A report from independent research group Forrester predicts that around 1 million dedicated B2B salespeople in the United States will be made redundant in the next 5 years.
A dramatic statistic no doubt, and one which gives an insight into the way in which the B2B market is changing. The overriding trend is that buyers are electing to bypass sales teams and make purchases directly from company or third party websites.
So what does this mean for the B2B retailer? Firstly, resources should be shifted from supporting large sales teams into web and Ecommerce development. Not only do websites need to be responsive and attractive, but provide the same kind of functionality and personalised service that has previously been the realm of the sales team.
This may seem on the surface to be a difficult task, but through data analysis and loyalty programmes such as those created by Redbox Digital, customers can be offered personalised offers and bulk discounts specific to an industry or company need.
Ecommerce sites designed for B2B must have a high pressure, fast paced business in mind. One click ordering, various credit and payment options should be available; the site itself should be easy to navigate, intuitive and functional on all devices. By taking lessons from B2C, a B2B site can take advantage of the client’s increased interaction with the direct site. Introduce loyalty points or basket level suggestions to capitalise on convenience sales.
The B2B market is evolving. Quickly. Businesses’ internal websites must be able to cope with the demands of the modern consumer. If your website doesn’t fulfil their needs, somebody else’s will.