B2B customers want an intuitive and simple way to place orders online and manage their accounts. It must be done online, with 24/7/365 access. Most corporate websites offer general information about the company and details about its products and services. However, this does not allow for digital sales. However, it is possible through the B2B Customer Portal.
What Are B2B Portals?
A B2B customer Portal is a software tool for collaboration online with suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors. THE B2B portal gives customers personalized access to company information. This allows them to communicate effectively with their counterparts regardless of where they live, where they are located, the time difference, the device used, and the action.
B2B portals enable customers to easily collaborate, close deals, control orders, and purchases, and, most importantly, do it in real time.
Traditional buying is as follows:
- The customer needs information about the product.
- The sales representative sends the pertinent information and discusses the final project scope.
- When the project can be ordered, the customer submits a request-for-quotation (RFQ).
- The sales manager creates an order and sends it back.
- After all negotiations, customers place orders.
It sounds simple, but the actual process is often complicated and time-consuming. It takes hours or days to find the perfect product in the catalog. However, this method is still being used by many companies. While it can work with limited customer bases and complex product lines, it is not recommended. Standardized products allow automation of the process in greater than 80 percent.
The sales managers can spend time with the customers if they have 5-10 frequent requests. What if we have 100-200 weekly requests? A bigger customer base means sales managers need help working effectively. This will cause many customers to wait days for an answer. This leads to the natural question: how much time will managers spend searching for new clients?
It is time-consuming for the company, and so are the customers. They are often required to spend much time searching for the right product in catalogs, calculating its price, and coordinating their orders via email or telephone. Additionally, they could choose to go with another vendor if they are having difficulties and thus lose their loyalty.
24/7 Sales and Unlimited New Markets
B2B customers get instant access and information on your products and services. There is no need to depend on time zones. So you can reach more potential clients around the world. Customers can place orders from anywhere in the world, even after hours. The system allows them to replace/change their order or cancel it in just a few clicks.
Efficiency and Speed in Order Administration
How do you help your customers place orders? They used to order by phone, email, and face-to-face. B2B portals allow customers to do this more efficiently and quickly.
Working with the customer portal minimizes human error in dealing with documents. Sales managers also have fewer repetitive tasks. The time employees normally spend ordering and calling customers can now be used to build new customer relationships or find new ones. It also allows them to provide better after-sales support. This system allows sales teams to concentrate on selling performance, reduce repetitive tasks, and speed up the sales cycle.
B2B selling isn’t only about transactions. It’s also about cooperation and partnership. B2B customer portals offer instant access to all necessary information. Customers will not need to contact their manager to receive the latest information.