Is it a slow process for your customers to order from your company? This can frustrate customers who have become used to having instant ordering ability in their private lives. These customers see that it's completely possible to make ordering one-click easy, so they are no longer satisfied with the old processes when it comes time to buy in bulk for their companies. It might be time for your B2B e-commerce business to start modernizing the order process.
Here are some things you can do that customers will immediately appreciate:
Eliminate the Need to Meet with Your Salespeople
Some customers still love to have private meetings with salespeople, but almost nobody wants to have to do this just to place an order. Even the most high-touch customer will occasionally need to dash out an order for something that he or she has suddenly run out of, and in these cases, there just isn't time to wait for an appointment.
Making such meetings optional, rather than mandatory, is as simple as setting up a system that allows for online ordering. Rushed customers can just log in to place orders that will immediately enter the processing phase. Old concerns, such as the need to show different prices to different customers, are no longer problems. This is because online ordering software meant for B2B companies has individualized price-setting capabilities built in.
Give Your Salespeople the Ability to Instantly Enter Orders
Even customers who like to meet with your salespeople don't want to sit and watch them wait on hold to place orders. This waiting can be eliminated by giving your salespeople internal accounts on an online ordering system. Then, instead of waiting for your inside staff to take the orders, the salespeople can put them in on the spot. Even better, the salesperson can show the customer the screen and get confirmation that everything is correct. Customers will have higher confidence and errors will be all but eliminated.
Improve Your Phone Order Handling
Many B2B customers land in between the extremes. Rather than set up a meeting or enter their own orders, they like to call their orders in. With an old-fashioned system, called-in orders are usually written down or entered into a computer that merely prints them out. Then, the paperwork is passed from one department to the next. In some cases, it will travel through many stations before finally being transcribed to a packing slip and sent off with the order.
Giving employees the ability to enter in orders right into the system will eliminate the delays and lost paperwork that often plagues the old-fashioned methods. When the system is also integrated with QuickBooks, your inventory levels, customer information, and other backend data will be updated automatically at the same time. This brings benefits to both you and your customers and lets your company avoid embarrassing snafus.
Add Full Product Descriptions to Your Website
No matter how a customer ends up placing an order, he or she will love being able to peruse your offerings beforehand. Adding full product descriptions, item #’s and images will make it easy for people to do this just by going to your site.
Integrate these descriptions with your order management systems to make them available to everyone both inside and outside your company's walls. This integration will also eliminate the problem of customers getting different descriptions from different employees. When confusion is eliminated, you'll get fewer product returns and have happier customers.
These are just some of the ways you can modernize your wholesale sales process so that it offers the conveniences normally associated with B2C websites. In today's world, buyers are used to having those conveniences, and they will be glad to see that your company offers the ease of ordering that they've come to expect.