We’ve been in the B2B eCommerce business for some time now, nearly 25 years, to be exact. And we’ve learned a thing or two about the industry, but we’ve also banked a couple of lessons about internal success as well. The B2B eCommerce world comes with its own unique challenges. You need to have a team and structure in place that is capable of overcoming them. Part 1 of our B2B Team Building series will explain how to fill, support, and manage a successful B2B eCommerce team in today’s digital, remote age.
Seek Talent with Digital Marketing Experience
While there’s no doubt that traditional marketing has its place, the truth is today’s digital world, experience in digital marketing is becoming increasingly important. For one thing, how consumers interact with brands has changed dramatically in recent years, with more and more people using digital to research products and make purchase decisions. To reach and engage these consumers, businesses must have a solid digital presence. Additionally, digital marketing offers several advantages over traditional marketing, including tracking results and measuring ROI more effectively. As the importance of digital marketing continues to grow, experience in this field is becoming increasingly valuable.
Don’t be Afraid of B2C Talent
When it comes to business, there are two types of customers: business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B). Each type of customer has its own needs and wants, and it’s important to understand the difference when it comes to marketing and sales. Too often, B2B businesses overlook people with B2C experience, thinking they can’t transfer their skills to the B2B world. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, B2C experience can be precious in a B2B setting. B2C businesses are experts in understanding customer needs and desires, and they know how to craft messaging that resonates. They’re also skilled in managing customer relationships, using data to drive decisions, and creating loyalty programs. All of these skills are transferable to the B2B world. Businesses that overlook people with B2C experience miss out on a real asset. And, let’s be honest, B2C employees use the same platforms and strategies as B2B employees – Salesforce, Mailchimp, Dropbox, Hootsuite, Hubspot, and all of their competitors are used by both B2B and B2C brands alike. None of their offerings or capabilities are exclusive to either B2B or B2C.
Filling a Team via In-House or Outsource
There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to build an in-house team or outsource team-building services. An in-house team requires a significant initial investment, including the cost of hiring and training staff. Outsourcing team building can be a more cost-effective option since you won’t need to cover overhead expenses.
If you’re looking for team-building services that are highly specialized or cutting-edge, you’ll likely need to look outside of your organization. On the other hand, an in-house team may be a better option if you have a vision for your team-building activities. With an in-house team, you’ll have more control over the direction of the team-building process.
Finally, you’ll need to consider the size and scope of your team’s needs. If you have a large, complex organization, opting for an in-house team may make more sense. However, outsourcing may be the more practical solution if your team-building needs are more modest.
Be Flexible with Remote Employees
Working from home has become the new normal for many people, but that doesn’t mean it’s been a smooth transition. As an eCommerce employer, it’s essential to be flexible regarding remote workers. If you’re not open to Remote Employees, you will limit your talent pool severely. Your perfect, most ideal, most punctual, and productive employee is out there and is ready to join your team, but if you can’t get over the fact that they are in a different time zone, then you’ve already lost that resource.
Simply put, our digital eCommerce space gives us the ability to allow for more flexibility and give our employees the time and space some of them need to be their most productive. Some people may prefer to work early in the morning, while others may choose to work late at night. Some people may need regular breaks to take care of family members, and others may need to juggle childcare responsibilities. The key is to provide employees with the freedom to work when and how they need to be productive. It may be hard to let go of the reins as an owner or manager, but it’s a must in today’s job economy. You can still schedule regular meetings and check-ins. There is no reason your deadlines or expectations need to shift just because your eCommerce employees are working a schedule considered ‘non-traditional.’
Additionally, it’s essential to make yourself available for questions and concerns. Remote workers often feel isolated, so it’s important to check in regularly and create a supportive environment. By being flexible and understanding, you can create an extremely productive and happy workforce.
Make Purchases as Easy as Possible
According to a recent study, even B2B customers prefer to do their business online versus through a sales rep. This mindset is a shift from previous years when the personal touch of a sales rep was seen as essential in B2B transactions. However, the study found that B2B buyers now see the Internet as a more efficient and convenient way to purchase products. In addition, buyers believe that they can get a better deal by purchasing online. As a result, B2B eCommerce companies that do not have an eCommerce presence are at a significant disadvantage.
There are several reasons for this shift. First, the Internet has made it easier for all buyers to research products and compare prices. Buyers can also read reviews and get insights from other customers. Second, the rise of social media has made it easier for buyers to connect with each other and share information. Finally, the growth of mobile commerce made it possible for buyers to purchase products and services anytime, anywhere. It can’t be overstated how phone-adverse many people have become. They prefer to have their interactions be digital rather than face-to-face.
This shift to online purchasing is likely to continue as more buyers prefer the convenience and efficiency of the Internet. B2B. Companies that do not have an eCommerce presence will need to adapt or risk being left behind. What does this mean for your B2B eCommerce business? It means that your website needs to do more than host case studies. Your website needs to present prices, details, and timelines of your products and services. You need to design it so potential companies and partners can click PURCHASE on your Content Creation offerings just as easily as they would on Amazon. If clients want to reach out to a Sales Rep and do business the ‘old fashioned way,’ then give them that option. But just as your eCommerce brand wants to remove barriers to purchase for your client’s websites, you need to do the same to yours. Applying a little bit of B2C ease-of-purchase to your B2B site could go a long way.
Bringing it all together
This all may seem like a lot, and a tad overwhelming. If you’re feeling that way, it’s ok, because this is a lot and it can be very overwhelming. Staffing and leading a successful B2B eCommerce team will be one of the deciding factors in your success. Check back in next week as we break down the most vital roles for your B2B eCommerce team.
We’ve learned a lot about building and eCommerce team in our 25 years. We’ve also learned a lot about eCommerce as well. We’re more than happy to share our knowledge and experience with you, but you have to let us know you’re interested in learning more. Click here to contact us or use the form below.