There are a number of tough decisions that need to be made throughout a B2B eCommerce implementation: Which platform will you use? How will you pick your partner? How will you integrate your eCommerce site and back office? What marketing strategies will you leverage? Before you can move forward with any of these decisions, however, you need to ask yourself how you will build support for the project within your organization.
If you don’t have the support of your organization, then it doesn’t matter what platform you use or who you partner with; the project will never get off the ground. You first need to get your team on board and ready to utilize the new eCommerce implementation. In order to do that, you need to make the project strategy known and crown a champion within your organization.
Make the Strategy Known
Before your team can get on board the B2B eCommerce train, they need to know where it’s heading. Make the site’s intentions clear from the start of the project so there is no confusion as to the purpose of the project.
What is your B2B eCommerce site intended to do? Is it being implemented primarily to increase revenue, decrease costs, or improve customer experience? Whatever the reason is, make sure your team knows that the site’s primary purpose is NOT to replace their roles in the organization.
Ensure that the project aligns with your company’s mission and vision statements. Without that alignment, the project will not receive the support of the executive team, let alone the rest of the organization.
Prior proper planning allows everyone within the company to understand why the project is being done in the first place. This sets a foundation and creates alignment within the organization, so that everyone is working towards a common goal.
Crown Your Champion
Once your team is on board with the eCommerce project, you will need to name an eCommerce Manager. A B2B eCommerce project will touch almost every part of the organization: sales and marketing, operations, finance, and, especially, IT. There needs to be a champion for the B2B site within the organization to drive the project forward.
This designated project leader will ensure that the platform is nurtured and continues to grow once it has been launched. The role requires someone who is experienced with conventional sales strategies as well as utilizing digital tools and social marketing strategies in a B2B environment.
Perhaps most importantly, an eCommerce Manager must be an effective leader who can create relationships with other departments in your organization. Throughout the implementation and post-launch, the project team will need support from marketing, sales, finance, operations, and especially IT. Your eCommerce Manager should be a savvy negotiator who can garner support from the other departments, which will ensure the success of both the initial implementation and the entire B2B eCommerce initiative.
Your B2B eCommerce project preparation doesn’t stop there, however. Click below to learn five questions that need answered before starting your project.