Marketplace Trends

What Does Simplifying the Buyer Experience Mean for Online Marketplaces?

Simplifying the Buyer Experience for Online Markerplaces-08

Is your online B2B marketplace moving at a snail’s pace? Because many of today’s enterprises are notorious for complex digital experiences that feature too many people, drawn-out steps, and inadequate sales velocity.

In fact,  39% of current B2B buyers regularly encounter processes that are overwhelming and confusing to complete.

To simplify B2B buyer experiences and ensure success moving forward, you need to rethink contracting by considering how shoppers interact with your business. Improving contract design for rapid acceptance, enabling  self-service, and helping your customers purchase quickly are all ways that you can simplify the buyer experience for your customers and prospects.

Design Your Contracts for Rapid Acceptance

When you think about contracts, what comes to mind? For most businesses, it's "legal." Traditional contract design considers risks, benefits, and client protections – not how to simply B2B buyer experiences.

Unfortunately, this outdated thinking creates negative consequences: bottlenecking, delays, and low sales velocity while deals wait for prolonged negotiations to be completed. For your online marketplace, this means weeks – if not months – of waiting before your organization can finalize one agreement and move on to the next.

Watch: The Economics of Contract Design

To simplify your digital buyer experience, your contracts should be designed to maximize customer satisfaction by meeting their modern needs. Consider what both parties are trying to accomplish with an agreement, what effect you want your contracts to have, and how you think your customers interpret them.

For most businesses, this means going far beyond the manual processes of paper or PDF-based contracting – high-velocity should be your goal. After all, the faster your agreements are accepted, the quicker deals close, partnerships start, and revenue grows.

It’s never been more important than it is today to adopt a digitalized approach to contracting. Otherwise, you’ll fail to meet a large percentage of your customers where they’re shopping – slowing down business and sales velocity before deals can even be closed.

eBook Download: A Salesperson's Guide to Beating Growth Goals: Contracts that Close Faster

Done right, however, designing your contracts to be digitally native:

  • Reduces time spent on contracting by 20% (Goldman Sachs)
  • Leads to 30% larger renewal values (Goldman Sachs)
  • Results in a 20% increase in sales, or a 20% savings in sales operation costs 
  • Saves 40% on contract administration costs (Microsoft)

Going forward, your online efforts can’t continue to rely on traditional contracting. You need to digitalize agreements and give your clients a faster, easier, and more convenient way to do business with you.

Enabling Self-Service to Meet Customer Needs

It’s 2020 – two-day shipping is the standard, and your buyers aren’t impressed by self-service. They expect it. And if you’re not becoming self-service capable, you won’t survive. After all,  72% of B2B customers want these options to manage their online purchases.

Digital consumers are increasingly looking for simplified, frictionless shopping experiences, so cumbersome processes, tedious negotiations, and cookie-cutter digital solutions should be avoided wherever possible. Your business needs to move fast – otherwise, your contracts won’t be able to keep pace with changing customer demands (and they’ll move on to someone else instead).

Becoming self-service capable brings disparate parts of your organization together to simplify B2B buyer experiences and expose your enterprise to customers you weren’t capable of reaching before.

If you’re not offering self-service contract solutions yet, here are three ways you can start upgrading your online marketplace experience:

Intelligent Pricing

Whether you’re talking contracts or pretty much anything else, knowledge is key. Knowing what your clients expect to pay, what digital markets in your industry are charging, and how to price your products/services in a way that doesn’t alienate potential customers is critical. In terms of becoming self-service capable, intelligent pricing can help you eliminate the need for negotiation – helping you close deals faster.

Dynamic Contracting

For many organizations, contracts are the biggest obstacle in becoming self-service capable online. Fortunately, dynamic contracting eliminates this hurdle by presenting shoppers with pre-structured agreements, rendering data based on each specific purchase, and accounting for variable terms to increase sales velocity and simplify B2B buyer experiences.

Contract/Agreement Presentation

The last thing your online marketplace should do is delay a signature when someone is ready to finalize their transaction. So why used PDFs or eSignatures that do just that?

Becoming self-service capable means giving your customers a buying experience that’s every bit as convenient as a B2C site like Amazon – so using embedded signing and/or clickwrap agreements should be an obvious step moving forward.

Embedded signing (also known as API signing) is a next-gen agreement method that goes beyond eSignature to give shoppers the opportunity to accept contracts directly within a website or application – no more uploading, sending, or signing via lengthy email back-and-forths.

Watch: Becoming Self-Service - eBook Summary

Clickwrap, like embedded signing, also provides faster acceptance, reduced redlining, and a more satisfying digital experience. These agreements are a one-click acceptance tool that reduces friction by creating seamless signup and checkout processes.

Serve Your Customers Quickly and Capably

If your goal is to simplify B2B buyer experiences and speed up digital sales, here are a few suggestions:

  • Implement a clickwrap solution. Contracting can take a long time from start to finish. By giving customers a more convenient option to receive and accept terms from your online marketplace, you dramatically reduce their time to sign and your sales cycle length.
  • Assess your sales process. You can improve your deal win rate by analyzing purchase processes and streamlining them to sell precisely when, where, and how your clients prefer to buy.
  • Sell value, not features and benefits. Peace of mind is valuable to any online shopper. Improve your average deal size by convincing your customers why they can’t afford to pass up current deals.
  • Speed up your qualifying efforts. Respond to prospects and leads in real-time, engage them while they’re hot, and push them down your pipeline as quickly as possible to increase the number of opportunities your business has.

Digitalization, enabling self-service, and serving your customers quickly and capably are good places to start – but attentive and agile sales leaders can do more to ensure success and simplify B2B buyer experiences.

Learn more about how to meet your customers needs while beating your growth goals in our eBook, A Salesperson's Guide to Beating Growth Goals: Contracts that Close Faster.

A Salesperson's Guide to Beating Growth Goals: Contracts that Close Faster - eBook Download

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