Irrespective of industry, B2B businesses are rapidly moving into the world of ecommerce. Globally, the percentage of B2B businesses that conduct transactions online is increasing exponentially every year.
Therefore, the digital revolution is much needed in the sphere of B2B commerce. However, the recent trends of B2B business people mirroring the B2C online business model will not work. B2B enterprises will have to come up with a unique model as scaffolding to step into the world of the Internet because the needs and interests of their clients are unique and quite different from regular, end-product consumers.
B2B transactions are typically a lot more complex than those on Amazon or Flipkart. They require customized pricing and precise details, which call for a different kind of business model. According to Forrester Consulting, “B2B businesses need enterprise-wide solutions that streamline a complex buying journey.”
B2B stepped into the world of ecommerce by digitizing product catalogues. However, that works only for low-value products (such as office stationery), and doesn’t really work well for high-value, low-volume products that require modifications and price flexibility (like machinery).
Where Does CRM Come In?
CRM has a lot to contribute to the successful digitization of B2B commerce, but it still needs significant modification, as the CRM used by B2C enterprises cannot always be directly transferred successfully to the B2B sphere. While CRM does help in automating some parts of the transaction, the process is not always simplified for the customer. B2C-centric CRM in B2B transactions creates an unfulfilled buying experience for the client, who still has to manually call the vendor and wait a long time for the product.
CRM needs to be restructured bottom-up to fulfill the distinctive needs of B2B businesses. One of the biggest advances in this field is the development of configure-price-quote (CPQ) software. Some of the ways in which this software is invaluable for B2B companies are:
- Optimization of prices in real-time
- Efficient guidance in buying and selling
- Elevated customer experience
Salespeople are now free to better strategize deals and market their products as they no longer have to plod through the technical nitty-gritty of the transaction. This makes the entire process a lot more efficient and error-free.
One of the major differences between B2B and B2C transactions is that in B2B business, prices are never fixed. Arriving at the price of a product or service is quite an involved process. The customer, the deal, proper underwriting and availability of capital, data processing, and the people in charge play a huge role in determining the final value of the product. Because of this, it has been quite difficult to actually bundle up all the functions neatly into an app for customers to use.
With the rise in demand for a digitized and seamless transaction experience, innovators are developing near-instantaneous underwriting and valuation software with the help of artificial intelligence and machine writing. The waiting time required for accurate pricing has now reduced drastically, and customers, vendors, and lenders are able to make very quick decisions about the flow of capital.
Why CRM would be Invaluable for B2B ecommerce?
CRM makes scouting the worth of customers much easier, as it processes significant data a lot more easily and allows salespeople to analyze potential customers accurately and strategize their level of engagement with those customers. It, of course, radically increases the efficiency of doing business, as decision-making is a lot more data-driven and objective than before.
New innovations in the field of digital marketing and B2B business have the potential to considerably turn around the way B2B enterprises conduct transactions. This will herald a new era of seamless, efficient, and easy buying and selling, which will then directly influence the ease of B2C business.