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B2B transactions are suffering from outdated processes

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There’s a reason so many B2B companies struggle to keep up with changing buyer expectations: They haven’t ever caught up in the first place, at least when it comes to technology.

While B2B will never perfectly mimic the B2C space, there’s a lot businesses can learn from their consumer-facing counterparts. After all, B2B buyers are consumers, too. And they want the conveniences of the consumer experience from the brands they deal with at work, such as easy, independent buying experiences. For example, 59 percent of B2B buyers would prefer to research online over interacting with a sales rep.

But many B2B brands aren’t equipped to provide these experiences, largely due to technical limitations. Many businesses still use manual processes to account for pricing. Not only is this inefficient, but it often leads to inaccurate quotes.
Consider a scenario where you sell industrial products made of steel. In a typical situation, a pricebook that details the cost of steel is distributed to customers. If a customer places an order requiring a certain amount of steel, they negotiate against the pricebook. That pricebook might not account for a skyrocketing price of steel that might have occurred after it was published. If you’re that seller, you’ve got a tough decision to make: either eat into your own margins, or alienate a customer. In 2018, there’s no reason that dilemma should exist.

That’s because technology eliminates the need for manual processes that slow down the selling process. Why use an abacus when you can use a calculator or, even better, Configure-Price-Quote technology?

CPQ software mitigates this pricing complexity by unifying all pricing factors and presenting a single price to an end customer. CPQ technology automates lengthy manual processes and accounts for real-time changes from multiple systems of record that affect prices on a daily basis. This allows buyers to receive accurate order configurations and updated quotes in a much more efficient manner, resolving pricing issues that previously made the B2B buying process a nightmare.

B2B businesses need to move to more modern, transparent digital systems that guide them through these complex negotiations. B2C brands have used digital platforms to make life easier for consumers, and as a B2B seller, you have no choice but to follow suit — and take your buying experience to the next level.

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