Starting a B2B eCommerce is not a simple thing, it is not enough to put products online and wait for orders.
When starting a B2B eCommerce, companies need to create many new roles and the risk of failure is always present. The main problem at this early stage is to balance online resources and external resources, to be used in outsourcing.
It is difficult for a company to have experience and expertise within the organization. Achieving efficiency and obtaining incomes and incremental profits thanks to eCommerce is an exciting prospect, but it takes a long time to develop. Patience is the first virtue to be learned.
If your company is planning to launch a B2B eCommerce for the near future, consider an approach that includes several development steps to be applied to both online commerce and organizational structure.
How to create an efficient and well-oiled machine in B2B eCommerce?
Here are four tactics you can use to create an efficient organization that protects success in online B2B sales …
Start with a solid plan
Success begins with a solid plan, carefully considered to give a clear idea of revenue and growth potential. Before doing anything else, it is necessary to model a project, understand what to do and build a plan that works.
- Who are the target customers, considering both the adoption of current customers and the new opportunities for acquiring potential customers available through eCommerce?
- How this project fits into your current sales organization?
- What platform do you plan to use and how do you interact with existing procedures?
The plan must contain very specific stages, with actions to be taken along the way.
The project must be broken down into feasible pieces – with 3-month, 6-month, one-year goals, with the warning to have a longer-term vision to put everything in a very precise context.
Avoid doing too much right away, because performance anxiety is the sure recipe for failure.
If the needs of a B2B eCommerce channel are not understood, there are no successful cases to copy or model. It is essential not to skip this step that begins immediately.
Leadership is critical
You cannot expect your B2B eCommerce to succeed if there is no strong leadership from the company.
After all, there are key decisions that need to be made and that have a strong impact with the entire organization, existing processes that need to be updated, new work relationships, new internal and external collaborations to start.
It means that the top management of the company must be involved and aware.
It also means spending before seeing collections and remuneration, even if only to understand if eCommerce is the new and correct channel for your company. Also in this case the awareness of the upper floors of the company and a long-term vision that incorporates the global strategy is needed.
B2C models can be a starting point
We don’t start completely from scratch. The B2C eCommerce organizational model provides an excellent framework from which to take inspiration. Be careful, however, that this framework needs to evolve to incorporate the specificity of B2B sales such as …
- The use of the sales force (B2B is not sold without a sales force)
- Planning of purchases and product supplies
- The importance of content
- The complexity of price models
- The specificity of customer care
- The delivery of the product, the collection of the product by the customer, deliveries or split withdrawals, all elements peculiar to B2B
The definition of the team and the roles evolves with the growth of the collections and this evolution follows the examples of B2C. But the internal contact points and the structure of the collaboration between parts of the company is very different from the B2C eCommerce.
B2C experts are useful
In seeking new people and new skills for the B2B project, it is useful to have a B2C experience because he has already worked, has experience and skills. You must mix these experiences with your product knowledge.
Deep knowledge is needed in digital commerce, online marketing, web merchandising, eCommerce technologies, even if you do not yet have a complete understanding of the products or the nuances of B2B sales.
Patience, patience and more patience.
You don’t build an eCommerce engine in one night and you don’t achieve success in the morning when you wake up
Like everything else in business, success comes with a combination of hard work, patience and invested money.
Either one adheres to these principles that cannot be derogated or it combines very little indeed
With good planning and hard work, you will reap the rewards of invested sweat.