A recent survey showed that more than 55% of furniture manufacturers provide logins to custom b2b portals to help their reps and partners access content to improve their experience and help them sell. These web-portals create a more personalized experience, drive more repeat business, help proactively resolve many low-hanging customer service issues, and save time. The survey was done for furniture manufacturers, but the results also seem to hold true for other manufacturers.
There is a ton of great content that can be included in these portals, but manufacturers are still only offering a fraction of what’s possible. What kind of content, you ask?
- Customized price lists
- Product catalogues, spec sheets, and product comparisons
- FAQs such as information on environmental sustainability initiatives and warranty information
- Account information such as invoices, shipment info, and commission details
- Product configurators
- Service tickets and warranty claims
- Spiffs and commissions submissions
- News and general corporate announcements not made to the public
- Case studies, and customer references
- Drawing and document approval
If you don’t already have something like this in place, you may be thinking “I don’t need this,” “some of that information is already available on my website,” “our reps and dealers just call us for that kind of information,” or “it will cost too much.” If learning that more than half of your competitors have started doing this wasn’t enough to persuade you, here are a few more reasons:
- Organizations who are personalizing their web experiences see, on average, a 19% uplift in sales. – Monetate
- In 2018, B2B companies who personalize their sites will be doing 30% better than those without personalization. – Gartner
- 64% of people say the customer experience is more important than price in their choice of brand. – Gartner
- 81% of companies with strong capabilities and competencies for delivering customer experience excellence are outperforming their competition. – Peppers and Rogers Group
Sales reps only spend about 30% of their time selling. The rest of their time is spent searching for content, reporting, tackling administrative activities, and performing customer service functions. Anything you can do to give them more time to sell is a worthwhile investment.
I have one final request. Imagine that you are one of your independent sales reps or partners and that you’re sitting across the table from a potential customer. Are you going to recommend the brand that:
A) Gives you great access to information, has a custom login for you to browse through product catalogues, case studies, product information, has tools for you work quickly and effectively, and provides simple customer service, if required.
B) Gives you a paper brochure and makes you wait on hold for answers?
The bad news is that you may have fallen behind your competitors. The good news is that by working with us, you can quickly jump ahead. It only takes a few weeks to get up and running. It’s easy to manage. And, it’s very cost-effective.