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B2B self-service models can provide efficiency and expediency for your enterprise tech company, regardless of how complicated or simple your business is.
Although these systems have perks, that doesn’t mean they’re always a perfect fit. From unique e-commerce models to SaaS startups, each company's internal process is different. As a result, the way self-service is implemented differs greatly. However, there are underlying themes in each model that you can apply to your enterprise business.
Making big changes is never easy. By identifying those issues and by working through how to get past those hold ups, you can establish a more holistic view of what you need to do moving forward.
What does your current workflow look like?
Let’s say you’re looking to use a self-service workflow for your sales team. How do you work with Legal on contracts, Operations on structure, Finance on numbers? By leveraging pre-approved deal structures, legal language, and operational workflows, hiccups inherent in your process can disappear.
Are your existing solutions flexible and adaptable enough to support self-service?
Going self-service is more than just “going digital.” You have to build the self-service experience that makes it easier for the rep to construct a deal in a way that’s pre-approved and pre-negotiated. What kind of workflow would you need to enable for the customer to simplify the buying process?
What systems do you currently use, and how could you use them to better enable these types of experiences?
Some businesses are prevented from going self-service, because while they have the structure and processes of the back-office in place (that is, the internal workflow needed to deliver a product or service to the end-user), they do not have the front-office set up.
Evaluate the systems you currently use for commerce, finance, and customer relationship management to drive the generation of your products and services, and determine how they all work together. This way you have a clearer picture of what is needed to enable self-service and how it fits into your current workflow.
Do you have stakeholders in mind that you could collaborate with to implement self-service?
Self-service flows cannot fall on the shoulders of a single department. Too often, it is seen as the sole job of Product teams, as they are responsible for customer/user experience, and no other department has a seat at the table for building out the flow. But looking at the potential flow from a thousand foot view, it becomes clear that other departments are stakeholders in this initiative, too.
Onboarding for employees, customers, and vendors should be a rapid and painless experience. Enabling self service flows is the best way to ensure that outcome. Since the contracts and agreements associated with these processes are generally standard, they are excellent candidates for self-service enabled flows.
Empowering these groups to quickly onboard not only provides them with an excellent experience working with you as a partner, but makes your business more efficient. If you have self-service experiences driving these processes, you are able to increase the volume of net new customers and vendors you can handle, allowing your company to capitalize on every opportunity that comes your way. Contracting will not be a barrier to quick, efficient business.
The same goes for enabling and scaling your sales team. A speedy, efficient sales cycle is every sales leader’s goal, and a self-service flow can help you achieve it.
If the prospect or opportunity can fill out agreements on their own rather than wait for the salesperson, your sales team as a whole can get back some time in their day to advance other deals. The deal then advances through the funnel faster, and sales throughput is increased, thereby increasing overall sales velocity.
Provide a top tier customer experience by enabling your customers to serve themselves. A self-service flow can help you empower your customers to buy what they want, when they want it, without needing to ask you for it.
With a self-service flow and intelligent pricing, there is no need to wait for them to wait for quotes or to go back and forth on agreements for new products and services purchased. They will also be empowered to cut out the proverbial middle-man for simple asks, such as scheduled delivery and quick access to their own accounts.
It is a powerful way to show customers you value their time. Even one less step is a huge value add when it comes to ease of purchase and overall buying experience.
The entire organization and individual departments can get a well-needed efficiency boost by implementing self-service. Sales, procurement, customer service, and legal can use it to serve customers, vendors, and employees better; this will bring each department in better alignment with the others.
To learn more about what enterprise tech needs to know about becoming self-service, download our eBook, Becoming Self-Service: What Enterprise Tech Needs to Know here.