B2B sales teams and e-commerce work in tandem, increases productivity

The Internet has created a new dynamic and structure for B2B businesses in which marketing teams, sales teams and e-commerce tools converge to maximize revenue. Some industry studies have painted a bleak future for sales teams, one in which they’ll be phased out entirely and replaced with automated e-commerce stores. The assumption is often backed up with data indicating a shifting consumer preference towards e-commerce. Even though Internet accessibility and overall technological adaption rates are increasing globally, e-commerce and traditional sales roles have integrated together. New studies and industry reports have now suggested B2B businesses can reinforce their existing channels while simultaneously integrating new technology such as e-commerce.

In a Forrester Research study of B2B businesses, 89 percent of businesses surveyed indicated that implementing e-commerce increased their annual revenue. The modern business world is dominated by efficiency: who can attract the most customers, who can capture new markets the fastest and who can get the highest return on their investments. E-commerce websites have allowed sales teams to become more efficient, especially within the B2B market. Sales team members save time and become more productive when an e-commerce website is available for customers to fill out their own orders through a spreadsheet ordering format.

Proface America Online Catalog

Allowing e-commerce software to take some of the tasks that were previously completed manually by sales teams and digitize them increases productivity. Founder of B2X Partners Justin King analyzed B2B sales from Forst & Sullivan, which are expected to reach $12 trillion by 2020. “If a sales team is looking at e-commerce as a threat or as a hit to their personal income, they won’t get behind an effort like this,” says King. “Bringing them into the fold early and incorporating them into your e-commerce team early is important.”

“In most cases, a few sales reps will naturally latch onto the idea. Bringing them into the fold early and incorporating them into your e-commerce team early is important.” — Justin King, 2017

E-commerce can be used as a tool for B2B sales teams. E-commerce websites can take large amounts of data and condense them into a portable fashion, essentially allowing your sales representatives to access your entire inventory from anywhere. Dirxion online catalogs serve as both a reference tool to sales representatives and a familiar, fully-integrated e-commerce experience for customers. For instance, Dirxion customer Proface America uses spreadsheet ordering functions in their online catalogs, which allows customers to independently place orders, freeing sales representatives from having to complete the process manually. Dirxion online catalogs can also be easily updated, thanks to in-house production and development teams, ensuring all sales representatives, no matter where they are, has access to fully-updated product lines and prices. In doing so, Dirxion customers mitigate production, printing and distribution costs previously associated with constructing print catalogs.

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Another way to feature videos with your online catalogs

Product and information videos are becoming an online marketing mainstay. The video boosts interaction between your business and customers. According to Haymarket, consumers are 64 percent more likely to buy a product after viewing a video about it.

We are following the growth of video marketing to ensure our customers have the best options available when adding video content throughout their online catalogs. If you are embedding videos on the catalog pages, we’ve created a clean play button. When multiple videos are added, however, the products can suddenly find themselves taking a back seat to all of the video play buttons. This presents a visual conflict with your catalog layout.

We’ve developed a solution to handle multiple videos that relate to products, advertisers or articles throughout a publication. The new video tab featured in the left-side navigation allows you to categorize and specify which videos to apply to certain publications. This allows for the quick addition of videos and adds nicely to our many existing options to feature videos. For a live example, please click the image below:

Heathrow Scientific Online Catalog
Heathrow Scientific Online Catalog

In addition to featuring videos, Dirxion can provide a source for your video creation needs. Our partner in this area has provided some examples here:   http://www.previewmyvideo.com/demos/Dirxion.

Adding videos gives you a great opportunity to increase revenue or simply create more value for your advertisers.

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An online catalog suited for a global economy

Many B2B catalog providers do business in a variety of countries, cultures and languages. Without the translated catalog, a lot of business could be lost in translation. That is why we think it is important to support a wide selection of languages in our online catalog product.

Among our customers, one of the best practices is use a toggle to switch between languages supported by the print catalog. Industrial metalworking manufacturer, Kennametal, is a prime example, whose online catalog supports 14 languages under one URL. Canadian industrial tools supplier Acklands Grainger has a drop-down toggle to choose between English or French.

If separate URLs are more desirable, consider YP eDirectories. They needed an option for two languages, French and English, to better serve customers in French or English speaking provinces. Instead of using one landing page with a multi-lingual drop down, they chose to use two different links/landing pages and split their directories using that technique.

A third option was used by KohlerPeople where we created a landing page with their six languages under each cover. It works well because the user knows which language they want and they can easily select it.

In a global economy that requires us to do business in multiple languages, these options are important. The primary goal of the online catalog is to expand the reach of your publications, and ignoring foreign languages is a sure-fire way not to do that.