What is Salesforce B2B Commerce Cloud and how can you use it to grow your business?
Principal Software Salesforce Engineer
Salesforce is well known for its CRM platform, but it is much more than that. There are many tools in the Salesforce ecosystem that can help companies grow. One of them is B2B Commerce (part of the Salesforce Commerce Cloud). In this article, I’ll explain what it is and how to use it to grow your business.
Introduction to Salesforce B2B Commerce
It is worth mentioning that Salesforce constantly unifies the Commerce experience and brings all the systems: B2C (formerly Demandware) and B2B (formerly CloudCraze) into one platform. It has many benefits, such as a joint customer base and the same CMS components.
The philosophy behind Salesforce Commerce comes directly from CRM and always puts customers at the centre of every process. Under the hood, Salesforce B2B Commerce supports features that are a ‘must have’ nowadays: buyer groups, entitlements, promotions, checkout flows, login on behalf, etc. The platform benefits from the Experience Cloud and is very easy to extend with low code tools like Flows or custom LWC components.
How to plan to grow your business with Salesforce Commerce
You need to consider some steps before you start thinking about Commerce. First of all, understand the personas. It is different if you deal with the final customer rather than a dealer.
Secondly, if you already use Salesforce – think about a seamless experience. It is effortless to bring Commerce Orders into Service Cloud and vice-versa. Map your business processes and define the customer journeys. Every business is slightly different, especially in the B2B world. Configure the system according to your needs rather than using an out-of-the-box configuration. Plan for marketing, customer onboarding, post-sales support, web analytics, etc. It all matters.
The B2B commerce world is booming now. Do not miss the train.
Connect direct and indirect sales
When you already sell directly (via Sales Reps), make ecommerce another channel. It is essential to treat your customer the same way regardless of how they reach you. For example, if a customer can receive a discount or a better offer from a Sales Rep, try to use the same promotion scheme in the web channel. If you already use Sales Cloud from Salesforce, Commerce Cloud is just an extension to your current processes and another benefit of the common Salesforce platform and 360 customer view.
Treat B2B customers like B2C customers
According to the research conducted during the last few years, B2B customers have started acting like B2C customers. They use mobile phones and expect more B2C-related promotions and personalised content. The price always comes first in the B2B world, but the focus is more on the experience now.
According to the Salesforce report (Salesforce State of the Connected Customer), 72% of B2B buyers expect personalised engagement. Salesforce has a great tool called Audiences, which can provide customers with a personalised experience without a single line of code.
Also, note that B2B customers are looking for a long-term relationship with your company. Benefit from that by using discounts, gifts, and dedicated promo schemes.
Do not plan for years ahead
We have seen many Salesforce Commerce implementations so far. The ones that ran for months before release were never successful. Today nothing can be set in stone. What works today may not work well tomorrow. Try to test your business model first with a POC. Salesforce is ready for that.
Run the discovery phase using standardised and well-prepared interview schemes. Benefit from quick demos and familiarise business departments with the platform. We can tell from experience that having an open discussion at the very beginning helps avoid future mistakes. Avoid unnecessary customisations and focus on delivering business value even with some mocks and stubs. Time to market comes first.
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