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Understand How CRM Powers B2B Commerce

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Explain how customer relationships power Salesforce B2B Commerce.
  • List the four key capabilities of B2B Commerce.
  • Explain the combined power of B2B Commerce and your Sales and Service Cloud investments.

B2B Commerce and Customer Relationship Management

By now, you probably have a badge or two that shows just how much you know about CRM accounts and contacts (if not, there’s a module for that). That means you already understand the most important aspect of B2B Commerce, because account and contact records are the backbone of B2B Commerce data.

How does this relate to Commerce and CRM?

Organizations build their product and sales teams around account and contact segmentation. Sales and service teams organize around this. Marketing campaigns are also targeted to the segment and account. Commerce unifies marketing, sales, and service to deliver the right product, price, and promotion to the customer whether they are online or offline.

With a unified 360 customer view, Salesforce turns insights into action.

Let’s use a hypothetical account as an example, Fargo Coffeehaus (account), located in the MidWest (segment). Fargo Coffeehaus (Fargo) has negotiated pricing with Capricorn Coffee (Capricorn), a national distributor. Capricorn has an online site where buyers like Fargo can place orders. Let’s meet a couple of important people at Fargo and Capricorn.

Luka is the buyer for Fargo’s five stores, and Natalie is his Capricorn sales rep. They typically meet in person two or three times a quarter to review and book orders. In the past, they tended to communicate via phone, text, and email to restock Fargo’s inventory. Now, with B2B Commerce, Natalie and Luka’s relationship has been transformed.

For example, Luka visits to find the relevant products, pricing, and order history for his business. Natalie, on the other hand, lives in the CRM. She visualizes the health of Luka’s account, and all accounts in her territory, and she is able to draw insights and action from the unified view of her business—like Luka’s response to a bean promotion.

Luka converted an email campaign for the beans of the new roast, adding three units of them to his cart. But he’s busy organizing his stores for yet another blast of cold in the area. Natalie receives a next-best action alert based upon Luka’s action, and Salesforce knowledge of the account and others like Fargo.

Natalie is alerted that Luka qualifies for extended terms (45 days) and a new accessory at 30% off for his espresso machines. She calls Luka to extend the offer; he accepts the terms, adds two more units of beans for his remaining stores, and agrees to try the new accessory in two of his stores. She orders on his behalf and is notified that she’s just met quota!

The Big Four: How We Do It

A simple way to think about what drives B2B Commerce can be organized in four buckets.

  • User Experience
  • Commerce engine
  • Account and Order Management
  • Dashboards and Reports

Experience Management

B2B Commerce is all about personalization. Experience Management delivers to the screen everything from the branded site and capabilities such as quick order (wish list and reorder actions) to modifying the experience from one account or segment to the next.

Experience Management provides business and technical users with the ability to change the layout of the storefront, and create and publish new pages of content. It can modify how products are searched, filtered, and promoted across the buyer journey. Experience Management defines the buyer’s experience (remember Luka?), and it defines how the seller (Natalie) interacts with the buyer.

Shows an example of Experience Management at the fictional Capricorn Coffee site.

Commerce Engine

You can't have a commerce experience without the data to support a personalized commerce experience. The Commerce Engine organizes product, price, and promotions according to account and account segment. Product and price managers define offers, segment pricing, and contract pricing in the Commerce Engine. Those same users define bundles and other product relationships to drive into the experience.

Remember our seller, Capricorn Coffee? Now it wants to expand into Canada. The Commerce Engine gives Capricorn Coffee the ability to quickly translate product, price, and promotions to reflect pricing in Canadian dollars and translate product content and promotions in French Canadian. Now, when a cafe owner in Montreal visits, they get a familiar, localized experience in French, with prices reflected in CAD.

Account and Order Management

You've built that cart, now what can you do with it? The management of orders governs the checkout process—the buying and post-ordering experience. For example, based on who you are, B2B Commerce can require a simplified or more complex checkout. For example, Luka in Fargo has great credit and is able to buy on terms (purchase order), versus a new buyer without a credit history. They will be limited on what they can purchase and must pay through a credit card.

So how does managing orders work? With B2B Commerce, the buyer can build large orders (hundreds of line items) maximizing volume and other promotional pricing. And the buyer, Luka, has control over where and when coffee is shipped to his five stores. This is key for buyers ordering for many locations, or needing to replenish their inventory over a certain time period, while taking advantage of volume discounts.

Account Management goes beyond our consumer experiences. B2B Commerce provides users with the ability to view and search past orders, along with tracking and order information. It also enables B2B Commerce users to view and pay those dreaded invoices!

Shows Account Management call deflection at the fictional Capricorn Coffee site.

Dashboard and Reports

So you want to be a savvy businessperson? B2B Commerce can help. B2B Commerce uniquely combines a 360-degree view of your customer in one platform: one dashboard and report for sales, service, marketing, and commerce engagement. Since B2B Commerce is part of your Salesforce Org, you get the power of real-time analysis of commerce transactions combined with leads, opportunities, and cases. Combined, you gain an intelligent 360 customer view to build your model of customer success, customer satisfaction, growth, margins and so on.

Shows Actionable insights with B2B Commerce dashboards and reports.

Knowledge Is Power

As we noted above, the power of B2B Commerce and CRM makes important data easily accessible to both sellers and buyers.

Sellers gain real-time visibility to account activity (leads, opportunities, orders, and cases).

Buyers gain:
  • Account-specific pricing and product catalog
  • Accurate and transparent product, price, and promotions
  • Efficient, consumer-like buying
  • Sophisticated ordering across multiple locations and dates

Here are a few more use cases for how B2B Commerce can drive additional returns in your Salesforce investments.

Sales Cloud
  • Partner relationship management: Embed commerce to complete a partner engagement strategy gaining critical market insights, brand loyalty, and revenue growth across your partner ecosystem.
  • Field ordering: Lower cost to serve with more efficient order management by placing orders on behalf of customers.
  • Sales enablement: Repurpose the online catalog to give your new reps an easy and familiar way to interact with and understand your products (videos, data sheets, diagrams, and more).
  • Lead to quote: Convert leads to opportunities directly from B2B Commerce saving time building a quote.
Service Cloud
  • Self-service: Deflect high-cost customer interactions with online access to account information, order history, order status, and invoices.
  • Lightning service console: Drive intelligent insights with a combined view of customer orders and cases to improve resolution time.
  • Field Service: Resolve cases faster by ordering replacement parts on-site, or scheduling the repair with the delivery.

What’s Next?

You’ve learned about Salesforce B2B Commerce: what it is, some of its key features, and how it relates to the industry in general and Salesforce CRM data and Sales and Service Cloud in particular. Next, explore B2B Commerce on Lightning Experience.

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