Make Sales to Businesses as Effective as Sales to Consumers

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on March 11, 2011

Large businesses such as Amazon, Dell, and OfficeMax use e-commerce for business-related transactions, so why not use it for yours as well? With more users online than ever before, your customers expect to be able to buy what they want, when they want, and more important, how they want.

At its core, e-commerce translates into instantly available, comparable, and configurable products and services. With price quotes, contract renewals, and comparisons available at the business buyers’s fingertips, B2B e-commerce opens up new opportunities for companies to initiate the buying process. Here are some things to remember:

1. Incorporate the human touch of your B2B sales rep into the system. When you are ready to add e-commerce, keep in mind that it should create a new platform for customers and sales reps to connect. Personalize the platform with pictures, bios, and functionality to allow customers to stay in touch with their rep.

2. Train the customer on the B2B system to drive adoption. Help your customers help themselves. Send introductory e-mails, set-up short webinars, and include clear instructions that explain how to quickly and easily use your new B2B e-commerce system.

3. Incorporate B2B incentives to drive adoption. Incentives are an easy way to drive a higher adoption rate. Consider adding discounts for e-commerce-processed renewals and reorders. Similarly, new customers can receive first-time buyer credits to be used on their next e-commerce transaction to encourage continued use.

4. Engage end customers to understand their B2B needs and benefits. If you want your customers to buy, you need to understand what they need and how your products and services can address those needs. That’s pretty basic. If they are buying online, you can track how they shop, what they look at, and what they ultimately buy. By understanding their needs and their shopping patterns, you learn to be more successful with your B2B sales.

Godard Abel
Chief Executive Officer
BigMachines
Chicago

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