2017-11-29 B2B Online

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2017-11-29 B2B Online by Mind Map: 2017-11-29 B2B Online

1. Competition insights

1.1. FPX

1.1.1. Position themselves as the missing piece of B2B eCommerce. A position we historically have considered non-existent. Enables sales of complex products through eCommerce channels. FPX has several standard integrations with existing eCommerce platforms. Are called "technology members". Talks a lot about providing a "delightful experience" i.e. high focus on UX. "B2B Omni-channel commerce ready" Provides "starting points" for different industries. Similar to our "vertical configurations" of CPQ. Is supposed to make implementation faster and less pricy. Domain expertise.

2. Tech insights

2.1. eCommerce

2.1.1. Key B2B eCommerce features according to Oro Inc (probably many similarities to CPQ needs). Selling to companies not individuals (Many entities and roles) Corporate account feature, not credit card. Thousands on line items (upload). Personalized catalogs (filter on relevance and rights). Multiple price lists (either from ERP or model it in a way that scales with reality). Sales Team/CRM (seamless integration that minimize duplicate work). Process buying vs Impulse Buying (bases on research and with negotiation) Multi-task several purchase over longer time (save several carts). Quote-to-Order-to-Purchase Workflows (configurable for each customer). Platform Mobile experience. Performance & scalability. Integration.

2.1.2. Typical uB2B eCommerce use-cases Self served model Buyer seller interaction Market place B2B and B2C B2B2B and B2B2C B2E (employees) B2G (government)

2.1.3. Would it make most sense to build our own "light" version or integrating with large/strategic existing eCommerce solutions? Intershop? Oro Inc? CloudCraze? Magento?

2.2. Order fulfilment

2.2.1. Possible processes to facilitate within the digital transformation according to Sandvik Coromant (1) E-procurements (2) Digital manufacturing Design & Planning In-machining Post-machining 3) Connected services

2.3. Recommendations / Up-sell / Cross-sell

2.3.1. Can be extremely sophisticated, considering not just current shopping basket and previous purchases etc but also mega trends (social, political, cultural etc).

2.4. Search

2.4.1. A powerful and intelligent search functionality is one of the most important features in an eCommerce systems. The importance increases with the size of the portfolio.

2.4.2. What we call "needs based guided selling" is often called "search" in eCommerce.

2.5. Analytics

2.5.1. It is easy to forget to analyze the "big gray mass" i.e. to bigger part of the customer base that is neither dissatisfied nor excitedly happy. That is big misstake.

2.5.2. There is a huge potential/value in making it possible for resellers to provide market and product insights to the manufacturers in an easy and organised way.

2.5.3. Some analysts prefer to call the results "insights" instead of analytics and/or BI.

2.5.4. Running structured data (CRM, ERP) with non-structured data (trends, culture, politics etc) might give the most interesting insights.

2.6. PID

2.6.1. Does an eCommerce implementation come with more PID requirements compared to a traditional CPQ implementation? It seems so.

2.7. ERP

2.7.1. Important to facilitate not just for the manufacturer but for the entire eco-system not just upstream (sales) but also downstream on order entry (order fulfilment). A general interest.

2.7.2. eCommerce systems requires very frequent updates (maybe more than CPQ?) of product data i.e. integrations to ERP and similar is a must. TTM is a key KPI and gives a competitive edge.

2.8. Pricing

2.8.1. Price complexity increases exponentially with large sales eco-systems. Products x Resellers x Customers = Many unique price levels, rebates, contracts = High maintenance = Need for system support and automation.

3. Frequent B2B eCommerce challenges

3.1. Meeting changing market expectations

3.1.1. A B2B user is actually just a B2C user at work. Expectations are set from a B2C perspective. As more and more millennials joins into the workforce digital expectations increase.

3.1.2. B2B customers want to move from need to solution (product ) as quick as possible = No B2C pleasure browsing.

3.1.3. 74% of B2B prefers to buy online (if possible) since it is easier compared to talking with a human being.

3.2. Justifying the implementation cost

3.2.1. Involve management from the beginning (C-level support) i.e. work with executive stakeholder buy-in and management. Will also ensure that the eCommerce solution/vision does not get watered down on its way from grass root level to C-level.

3.2.2. Show the financial upside/value/ROI from day one. Cost-to-serve is much cheaper with eCommerce compared to direct sales, indirect sales, call centers etc. Buyers voluntary spend more time with a eCommerce system compared to human sales people (less threshold and friction) leading to increased sales volumes. Digital transformation enables easy scaling of sales channel to quickly adapt to changing business cycles Education of direct and indirect sales channels is very costly (time, money, efficiency) and automation results in a lower TCO and better result over time.

3.2.3. Position ownership of eCommerce project within a revenue center instead of cost center. Improves how the project is perceived. Improves the force behind the project.

3.3. Breaking out of old limiting mindsets/attitudes

3.3.1. Employ people from outside the manufacturing organisation ONLY initially to lead the digital transformation. Integrate with progressive parts of "old world" incrementally after initial success for anchoring and credibility.

3.3.2. Enable "digital group" to work in isolation during creative phase but use as ambassadors during going-live and of course enable conversation between the new and old groups when capturing needs.

3.3.3. Agile and UX were high-lighted as important success factors. Should perhaps we obvious by now?

3.3.4. Establishing a "right to fail" culture for increased speed and innovation.

3.4. Finding the right people for the task

3.4.1. The digital transformation often require skills etc that for natural reasons have not been required within the company until now.

3.4.2. Traditional manufacturing companies are typically seen as unattractive employers for potential employees with the right skillset.

3.4.3. Tech-savvy employees = Sometimes called "smart digitals"

3.5. Improving product data quality (articles, price, meta data etc)

3.5.1. Often best to do initially since all later implementation steps depends on it.

3.5.2. Will result in longer time to prove/show ROI i.e. a risk from a project perspective.

3.5.3. Is in practise often done during the project as the team learns about new and until now unknown needs/issues.

3.5.4. Very important to use the same product data for all sales channels to minimise complexity from a system perspective and friction from a human perspective.

3.5.5. Is usually a challenge in a centralised organisation and an even bigger challenge in an non-centralised organisation.

3.5.6. Important to improve the product data not only from an internal but also external perspective/needs at the same time.

3.6. Digital maturity of resellers, dealers and distributors.

3.6.1. Some manufacturers provide digital maturity partner programs

3.6.2. Some manufacturers chose their partners based on their digital maturity

3.7. The current sales eco-system is afraid of becoming obsolete.

3.7.1. eCommerce is communicated as a complement (not a threat) to existing channels. The question is not OR but AND. There is in reality cannibalisation between channels AND there is a shift in the power balance from resellers etc to manufacturers. Nobody forces the buyers into one specific channel, it is a choice based on preference. Using the right KPIs makes it possible to handle this conflict and increase adoption. The general trend is to move a much as possible from a "proximity sales model" towards a "digital sales model". A common argument to calm traditional sales channel is that they get more time available to what they do best i.e. handle human relationships and getting close to the customer (by minimising repetitive and "dumb" administration etc). Focus on "value add".

3.7.2. Handle different resellers differently Traditional "box movers" of simple products actually do risk becoming redundant and is not high priority. Handle strategic resellers (those 20% that typically stand for 80% of the sales) and/or sell complex products with a VIP attitude = include/involve in strategic discussions etc form ay one. No surprices.

3.7.3. Be transparent Avoid that different resellers/channels are working with the same account. Transparency between sales and order fulfillment seems to be a trendy "catch phrase" in the B2B eCommerce world. There is a strong cultural resistance towards price transparency within manufacturing industries.

3.8. How to relate to non-loyal but rapidly growing channels like Amazon and Grainger.

3.8.1. Might provide competing/similar products on same platform (or even create their own for very popular products).

3.8.2. Not having products available on these platforms might be worse that exposing own products outside dedicated sales channels.

3.8.3. Providing complex/customisable products is not only a way to differentiate from competitors but also from these generic channels. At least for the time being.

4. General marketing stuff

4.1. Storytelling is trendy and PowerPoint is out. Start with the why, then how and last what. Relevant, thought provoking and inspiring!

4.2. Earn the right to speak. Be a thought leader by through analysing trends. Don not forget to affecting buyers emotionally since logic and data is not all, not even in the B2B world.

4.3. Selling the brand instead of the product (when providing what could be considered commodities).

4.4. People are Googling problems, not brands.

4.5. B2B buyers do not but stuff, they buy results.

4.6. Trends according to McKinsey & Company

5. Internal insights

5.1. Sales

5.1.1. Should "digital maturity" be part of the opportunity evaluation criteria?

5.1.2. Do we really know how our typical customer "buyer journey" looks like? Can we catch them earlier in the process?

5.1.3. Avoid "flat squirrel syndrome" i.e. make a decision, take a stand and be the expert. The more positive opposite would be something similar to "challenger sales".

5.1.4. Unless we are able to talk and provide proof about real differential value the "shiny object syndrome" will dominate the sales process i.e. great marketing and product UX. And of course price discussions (a race to the bottom).

5.1.5. Insights into our customers digital transformation roadmap will facilitate both our sales as well as implementation process. Timing and synchronisation is important.

5.1.6. Should we do more storytelling and less powerpointing?

5.2. Positioning / Marketing

5.2.1. A majority of the visitors at B2B Online were from marketing departments. Does that mean that marketing typically owns the purchase process for eCommerce and similar systems/processes? Is this a trend? Should we adapt accordingly?

5.2.2. Would we benefit from white papers explaining how we automate, facilitate or integrate with specific customer business processes (not the same as customer success stories since general)?

5.2.3. Several companies at the conference were positioning themselves from different perspectives (cultural, political, environment, demography etc). Would we benefit from a similar approach?

5.2.4. Should we talk more about how we support our customers in their digital transformation journey, not just with technology but with know-how?

5.2.5. Investing in "product data" quality seems to be a popular topics since it is a requirement for the digital transformation. Is this an interesting position to own/facilitate/dominate?

5.3. Product Management

5.3.1. Important to solve and facilitate urget problematic customer process problems but dont forget that a lot of value (often equally or more) can be gained by improving process steps that already are perceived as working well.

5.3.2. More and more non-complex business is moving to large eCommerce platforms like Amazon and Grainger etc. Will more complex sales move in that direction as well in general (as long as supported by configurators)?

5.4. Projects

5.4.1. Can CPQ and eCommerce be implemented simultaneously or is sequentially better? eCommerce starts the digital transformation and we enable completion? eCommerce projects often start almost as a isolated skunk project. No interaction with old organisation. A success factor. CPQ projects often start by analysing and organising core product data and rules = Lots of interaction with old organisation. Since both CPQ and eCommerce implementation requires massive work with existing product data it might be beneficial to implementing both at the same time.

5.4.2. eCommerce projects are similar to CPQ projects in that they do not get 100% adoption fro day one due to cultural resistance and fear. Deliberate change management is a must.

5.4.3. Some manufacturers implementing eCommerce projects first gathers internal solution requirements resulting in huge lists. When these were validates with real customers the "real" priority become obvious and many requirements were discarded. Perhaps a recommendation for our customers as well?