The B2B wholesale sales and distribution industry is facing a rapid shift in customer expectations.
With the advance in technology to support an on-demand economy, B2B wholesale customers are expecting the level of service they get as individual B2C consumers. You'd risk losing customers and revenue if your wholesale business lags behind in efficiency, sales enablement, and customer experiences.
To increase your B2B wholesale sales, you need to cultivate loyalty to increase customer lifetime value, while attracting new customers through promotions and referrals.
Here are 7 strategies to help you boost sales and profits:
1. Offer Special Deals
To attract retailers to your B2B wholesale business and move merchandise quickly and easily, you can promote daily or weekly deals that offer savings in addition to the wholesale discount.
You can also provide special savings for retailers that purchase in bulk to encourage large volume orders.
Offering special deals can help cultivate loyalty with your current clientele. The more purchases customers make, the more likely they will return to your business.
2. Incentivize Retailers
To encourage employees in retail outlets to recommend your products, you can create an incentive program to reward those employees. Thorn Apple Valley, maker of sausages, hot dogs, and meat products, incentivized meat managers in supermarkets and increased sales by 22 percent.
You can also offer a referral program to encourage customers to tell their networks and connections about your company.
3. Make Ordering, Billing, and Shipping a Seamless Process
To increase the ease of purchasing -- which is critical to conversion and customer retention -- implement a robust B2B eCommerce platform and automate the fulfillment process as much as possible.
Whenever appropriate, make sure all interactions with your sales and customer service representative are reflected in the customer profile and the personalized pricing on your site.
You can also create a mobile app from which customized information can be accessed, to encourage retailers to order from you whenever and wherever they need.
A streamlined process means fewer errors, delays, or back orders, as well as time and money saved for your customers. This makes them more likely to order and re-order from your wholesale business rather than your competitors.
4. Offer Fast Shipping And On-Time Delivery
A retailer can lose revenue if a product is out of stock. By offering fast shipping to your customers without additional cost, they're more likely to order from you.
You also want to make sure product demands are forecasted accurately so you can plan production and avoid delays in delivery -- which can hurt the trust and relationships you've built with your customers, causing them less likely to order from you again.
5. Provide Outstanding Customer Service
Whether online or offline, make sure your customers are getting the assistance when and where they need it.
Train your sales and customer service representatives to interact with your customers in a friendly and professional manner, while empowering them to make decisions that put the customers first.
If your products are technical in nature, you can provide in-store training for your key accounts so their employees can effectively sell your products.
Omnichannel sales and customer support are now expected of B2B merchants and wholesalers. Your sales reps, eCommerce platform, mobile app and other customer touch points need to provide a seamless experience.
Excellent customer service will help you stand out, attracting loyal and high-volume customers that translate into more sales and higher profit margins.
6. Attract New Wholesale Customers With a Special Offer
When retailers research products online and come across your website, you can capture leads by offering them a one-time special (e.g. discount or free shipping) for their first purchase to entice them to place an order.
You can increase the sense of urgency by making this a limited time offer to encourage prospects to place an order immediately.
Once they've made a purchase from you, they're more likely to come back and order again.
7. Make Recommendations
Become a valuable partner to your customers by offering insights on their competitors and make suggestions on popular products that are selling well with other retailers.
This will not only help you increase sales for your wholesales business by getting customers to order a larger variety of products from you but it also builds relationship and loyalty as they perceive you as a trusted advisor.
Encourage retailers to try out a new merchandise by offering a bundle discount with a product they're currently purchasing, and provide support to help them cross-sell or ups-sell this new item to their customers.
What strategies have you used to increase your B2B wholesale sales? What works, and what doesn't? Leave a comment below to share your insights: