Technology has changed numerous aspects of the B2B sales process. Many have been covered in this blog, with vendors gaining the ability to streamline many components of a transaction, thus improving their profitability and making it easier for customers to acquire and pay for products and services. However, the enhancement of the process has also created a set of heightened expectations, particularly from the buyer's side, that must be addressed by vendors if they are to successfully maintain their position in the market.
Technological advancements have given customers a taste of quick, efficient processes, and it's not one they want to give up any time soon. Procurement specialists have the ability to receive a wealth of information in seconds and they can view it on a myriad of devices. This type of service has put the power in the buyer's hands. If a vendor cannot provide instant satisfaction, what chance does it have with a customer who knows it's possible and will accept nothing else?
The Acquity report previously mentioned in this blog found that 71 percent of buyers would purchase from providers with easier online search capabilities. So, if they are looking for a vendor on Google, those that show up first have a much better chance of winning the customer's business.
That's just part of the equation, however, and what the stat really speaks to is the growing desire to expedite the buying process. When a company decides to buy something, those making the decision want to have it in their possession as soon as possible. So, the sooner that product is within the office walls and paid for, the better.
Processing payments made with various commercial cards can help with this process as it can speed up the transaction. However, some carry extensive processing fees, so vendors have to ensure they are equipped with the right payment solutions to reach the highest possible value with each transaction. For example, obtaining a solution that can process Level 3 data with line item detail will let vendors pay the lowest possible interchange rate without compromising the speed of the transaction.
At the end of the day, it's important for vendors to offer the level of efficiency their customers need, but they cannot afford to give up anything in terms of their own profitability. Working with a B2B payments consultant can offer the best of both worlds.