Making Technology Work for Your Sales Team

Today’s blog post is an excerpt from our recently revised eBook, The Changing Landscape of B2B Commerce, which is filled with suggestions and ideas for businesses looking to transform themselves to a more modern, more efficient digital technology stack.

This excerpt focuses on how digital solutions can support your sales team, in particular salespeople working with customers remotely or out in the field. Ideally, your toolkit includes both web and mobile app capabilities, and both can support your sales team. This excerpt looks at both scenarios.

Website as a Salesperson Tool

Many B2B eCommerce businesses have salespeople who interact directly with customers. Some salespeople fear the self-service nature of eCommerce as potentially taking away their job role, but when used properly, an eCommerce site can actually empower salespeople and help them become more efficient, allowing them to help more customers and drive more sales.

The key to the website for salespeople is tools to help collaborate with customers whether in person or remotely, and helping to get customers to convert more frequently and efficiently. Here are some ways a B2B eCommerce website can be built to support a salesperson:

Tablet/Mobile Friendly

This is important when you have salespeople out in the field working with customers. If your website is responsive and optimized for mobile devices, including tablets, it can facilitate the conversation and the creation of orders and quotes on the spot.

Order Approval

When an on-site visit isn’t practical or possible, the website can bridge the gap between salesperson and customer.

A salesperson can log into the administration area to process the order for a customer, or create a quote or draft order to send to a customer for review and approval. Salespeople with customers who place regular orders can proactively send draft orders or quotes for a customer to edit or approve as well.

Stay Connected

Offering a simple and effective way for customers to reach out to your sales and/or customer service teams with inquiries or needs can keep your customers feeling connected and accessible to you. Various tools, many times pioneered by B2C eCommerce, can guide the way when it comes to these capabilities, such as support ticket systems, online chat or VOIP phone systems with customer support capabilities.

Generate Sales Quotes

Sometimes buyers need to review pricing and orders with other team members, or wish to confirm the details, before finalizing an order. Sales Quotes can act as an approval step, sending a draft order to buyers and letting them complete the conversion to an order immediately when they’re ready to move forward.

Sales Rep App as a Sales Tool

Another modernization of salesperson tools has been the introduction of a Sales Rep App that focuses the functionality on what salespeople need to work with customers wherever they are, whether at home taking a phone call or on the go.

There are a few key aspects and benefits of such an approach over simply leaning on an eCommerce website.

Product Info and Pricing

Be able to pull up product information and customer specific pricing while talking with buyers to have the latest, most accurate information available.

Create Orders and Sales Quotes

Salespeople can build orders or sales quotes for their buyers on the app in a quick and efficient manner, making it easier to capture buyers’ needs in real time. This reduces data entry errors caused by transcribing orders from other sources and gets the order into the system faster.

Save Carts for Later

You can start an order and put it down if a customer isn’t ready to finish things up, and come back to it when things are finished. This ensures that you don’t have to start over, or take notes that could be lost or lead to mistakes later.

Online or Offline Functionality

Salespeople can look up information and accept orders even when in a limited connectivity area such as a conference salesfloor or more rural areas with less dependable service. The app can sync to submit orders and pull down the latest product information when service improves.

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