Remove Roadblocks to B2B Portals
Companies, like manufacturers, face a common problem when making payments to suppliers: the lack of supplier portals. In a recent study conducted by pymnts.com, 42% of financial institutions cited paying suppliers as a common problem corporations face. And 15% of those executives surveyed said the inability to offer supplier portals was the most important problem companies confront when paying suppliers.
Competing internal priorities, lack of resources, and software upgrades can dismantle a B2B portal project. But customers are demanding digital self-service from their suppliers and B2B companies need to overcome the obstacles associated with providing this crucial customer portal.
Here are some of the most common challenges B2B faces – and how to overcome them.
B2B Portals Aren’t Supported by Leadership
In the manufacturing industry, for example, there are businesses with digital-first sensibilities. These companies understand the digital expectations of today’s B2B buyer and executive leadership has made it a strategic priority to provide a great self-service experience through B2B eCommerce.
At the other end of the spectrum, are organizations that haven’t seen the digital shift firsthand, and they don’t believe their B2B customers need this kind of experience to purchase their products. In their world, customers are placing orders via phone, email, and even fax. To overcome this mentality, leadership and stakeholders need to be educated on how B2B customer portals and e-invoicing bring value through convenience, streamlined processes, and ultimately savings to the bottom line that impact suppliers and buyers positively.
The Product Data Isn’t Ready
Most B2B eCommerce solutions come bundled with a product catalog but that doesn’t mean that merchants already have it in place. For many businesses, centralizing and updating this content can be a deterrent to launch a customer portal.
Business can look for a platform that allows them to start with customer self-service for tracking orders and invoices. When a customer service portal is launched first, it can offload the burden of routine inquiries from customer service reps. As customers get familiar with the B2B portal, companies will gain their trust, which makes it easy to add online ordering and product catalogs as the solution is being built.
Business Processes Are Too Complex
Customer-specific pricing, multiple payers associated with a single customer account, or multi-part processes for order placement are all part of a complex B2B transaction. With all that complexity, B2B companies assume a human acting as a liaison between the customer and the ERP is required.
The key is to find a B2B portal platform that includes comprehensive, prebuilt, configurable integration with an ERP. A solution that supports that complexity out of the box is ideal to avoid building and maintaining a custom integration and alleviating the need for an employee to be in the middle of the process.
Learn About i3 Merchant Solutions’ B2B Payments:
Contact us online or call 1-800-621-8931.
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