Thanks to the digital transformation of commerce, healthcare organisations are increasingly challenged to develop a robust ecommerce presence as the basis of their sales strategy. As McKinsey noted, ecommerce has become the most effective sales channel for B2B ecommerce enterprises. For healthcare in particular, this is something new. The industry has relied heavily on in-person sales and networking historically, but now the trend is irresistible. Those that don’t adapt to ecommerce are not delivering what their customers and partners want, and will increasingly find themselves left behind.
The problem is that many organisations in healthcare have legacy data and systems, and these are incapable of delivering the kind of differentiated experience that their customers, the buyers, are looking for. In many cases, they’ll need to undertake a full transformation of their ecommerce sales platform. This can be a challenging project – which is why Cloudwerx specialises in helping organisations architect and deliver transformation.
The benefit of undertaking the transformation is that the organisation will then be able to deliver an ecommerce experience that delivers the differentiation and customer experience that allows it to effectively stand out. It also helps the organisation reduce the burden on their sales team, as many of the touchpoints with the customer can then be automated and allow the sales team to focus on higher-value activities.
Cloudwerx, a company that is committed to helping organisations deliver all of this, embrace change and achieve growth in their digital platforms. Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a core part of the Cloudwerx experience, for the way it combines to assist organisations in achieving this differentiation. There are six areas in particular where this combination delivers for healthcare:
To achieve product differentiation, businesses must showcase their products in a way that not only appeals to buyers but also makes it easy for them to find the information that is relevant to their needs. Salesforce Commerce Cloud equips businesses with a variety of tools and features to deliver this, right from the top of the funnel:
Salesforce Commerce Cloud offers robust catalogue management capabilities. This enables any B2B ecommerce platform to display its products in an organised and visually appealing manner. From there, they can help those products to stand out by implementing detailed product descriptions, and integrating rich media content such as images and videos to help customers make informed decisions. Salesforce research shows that 80% of people say that the experience that a company provides is as important as the product or service that it offers, so making sure that the sales platform is both informative and engaging is a critical part of the first impressions created, and the ultimate success of the platform.
For B2B businesses, allowing customers to configure products to their specific needs is an essential part of product differentiation. Salesforce Commerce Cloud gives B2B companies the tools they need to deliver this over their ecommerce platform, including the ability to generate instant quotes, and streamline the order process. This level of flexibility will help to set businesses apart from competitors with rigid product offerings.
Exceptional customer service is a key driver of success in B2B e-commerce. Buyers might be increasingly comfortable with making purchases with a low level of interaction with salespeople, but this doesn’t mean they’re willing to accept a lower level of service.
As Gartner notes, to deliver a differentiated service standard, “chief sales officers (CSOs) must prepare their teams to go deeper with greater levels of empathy and understanding.”
Gartner refers to this as situational awareness, and this is built on the premise that every buying situation is unique, but with patterns that repeat across organisations.
This is an area that Cloudwerx specialises in, as an organisation that puts people, process and technology in that order. To deliver it, Cloudwerx helps organisations leverage the capabilities of Salesforce Commerce Cloud, which offers several features that can help businesses elevate their service differentiation:
Through Salesforce Commerce Cloud, it becomes easy to create a self-service portal that gives customers the comprehensive ability to access order history, track shipments, and resolve common issues without the need for direct contact with customer support. This not only enhances the customer experience, and reduces the workload on the customer support team, but it also fits with the preferences of modern buyers, with Gartner finding that 44% of millennials (and even more Gen Z) prefer that no sales rep be part of the sales process.
B2B buyers want to see accurate and real-time information about product availability. With Salesforce Commerce Cloud, businesses can provide customers with up-to-the-minute inventory data, reducing the chances of out-of-stock situations and enhancing trust in the company’s reliability.
By integrating the ecommerce platform with Salesforce’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, businesses can gain a 360-degree view of their customers. This integration empowers sales and support teams with valuable insights, enabling them to offer tailored assistance and build stronger, long-lasting relationships. As Alice Walmesley, Director of Gartner’s Sales Practice, said:
“Tailoring, not just messaging, the entire selling approach according to a customer’s context should focus on helping the buying stakeholders with the implications of a change or purchase decision.
This situational tuning of sense making tactics is necessary for an agile selling approach that drives buyer confidence and consensus. When done right, it can improve buyer decision making quality by 11%.”
Efficient and flexible distribution is the third “prong” of successful B2B e-commerce. Here, Cloudwerx and Salesforce Commerce Cloud equips businesses with tools to successfully optimise their distribution strategies:
Salesforce Commerce Cloud allows businesses to present their buyers with a variety of shipping options. This flexibility caters to the diverse needs of B2B customers and can be a significant point of differentiation.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud’s capabilities extend to supporting the inventory and warehouse management systems, ensuring accurate and efficient order fulfilment while enabling true just-in-time processes. This allows B2B organisations to fulfil orders in a timely manner – preserving the customer experience – while controlling costs and managing inventory effectively.
Building and nurturing strong relationships with B2B customers is a strategic imperative, and this is why the omnichannel approach to B2B remains as important as ever. Yes, the ecommerce platform is now the main sales platform and customers increasingly look to make purchases without the involvement of sales staff, however the role of sales has never been more critical for building long-term relationships. As Gartner notes, the strategy needs to be to
“engage buyers through an intelligently coordinated purchase experience by delivering proactive and prescriptive situation-specific support for all engagement channels and touchpoints.”
Salesforce Commerce Cloud offers features that enable businesses to excel in the integration of the ecommerce platform into the businesses customer relationship system:
With Salesforce Commerce Cloud, businesses can segment their customer base based on various criteria, such as purchase history, industry, or location. This segmentation allows for targeted marketing efforts and personalised communication.
B2B transactions often involve multiple stakeholders within a customer organisation. It remains true that it takes 7-13 touches to generate a sale in B2B, for example. Salesforce Commerce Cloud supports account-based selling by allowing businesses to create hierarchical account structures, ensuring that all relevant parties have access to the necessary information and pricing.
A company can also achieve differentiation by leaving a good impression before even the first interaction. A positive image and reputation can mean the difference between where a customer wants to direct their business, and the Salesforce Commerce Cloud offers features that can contribute to a company’s image and reputation:
Encouraging user-generated content such as reviews, ratings, and testimonials can enhance a company’s credibility and help to bring the human quality of interacting with the business to the fore. Salesforce Commerce Cloud provides tools to collect and showcase this content, allowing potential customers to gain insights from their peers.
Maintaining a consistent brand image all touchpoints and interactions between customer and business can help build a positive impression about the professionalism and standards of the business. Salesforce Commerce Cloud is fully customisable, and organisations can use it to ensure that a business’s e-commerce site aligns with the overall brand identity.
Finally, pricing is, of course, a critical part of B2B selling. Customers need to be able to access pricing that is tailored to their needs, and this has traditionally been a challenge that made B2B ecommerce less viable than the B2C counterpart. However, Salesforce Commerce Cloud offers several features to support price differentiation:
Salesforce Commerce Cloud enables businesses to implement dynamic pricing based on factors such as order quantity, customer segment, or contract terms. This flexibility allows for strategic pricing that maximises profitability without compromising competitiveness.
For businesses that engage in long-term contracts with customers, the platform supports contract-specific pricing. This ensures that negotiated terms and conditions are accurately reflected in the e-commerce system, enhancing transparency and trust.
As Gartner notes
“Most sales organisations treat customers largely the same by applying a standardised engagement process that discounts each customer’s unique situation. However, these traditional approaches are less effective because customer situations are increasingly different.”
Ultimately, success in a vertical like healthcare B2B sales and B2C sales are not that different. Organisations need to differentiate themselves, and then recognise that underpinning the entire sales process is human interactions, meeting human needs.
This is where Cloudwerx and Salesforce Commerce Cloud can assist. By putting the human experience at the centre of the B2B ecommerce experience, Cloudwerx is able to assist organisations in their ability to adapt to changing customer needs and market dynamics, and achieve the differentiation they need to elevate their ecommerce sales success.