How to Implement B2B eCommerce Without Alienating Your Sales Team

Gian Genovesi

implement_alienate.pngSo, you have built up the necessary support and the leadership team is on board with launching an eCommerce site for your B2B organization. Congratulations! But what about the sales team?

Any B2B organization deploying an eCommerce site that forgets its sales personnel is asking for trouble. These team members deserve more than a bit of recognition for establishing accounts that will likely be the end users of that eCommerce site you’re deploying.

So, how can you implement a successful B2B eCommerce site without alienating the sales team? Be sure to engage them and communicate the benefits of these new tools.

Engage the Sales Team

In a B2B environment, the sales team can often see the new eCommerce site as both the competition and as a “toy” for the IT department to play with. Of course, neither assumption is correct, and both views can be contagious and dangerous within your organization.

Given this, the project team must engage the sales team early and often in order to rally their support for the new site. We have found that once the sales team understands how the site will align with corporate goals and how it can help them specifically, the sales team will embrace the project.  

Poor communication of the strategy to the sales team will result in limited support from them, and ultimately a lower rate of adoption from existing customers.

Communicate the Benefits of the New Tools for the Sales Team

A fully integrated B2B eCommerce site brings with it several new tools and strategies that can improve the lives of the sales team. A new eCommerce site replaces the cumbersome traditional order entry model, where the sales team captures the order from the customer and enters the details into the ERP system. This was typically done by talking via phone with the CSR team, entering the orders, or by faxing handwritten order forms to the home office.

The sales team can still leverage order entry as needed on behalf of the customer, but now the salesperson utilizes the eCommerce engine to place orders for the customer, typically while visiting with the customer or while on the phone with them. The advantage of this scenario is that the sales team is leveraging the same systems as the customer and can see any other orders that the customer has placed.

Finally, once the sales team is using the eCommerce tool for placing orders, then the organization can use the eCommerce tool for marketing to the sales team on behalf of the customer. In this scenario, the cross-sell/up-sell functionality is geared more towards the sales person, rather than the customer. This helps to ensure that the sales team is made aware of all the latest promotions at the exact time they need to know them: when they are placing an order for a customer. This also helps new members of the sales team by educating them as they are working with their customers.

All of these tools allow the sales team to spend more time facilitating relationships with customers, which is a significant benefit to any organization.

Are you ready to implement a B2B eCommerce solution for your organization? Contact our talented team to start. 

Learn more about B2B eCommerce Success

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