For businesses looking to tackle wholesale for the first time, or looking to support an already established group of retailers, examining a B2B solution is often a logical step. However, it’s often met with a lot of question marks.
Let’s debunk the 4 biggest objections that we hear from brands when it comes to investing in a B2B platform:
1) It’s Too Expensive
It’s not unreasonable to be price conscious. In fact, we highly recommend setting a budget before reaching out to software vendors. The problem we see most often is that companies don’t know how to budget. They make the mistake of just comparing it to other systems they have, like Shopify, which is like comparing apples to zebras.
We recommend looking at 2 things to start:
Current annual wholesale revenue
Projected annual wholesale revenue in one year and two years (which is the standard length of a software contract)
You don’t only want to consider what you did before using a B2B platform. Consider your goals after implementing it, which should be growth of at least 15-20%.
From there, use the 1% rule. If you want to be conservative, take 1% of your current annual wholesale revenue. If you have big growth goals, take 1% of your projected annual wholesale revenue. For example, if you’re doing 1.2 million dollars currently, your annual budget should be at least $12,000 (1,200,000 * 1%).
Is it worth 1% of revenue to grow by 20%?
2) I Don’t Have Time
The seasonal element of the apparel and footwear industry can limit the time brands have to implement new technology. To pile it on, the wholesale channel might even be run by a single individual who is already trying to juggle a few hundred retailers.
For years, B2B providers have been offering up 12-16 week implementation timelines. Not to mention, the brand carries a large portion of the work, taking away from their normal responsibilities.
At Envoy B2B, we focus on being as close to turnkey as possible when it comes to set up. Our typical implementation time frame is 4-6 weeks, and sometimes even quicker, depending on complexity. And we take on the bulk of the workload, so you’re team doesn’t see a negative impact.
3) My Buyer’s Won’t Use It
Au contraire. Our research shows that your buyers prefer working with brands that have a B2B. In fact, you’re at a big disadvantage with your competitors if you aren’t offering a digital ordering experience. That same research we conducted with specialty retailers shows that many of them are working with 20+ brands and 5+ B2B systems.
Buyer adoption is dependent on two things. How easy-to-use the platform is and how the brand supports buyers during the onboarding process. During our implementation process, one of the key steps is helping our brands formulate and deploy a buyer onboarding process. We go as far as giving you templated emails to send out to all buyers that welcome them into your new system and processes. Just like your buyers need a great partner to help them learn, you need a great partner behind you showing you the way.
Will you have buyers in remote places that can’t always access an online platform? Of course. For those that can’t always connect to the internet, you can generate your order forms right from Envoy B2B. This at least ensures that whatever they are using is current and accurate, because it was generated from your digital platform.
4) My Sales Reps Don’t Want It
This objection is becoming more rare, but still comes up a’plenty. Brands using independent reps or even in house ones often try to cater to what that rep prefers. Sometimes this means relying fully on print catalogs and look books.
Some food for thought:
If you use independent reps, they are already using a B2B with another brand.
It’s your brand, and you need to choose what is best for it. Don’t inhibit your growth by catering to old school demands. A good rep will use the best tool available to them.
One of the fundamentals to building a strong wholesale channel is ensuring your brand has a team of enablement focused reps. This won’t happen if you don’t provide your reps with the best tools possible to do their job and educate their retailers. Paper catalogs and excel spreadsheets don’t fit that bill. In today’s modern retail landscape, with fast paced seasons and technology savvy retailers, your reps need a strong B2B platform to succeed.
It's Time To Modernize Your B2B
Change can be daunting, and it’s not hard to find reasons to avoid it. The timing never feels “perfect,” or there’s too many irons in the fire, or any other number of excuses are easy to throw up. But the truth is, none of those old excuses hold up if your brand is truly looking to modernize and grow. Because the more you allow your systems to stay stuck in the past, the more your brand starts to flatline.
If you’d like to learn more about how Envoy B2B has helped other brands like you overcome excuses and leap over these initial hurdles, drop us a line.
Envoy B2B is a wholesale content and eCommerce platform for your entire team. Our tools and services are designed to help you create dynamic content, increase your speed of sale, and bring you closer to your retailers. Envoy B2B provides the technology you need to empower your sales reps and support your retail channel.