Business has moved online, and for a good reason. Just like regular consumers prefer to make their purchases from the comfort of their couches while scrolling through their phones, B2B customers expect convenience, speed, and clarity from their purchasing process.
Research shows that most buyers prefer to know prices immediately online, and the speed of obtaining pricing information outweighs even the price itself. Approximately half of the buyers also choose a provider who responds to their inquiry first. Additionally, business customers increasingly prefer to choose products themselves, compare and put them together and want to know indicative prices immediately.
In this article, we will discuss why automating the sales process is an important competitive advantage, how to increase sales with even small changes, and how to create a modern shopping experience for your customers.
In sales, time is money – literally
Your sales team may be experts in their field, but if they do not have information, they cannot even approach potential customers. To meet the expectations of buyers, production and pricing information must be conveniently and automatically available to the sales team - or even an independent ordering system for customers. If determining or coordinating prices takes days or even weeks, the customer will simply choose a faster provider.
What makes setting up a B2B online store so difficult? Every small business can do it!
Unlike average consumer sales, business products and their pricing are much more complex – and more expensive. Enterprise order structures, volumes, and conditions are very different, and seemingly similar offers can be fundamentally different. For project sales, it is necessary to coordinate the feasibility and pricing of orders with production because the sales team lacks precise inputs for independent decision making.
Of course, some transactions are more price-sensitive than others. Buyers place less emphasis on the purchasing process for a large number of lower-priced items, such as screws or work gloves, than they do for the purchase of an expensive and complex production machine. In the former case, transaction speed and convenience may be critical, whereas in the latter case, more groundwork may be done and more time spent on negotiations.
Therefore, automating the sale of simpler and more standard things benefits both parties. Automated sales make life easier and faster for the buyer, and comfortable sales bring greater profits. Automating the sales process provides the sales team with a tool that can also be used by customers themselves in the case of self-service functions. Additionally, the sales team has more time for larger transactions where personal communication may even come in handy, not hinder sales.
Why invest in a CPQ solution
To meet the increasing expectations of customers, tables and manual work are no longer sufficient. With automated quoting, clients can make price inquiries and view personalized prices in real-time within the ordering system. The CPQ (configure, price, quote) solution combines pricing principles, possible manufacturing solutions, and their customization logic. This is an investment that boosts both sales team motivation and company competitiveness - because faster sales increase the likelihood of a successful transaction.
So, how to create a product and pricing information system that is quick, useful, and intuitive for both the seller and buyer?
With Mendix software, the sales process can be quickly and easily digitized
Mendix enables the creation of a "configurator" that allows salespeople to easily put together proposals or clients to configure products according to their wishes.
One solution can encompass the following tools:
- Product catalog - manage which products are visible on the internet (SEO) and which are only visible to resellers.
- Self-service - the customer can configure or set up the product or service themselves in the ordering system, according to the given logic.
- Quotations - the customer immediately sees indicative cost and estimated delivery time.
- Customer communication - it's easy for the customer to initiate communication and see communication history (integration with CRM is possible).
- Order statuses - share different statuses relevant to the customer (order confirmed, in progress, ready, dispatched).
- Contracts and POs - the customer can upload purchase orders (POs) and see the agreed credit limit balance in the contract.
- Documents - both technical documentation and manuals submitted by the customer and added by the performer.
- Invoicing - the customer can access invoices in one place and see whether the amounts transferred based on (prepayment) invoices have been received and what the credit limit balance is.
Processa Technologies is Siemens Mendix partner in the Baltics. Mendix is a low-code platform that allows for 7-10 times faster process automation through software and is ideal for digitizing production processes and creating integrations.