B2B buyers want digital tools supported by human sales reps, industry webinar reveals
Customer experience is emerging as a top driver of growth and brand differentiation for B2B eCommerce merchants in the post-pandemic world, industry experts from eCommerce pioneer Oro conclude in a newly released webinar featuring global research and advisory leader Forrester. Enterprise buyers are increasingly expecting B2C-grade experiences across all stages of the purchasing journey, creating both challenges and opportunities for B2B brands.
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Delivering compelling B2B eCommerce experiences doesn’t mean doing away with sales reps, guest speaker, Forrester senior analyst Joe Cicman explains in the webinar. In fact, according to the 2020 Forrester report, Winning The New B2B Buyer, self-service eCommerce accounted for only 18% of B2B sales in 2019, compared with 42% of sales that still required sales reps. Not all B2B products are ready for self-service buying, with B2B buying committees requiring assistance from knowledgeable, experienced sales reps to make the right choices as they purchase complex B2B products.
Delivering hybrid experiences that allow buyers to self-educate by giving them instant access to salient information, but also to quickly and easily request support from human sales reps, requires a new approach to selling. The key, Cicman argues, is to “enable reps to be great through digital” by adopting robust and adaptable platforms that bring commerce, digital selling, and experience management under a single solution, and that provide the support that new B2B eCommerce sellers need to succeed.
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Empowering sales reps to excel at digital commerce requires certain key tools and platform features, adds Yoav Kutner, CEO and co-founder of Oro, Inc. Among the core features that sales reps need: online quoting and order negotiation, leads and opportunity management, and an integrated CRM that provides a complete overview of all marketing, sales and customer support engagements.
Such capabilities helped Animal Supply Co., one of the country’s largest pet food distributors, to reinvent its customer experience. After integrating its eCommerce operations using OroCommerce, the seller saw a 19% year-on-year increase in digital sales, and was able to double its peak sales volume without impacting performance. The brand’s successful digital transformation led over 200 customers who previously placed offline orders to switch to online purchasing.
“The world of B2B eCommerce is changing, and merchants need powerful digital platforms that can deliver extraordinary customer experiences,” explains Kutner. “We built OroCommerce from the ground up to serve the B2B community, and to empower sales reps rather than to replace them. By empowering reps to bring their talents online, and to work with greater scale and efficiency, we’re enabling B2B sellers to forg long-lasting customer relationships.”
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