How will sales representatives adapt in the age of B2B platforms?

How will sales representatives adapt in the age of B2B platforms?

Did you know? 71% of sales representatives believe that their role will be radically different in the next few years.

Modern B2B businesses thrive on sophisticated platforms that seamlessly integrate with, or in some cases replace, the conventional sales methods. The booming e-commerce industry has a massive impact on how sales representatives conduct their business and create bonds with their business clients. Once B2B ecommerce is up and running, what's next for them? Could their role in the organization become dispensable?

In a quick 4-minute read, we'll clarify this inquiry for you.

What is the role of a traditional Sales Manager in B2B?

In the time before the B2B platform was integrated into the organization, the sales department's role encompassed tasks such as establishing connections, presenting offers, negotiating, and finalizing B2B transactions. Acting as the company's frontliner, the Sales Manager established trust and built relationships with clients through face-to-face interactions.

Despite this, the traditional role of salespeople has undergone a change with technological progress and the increasing adoption of e-commerce platforms. They are now faced with the challenges of the modern business landscape.

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Delving into concerns of B2B ecommerce implementation

B2B ecommerce platforms set to replace sales reps

Those associated with the sales department are anxious about their job stability. They hold the belief that a B2B ecommerce platform might substitute traditional sales techniques and affect their position in the organization. These concerns are commonly found in companies that have yet to undergo digital transformation. Consequently, they face resistance from within the organization when implementing new technologies and changing business processes.

Disappearing relational and negotiation aspects

Studies show that even in a digital age, a surprising number of B2B clients prefer the personal touch of sales representatives over B2B platforms.

Businesses are concerned that an online store might not provide enough opportunities for customer interactions throughout the sales process. The ability to negotiate face-to-face or through phone calls, which was present before, may now be limited, causing obstacles in flexible trade negotiations and understanding the company's distinct needs and preferences.

The evolution of B2B sales representatives after implementing e-commerce platforms

Integrating a B2B platform offers great potential. And in fact, B2B companies can broaden their customer base, automate multiple tasks, and boost sales performance. With proper training, sales representatives can harness these benefits.

The B2B store now easily addresses the questions that salespeople were responsible for. What does it mean for them? The sales representative transforms into an advisor or Account Manager. Here are some essential aspects of this new position. 

Personalization and consultation

The ecommerce platform offers valuable insights into customers' preferences and behaviors, facilitating a better understanding of their requirements. This empowers the salesperson to adapt their approach, delivering personalized solutions and advice.

Building lasting business relationships

While technology makes shopping more convenient, maintaining personal contact with customers remains crucial for success. Therefore, the priority of a Sales Manager should be preserving robust business relationships. B2B buyers are more likely to return and refer the company to others when they feel appreciated and understood.

In addition to taking care of existing customers, actively seeking new ones is essential. As digital transformation takes place, the salesperson's capacity to handle clients may substantially rise as numerous sales processes will be managed by the B2B website.

Supporting customers in utilizing the B2B platform

After the ecommerce platform is implemented, the sales rep assists in resolving platform-related problems, offers tips and advice to optimize platform usage, and conducts required training sessions.

Final word

While the traditional Sales Manager role has undergone modifications, it continues to be a crucial element of the sales process. With automated tasks and data analysis, the salespeople can efficiently manage time and resources, prioritizing areas that offer the greatest benefits.

B2B platforms aim to complement and streamline sales processes rather than replace sales representatives. In the modern ecommerce industry, the focus is on integrating digital tools with human capabilities. This is why adapting to changing conditions is essential to utilize the features offered by sales platforms. By mastering new technologies, B2B sales reps can open up new opportunities and play a pivotal role in the company's overall success.

For a deeper understanding of the sales representative's role on the B2B ecommerce website, join the webinar "B2B Platform vs. Sales Manager: Will the sales representative lose their job after B2B platform implementation?". It's a valuable opportunity to understand how new ecommerce solutions can enrich the salesperson's work, paving the way for success and stronger customer connections. Circle August 23rd, 2023, on your calendar for the event. Take action now and register for the free B2B Master Class webinar! Stay tuned as we continue our discussions on the implementation of ecommerce and PIM systems, among other crucial business topics.

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