By Greg Gatherer, Account Manager, Liferay Africa
Increased competition, unpredictability in supply chains, and shifting consumer expectations all provide challenges for B2B businesses wanting to expand their revenue. And it appears as though these hurdles are limiting businesses’ growth.
However, a company’s profitability is not just defined by its sales. In fact, strategic businesses can improve their profit through a variety of techniques.
1. Cutting customer service costs
By incorporating self-service into their digital tools instead of costly one-on-one customer support, businesses can improve customer service efficiency and minimise cost-to-serve.
Digital self-service is an overarching term comprising customer service tactics that enable users to resolve issues or answer queries on their own via digital channels such as chatbots and FAQs.
In addition to self-service helping organisations save thousands in support costs, it’s also become the way customers want to be served.
Self-service is not only a useful method for lowering customer service expenses, but it is also a successful technique for engaging and interacting with customers.
2. Personalising digital experiences
Personalisation simplifies experiences. Assist buyers in cutting through the clutter by directing them to the resources and goods that are most relevant to their role and needs.
Nonetheless, B2B customisation is challenging to nail down, and according to a survey, more than 54% of sales and marketing professionals say that getting personalisation right is more difficult in B2B than in B2C.
Sales teams don’t have the time or energy to manually customise each interaction. Thankfully, they don’t have to.
Use a modern ecommerce solution to engage with buyers by:
- Tailoring content, messaging and pricing according to organisation, job role, and preferences
- Configuring navigation and search to better fit users are looking for
- Upsell and cross-selling by leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) based on the purchase history or what users with similar profiles have searched in the past
3. Streamlining purchasing processes
B2B transactions can be complicated and time-consuming, requiring several decision makers and stakeholders, as well as approval processes and workflows.
According to Gartner, 77% of B2B buyers say their most recent transaction was extremely complicated or difficult. B2B sellers who move purchasing online to make the process easier for purchasers will boost not only their average order value, but also their client lifetime value.
By simplifying purchasing, sellers can improve the buying experience by:
- Streamlining ordering through self-service rather than needing to contact a sales representative to place an order
- Providing more detailed product information, such as databases, videos, and manuals, on the same site that purchasing occurs to give buyers the confidence they need to make the correct purchases
- Personalising catalogues and pricing for a tailored experience based on account, buyer role, and location
This not only makes it easier for customers to purchase, but also makes it faster for buyers to increase their order size.
4. Increasing customer lifetime value
Getting a new client can cost up to 5 times as much as getting an existing customer to make another transaction. Profitability will be achieved through repeat business.
So how can B2B sellers increase customer lifetime value, or the customer’s value to a business over a period of time?
Ultimately, happy customers are customers that will buy more and stay longer. Extend the lifetime of customers by:
- Automating reordering processes so that buyers don’t need to repeat steps every time they place a similar order
- Scheduling reminders to help notify customers to place orders
- Triggering automated alerts when specific products are back in stock
5. Delivering a unified communication hub
Businesses can continue to give value to their consumers after they’ve made a purchase so that they’ll want to buy from a customer portal again.
Customer portals can bring together resources, information, and communication in one place, as well as engage users through a community.
With modern digital engagement tools such as audience segmentation, personalisation, forums, and site building, customers can post, respond and share user-submitted content as well as provide feedback to their business. This helps engage and deepen relationships with customers so that they feel a sense of loyalty and connection with the business, which can lead to increase in frequency and value of orders.
Increase profitability in the long-run
Getting more sales may be one tactic to boost revenue but there are many other strategies businesses can implement in order to increase profitability, increasing customer engagement over their entire lifetime.