B2B ecommerce in health is a massive opportunity for those that can refocus on the human element

All Case Studies > B2B ecommerce in health is a massive opportunity for those that can refocus on the human element

The global B2B healthcare market in ecommerce is exploding in popularity, and will continue to do into the medium term. The CAGR of healthcare ecommerce has been a substantial 32.0% since 2017, and while it has eased back slightly, it will still accelerate by a CAGR of 20.3% until 2027.

As substantial as the opportunity is, however, healthcare is a niche market segment, with a very specific and limited set of potential buyers. This makes things challenging for salespeople in a way that sales reps in mainstream product segments don’t face, including:

  • Niche Demographics: The target market is often large-scale buyers such as hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Typically, these buyers look to meet their needs for long-term use, which means the sale needs to be very carefully calibrated.
  • Industry Competition: Healthcare is a hugely competitive market, despite its niche nature, so companies struggle to carve out a section of the market for themselves.
  • Price Flexibility: Pricing can be a challenge due to the high cost of medical equipment and the need for competitive pricing.
  • Technical Specs: Understanding and communicating the technical specifications of medical equipment and supplies can be complex. This is particularly true given that increasingly buyers are looking to make purchases without engaging with the sales staff, so need to be able to access the information in other ways, but the Internet isn’t necessarily a great research when researching products in these areas.


In addition to these specific challenges, general B2B sales challenges also apply:

  • Long Sales Cycles: B2B sales often involve long decision-making processes, which can extend the sales cycle. For purchases that tend to have large value, such as medical equipment and supplies, this can be less of an issue to cash flow, however, the frequency of orders will also not be as high.
  • Quality Lead Generation: Generating high-quality leads is a common challenge across all B2B sales.
  • Sales-Marketing Alignment: Ensuring that the sales and marketing teams are aligned and working towards the same goals can be difficult. There is also the challenge of the platform for ecommerce now, too, with both needing to also be aligned with the value that the platform brings to the sales cycle as a touchpoint.

In all of these areas Cloudwerx, leveraging the capabilities of Salesforce Commerce Cloud, can assist sales teams in healthcare to overcome the challenges and really capitalise on the opportunities.


How Cloudwerx can assist with B2B sales in niche product categories

  1. When selling into a niche product category, there are three key priorities that the sales team will have in mind:
    They will want to have continuous, parallel engagement, meaning that sales, marketing, customer service and customer success teams align to help buyers complete critical buying tasks. This is made somewhat challenging in more recent times, because buyers are increasingly looking to be taken through the sales cycle without interacting with sales reps. Gartner found that 44% of millennials (and even more Gen Z) prefer that no sales rep be part of the sales process. This means that sales need to get creative in how they achieve that ongoing engagement.
  2. The sales team will be very information-driven. Understanding that big purchases are not made lightly, the sales team will want to ensure that all information and support provided to B2B buyers is consistent, complete and connected across all digital and human channels.
  3. The sales team will also be keenly aware of just how much of a roadblock complexity can be. Gartner research also shows that B2B buyers are 3.6 times more likely to opt for a high-end, premium or costly option when they have high levels of decision confidence. In a market as niche and competitive as healthcare is, this is a key differentiator that all sales teams need to be on top of.


Assisting sales teams achieve those three objectives is where Cloudwerx comes in. Cloudwerx’s unique expertise in using both the Salesforce platform, Mulesoft connectivity and UiPath robotic process automation solutions, combined with our capabilities in delivering human-first solutions opens up a world of possibilities when selling into niche product categories.

By leveraging automation to streamline processes, it’s possible to arrive at a pricing strategy that accounts for the longer sales cycles and larger purchase orders in niche markets. Meanwhile, our ability to trace your processes and really understand how buyers interact with your ecommerce platform allows us to identify the areas for improvement.
In short, we help to ensure that every touchpoint within your organisation is aligned and working towards the same goals and that, at the centre of it, is an ecommerce platform that takes full advantage of every opportunity.


How Salesforce Commerce Cloud works to overcome challenges in niche market sales

One of the key benefits of Salesforce Commerce Cloud is its composability and headless APIs, which enable organisations to build flexible tools and fully integrate automation into their processes. This flexibility allows for the rapid customisation of sales processes, giving the sales teams the ability to meet the specific requirements of their buyers in real time.

Meanwhile, to assist organisations in addressing the challenge that they face from extreme industry competition, the Salesforce Commerce Cloud offers a solution through intelligent recommendations and merchandising rules.

The power of AI is critical here. Through a data-driven and automated approach to analysing customer behaviour and preferences, Commerce Cloud can assist sales efforts by automatically suggesting relevant products and offerings. The sales and marketing teams need to work together to make sure that the information being presented to clients is of a high quality to assist in the purchasing decision, but Commerce Cloud will make sure that the buyer is seeing the right products for their needs.


More than anything, however, the secret to B2B sales in niche markets is to understand the human

As powerful as AI is, in the context of healthcare, it needs to support sales efforts, and not dominate them. As PwC noted in an in-depth study of the new B2B value chain: “The human-centred experience needs to be designed into not only the product or service, but also the interactions and touchpoints between the company’s organisation and its supporting ecosystem. Most of the interactions and customer journeys can be anticipated and designed, with particular attention paid to the moments of truth. Doing so will require the use of data and insights, as well as a method to communicate about interactions and transactions, such as traditional or social media marketing, dealer interactions, website exchanges and customer service. Many of these interactions will need investments in systems and operating model elements and, most important, in training and culture change.

“The foundation of all this is empathy—the ability of an organisation and its people to consistently be aware of the customer’s frame of reference and context, and to anticipate and respond accordingly. Among the more well-known and high-impact examples of empathy in action is GE Healthcare’s redesign of the MRI experience for children after an engineer observed their terror and connected it with the high rate of sedation required. When the overwhelming experience became an adventure, that rate dropped drastically, and customer satisfaction increased by 90%.

PwC’s findings echo Salesforces’ own, too. As Salesforce notes in How to Drive Efficiencies with an All-in-One approach to ecommerce: “To create a seamless experience and win customer loyalty, businesses need maximum visibility into each phase of the journey — from discovery to delivery.” They need this so that they can understand the human motivations underpinning the buying decisions, and focus their sales process in kind.

“Customers increasingly expect all interactions with an organisation to smoothly tie together — and this includes order management. In fact, 83% of customers say they’re more loyal to companies that provide consistency across departments,” Salesforce notes.

“It’s critical that your order management solution connects with other parts of your business — like commerce, service, sales, and marketing. The right order management solution will consolidate customer and order data to give your teams a single view and help you deliver seamless customer experiences.”

Technology in itself can only support a human-driven approach to sales, however. Interpreting the capabilities of the technology into the kind of personalised and human-centric business outcomes that are critical to successful B2B sales engagement in niche product areas. Cloudwerx, which has been recognised by Salesforce Summit Tier for our capabilities with the technology, is focused on helping you streamline processes and boost efficiency, and to help you bring a human-centric approach to ecommerce.


If you are interested in working with Cloudwerx, please reach out to hello@cloudwerx.com. We offer complimentary consultations, and would love to hear about your business.

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