B2B companies aren’t new to the e-commerce game, but many of them find several challenges when it comes to persuading their clients to buy online and they don’t manage to reach significant benefits from their digital sales points.
In this new era, order generation, credit line possibilities and multi-level approval processes are the main differential points in the sales process to a company client.
Nevertheless, although there are and always will be differences between the B2B and B2C marketing world, the pandemic has shortened the distance while the same companies that we are selling to are adapting to selling to their own customers online.
Success can be found not in forcing typical selling channels and growing as the market adapts but in acknowledging we are transforming and facilitating this change.
Replicating the traditional process online
Companies are composed of people. Decision-makers in the B2B world are usually well versed in online shopping in their personal spheres.
Before, calling and coordinating a proposal or a meeting was standard practice, but now they know they can find a better variety of suppliers if they search online. They will also learn more about a specific product to make a better informed decision, for example, or read a blog that talks about how that supplier thinks and works.
It was unthinkable to publish a quote online before but now it’s harder and harder to sell without adapting. And also, why wouldn’t you want to move on to digital sales? It’s practical for the buyer to be able to compare the economic proposal and receive a formal document instantly in their email to certify that quote.
By making these initial processes easier we can make our online presence known. We need to be clear and informative, efficient at the moment of presenting a quote. Everything that saves time in the decision making process will be welcome by your customer. Let’s not forget that employees themselves aren’t fans of traditional bureaucracy.
Many B2B companies think that after these research steps, a simple and eye-catching call to action at the end of the page will translate to sales. Preliminary research only saves time and helps the client better evaluate their options.
Generating B2B sales online requires more than just a webpage or a mailing list. We still need a human component.
If the client is reading our proposal, that’s the moment to mix online and offline practices. Maybe right now your customers cannot visit your store, but you sure can video chat about their options.
Self-service accompanying phase
Once a client knows the product, if we have an online shopping platform, it’s probable that their first purchase needs some help from your part. For example, an online product demo is ideal to facilitate and train the client, by accompanying him in the transition to using your self-service options from now on.
Client acquisition in the B2B world is more complex but we all know its benefits: recurrence and higher tickets. Prospecting a client with automated online tools where they find what they need to not break their established process is a scalable strategy that requires less human commercial effort through time.
On top of that, our client will trust that we are transitioning to full digital sales together with them.