For B2B companies that don’t have millions of dollars to spend on launching an eCommerce solution, securing the right service to reach more corporate buyers can be tricky. Insite Software is one Commerce-as-a-Solution provider that tailors its tools for the B2B world, and its latest upgrade — InsiteCommerce 4 — has rolled out with new ways to address the challenges that can trip up manufacturers and industry sellers looking to go digital.
The new solution’s updates are largely in response to fluctuating trends in the B2B eCommerce space. But as Cofounder Brian Strojny recently told PYMNTS, the newest version of InsiteCommerce is proactive — not just reactive — in establishing new trends among its users, especially when it comes to payments and money management.
The B2B world has discussed going digital for several years now. But according to Strojny, now is the time that Insite has truly seen change in the industry. In nearly 15 years, Strojny said that he’s seen B2B companies remain “cautious.” Today, however, things are changing.
"Now, we’re seeing activity levels go from a trickle to a flow,” he said. “We’ve never seen activity like this. We’re finally seeing the floodgates open up and see B2B companies embrace digital, as opposed to be afraid of it."
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With that growth, Strojny said, comes new patterns in the ways B2B firms buy, sell and exchange money for goods and services. The rise of B2B eCommerce means greater purchasing volumes, for example. According to Strojny, in some cases, Insite has seen purchase orders double for some sellers.
"Traditionally, distribution has been pretty flat for the last five to seven years,” he said. “This is the first time that these distributors are truly able to see growth and without having to increase staff."
And that means payment volumes are on the rise, too, meaning Insite has made sure to automate as much of the payment process as possible. “This is pretty exciting, given the fact that these organizations have done a lot of things manually over the years,” Strojny said. “We’re so tied into companies’ accounting packages that we know which buyers can buy on credit and what those credit limits are and which buyers should be using a credit card because they don’t have credit or are a new customer and haven’t established terms yet."
Insite, he said, sees about an even split between purchase orders and credit card payments. But as B2B purchase costs rise — along with what Strojny called a “rapid growth” in the use of credit cards among corporate buyers — the company has been keeping an eye on how to manage payment processing fees. The firm partners with multiple payment processors to give customers a choice with how they would like to pay for their goods in order to accommodate the differing needs of business buyers amid a changing B2B payments landscape.
Forging Its Own Path
But not all of Insite’s services are a response to market trends, like the rising need to go digital or the increased frequency of credit card usage. Many of InsiteCommerce 4’s new features were built in an effort to be a catalyst to change the way B2B companies conduct business.
For example, Strojny said that some eCommerce-as-a-Service firms are focusing on the recent chatter about the so-called “Death of a B2B Salesman,” a theory that has led some B2B sales teams to worry that their job will no longer be needed because manufacturers are now running sales operations through an eCommerce portal.
"We’ve seen such a disruption between eCommerce and sales,” he said. “In many cases, the sales organization sees eCommerce as a threat. Insite has a vision of providing tools to both the customer and the sales representative to bring them closer together."
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The Insite cofounder added that he “disagrees wholeheartedly” with the idea that B2B sales teams should fear that their positions will be wiped out by the rise of eCommerce. “We believe that, in B2B, we need to bring the buyers and sellers closer together."
Strojny added that while some eCommerce-as-a-Service offerings attempt to provide a B2C-like experience to B2B players, that strategy can often fall short. “You can’t jut take a B2C principle and force it into B2B,” he said, noting that quoting, for example, is one process that happens in B2B but not B2C. “We need to figure out how to set up a workflow process so the sales rep and the customer can communicate,” he said.
In that way, InsiteCommerce 4 builds upon the company’s efforts to forge new trends in B2B sales: Embrace digital and allow for eCommerce solutions and the sales teams to work in harmony. When it comes to designing the right online sales tool, it’s all about connectivity, Strojny said.
"Our roadmap is based on a principle called Connected Commerce,” he told PYMNTS. “You’re going to see us connect the buyers and sellers, the distribution channels and the sales reps to the sellers."