Unlock the potential of your B2B customer experience by integrating your e-commerce frontend with SAP ERP systems
Over the years, e-commerce has been viewed as a threat to the salesperson, especially in the B2B space. Many businesses rely on face-to-face interactions to make sales and build relationships. So, to offer customers a portal that circumvents that entirely is seen as a detriment to the sales team.
Nevertheless, B2B customers are demanding and benefitting from e-commerce solutions that prioritize speed, convenience, and personalization. Organizations that embrace this movement are finding that e-commerce doesn’t eliminate or make salespeople obsolete. It actually serves as a tool to increase sales, make salespeople more efficient, and improve customer satisfaction.
One of the key factors in making this possible is integrating your e-commerce solution with your ERP system. By combining the true source of your customer and product data with the customer-facing application, you can unlock the potential of your brand’s B2B customer experience.
What B2B e-commerce sites need
To offer a truly great online buying experience for your B2B customers, you first have to understand what they’re looking for in an e-commerce portal. Some of the most important things you can offer include:
- Customer-specific pricing and discounts, so customers know they are getting the agreed-upon price and don’t have to worry about being overcharged.
- Automatically calculated taxes and shipping, so customers don’t have to do any extra work to figure out their true order total.
- Quick reorder tools, so customers who frequently purchase the same items can do so as quickly as possible.
- Access to order history and status.
- Personalization that shows the customer certain products and branding specific to them based on order history and interest.
5 benefits of e-commerce for B2B sales
Integrating an e-commerce solution like Salesforce B2B with your ERP system will not only benefit your customers but your internal team as well. Here are some of the ways that this integration can compound your e-commerce success and take it to the next level.
Imagine the process of making a sale in-person. There is a tremendous amount of time dedicated to preparation, travel, negotiation, making the sale, and manually entering all the info into the system (or systems if there is no integration). Even making a sale on the phone requires a large amount of manual data entry.
Orders placed online drastically reduce the effort needed from your salesperson, and it completely eliminates the need for manual entry. With integration, these orders are automatically sent to your ERP system to start the preparation and shipping process, which frees the sales team up to pursue other leads and sales opportunities.
An online store integrated with your ERP system gives customers and employees access to real-time data. With live inventory counts, customers know that what they order is in stock and ready to ship. Sales reps no longer have to call customers after an order has been placed to offer alternative products because what they ordered isn’t actually available. This eliminates a lot of frustration and double work.
Customers also get the benefit of seeing their personal pricing structure, discounts, taxes, and shipping rates reflected in the purchase. They can buy with confidence knowing their order is accurate every time.
For sales and customer service employees, integrated systems eliminate the need for manual data entry. This drastically reduces expensive and time-consuming errors as well as frustration on behalf of the customer when their information or order is incorrect.
3. Customer service
70% of customers now expect a company’s website to have a self-service option, and over 40% prefer it over human contact. An integrated e-commerce portal allows customers to answer questions on their own. ERP data about pricing, inventory, and order status is readily available, which solves most of the common questions customer service reps handle every day. Customers can quickly get the answers they need and move on without spending more time than necessary trying to contact someone at your company.
This also frees up customer-facing employees to spend time with customers who need more assistance. Overall, this hugely benefits customer satisfaction and makes your service teams more efficient.
4. Efficient sales team
E-commerce shouldn’t be the enemy of your sales team, but a tool they use to improve efficiency and provide a better customer experience. By integrating e-commerce with the ERP system, salespeople get a 360-degree view of their customers in one place.
Imagine going into your next customer meeting as a salesperson with this solution in your toolbox. By having access to order history, you can offer better product suggestions or more aggressive discounts based on frequent purchases. You can look up inventory and customer-specific pricing right in front of them without delay. Plus, if they want to place an order with you, you can process it on the spot and send it directly to the ERP system for fulfillment.
5. Knowledge database
Combining the backend data of your ERP system with the customer and marketing data of your e-commerce site gives everyone in your organization access to a master hub of customer knowledge. Integration that puts real-time, accurate data at everyone’s fingertips makes the entire company more efficient and empowers everyone to make better and faster decisions.
enosix Commerce can make all of this a reality by integrating your B2B e-commerce site with your SAP ERP. Our pre-built APIs dramatically shorten development and integration cycles to get you up and running much faster than other solutions.
Schedule a demo to learn more and get started on creating a B2C experience for your B2B customers.