Liferay Commerce 2.0 is packed with new features to help B2B sellers increase their revenue through more engaging customer experiences. Be sure to register for our upcoming webinar if you want to see a full tour of the new features or check out a summary here.
There are a lot of things to talk about in 2.0 but I want to highlight the one I’m most enthusiastic about: our new sales rep experience.
Solving Channel Conflict in B2B E-Commerce
First, some context. When our team set out to build Liferay Commerce, we knew that we wanted to focus on the needs of B2B e-commerce, rather than trying to cover both B2B and B2C from day one. With Liferay’s history of helping customers solve complex, enterprise-level problems in digital experience, it just made sense to bring the lessons we’ve learned into the B2B e-commerce space.
In our early conversations with customers, one gap we quickly saw was the inability of most commerce platforms to integrate the direct sales team into the digital commerce channel. Though end customers were eager for an e-commerce site, many sales teams saw it as competition and were resistant to moving their accounts there. I even heard from one director that some end customers would do research on the site but still place orders through their rep because they’d been working with that rep for years and were worried about his commission.
I see this challenge as having two levels. First, there’s the issue of change management, which comes down to how you structure incentives, how you attribute revenue to certain channels and so on. Second, there’s the question of how technology can be brought in to streamline that change management and give sales reps a clear roadmap on how to succeed with the new site.
That’s where Liferay, with its portal-heritage digital experience platform, can help.
Empowering Sales Reps with Liferay Commerce
Liferay Commerce is more than an online catalog or a shopping cart. By leveraging its integration with Liferay DXP, in particular its granular capabilities for role-based access, we were able to create a digital commerce platform that brings your sales teams into the digital channel, giving them deeper insight into every account plus tools that help them move towards consultative selling.
When a sales rep logs into the e-commerce site, they can switch between the customer accounts they manage and see exactly what that customer sees, from their order history down to the pricing and recommendations they see based on their profile. Reps can also create, edit or submit orders on behalf of a customer.
It sounds so simple but because the Liferay platform has such fine-grained controls around permissions, we’re able to create a contextualized environment for sales teams to collaborate with customers on orders or troubleshoot problems when things go wrong. This is the first step in enabling sales teams to act as consultants but we went one step further.
Enhancing Digital Commerce with Account-Based Sales Tools
Liferay Commerce 2.0 adds smart alerts that lets sales reps know when an account is at risk of churning, based on an unexpected dip in their buying patterns. With these machine-learning powered alerts, sales reps never have to worry about accidentally overlooking an unhappy customer.
We’ve also added a dashboard for each customer account so that sales reps can come in and see in a glance how that account is doing. In addition to KPIs and recent/pending orders, the dashboard shows a forecast of when each account will reorder and at what volume, down to the product level.
All together, this unlocks powerful ways for a sales rep to take action to save an account. For instance, they may log in and see that a customer is constantly ordering a certain product with rush shipping, indicating that they’re ordering it last minute and wasting dollars on the extra cost to expedite. Leveraging the order forecasting insights, the sales rep can reach out and offer to create a subscription that matches their real usage, saving them money and simplifying how they order. Instead of waiting for customers to explain what they want, they’re immediately able to offer value through data-driven insights.
B2B Clients Require a Multi-Contact Experience
Everyone talks so much today about the demands of B2C consumers but they’re overlooking a real need of B2B client bases: multi-contact experiences that take the best of B2C concepts of convenience and apply them to more complex B2B scenarios.
The combination of Liferay Commerce and DXP allows us to connect the dots between portal and commerce for a platform that supports your entire digital commerce strategy — not just the point of purchase.
Like I said earlier, there’s a lot more to discover in Liferay Commerce 2.0 and how it supports the B2B customer experience. Make sure to register for the webinar for a comprehensive look!