Keeping up with the new B2B buyer

Posted in B2B sales & distribution.

For online B2B companies things seem to be on the up. According to Frost and Sullivan, the B2B online industry will be worth nearly $12 trillion globally by 2020, growth of almost 8% over five years. This positive trend is mainly due to the evolving B2B customer. They are more switched on than ever. They know how to do their research and how to find highly-rated products. In this quick-changing environment B2B companies cannot sit back, they need to be clever about sales, products, and most importantly, the way in which they use technology. There simply aren’t any more excuses for not jumping on the fast moving technology train. So how will B2B companies keep up with the changing face of the B2B buyer?

Stay connected

For starters, to keep up with these tech-savvy buyers consider integrating an endless aisle approach. The endless aisle concept comes from traditional shops where if you don’ find what you’re looking for on the shelf, they can order it in for you. This concept have been adapted for virtual stores where buyers have instant access to a range of different products via an electronic product catalogue. If an item is out of stock, customers can request to be notified as soon as it becomes available again. The customer then receives instant updates via email or text to inform them when said item is back in stock. You can also use your mailing list or social media platform to announce updates on stock availability or new products. It’s all about keeping customers updated, informed, and letting them know how soon their orders can be shipped. Most importantly for B2B companies is to have a platform in place that works seamlessly across devices. Whether on a tablet, pc, or mobile phone, the new B2B customer needs to feel connected and wants to be updated at all times.

Effective data analysis

The next step to staying current and in touch with your B2B customers is to effectively use sales data. You need to keep up with what your business is selling and who are you selling to. What are your best sellers? And, what is trending right now? A good sales analysis program will keep you in the know. Sales analysis is not just a great tool to see what sells and what doesn’t, it can also predict sales trends. Through clever analytics you can plan efficiently to keep products that are on trend and selling fast in stock, all the time notifying customers about availability. Data analysis can further enhance the buyer experience by making positive suggestions for future sales. Think of ways to integrate sales data knowledge to upsell. A simple example is to make active suggestions for customers, once an item has been selected, use “Suggestions for you” to steer buyers into the right direction. If the buyer can see an add-on item for a specific item they will often purchase it together. Let your data analysis show you the way.