Forrester forecasts that US B2B e-commerce will reach $1.8 trillion and account for 17% of all B2B sales in the US by 2023. With that said, are you prepared to succeed with B2B eCommerce?
We have noticed from talking with manufacturers, whole distributors and the like, they feel they have done a nice job on the sales front. They have a solid team of sales folks that have established very good relationships with their customers. We would say they have! The common theme we also hear is that there isn’t much expansion of sales into those customers regarding new products. In other words, not much cross sell. Quite frankly it’s hard. We also hear that it takes just about as much time to care for the lower revenue clients as it does the higher revenue clients. You know, the 80/20 rule. 80% of revenues come from 20% of the clients.
Many of those we speak with regarding implementation of an e-commerce channel share concern over the impact to their sales staff, the customer relationships that have been developed over the years, and ultimately the potential negative impact to those customers. It is understandable if you are thinking the e-commerce channel is a replacement. Instead, it should be thought of as an additional channel benefiting clients and the sales staff. If our client can buy more through another channel, but we still get commissioned, it’s a win-win.
In this unusual time of covid-19, sales staff are not in a position to go see their clients; take them golfing or on a fishing trip. Kind of hard to wine and dine right now. Sales staff are concerned and rightly so. However, they do what they can to continue to foster those relationships.
An e-commerce channel would enable your sales staff to offer commerce 24x7. An e-commerce channel could help drive cross-sell/up-sell. All benefiting your elite sales staff. And by the way, also provide a self-service capability for those lower revenue clients that currently demand time from the sales staff that could be diverted to the higher revenue clients.
In summary, an e-commerce channel can benefit both your clients and your sales staff if presented the right way. Yes, the sales staff will be reluctant, but if they recognize it is just a tool in their tool belt that can help drive an increase in revenues, they will embrace it. Your clients might be reluctant, but if they see that their relationships with your elite sales team isn’t at risk, they will embrace it. Dunn Solutions recognizes B2B sales has some uniqueness like quoting, POs, approval processes, large catalogs (many skus), and the like. Fortunately todays’ B2B eCommerce platforms provide for this uniqueness.
So what I am trying to say, prepare yourself to grab your share of the $1.8 trillion because B2B E-Commerce + Sales Reps = Success! Contact Dunn Solutions today to discuss how we can get your B2B commerce project started!