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February 7, 2017 Sales

3 Steps to Increase Profits on Transactional Sales

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By Sonja Fridell

Turning Transactional Sales into eCommerce

Too many B2B businesses are still fulfilling transactional sales using telephones and sales reps.  This is expensive and hard to scale.  It doesn’t have to be that way!  First let’s define our terms:

Transactional Sale:

Transactional Sale - MilkA transactional sale is usually a quick sale where there is little or no long-term sales relationship.  Transactional buyers are usually looking for price and availability.  The product is often a commodity.

Consultative Sale:

Consultative Sales - New CarA consultative, or considered purchase, on the other hand, usually requires a salesperson to work with the customer to establish the proper configuration and value of the product or products being purchased.  

Think of it like this: A transactional purchase is like buying a gallon of milk, a consultative purchase is like buying a car.

A Win that Scales:

Grow & Scale: Trasnactional Sales B2B eCommerceTransactional sales are often low-price sales where companies make money on volume. The problem is that paying a sales team to handle transactional sales drastically lowers your profit margin. Additionally, if you want to close more transactional sales with a sales team, you can make them work harder and faster, but eventually you would need to hire more people in order to grow. Even if you have the budget for more hires, you might not have the infrastructure to accommodate them. Which would you prefer to do: staff a night shift call center or build a web store?

Turning your transactional sales into an eCommerce sale lets you scale without hiring more salespeople. An order taker can only handle so many orders per day. An eCommerce storefront can scale almost without limit, making your profit margin increase geometrically.  Plus, you don’t need to invest in infrastructure to expand a web store.

Make It Easy:

Transactional Sales B2B eCommerce East St SignWhile profit is the big win, there are other wins too.  Buyers buy more when it’s easy and they are comfortable. While a human interaction can sometimes be helpful, for a transactional sale it’s often better to get the sales person out of the equation.

Buyers feel more comfortable making smaller test ‘test buys’ when they aren’t talking to a person, and while we all want the big sale, a ‘test buy’ is a frictionless way to get a new customer. Using eCommerce makes it easier on the buyer in other ways.  Studies have shown that B2B buyers prefer to buy after hours, and many corporate buyers are using their mobile device to place orders. Unless you’ve staffed that night shift call center, your customers will go to a different vendor if you don’t have some way to make it easy to place an order anywhere and at any time.

Make It Sticky

Transactional Sales B2B eCommerce - Sticky HandsFinally, you want your customers to keep coming back. Keep purchase history in a CRM and integrate it with your web store. This turns your web store into a customer portal. Buyers can look at their purchase history and place repeat orders. Plus when year end rolls around, a web store that provides year end summaries is a web store that is convenient. And convenience is sticky.

Discounts are also sticky. Rewarding loyal customers is one of the best ways to make a customer feel valued and to improve your overall customer satisfaction. eCommerce sites connected to a good CRM can segment frequency and value, and offer discounts to customers who buy more often and place higher value orders.

The Bottom Line:

The bottom line is the bottom line. Using eCommerce to take and fulfill transactional sales is a huge B2B business win. It lowers the cost of doing business, increases profit and improved customer loyalty and satisfaction. Transactional sales through eCommerce is a clear business win.

Learn more about eCommerce in our upcoming webinar:

B2B eCommerce 101 with ORO on Thursday, February 16th at 2:00 pm EST.

B2B eCommerce 101 Webinar

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author bio

Sonja Fridell

Sonja is very active in architecting CRM, ERP and marketing automation solutions for clients across North America. As an ex-journalist, she is adept at exploring a client’s needs and coming up with cutting edge, elegant solutions that fit, drive adoption, and create real results.

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