The Trellis video series continues today as we dive into the side of eCommerce that is grossly overlooked by many players in the space: Business-to-Business (B2B). Trellis CEO Isaiah Bollinger has always urged businesses to pay more mind to B2B transactions. The market is more than twice as large leaving the greater potential for growth and market seizure than the direct to consumer counterpart. The eCommerce world is a cutthroat industry due to the low barrier to entry creating high levels of competition. This leaves businesses with the opportunity to differentiate themselves either with a superior product or superior operations. Isaiah tackles the latter and shares insight to capture the most value for your B2B business.
At Trellis, we constantly talk about the vision for a brand. It is integral that a brand is cognizant of its goals and is understanding of the way to achieve them. A company with no plan will not succeed but deciding on this strategy is no easy feat. Trellis analyzes the brand’s past to help formulate a custom-tailored strategy to best prepare for the future. Looking down the line long term will help solidify your vision and ensure that is attainable over the next 5-10 years. Always leave room for growth and emphasize the need for scalability over time. If you do not want to grow bigger and bigger, you are in the wrong game.
Sales Rep vs Account Manager
In the past, sales could simply be attributed to a numbers game. The more people you call, the more opportunities for closes and sales you have. Salesmen were often seen as impersonal and selfish looking out for themselves as they become willing to say anything to get the deal done. However, in today’s world, the antiquated sales strategy certainly will not get you very far. We believe that your “sales reps” should transition into “account managers” and “sales consultants”. Most people can find a lot of information about what they might want to buy on their online, and they really need a consultant to help them go one level deeper and account management to keep them engaged and buying more. Now, simply changing the title of your employee will not modify your sales results but altering the culture and attitude in which your sales employees perform is the key.
The old sales game left reps trying to convince their potential clients to join them in any manner they could. They had one goal in mind: to get you onboard any way possible. This often resulted in clients buying a product because of a twisted arm. These sales still count towards your bottom line but will not be as fruitful over the lifetime of your business. The most fruitful clients are those that reorder and renew the relationship over and over again. Maximizing the tenure of your clients will create a higher value for all parties. Encourage your sales staff to foster relationships over sales. The numbers will follow and create even more business in the long run.
When it comes to sales optimization, your website must be efficient, effective, and fully functional in order to capture value out of your new b2b operation. Your website is an extension of your team. It is an operational tool that can be used to guide your customers through the sales process. In the old days, sales reps would serve this function. However, a website that is set up well can check all the boxes that a rep formerly would have done. All product information can be listed on the site and anything that cannot be found on the site will then be diverted to a sales rep. Reducing your sales reps’ workload on the backend will allow them to spend more time curating the relationships that will keep your business growing for years to come.
Sales are not sexy from a birds-eye view. However, client relationship management is a complex game that requires a nuanced approach and finesse. The sales team should serve as a liaison between your website’s operational hub and the customers that use it. These liaisons are there to answer any questions but more importantly ensure the client is satisfied and their order is fulfilled without a hitch. The best and largest eCommerce players have already adopted this business strategy and the results have been tremendous. Any player that wants to be taken seriously in this space should consider a redesign of their sales process.
- Optimize your Site – This is no simple feat and requires constant attention and care. We could talk about this for days. Contact Trellis or check out our other blogs to get started.
- Create Sales Liaisons and create a culture that fosters long-lasting relationships