This is a guest post from Tamara Bolsewicz of Akeneo partner Divante.
B2B business is going digital.
According to McKinsey, 90% of B2B organizations have moved to a digitized sales process in 2020 and more than half of them find it as effective or more effective than previous models. The enforced changes to business-as-usual have revealed huge benefits to companies.
However, salespeople still see the value of face-to-face interactions, and many customers still prefer the feel of a handshake deal. As we all adapt to the reality that our habits must change for the foreseeable future, salespeople are looking for tools that encourage clients to move online but still retain the feel of the personal relationships they have always valued. The answer lies in digitized sales processes fueled by conversational commerce.
What is a digitized sales process, and why invest in it?
If you are looking for a loose synonym for a digitized sales process outside of the B2B domain, then conversational commerce fits the bill. This term was only coined in 2015 but has already become a fundamental strategy for increasing sales and customer loyalty in eCommerce.
It refers to the system of direct communication between a brand or business and its customers. Conversational commerce uses instant digital messages shared on platforms, and incorporates the ability to make purchases online. It is a response to the 2.5 billion people who communicate using messaging apps on mobile phones for general communication and are coming to expect the same kind of easy and quick communication with their favorite brands.
In recent years, companies have started to use chatbots to open new sales channels and save significant amounts of money. This trend is growing fast —about 80% of businesses plan to use chatbots for their online businesses by 2020. Around half of shoppers say that they willingly interact with eCommerce chatbots; the next step is then to go beyond chatbots that answer questions and move to a more digitized sales process.
In spite of this rapid development, bots will probably never replace human-to-human interactions between the consumer and the brand. They are improving all the time but will likely never be able to build relationships, understand emotions, and answer complex questions about products.
How using a digitized sales process boosts your online sales
New sales channels
It’s not just end-customer relationships that can benefit from conversational commerce. A digitized sales process becomes a whole new revenue stream. McKinsey estimates that it brings 5 times faster revenue growth, 30% higher acquisition efficiency, and a 40-60% reduction in sales costs.
Building relations and trust
Digitizing your sales processes helps you build better relationships with your partners and clients. It also gives clients a better chance to keep connected and stay informed.
Greater conversion, shorter time
A digitized sales process will also increase conversion rates and shortens transaction times. Sales reps can propose and suggest new products and upgrades more subtly as they talk freely with your customers.
Kickstart a digitized sales process in just 24 hours
There is no shortage of benefits to implementing a digitized sales process—but doing so is often easier said than done. The typical obstacles to success include long implementation times, a high cost of eCommerce development, and a common lack of experience with online sales strategies and tools.
There is an urgent market demand for a tool that can easily connect customers with consultants in a virtual sales meeting. One that helps increase sales without disrupting existing processes.
This demand has become more urgent due to the necessity of remote work; moreover, in a time of restrictive budgets, the solution should also be affordable, user friendly, and implementable in a short period of time so that Sales Representatives can start their online sales immediately.
That’s where Meetsales comes in. It’s a cloud-based solution that puts the shopping cart right inside the call, letting sales reps present and compare products, discuss prices, generate offers and orders, and close deals directly in the video interface. It integrates with different PIM systems, including Akeneo PIM, to bring the product catalog to life and facilitate digitized sales processes.
Meetsales integrates with the PIM system and draws all product information such as types, numbers, sizes, and colors of products. It also imports data from the CRM and exports data to ERP. The sales rep then receives this data in an application in the sales dashboard. During a meeting, a salesperson can add, edit, or remove specific items from the basket.
With Meetsales, there are no document scans, no emails with offer summaries, and no frustrating price negotiations. After the call, the customer gets an overview of the accepted order, and the sales rep receives the same information in a pdf. It is a simple, mostly-automated process that saves time and eliminates the risk of mistakes.
The web app is aimed at medium and small businesses that have not yet taken the step to integrate with eCommerce platforms but are already aware of the need for digitization. Meetsales is a perfect fit in such cases because it can be implemented and integrated within 48 hours. As a SaaS solution, the full functionalities are all in the price of the license and there is no need to install software beyond a simple integration with a widget that will help your new leads to get in touch with Sales.
This new approach to the B2B sales process will help encourage customers and partners to explore the value of online meetings and have a substantial impact on their choices. It also allows salespeople to take a more active part in a remote buyer’s purchase decision, suggesting alternative options or complementary products to add to the cart. When sales consultants can add value to the online buying process, customer confidence and satisfaction automatically skyrockets.
Learn more about digitized sales processes, Divante, and Meetsales at Divante.com