Demystifying B2B Commerce: Part 1

July 31, 2018

Shad Stalians - Product Marketing Manager

Evolving with the B2B Buyer

If you asked your customers to describe your sales process in three words, which words would they most commonly use? Effortless? Personalized? Self-service? That’s how engagement with companies at the forefront of digital transformation are characterized. But the reality is, most businesses have overlooked how their sales process affects customer experience—and the long-term implications for their brand.

B2B sales is rapidly evolving, and buyer expectations are changing. The result: complexity is intolerable. The impact of ease and convenience that has permeated consumer buying throughout the last decade has reset the bar for what’s acceptable—and expected—in the B2B space. Business buyers expect companies to provide product and catalog access specific to their needs, unique product search capabilities on their site, granular pricing options and quoting capabilities, customized approval workflows, and variable payment options based on contracted terms—all in a self-service format.

The desire for a simplified experience is widely understood across the C-Suite, but the challenge remains that what feels complex to the customer is often compounded exponentially for internal teams, each with multiple layers of long-established, even manual processes, siloed data, workflows, and legacy—oft-disconnected—technologies. Uncertainty about where and how to begin implementing efficient, scalable processes for internal teams, which also address shifting buyer expectations, often leaves organizations stalled, struggling to identify and execute a go-forward strategy.

CloudCraze: B2B Commerce, Natively Built on Salesforce

As the digital commerce world evolves to address the disruption brought about by the demands of the B2B buyer, commerce solutions are quickly adapting to these expectations and proactively providing solutions. Salesforce is one such example that both recognizes the growing demand for offering true B2B commerce capabilities and the challenges associated with implementing that functionality efficiently and effectively.

It comes as no surprise that Salesforce decided to acquire—CloudCraze—the best-in-class B2B commerce partner built on top of the Salesforce Platform. With the same modern, scalable cloud architecture, CloudCraze is the ideal B2B commerce solution for organizations operating on Salesforce today, because it extends existing capabilities of the technology you already have without adding additional complexity. The net benefit is customers can implement a commerce strategy quickly, recognize revenue faster, and continuously innovate as necessary.

Looking Forward: It’s Not Sales or Commerce—It’s Both

As the relationship between buyer and seller evolves across the B2B landscape, many sales teams are left wondering where they fit into the future. But Salesforce’s acquisition of CloudCraze should make one thing clear: sales and commerce must coexist to successfully serve the B2B customer.

There is no single approach to how these two strategies function harmoniously. Instead, organizations need to design and solve for their own individual customer and business.

Can you identify opportunities to meet customer needs and drive efficiency, personalization, and self-service in your buying process? Developing a strategy that creates ease and convenience for your customer will enable your sales team to focus on building human relationships with customers and creating lasting loyalty. Together, the alignment of sales and commerce is where organizations will unlock new business value during this pivotal evolution.

Want to learn more about aligning your sales and commerce strategies? Connect with an expert at Bluewolf.

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