Manage sales

Mapping out your sales structure and customer relationships in a way that fits your software systems is not always easy. Luckily, most sales organizations fit quite easily into a B2B eCommerce structure with iStockist, as this example shows.

complex sales structure for B2B eCommerce

Case study

Let’s say your organization has three sales teams in two tax jurisdictions, using two different ERP systems. All three sales teams would like to implement online ordering for trade customers. You share the same customers, and want the customer to have the best possible experience.

This example works equally well for larger numbers of sales teams, tax jurisdictions and other software systems, but they wouldn’t fit in my diagrams. 🙂

* One team uses one ERP system, and the other two teams use a different ERP.
* Two of the teams are in one tax jurisdiction (UK) with one currency (GBP), the other is an a separate tax jurisdiction (Ireland) with a different currency (EUR) .
* To make things even more complicated, they all share the same customers, but have different levels of approvals, payment terms, and product catalogs and prices for the same customer!

It’s difficult to even write all of this down, let alone think about it, so this diagram should help:

Manage complex sales structure B2B eCommerce ordering system

The options

1. One shared instance

You might think about sharing an instance of B2B eCommerce between the 3 teams. This might mean less administration for each sales team, with a central office taking care of approvals and set ups. This brings convenience for the customer as they have one place to login to and place an order.

That said, it doesn’t hold up, as there’s undoubtedly a good reason for each sales office to manage the relationship with the same customer differently. This could be because of the types of products each sales team sells or the distribution channels you use from each office. Moreover sending through the right information for each sales team from and to your ERPs is going to be a nightmare!

one instance b2b eCommerce
2. Different instances for each sales team

You could have a different instance of B2B eCommerce for each sales team.This might seem pretty clean on the outset. You can give each sales team their own admin area to manage their customers as they wish. The integrations with the two ERPs will work nicely.

However from the customer’s perspective, they need to maintain three sets of logins to place an order with each sales team, and their order history is in three different places. It’s a little inconvenient for them.

different instances b2b eCommerce
3. One multi-tenant instance

The best alternative to map out B2B eCommerce to your existing channels is to use a multi-tenant B2B eCommerce, where the customer can login and place orders to all three sales offices in one place. Furthermore they can see their order history for all three in the same place.

At the same time, each sales office separately manages the permissions the customer has, the product catalogue they see, the payment terms, currency, vat, shipping and other configurations related to how the customer can place an order. The ERP integrations work, the customer is happy, the sales teams are happy!

multi tenant b2b eCommerce

Invest in growth, not time, with Stockist

If you are looking to set up multi-tenant B2B eCommerce, iStockist does this for you, letting you focus on onboarding new trade customers and growing sales!

Any questions? Feel free to contact us.