding adoption of CPQ, CRM, and Commercial Excellence solutions means that what lives in each module might vary from enterprise to enterprise, but the value that can be delivered through a thoughtful architecture can’t be overlooked. It’s one of the reasons CPQ has evolved from configuring complex manufactured products to serving a wide range of uses, supporting other customer-facing processes with the relevant underlying logic and intelligence.
3. Don’t Overlook Commercial Basics
A beautiful suite of E-Commerce, CRM, CPQ, and pricing solutions is nothing but decoration if the underlying commercial logic doesn’t reflect your business and sales realities. Proper segmentation and optimized, dynamic pricing will dramatically improve your overall performance, no matter what channel your sales come through.
As the velocity of digital commerce continues to increase, so must your pricing and quoting to maintain a competitive edge on your competition. Get IDC’s recent Price Optimization Vendor Assessment to see how they dissect the value gained by adopting a pricing optimization solution and key criteria to consider when evaluating potential vendors.