This is a case study of how a manufacturing company, Lincoln Electric, captured my attention and has kept me engaged for several years through many tactics including on-going email marketing newsletters, YouTube videos and other digital marketing strategies.
If you are a business professional, then you’ve heard the acronym CRM. Everyone knows it stands for Customer Relationship Management. Everyone is aware that it represents software that is used to store information about customers. Their addresses, phone number(s), email addresses, and perhaps some background information including how the customer was met and what they are interested in buying. If you have a great sales team then your CRM even includes details about the customers personal life like their spouse’s name, their favorite vacation spot or if they enjoy any particular sports.
However, let’s not forget what “Customer Relationship Management” truly means. It means, build and maintain outstanding personal relationships with your customers. Get to know them. Know them personally and build confidence and trust in your relationship. When they feel pain, feel the pain with them. When they feel rushed, feel rushed with them.
Recently I’ve had the opportunity to chat with a dozen or so manufacturers and distributors about using a sales portal in their business strategy. We usually chat about the challenges they are facing, new changes in their industry and how the web seems to be the root of change. What I’ve found is that manufacturers and distributors are slow to adopting a web-based sales portals in their business strategy. I noticed a few common threads in the conversations.
As with any other website or system, when designing a B2B eCommerce system you have to keep the customer in mind. In the case of B2B eCommerce, the system that is being built is more of a business application than just a storefront. The users of a B2B eCommerce site are purchasing on behalf of their company or their customer. Their decision making process is less emotional and more practical. You must design and build a site to meet the business needs of your customer. These are things to keep in mind when designing and building your B2B eCommerce system.