What is B2B sales - 3 steps to a more successful B2B sales
B2B is a complicated transaction that always being considered to be an offline business. To maintain their business, it requires the store to pour 100% devotion to nurturing long-term relationships with other companies with frequent contact, dinners, and presents. Also, it requires the sellers to bring the top-notch experience to the client (the companies) via a dedicated sales team.
However, is it enough when the 4.0 industrialization Is taking the world by storm? I believe not.
As a businessman/ businesswoman, we need to take the initiative during this revolutionize stage. Innovation with cutting edge technology is essential to provide better service for companies.
Let’s take a step back at work and focus on the big picture!
This article is going to persuade you why eCommerce is vital for B2B business and suggestions steps to modify your business to achieve more sales.
Are you a B2B seller? Do you want to maximize the rate of success orders? Then, stay tuned for more information, as I assure the blog post will be beneficial to refresh your busy mind!
Table of Contents
- What is B2B sales?
- How technology changes the way B2B sales process?
- Why B2B should increase sales via eCommerce sites?
- Three steps to increase the success rates of B2B sales
- Example of successful B2B companies
What is B2B sales?
B2B is an abbreviation for “business to business”. It is different from business to customer (B2C) transaction or business to government (B2G) transaction.
B2B sales, according to Investopedia, is the activities that happen when a business selling their products or services to another company. B2B sellers provide a vast range of products and services, including:
- Maintain distribution relationships with large or chain retailers.
- Provide goods for organizations (schools, businesses, nonprofits).
- Manufacture sell to resellers.
For example, it can happen between a manufacturer and a wholesaler or a wholesaler and a retailer. B2B seller has to deal with more challenges than B2C sales. Increase chances in successful sales require the business to process and pave a detailed strategy with the sales team to persuade potential customers into a firm’s clients.
Unlike retailers, B2B clients are the owners of businesses. They are the professional buyers or executives who make a living by getting appealing deals to purchase in bulk. Besides, challenging buyers can be a team of decision-makers who needs to be convinced that the suitable product input. Thus, closing a deal for B2B requires consistency for improvement and changes.
How technology changes the way B2B sales process?
Unlike how B2B operation used to works, the current B2B buyers are Millennials. They don’t fax.
Based on the statistics for B2B eCommerce, 73% of people who play the role of the decision-makers in their company are Millennials. This generation prefers to do their research independently with their study instead of having a consultation. They believe that the seller only wants to close a sale rather than supports the buyer’s merits. These drastic changes can be viewed via the purchasing of the B2B buyer journey:
- Firstly, sellers need to identify the problem.
- Proceed with their research online
- Conduct research to analyze potential solutions
- Next, contacting friends for recommendations and their suggested solution as well as reviews on social media, forums, and other online sources,
- To confirm this particular reason, they can access Google to read online reviews to gain views from many perspectives.
- Even better, they can also click an ad offering a solution, finally,
- Based on all information make a buying decision, and only then
- Eventually, they will reach out to the company to complete the sale.
As you can see, these tech-savvy buyers browse the internet throughout the researching process at the essential stage. That is the reason why the old method is no longer suitable to serve Generation Y. B2B sellers must go digital now.
Why B2B should increase sales via eCommerce sites?
The potential of B2B ecommerce
Recently, the statics for B2B eCommerce continues to grow considerably. Research collected by Forrester in late 2018 has calculated the ecommerce market worth $1.134 trillion, which is higher than the expected forecast made in 2017 with 954 billion dollars. In the total B2B sales of the US, B2B eCommerce turnover occupied a significant amount of 12% that year. In the future, this figure estimated to increase by 17% in the year 2023.
The main reason that leads to this strong growth is the ideal environment of the internet. It helps businesses to find product conveniently when comparing different B2B sellers. This time-saving method is perfect to create a long-term transaction between businesses. Websites will be a valuable research resource to learn more about the company as well as its products. Besides, the available knowledge provided by B2B sites will be handy information to make the B2B transaction easier.
With frequent exposed to customers via offline as well as online will be an excellent opportunity to increase and maintain the number of prospects for the B2B firms.
Tailor to serve Generation Y
The Millennial generation has the chance to interact with computers since their childhood. That is the reason why 68% of B2B buyers tend to search online. They have the power to do independent research with social media and visit provider’s sites for primary resources.
With the significant change in the customer’s buying process, the sellers have to develop online. B2B firms need to provide constant innovation to match the customer requirements in a long term basis. Only when making continuous changing, the firm can have the chance to enlarge their business size and find new customers.
If B2B owners stay loyal to the old school buying process, businesses will remain stagnant with a gradual downturn in market share.
Three steps to increase the success rates of B2B sales
As the B2B prospect is becoming more technology-oriented, sellers need to follow and regularly make exposure with them. Maybe you haven’t visualized how you can increase the success rate of the store. So I would like to suggest a strategy for you to try it out and pave a new communication path to connect with prospects.
Step 1: Develop sites
Marketing for B2B prospects with online media
In the first step, the store must keep in mind what is most important for the stores. It is the client’s experience which is one of the similar points between B2B and B2C eCommerce. But B2B prospects are on a different level. They are not individual buyers who start to learn about the products. They are the ones who trained to become professional negotiators.
Therefore, you need to research about the buying patterns of top customer personas. Customer persona will be the common traits of your group of customers. To gain this critical insight, the store needs to spend time to research the reorder time when they replenish the order stock.
For instance, businesses likely to reorder your product after a specific period. You need to keep in mind and run promotions for the store in the third month beforehand so they can have two months for reorder.
Hide price for ecommerce stores
There is a common belief that every online store has to be transparent in price. That is the reason why some B2B brands feel reluctant to sell their items online. For B2B corporation, pricing is one of the crucial information that the store needs to disclose and protect from the curiosity of other B2B competitors.
This difficulty can be solved simply with the assistance of the up-to-date extension. That is the reason why Mageplaza support you with Hide Price extension to conceal product price to visitors. With some simple settings, buyers can log in, send a quote to the store, or make a direct phone call.
Avoid cold online ordering
Online ordering is one of the causes that prevent stores from selling online. B2B businesses are created based on a long term commitment, as the sellers will frequently strengthen the relationship with them via phone calls, meetings, visits,…Therefore, when comparing online with direct phone calls for orders, the online seems to be cold with less human interaction.
However, the supported technology can bring reverse effects. The modern 24/7 chat system supports sellers to replied via simple text on your phone or any option with available communication channels. This will help the store to respond to the client’s queries faster.
Instead of worrying about the level of interaction, the store should focus more on the response time. It is because the slow response is the primary reason that customers complaint about B2B businesses when online ordering came into the picture. Based on reliable research from McKinsey&Company, 42 % of online B2B buyers will prefer finding other providers when the firm takes too much time to respond to hard questions.
Furthermore, sellers can encourage bulk buyers to contact and bargain for the best price. The owner can customize the store portal to show a different suggestion which is the Suggest You Price button to make a deal and discuss for an appealing price. The button will keep the customer concern with the products. To learn more about the product function, you can visit Mageplaza Name your Price.
With B2B customers, the sellers need to custom order more carefully, when comparing with B2C businesses. The orders can be provided at a different price which depends on the customer group.
For Magento 2, the page order process is designed specifically for retail stores rather than prioritizing wholesalers. Thus, the purchasing experience for retail buyers can sometimes cause discomfort for bulk buyers.
For instance, the typical process of buying the product requires customers to encounter multiple steps, including searching, selecting, and adding to cart to checkout. While it is essential for retail shoppers, the process is excessive for wholesales buyers as they will purchase multiple times with the same order.
With Quick Order, the store can categorize the buyers into different groups to allow customer purchase order separately on a particular page. Here is where the bulk buyers experience is improved with extension Quick Order:
Step 2 Educate customers with content
Content is the fuel for your online sales and lead generation engine. The same goes for bulk buyers, content which contributes to helping buyers purchase faster. For example, the store can focus on creating resources such as blogs, specs, tools, purchasing guides, video.
Also, the store needs to motivate customers from purchasing offline to online. While the Millenials adapt well with new changes, Baby Boomers and X Generation generation will gradually transfer power to younger ones. Businesses need to introduce the online channel to prospect with detail, highlight the benefits to migrating and reply to the customer queries. So the companies need to add in sections:
- How to guides
- Merits of the migrations
Step 3 Apply Omnichannel e-Commerce
B2B needs to step up their game as they are not the only provider of this market. Harsh competitors will also appear online. Therefore, businesses need to build better or similar experience by integrating systems.
With strong omnichannel capabilities, stores can retain customers better. Simple easy-to-use websites will be an excellent weapon for the stores to increase customer loyalty and purchase more. To further explain, statistics from Pedowits Group will be most suitable:
- 80% of customers willing to buy when stores have detailed information on products and friendly websites.
- 75% of buyers would like to come back to the stores which have innovative omnichannel.
- 30% higher in lifetime value is witnessed in omnichannel shoppers when compared with stores which have one channel.
- 98% of US workers switch to different devices in a day.
These figures show that customers are getting more demanding than ever before. The hit or miss experience on eCommerce will no longer be accepted. They expected a professional system with an omnichannel experience.
In addition, This ecommerce system will provides you full functionality to keep track of buyers behavior, especially the frequent bulk buyers. Information including shopping patterns and client’s reorder points will be recorded. These data will be the ground base to conduct effective strategies, tactics to maximize business profits. The marketing promotions will set at a suitable time for customers to reorder.
Example of successful B2B companies
Alibaba is an excellent example in the ecommerce business for wholesale. The firm achieved 18 million buyers and gathered sellers from 240 countries. Jackma founded the firm in 1999 and now has become number 1 global eCommerce website. They provide a rich interface which helps buyers to navigate with ease right at the first time they arrive at the sites. The search box located in a clear view and draws attention.
Their B2B portal works as a middleman between B2B buyers and sellers. Their website provides a simple but useful experience for suppliers to promote their product. The outstanding functions include search engines, link engine, trade manager, e-shop, forums, and live help.
Also rather than displaying the Add to cart button, it is replaced with the Contact Supplier button and Chat Now button to encourage direct contact with the suppliers.
Besides, the information of the business featured in detail with company profile, product details, and supply ability. Also, buyers can make sure that the market is genuine with transaction details added to the supplier page.
Once again, direct contact to suppliers is suggested at the end of the product page to motivate buyers to initiate a discussion to create a quotation.
After the thrive of the online business retail, it is time for B2B ecommerce to emerge and increase their market share. The critical point of this development is customer experience, customer loyal. Business needs to take advantage of modern technology to modify the industry to serve their prospects better.
It is the end of my suggestion to increase successful B2B sales. I hope you can contribute some comments to improve this content.