B2B Sales Enablement: Marketplace “Stock-Out” Tools

B2B distributors, and many manufacturers, have large sales teams that could be much more valuable than they are today. B2B marketplace startups are constantly looking for additional scale, especially with COVID-19. Incumbent distributors have the scale, but a lot of their demand tends to be from analog channels via sales reps vs. digital demand via eCommerce. 

So, how can the two compliment each other? Enter: Marketplace Sales Enablement.

Spot purchases make up a material portion of most distributors’ revenues. This revenue is from transactional purchases where the customer is ready to place an order “on the spot.” This is the opposite of contract customers. We’ve seen in today’s environment, spot purchases are  on the rise in many B2B verticals, while contract orders have declined. 

During a sales call with a spot customer, every sales rep knows that speed wins the deal. The faster the sales rep can provide a full quote with pricing and fulfillment times to the customer, the higher the win rate for that customer’s business. This shouldn’t be a problem if the sales rep can accurately and instantly quote all the requested products from the distributor’s ERP system.

Unfortunately, distributors’ ERP systems don’t always have the requested product or it may not be in stock, a “stock-out.” Now, the sales rep has to call around to other competitive distributors or manufacturers to source the product and get a price and fulfillment timeframe. This process takes a lot of time and effort as well as the opportunity cost that takes away from the sales rep’s ability to quote other order requests. Instead, what usually happens is that these customer requests go unanswered or take a long time to get back to the customer and the customer ends up ordering from someone else. 

Fortunately, B2B marketplace startups have a solution for this: the marketplace “stock-out” tool for enterprise sales teams. Through our work in B2B distribution, we find that win rates can increase significantly, driving more top-line sales, decreases in time to quote, and margin improvements per order. 

Marketplace sales enablement provides a distributor’s sales reps with two things:

  1. Instant price and fulfillment timeframe information for products that the distributor’s ERP doesn’t have and
  2. Competitive pricing information on the products that do exist in the ERP.

Not only does this tool help your sales reps sell more products, but it also helps the marketplace startup capture more demand in the form of the latent demand generated by your sales reps. This means that you’re solving the startups biggest challenge: capturing scale. For the distributor that has a healthy balance sheet, a strategic investment into the marketplace startup is a win-win for both parties in the short and long-term. 

We have created a Stock-Out Revenue Calculator – check it out here!


Filed under: B2B Distribution | Topics:

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