Challenges of Online B2B Order Management

B2B order management involves the fulfilment of orders between companies.  The main difference between B2B and B2C is, in B2B, the orders are bulk. Additionally, they are pricier. With the amount of work involved in the various B2B order management systems, it is no wonder that some challenges are facing B2B enterprises.

In this article, we are going to look at the various challenges in online B2B order management.

Let’s delve into specifics:

  • Late deliveries

Some clients want their products delivered in unrealistic timeframes that are not business-critical. However, whether in B2B or B2C, late deliveries are bad for business. For starters, they leave clients disgruntled and go a long way in ruining the reputation of a business.

In B2C, late deliveries might lead to loss of money. Normally, a couple of dollars. However, in B2B, losses incurred can run to unimaginable levels – even millions of dollars.

The effects of late deliveries can further cause cancelled contracts and chargebacks. These consequences are catastrophic to a business because a single customer in B2B relationships can be worth hundreds, thousands, or even millions of dollars.

  • Remote accessibility of inventories

To ensure order management is effective, there is a need to have access to your inventory from all locations. You need to remotely see delivered orders, pending deliveries as well as those in transit.

Without this accessibility to inventories, you are likely to lose orders and fail to meet deadlines, which is detrimental to your business.

  • Responding to orders

Order response SLA’s are a gem when it comes to responding to orders. Unfortunately, it is only established businesses that have them.

To better manage your company, a fast response to B2B transactions is imperative. Some B2B customers want their order requests responded to in a matter of minutes. They need to know whether you possess the ability to meet their orders. Failure to which, they seek the services of your competitors.

  • Meeting customer demands

We are all different in one way or the other. The same applies to business.

B2B customers have varying demands. Some of them are very specific and want their orders customized according to their preferences. Considering that B2B orders are large and bulky, meeting these demands can be challenging. Especially, if you have several customers with different demands.

As such, B2B companies need to come up with strategies to ensure customer satisfaction.  These strategies should be aimed at addressing the specific pain points of each client.

  • The need for customer-specific pricing

Customer loyalty does not happen over-night. These types of relationships require nurturing, and that happens over time. The fastest way to break the trust is to handle loyal clients no differently than the way first-time clients are handled.

Clients need to feel valued and appreciated. That is how loyalty is built in the first place.

One way to appreciate repeat-clients is to come up with a pricing that is specific to their needs. Introducing a contract and investing in software that automates the pricing of each customer in regards to your B2B relationship is the best thing for the business.

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SaaS sales plan

The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Winning Sales Plan

The first question you might ask is, will I be able to execute my sales without having a sales plan?

If you are lucky, yes. But you can run out of luck, and it’s not good to rely on it for something as crucial as sales.

Which is why it is very important to have a clear sales plan in your mind. You need to strategize your sales according to pipelining architectures.

So, let’s take a look at what exactly is a sales strategy and how we can design a winning sales plan.

What is a Sales Plan?

A sales plan is a strategic sketch of how your business can increase revenue, sales funnel, and profit of a particular product.

Developing a sales strategy will help you determine the areas where you need to put your efforts on a particular product.

While creating a sales plan, ask yourself the following questions.

  1. What is your target market?
  2. Why should they buy a particular product or service from you?
  3. What are your USPs?
  4. How can you convey the value of your products to your customers?
  5. How should your strategy impact your sales?
  6. When do you expect to see results?

Sales planning is important because it will help you foresee any potential risks in the market, and if you have planned accordingly, it will be helpful for your business.

A sales plan will put you in charge of every action you take for the system. You can take charge of where your products stand now, and where you want to see it next.

Steps involved in sales planning

1.   Outline your mission and goals

The first thing you need to do is to outline what you want to achieve by the end of your sales process. You have to make a set target that you want to hit in a particular time interval.

For example, you can set a target of doing sales for 1 million in a month.

This depends on the nature of your business. The revenue you will generate from sales will be the outcome of the success of your business. Always make sure that your goals are SMART.

○      Have Specific goals for your sales. They need to be clear and well explained.

○      Your goals need to be Measurable. You have to decide a parameter on which you are measuring your progress. In the case of sales, it can be a number of products or amount of revenue generated.

○      They should be Achievable. Make sure everything you are planning is possible.

○      Your goals need to be Realistic and they need to be Timely.

2.   Define the roles and responsibilities of the sales team

Your complete team needs to have some responsibilities.

For example, if one member is focusing on determining the target market the second person should be working on finding out the desirable aspects of your products.

Every responsibility should be divided with a restriction of time so that your sales plan will execute in a given time frame.

3.   Identify your target market – create a customer persona and understand your customer’s journey

The most important aspect while selling any product is to know where you want to sell your product.

You need to narrow down the set of customers, who will be interested in your product and focus all your sales effort in that region.

You need to create a story for your brand. It should resemble and relate the story of your potential customers. It will be a good sales strategy.

4.   Outline sales strategies and tactics for the target market

Now that you have narrowed down your target market you need to define a sales strategy for your market.

Every field will have its own challenges and its own sales tactics.

For example, if you are a technology startup, there are going to be various sales aspects like standing out from your competition.

If you are selling a mobile phone, thousands of other companies are doing it as well. But what is special about your phone that people should buy yours and not any other?

You need to create a sales strategy specifically tailored to your business.

5.   List down the needed tools, software, and resources

There are various tools and software available that will help you in planning and strategizing your sales.

If we take one example of such software, it will be analytics. There are various analytics platforms available online.

These platforms will help you measure different statistics about your business. This data can help you plan a strategy for your sales.

6.   Define metrics to measure sales performance

There can be several metrics that can be used to measure sales performance.

Sales are directly related to the revenue and sales of the product. Sales can be defined by the number of the product you are selling, the number of people subscribing to your services, or the revenue generated in a set period of time.

These metrics will be used to measure the success of your sales plan.

7.   Create a budget for the sales plan

Creating a sales plan needs investments. You need to have a sales team, some sales tools, etc.

So, you need to create a proper budget for your sales plan. Your efforts should match the level of the expected results. They should not be so little that there is no advantage to it.

But the budget requirement of your sales plan should not be higher than the value required for manufacturing the product. Otherwise, you will be in loss.

8.   Build your action plan

With all these aspects given above, we need to build an action plan. You need to consider the following points while building a plan.

A.    What do you want to achieve with this sales effort?

B.    What should be the responsibilities of various team members?

C.    Where do you want to sell my product?

D.    What will be the time period for my sales strategy?

E.    What will be the budget for sales planning?

F.    What are the metrics you use to measure your success?

Once you have answers to all these questions you are ready to set the plan you designed in action.

If you want a successful outcome from these sales, you need to continuously monitor and measure the outcomes of the plan. It will give you an idea about the execution of plan at every single step. 

About the Author

Amanda Athuraliya is the communication specialist/content writer at Cinergix, the team behind the development of Creately. She is an avid reader, an experienced writer, and a passionate researcher who loves to write about all kinds of topics.

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The future of CRM systems: What’s Next?

The future of CRM systems: What’s Next?

Sales teams used to heavily depend on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to sell more effectively. But now, it looks like things have changed. According to recent research studies, sales representatives only spend about one-third of their time actually selling and another 18% of their time in the CRM. All the rest of their time is spent working on spreadsheets and managing tasks for CRM.

When CRM came out in the 1980s, it changed everything for sales representatives. You can read more about the latest CRM transformation here.  The software basically automated the management process of their customer contact lists. Since then, CRM has advanced and accomplished a whole lot. Millions of organizations have used CRM to manage their sales because of its effectiveness at increasing productivity.

Gartner released a statistic which showed that the CRM industry was worth about $31 billion. By the year 2017, the value increased to $40 billion. The CRM software industry has increased in value by 2 digits annually.

All companies involved in sales are using CRM, or at least wish to use it, because of how strong it is. But this power might be what brings it down. The classic sales model involves a potential customer calling and inquiring about the price and features of a product. Based on the circumstances, the deal may close or not. However, this linear structure of CRM may be becoming obsolete.

Inside Sales Changes Everything

In modern times, customers don’t even want to bother talking to a vendor. They would rather search the internet to find the right products and services to suit their needs. Instead of asking salespeople for advice on products, customers have the ability to research products themselves and come to their own conclusions. They can read the recommendations of other customers to find out the truth about a product’s cost and features.

Aside from reading reviews, customers can learn about product specifications and download data sheets and eBooks. If you are familiar with B2B marketing, then you already know that customers won’t make a purchasing choice until they are presented with, on average, around 5 different sources of content.

Customer engagement and sales

– The customer is already 70% closer toward making a purchase by the time they talk to the sales representative.

More than 50% of B2B clients will decide to make a purchase by looking at content.

Approximately 88% of consumers have the same trust for internet reviews as they do for personal recommendations.

Organizations now have more inside sales representatives than ever. Over the past 4 years, these roles have increased in organizations by as much as 89%. When a consumer contacts a company to inquire about their products and services, the first person they will talk to is an inside sales representative.

Sales representatives can no longer depend on the classic sales funnel or CRM.

CRM Receives Poor Rating for its Lack of Usefulness

According to a study from Labs, sales representatives perform an average of 13 tasks per week. Out of all the time they spend on these tasks, not much of it requires selling. Furthermore, CRM is very frustrating for them and they don’t find it to be useful at all.

Instead of spending their time selling, 64% of sales representatives are spending their time on activities that don’t involve generating revenue. The other 35.2% of representatives are performing activities for generating revenue.

Sales representatives are spending so much of their time handling administrative duties. But in fact, they should be spending time prospecting and handling your SaaS sales cold emailing or lead nurturing. About 14.8% of their time is spent working on internal approvals and policies while another 14% is devoted to customer meetings. Sales representatives don’t even find these tasks to be an effective part of their job. In fact, they think the effectiveness of social media use is 7% better than handling administrative meetings and tasks.

What is missing from an ideal CRM?

Studies show that sales representatives will spend their time in the following ways: 18% is devoted to CRM; 61.7% is devoted to sales technology; 33.2% for email sales; and 0.4% for collecting sales intelligence by utilizing tools.

Since CRM is quite inefficient, 9.7% of the average sales representative’s time is devoted to managing tasks connected to CRM. This usually means they are dealing with spreadsheets for most of that time.

Analytical data suggests that CRM is great as a system for recordkeeping. However, if salespeople are unable to get tough questions answered, they will not succeed. Here are some of those tough questions:

– Which leads are the most critical ones to pay attention to?

– Which contact method do customers prefer? When is the best time to contact them?

– At what time will customers accept my phone call? What kind of sales pitch should I use?

Technologies which help you prospect for customers have an effectiveness rate of 80%. Unfortunately, these technologies are not used much. About 1.9% of a sales representative’s time is spent using them.

If you know anyone who is a salesperson and you ask them about their feelings toward CRM, they will likely say it is a love-hate relationship.

CRM is not totally useless for them. The problem is that it lacks the functionality necessary for them to be productive.

Hubspot is a good sales tool to try out. A lot of sales representatives like to use it because it does a good job of tracking every lead. Playbooks is a good source of information regarding this tool.

Artificial Intelligence Can Change CRM Forever

For over 5 years, we’ve all wondered if CRM is still relevant anymore. The short answer is… yes.

Sales representatives continue to actively utilize CRM. All they wish is that CRM had more functions so that it could be quicker and more intelligent. Most importantly, they want CRM to provide more than simply a phone number and name of a lead.

Today, the world of technology provides a number of automation tools, which are to rationalize sales processes. They allow to manage CRM workflow faster and easier: a user is able to update necessary information, focus on the most critical deals, etc. You literally can leave CRM interaction to such an assistant as, for example, Closer bot.

Sales representatives are hoping that CRM can better assist them in closing their future sales and making better deals.

Artificial intelligence is being built into a lot of new sales acceleration technologies. This will give sales representatives more power in the way they negotiate deals and manage closings. Furthermore, sales representatives will get to cut back on the spreadsheets and become more productive while using CRM.

These “smart sales systems” provide users with more information and insight than what is found in their database. This will make a world of difference when it comes to increasing revenue and sales productivity. CRM’s functionality will get better because you will be able to predict customer behavior, receive accurate forecasts of revenue earned, predict deals, and analyze funnels. Sales are going to change forever, thanks to artificial intelligence. This is a good thing that all sales representatives should accept.

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SaaS content marketing strategy App Marketing Minds

How Revenue Sharing is Managed & Benefits of a Revenue Sharing Network for Start-Ups

How Revenue Sharing is Managed & Benefits of a Revenue Sharing Network for Start-Ups

The question I’ll discuss in this article is: How do current systems of revenue sharing guarantee commissions to partners, including the people involved in fundingAnd how are funds fairly divided between members of the company?

Typically, there has been no simple mathematical equation that would make sense for all, or even a majority of businesses. The short answer is that it depends.

According to Derek Manuge, the CIO of Corl, there’s no way to guarantee that the revenue distributed is fair, traditionally, unless it’s automated by pricey software.

Corl is a blockchain-based revenue sharing company that issues RSA’s for start-ups to save them a lot of headache in the realm of capital raising. As appealing as a revenue sharing model can be, it’s underused because it’s hard to determine the particulars. Current systems don’t guarantee investors will get their earned investments.

“One caveat with a Revenue Sharing Agreement is it requires trust, transparency and reliable information to be effective,” writes Manuge, hopeful his company will bring these elements to thousands of prospective companies.

How too many start-ups manage revenue sharing:

On the forum of the website ‘Sitepoint’, a person asks a common question about his new, 3-person business partnership. He wants to divide 100% of his investments and profits equally, hopeful that all three partners share the workload and cash outlay.

As one member replies, he draws a lesson from his now extinct company:

“The problem we had is that at times one of us wasn’t very busy, while the other was absolutely snowed under, working evenings and weekends. At the end of the month, we were both paid the same amount.”

This user goes on to write that the partnership split because he left on honeymoon and his partner was dissatisfied he was getting paid time off, even though he personally felt he did most of the work. This type of problem is all too common. There’s a vital need for early-stage partnerships to be managed or approved before investors start pouring cash into them.

Determining what percentage of capital goes to each member of a company, the investor and the business itself can be super tricky. In some cases, egos, infighting and a multitude of varying disagreements about salaries can cause friction and ruin the cohesive functioning of a new company. We see this all the time in financial and start-up news – power struggles, broken promises to unlucky investors and squandered potential. It’s estimated 62% of start-ups fail due to co-founder conflict alone.

The takeaway point from all this is that investors shouldn’t trust early-stage companies without a strong reason. It’s estimated 90% of start-ups fail. Corollary to this, benefits of an intelligently-functioning investment ecosystem are huge. Start-ups using an RSA issuer like Corl are not only overseen by the intelligent delegation of finances to investors, but the vetting of companies to ensure only teams whose operational ducks are all in a row receive the capital they seek. By relying on dynamic financial information rather than mere credit scores, the best possible analysis can be made of a company’s growth potential and creditworthiness and investors can be highly confident with their choices.

Logistically speaking, the Corl network for investors and start-ups uses blockchain technology’s dynamic smart contracts to distribute tokenized dividends to investors. Unlike other companies on the market, their use of revenue financing allows for quarterly cryptocurrency payments to investors.

Companies whose applications are successfully approved by the Corl team can rejoice, as they will maintain complete ownership their company and their repayments will mirror its growth swings. This ensures they won’t be bleeding money in the most important phase of maturing.

Another benefit of revenue sharing is its function as a marketing strategy.

The style of marketing strategy chosen by a business can make or break their success, regardless of the quality of the product (SBChron). Through Corl’s blockchain investment platform, start-ups may receive capital from multiple investors, potentiating the spread of information about the business through different channels and reaching multiple unique audiences. Capitalizing on revenue sharing partnerships as a marketing strategy can be a smarter option financially for businesses, as well as bringing more leads than historical marketing efforts.

I hope this article was useful for you to understand how payments are divided between investors and companies, as well as how using a revenue sharing investment platform can reduce these headaches for both parties in a normal business relationship. Bringing in money from multiple sources can be a good way of distributing shareholder risk, and going through the process with Corl’s expert team may be hugely beneficial in mitigating traditional risks for both start-ups and investors.

To read in greater detail about the logistics of Corl and their Initial Token Offering taking place in just over a month, you can read their whitepaper by clicking here.

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