eCommerce Tips

Satisfying Stakeholders: Making B2B eCommerce Work For Your Entire Team

By Josh O'Connell on August, 27 2018

Pretty young woman making a decision with arrows and question mark above her head

As B2B and wholesale eCommerce websites become increasingly important to your business, the various stakeholders inside your organization become more demanding in turn, as their various needs and their ability to be resolved with your website become important. Fortunately, the right solutions, like Zoey, are able to adapt to fulfill the various needs within your organization.

Today we’ll look at some of the stakeholders inside your business, and things you should consider when selecting a B2B eCommerce solution to make their job roles more successful and efficient.

Sales - Streamlined Order Creation and Tracking

My conversations with some B2B businesses have shown a tension between making eCommerce more accessible to customers and the role of the salesperson. The fear is that eCommerce sites allow customers to take a more self-service role than they could in the past, and it may reduce the need or effectiveness of a sales team accordingly.

But while that may be true in some cases, the right B2B eCommerce solution an actually enhance a salesperson’s effectiveness. Many businesses that cover large territories (say, a business that sells throughout the United States) may have struggled to reach more rural areas where businesses are less concentrated, and were therefore forced to leave business behind by focusing on more profitable and concentrated area like the east and west coast. This is where an eCommerce platform can empower salespeople.

One key feature that can be beneficial for salespeople is a quotes engine that allows for salespeople either on the ground or virtually (via phone or email) to set up a draft order that customers can approve and complete instantly, streamlining the ability to get orders from salespeople processed and completed.

Having sales from your sales team flow through the eCommerce system will also help with streamlining reporting and attribution, since all sales are going through one system. And with an eCommerce system that can be tied to other company systems, the data can easily flow to fulfillment, ERP, CRM, accounting and more.

Finally, as many salespeople have assigned clients or territories, an eCommerce system that can silo salespeople to only see their customers and their orders can help keep them focused and provide a helpful filter to focusing in on the data that matters.

Marketing - Leverage Your Site Successfully

A B2B eCommerce site that assists marketers takes advantage of promotional opportunities to get customers to take an action. At the most basic level, it’s registering for a mailing list to keep updated, and having the capability to put call out for subscriptions in the right ways can go a long way.

On a deeper level, it helps to have a platform where it’s easy to embed tracking snippets or pixels from various marketing tools so they can properly track how a campaign is doing. Bonus points go to solutions that can show marketing results within their analytics dashboard, making it easier to see everything that’s going on in a store and which campaigns are most successful.

Analytics more broadly is a key feature for marketers, so they can see how customers are shopping, who is responding to their efforts, and who they may need to re-engage with to get them shopping with you again. Being able to see what products are selling and why, and which customers are buying and why, will lead to more sophisticated marketing campaigns that can drive sales more effectively.

Finally, marketers need a solution that can manage their promotional needs, to be able to properly implement the coupon codes and discount models that they need to make their promotions successful. And a solution that makes getting marketing assets up easily and without a developer is a plus, as they can work with autonomy and be able to be quicker to the draw if they have an opportunity to leverage.

Customer Service - Focused, Targeted Support

For customer service representatives, there’s a few aspects of an eCommerce solution that is critical for success. One aspect is the ease of being able to input orders (or quotes, if it requires customer approval) into the system via the administration area. eCommerce solutions have these capabilities generally speaking, but some are designed with customer service in mind and can make them more productive when optimized properly.

Another is the ability to customize the administration area views - agents generally have certain types of information that prove more helpful than others, and being able to save a view that’s most productive for them can help them be more efficient when working with customers. For stores that assign reps to certain accounts, it can similarly help to have the ability to filter the views to only show customers and orders assigned to that customer service agent, just like it would for salespeople.

Finally, eCommerce platforms have the potential to integrate with chat and phone software to display information about each customer when working with them, so you don’t have to bounce around in different systems. Having a central dashboard with all the information at a representative’s fingertips is another great workflow optimization option.

Fulfillment - Ship Orders Quickly and Easily

The reality for most businesses is the eCommerce solution is not where fulfillment takes place. There’s a variety of reasons for this, from the diverse nature of how many ways items can be delivered to a customer, from freight and LTL on the B2B side to courier when it comes to local delivery. Some businesses have multiple warehouses where orders need to be routed; others are shipping out of the backroom of a physical store location.

As a result, many businesses will have tools or solutions they tie to their eCommerce solution to make fulfilling orders easier. At the eCommerce solution level, having the ability to determine what information is captured at the time of order is a critical component, so that wherever fulfillment is taking place, all of the information is available and ready for processing.

An eCommerce solution that can easily pass data in and out via APIs or apps also has an advantage, as it ensures that merchants can pass orders to their system of choice and receive back information like order updates and tracking information. It helps to look at what type of integrations a solution supports, whether it be dedicated shipping solutions like ShipStation or links to a system like an ERP to be able to manage and process orders.

For Everyone - A Way to Hide What’s Not Needed

With the various roles of your team logging in to the same eCommerce store, what can help tie it all together is an access level feature that can show or hide various parts of the administration area based on what user role is working. A customer service agent doesn’t need to access the marketing tools, for instance, and a marketer may not need to access billing and payment types.

Modern eCommerce solutions can allow a merchant to grant access to only the relevant areas of an eCommerce solution based on job role, both simplifying the admin for each user to what they need day-to-day, and also tucking away information that job role does not need to access to do their jobs.

See How Zoey Helps Your Entire Team

Zoey knows the importance of satisfying the needs of your various stakeholders within the company. Request a walkthrough of our platform to see how we’ve made tools that work for each team member:

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