B2B Order-taking guide: create a healthy customer journey and repeat orders

B2B Order-taking guide: create a healthy customer journey and repeat orders

Reinforce your customer journey with the right tools. Learn the benefits of an effective online ordering system and strategies for getting started.

The health and beauty industries have become increasingly competitive over the years. With new products emerging daily, brands are scrambling to find ways to capture the attention of their audiences. This is where creating a well-designed customer journey plays an important role.

The customer journey allows companies to map out customer touchpoints and make the most of each interaction. It’s essential in improving client satisfaction and driving repeat transactions. However, implementing this requires data collection and analysis, which can be hard to do without the right tools.


The 6 ways effective order taking supports customer growth

Let’s look at some of the ways effective order-taking can reinforce the customer journey. From crafting buyer personas to optimizing processes, this guide will walk you through a few strategies to get you started.


1. Provides helpful customer insight profiles

Digital customer experiences are treasure troves of data. They give you a meaningful understanding of your customers’ behaviour, which will help you identify any points of improvement necessary for the customer journey. However, not all businesses have the time and resources to create surveys, conduct interviews, or purchase consumer data.

A digital ordering system can make the collection and analysis process more efficient. These solutions allow you to record customer interactions and give you insights into a wide variety of data, including demographic information, purchasing behaviour, preferred touchpoints, and interaction history. In turn, having this data at your fingertips allows you to reap numerous benefits:

Optimize customer journey mapping

Consumer data gives you a comprehensive view of how your clients move down the pipeline. It can also help you map out their touchpoints, assess how to meet their expectations at every step, and make the onboarding experience seamless.

Create targeted campaigns

Ordering systems give you data on previous transactions and interactions with a client. These let you pinpoint what they like and don’t like, and show you where and when to interact with them. This data also helps you to understand what promotions might pique their interest. As a result, you can craft personalized campaigns for different customer segments.

Make inventory forecasting accurate

Just as ordering apps benefit the food and beverage sector, they help health and beauty businesses gain a comprehensive view of purchasing patterns. This makes it easy to anticipate order influx and ensure you don’t lose out on sales.

Measure your overall performance

Customer insights help you determine exactly where you stand in the market—whether you’re behind competitors or ahead of the curve. In the long run, this data can also help you determine whether you’re ready to expand the business.


2. Access to customer analytics

Order-taking platforms provide rich customer analytics, which can streamline the process of mapping the customer journey. They track various metrics, from year-on-year sales per month and top buyers to the monetary value per transaction and frequency of transactions per customer.

With these data points, customer analytics is easier to perform. There are several methods you can use:

  • Behaviour Analytics: This is data on how customers interact with your app or website. It measures activities like new purchases, recently viewed products, and order cancellations. You can also see when and how customers access your site.
  • Retention Analytics: This involves analyzing periodic and retrospective data to see historical trends in customer activity. It monitors retention and churn rates across customer segments to zero in on potential gaps in the pipeline and determines when to tap disengaged customers.
  • Engagement Analytics: This follows interactions throughout the customer lifecycle. It measures the effectiveness of customer touchpoints like email, in-app messaging, calls, and face-to-face meetings. With this, you can see which channels customers prefer and which ones yield the highest engagement.
  • Customer Experience Analytics: This measures metrics such as net promoter score (NPS), customer satisfaction (CSAT) score, and customer effort score (CES) to gain a 360-degree view of the customer experience from acquisition to conversion.
  • Voice of the Customer (VoC) Analytics: This method measures overall target audience sentiment. To do this, it captures customers’ opinions of your brand – what they expected, liked, and didn’t like – to help businesses improve overall service.

Leveraging these methods enables you to recognize patterns throughout the customer journey, which can reinforce customer communication and build loyalty. In addition, the insights you gain from these customer analytics can determine ways to improve your products and services, be it changing your rates, offering add-ons, or expanding your touchpoints.


3. Opens opportunities for sales training

A well-trained workforce is vital to good operational performance. With 87% of company executives anticipating skill gaps in the next few years, the role of employee development is more important than ever. However, it takes more than just giving your field reps opportunities to learn how to sell.

To start, agents must be provided with the right resources to sell effectively in the competitive health and beauty markets. This includes easy access to product information and ways to measure their overall performance. Many companies utilize digital order-taking platforms to meet these needs, as they can reinforce training in a few ways:

Improve access to information on the go

Cloud-based ordering systems can serve as central repositories of information. They store information on products, pricing, industry trends, and competitor data, which enables access and knowledge transfer.

Agents can also use these systems to get information on the clients they’re meeting. For instance, a salesperson might access demographic information and transaction histories. This way, they can develop more dynamic selling strategies on the fly and be more agile in serving their customers.

Encourage performance improvement

Unlike offline ordering, digital systems track and measure sales activities in real-time. They monitor the number of orders captured, actual sales numbers by agent, time spent on selling, and lead conversion rates.

This data allows you to quantify agent performance and measure productivity more accurately. As a result, it’s easier for managers to set actionable sales goals and reinforce performance improvement initiatives in the long run.

Facilitate communication between trainees and supervisors

Some ordering systems can act as communication hubs for field reps. For instance, trainees can communicate with their supervisors through the app if they cannot retrieve needed files remotely or have questions regarding promotions a client might be interested in.

Alternatively, online ordering systems can be used as a unified inbox where sales teams can view customer conversations from multiple touchpoints. With these uses, keeping an open line of communication among trainees is easier, which can speed up the training process.


4. Improved efficiency and accuracy

The business-to-business (B2B) buyer expectations have greatly evolved in recent years, with more customers preferring experiences similar to the business-to-consumer (B2C) model.

According to a 2022 report by McKinsey, top-tier customers expect their suppliers to offer real-time/always-on customer service (72%) and consistent experiences across channels (72%). In addition, they want their suppliers to notify them of product availability online (74%) and give them the option to purchase products from any channel.

A survey from Avionos reported B2B buyers’ top priority in the next year is to increase their process efficiency. In line with this, a whopping 94% of buyers say they prefer suppliers that can continually improve their digital capabilities. This is why field reps need to invest in digital ordering systems.

Digital ordering systems can streamline selling processes, making the customer journey more efficient and accurate. Depending on the platform you invest in, you can gain access to features like automation, invoicing, team management, and remote communication. You’ll also see benefits to operational processes, such as:

Timely order placements

End-to-end ordering systems can be integrated with your warehouse management system. This means all orders placed by a field rep or the customer are sent directly to the warehouse. As a result, you can fulfil orders in a timely manner.

Easy status checks

Aside from making order placements quicker and more convenient for customers, ordering systems also make checking the status of all orders easier. Field reps can get real-time updates on an item’s status at the warehouse, track its delivery, and monitor inventory levels. This way, it’s easier to manage customer expectations.

Better order fulfilment accuracy

Perhaps the most important improvement in the customer journey is order fulfilment accuracy. Because everything is digitized, reps and customers have less back-and-forth during the purchasing process. This means companies can reduce the risk of errors that might cause dissatisfaction.

That said, it makes sense that the number of self-directed purchases among B2B buyers is now greater than purchases made through face-to-face interactions.


5. A better customer profile

As mentioned earlier, digitized ordering systems make it easy to collect customer data. A deeper understanding of your customer base through data will allow you to create accurate customer profiles to improve your marketing and sales campaigns. In the long run, this will help you to build trust among customers and improve satisfaction.

For B2C selling, knowing the demographic data of your clientele – such as age range, geographic location, and income bracket – is a great start to building a solid customer journey. However, if you’re catering to wholesale distribution sectors like the health and beauty industries, there are other elements worth noting to create a comprehensive customer profile:

  • Company size: This can be measured using different factors such as employee count, annual revenue, or the size of their customer base.
  • Niche: This specifies the niche or target market the company serves.
  • Goals: This defines the long or short-term goals your company could help fulfill. For instance, cosmetic distributors may want to expand their selection of beauty products. Or pharmacies could be interested in adding medical equipment and similar products that competitors don’t carry.
  • Challenges and pain points: This outlines problems the company might be facing. It could be a shift in consumer demands, industry regulations, or concerns with internal problems like budget restraints.

Collecting this information sets your field reps up for success. It allows them to tailor their approach for each customer and map out appropriate messaging that meets the client’s needs. However, remember that poor customer data is detrimental to the customer journey. So, verifying your collected information before using it for your profiles is important.


6. Build a quality customer journey with the right tools

Creating memorable customer experiences is critical to succeeding in a highly competitive marketplace. It’s what distinguishes you from the sea of companies in your field. However, building a good customer journey requires you to have a solid understanding of your clients. To do so, consider incorporating customer relationship management (CRM), enablement, and field management solutions like Skynamo.

Skynamo is a mobile-first, cloud-based application created to help field sales agents reduce administrative tasks and focus on selling. For instance, in the beauty and cosmetics industry, it helps agents record inventory information in real-time and update price catalogs on the fly.

Meanwhile, if you’re in the health and safety industry, Skynamo allows managers to communicate with field reps easily. This way, they can forward any technical information an agent might need to close deals with prospects.

Want to learn more about how you can use Skynamo for your business? Let’s chat! We’ll gladly walk you through the field sales management solutions we offer.