Every serious B2B business now has a webshop. We observe that these businesses are increasingly setting ‘digital commerce’ as a strategic goal. The underlying goals here are:
In practice, it is still only a relatively small percentage (10-30%) of B2B turnover that takes place via digital commerce. Many sales are still handled by the sales team.
In addition to, and mirroring these goals, we will show how it is possible to digitalize 100% of the order process with a number of relatively simple steps.
If you do not combine your offline and online sales, you only have limited possibilities for achieving digital convenience for customers and your own organization. The use of customer data is limited in that case, for example, to only include digital commerce sales.
What if 100% of orders were to take place via the commerce platform? So, not just online orders, but if you also use the platform for all offline orders. So, you also include the deals that come in via the sales organization and/or inside sales. Then we are talking about a far-reaching digitalization of the sales and marketing organization.
The advantages are numerous. For example, reducing the load on inside sales. Customers can find all the information they need online. But also dealing with RMAs, invoicing history, etc. no longer require any administrative interventions.
However, the biggest advantage is that sales personnel can make use of the same information – for example, customer-specific pricing – which is available on the online platform.
The sales division creates quotations in the quotation tool that is specially designed for this. All the price information is available. The quotation tool enables quotations to be customized by – where necessary – giving authorized discounts in the case of large orders. For instance, following authorization by the sales manager. Within the quotation tool, the purchase prices and real-time inventory levels can also be consulted, making it possible to choose the optimal purchase conditions for each quotation.
Quotations are presented to the customer for approval. If a customer wants something changed, the seller can easily make adjustments in line with these wishes in the quotation tool. The customer always sees the latest version of the quotation in the portal. This prevents misunderstandings, which can arise if there are multiple versions of a quotation in circulation. In order to approve the quotation, the customer only has to click on the order button. From then onwards, the ‘zero-touch order process proceeds automatically. No more admin for the sales division, thereby significantly reducing the cost-to-serve. Furthermore, zero-touch ordering is fully fault-tolerant.
Outstanding quotations are saved and can be inspected. Not just by the salesperson, but also by the sales manager. Naturally, your customers also have full access to orders that have been placed, outstanding quotations, invoices, etc. Previously configured orders can easily be inspected and re-ordered. Your customer has access to all of this in his own portal. If desired, he can also manage service tickets and returns there, and find answers to questions. By offering this customer experience, customer satisfaction increases, and some of the former tasks of the sales team are dealt with automatically.
All the information relating to online and offline orders and customer data is now available to you on one platform. Not only fine for your marketing division, but also for the sales manager and potentially the CFO. No more data silos necessitating the conversion of fragmented, barely matchable data into management information.
A really useful application is that all this customer data – and customer behavior – is available for your marketing division. With the built-in marketing automation tools it is easy to roll out segmented and personalized marketing campaigns. All focused on improving conversion. Extra turnover from new customers or from up & cross-selling with existing customers.
If you decide to digitalize in this way you will not only achieve your stated goals but much more.
We are convinced that the digitalization of sales organizations will be a growing trend in the coming period. As part of this process, we aim to achieve the integration of online and offline order processes. Research has demonstrated that sales reps spend 67% of their time on administration, such as the processing of orders and handling requests for information from customers. Besides this, a large number of physical visits can be replaced by digital meetings.
Future projections by renowned bureaus such as McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, and Gartner endorse this digital commerce strategy view. For more information, see:
That is why many sales organizations are also working with us, to achieve these goals with our digital commerce platform.