Web Development In The Supply Chain: Streamlining The Sales Cycle
At Solspace we see our job as the constant reduction of friction within web-based sales and marketing systems. Anything that slows down or confuses your customer as they try to discover your product and service offering is the enemy. Anything that simplifies the process and reduces friction is a friend. Our B2B supply chain clients are leveraging this approach to build more value into their digital assets.
What Is A B2B Supply Chain Client
Today we spoke to a prospective client in the plastics industry. Remember The Graduate? The future's in plastics? Yeah, that's who we were talking to today. This company provides other companies with custom compounded plastic pellets for a vast array of different business applications. They are part of the supply chain and their customer activity is business to business. This is what I mean by a B2B Supply Chain Client.
No sales reps were hurt during the writing of this blog post.
Our B2B clients have extensive sales teams. They have to; their product offerings are complex, specialized, and highly configurable. Experts are needed to make sure that the right fit is achieved for each customer.
In the digital age, companies are finding that with effective web development, the job of sales teams can be concentrated where it really matters. Repetitive and intricate tasks move to websites and web applications. They take the form of configurators and effective integrations with inventory and SKU catalog systems. Customers can work with these tools in advance of talking with a sales rep or in a lot of cases, they work alongside a sales rep with these tools. In both cases, friction in the sales cycle has been greatly reduced.
One of the main points of friction in sales is the shy customer. Not everyone is wired to ask a dumb question. These days we've seen that one of the superpowers of the web is that it makes the asking of dumb questions much easier.
Good web development in the B2B supply chain creates tools that allow for the asking and answering of questions that some customers may resist asking a sales rep. This reduces friction.
Complex Offerings And Compatibilities
Pick an aspect of the supply chain and you will find complexity. We have a client who sells power supply units to other businesses who in turn integrate those into the systems they sell to other companies. Our client's products may not be that glamorous on the website, but when you find out that they are being launched into space on a regular basis, the story gets more interesting.
Our client's product offerings are highly complex. There are many levels of compatibility concerns as well as many hard regulatory requirements that must be met. Our web-based sales tools help customers sort through these questions using the power and speed that only the internet is capable of.
One of the most decisive wins in the B2B supply chain web development space is an effective integration. We regularly integrate customer-facing websites with the various systems that manage inventory, process orders, anticipate wait times, and the like. All of these integration activities take more of the load off of sales teams. Our work allows sales reps to focus on the humans. We focus on the machines. And no, no sales reps are hurt in this process. We've merely created the conditions to allow them to scale themselves and ramp up their numbers.