Payments Data Gives B2B Sales Forces Power to Personalize

b2b, b2b payments, data personalization

One of the problems with antiquated business-to-business (B2B) payment processes is they still rely on people to manually process invoices and paper checks. 

Because they cannot integrate this information directly into accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR) systems, such methods not only open the door to errors but also miss the opportunity to capture valuable customer data and measure trends and patterns, according to the “B2B Digital Payments Tracker,” a PYMNTS and American Express collaboration. 

Get the report: B2B Digital Payments Tracker 

This customer data is the key to not only streamlining the B2B buying experience, but also to more personalized sales interactions — an increasing necessity in B2B customer relationships. 

Getting More Out of Trading Relationships 

For suppliers, there is a growing need to provide better visibility and efficient processing, as well as a simpler way to close out their books across several payment types and receipts, Trina Dutta, VP and general manager, B2B payments automation, global commercial services at American Express, told PYMNTS in a May interview. 

Read more: Digital Innovations Improve B2B Buyer-Supplier Interactions 

While in the past, supplier processes had typically evolved to meet buyers’ demands — and innovation had been skewed to the AP side of the equation — technology is leveling the playing field a bit, Dutta said. 

“By tapping into the data that crosses B2B transaction networks,” Dutta told PYMNTS, “we can start to help suppliers get more out of their trading relationships — especially how and when they receive payments.” 

A Complete View Into the Customer Journey 

Centralizing the collection of customer data, including payments data, helps create a more unified buyer experience, Michael Vittum, senior manager and go-to-market lead for payments and commerce at HubSpot, told PYMNTS when interviewed for the report. 

A robust customer relationship management (CRM) platform with all these tools in one place can help streamline the B2B buying process. 

“Bringing commerce into the CRM helps you provide a complete view into the customer journey,” Vittum said. 

This digital streamlining of the payments process not only makes for greater efficiency and a smoother experience, but it can also pay dividends. 

“If I’m a [customer service or sales] representative, I can go in, look at the history and see that they purchased X, Y or Z or that they seem to be on, say, a quarterly cadence for purchasing, and that this is a good time to reach out [to] offer them something else,” Vittum said. “I think it just empowers [customer service representatives] to do their job a lot better.” 

Understanding and Serve Customers 

Many of the world’s largest companies are looking to continue transforming their digital payment processes in the future — in turn, meeting their clients’ and vendors’ expectations. 

They have found that digital technologies and automation make B2B payments more flexible and help businesses better understand and serve customers. 

By digitizing AP and AR, companies can create more efficient processes for customers and suppliers, facilitate repeat business and build loyalty and positive reputations. 

news, b2b, b2b payments, data, accounts payable, accounts receivable, data, American Express, PYMNTS study, HubSpot