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Sales Enablement with Znode’s Commerce Portal

Aligning Sales with Digital Channels

With buyer preferences shifting heavily toward digital channels, manufacturers and distributors must align sales operations with these channels to provide unified B2B ecommerce experiences that meet buyer expectations. Merchants that successfully merge digital and traditional sales channels streamline operations and enhance experiences, leading to higher buyer satisfaction and faster growth.

The Importance of Sales and Digital Channel Alignment

Gartner’s 2023 B2B Commercial Strategy Survey highlights that organizations where marketing and sales functions collaborate on digital commerce, are twice as likely to achieve strong commercial performance compared to those with a siloed approach.1 Integrating sales workflows with digital commerce is crucial to avoid frustrating buyers with ill-timed, confusing, or conflicting messages during the buying journey.

The Role of Sales Enablement in B2B Ecommerce

Sales enablement equips sales teams with the tools, information, and resources to engage buyers effectively. In B2B ecommerce, this requires seamless access to buyer and product data, streamlined workflows, and collaborative tools that support the entire sales process from order inception to fulfillment. When sales reps have centralized access to critical information, they transform from mere order takers to proactive order makers offering tailored, consultative support.


According to Gartner’s 2022 B2B Buyer Survey, 75% of B2B buyers prefer to make purchases digitally. Moreover, buyers engaging with sales reps using digital tools are 1.8 times more likely to complete a high-quality deal than those interacting with the tools independently. Restricting digital commerce to a self-service channel limits its potential impact on revenue. This is why 97% of sales leaders expect to be engaged in digital commerce by 2027.2

Znode’s Commerce Portal: A New Era for B2B Sales

Leading manufacturers and distributors are merging traditional selling with digital commerce channels to enhance buyer engagement and streamline sales processes. Znode’s Commerce Portal brings together buyers, sellers, and systems into one experience. 

The Commerce Portal offers extended features way beyond traditional distributor portals which traditionally offered product data sheets and maybe the ability to view previous orders and invoices. Znode’s Commerce Portal provides reps with a centralized view of buyer and product data, simplifying sales workflows and order management. This comprehensive access to information ensures that sales teams operate more efficiently and make informed decisions quickly. 

Buyers are also able to access the portal for a centralized buying experience. Buyer’s can request quotes, place orders, pay invoices, and much more. Through its headless architecture, the Commerce Portal also brings together other systems into a single experience via APIs. These may include Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) platforms, service and ticketing systems, Digital Sales Room tools, and of course valuable ERP data. Access to functionality and these systems is securely managed through roles in Znode.



How Znode’s Commerce Portal Enables Sales Reps

Centralized Quote and Order Management

Znode’s Commerce Portal centralizes quote and order management, allowing sales reps to create and manage quotes, and place, track, and manage orders from a single location. This "single pane of glass" offers a shared 360-degree view of order processing, eliminating the need to juggle multiple systems, reducing complexity and the risk of errors. Sales teams can manage orders by job or customer and securely access real-time information on quote and order status, inventory levels, and buyer details, enabling quick and accurate responses to buyer requests.

Gartner’s 2022 Chief Sales Officer Strategy Survey found that 62% of CSOs agree that buyer data is often siloed within different organizational functions. 32 Buyer data is a critical enabler of digital commerce and sales processes. When underutilized, it results in missed opportunities for sales teams to engage buyers effectively and elevate deal quality.

Internal Collaboration and Workflows

Collaboration is essential for smooth order processing and fulfillment. The Commerce Portal allows different teams—sales, order processing, shipping, and customer service—to work together seamlessly. Features like smart views and role-specific order visibility ensure that each team member can access the information they need, fostering a collaborative environment that minimizes delays and errors.  

Real-Time Data Access

Access to real-time data is crucial for informed decision-making. Znode’s Commerce Portal integrates with business systems (such as ERPs and CRMs to provide a comprehensive view of buyer interactions and order histories. Sales reps use this data to drive consultative conversations and increase average order value by recommending ancillary products. This functionality supports cross-selling and up-selling opportunities, helping to maximize revenue from each customer interaction.

Handling Complex Orders

B2B sales often involve complex orders with multiple stages of approval and customization. The Commerce Portal supports these complexities with advanced features such as order flags, customizable workflows, and multi-stage order completion. Sales reps can start and save orders with incomplete information to finalize details later. Reps can also route orders to different teams to complete, ensuring no orders are submitted with missing information.

Flexibility

B2B commerce requires flexibility to meet complex and unique business requirements. Sales reps can manage various order types and classes, apply buyer-specific pricing, and configure workflows to align with sales processes. This adaptability ensures that the portal can grow and evolve with the business.

Digital Sales Enablement Aligning Sales with Digital Channels

As B2B buyers increasingly prefer digital interactions, aligning sales strategies with digital channels is imperative. Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels.2 Znode’s Commerce Portal positions sales reps to thrive in this digital-first environment by providing the data and resources to engage buyers and grow sales.

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Resources

1 2023 Gartner B2B Commercial Strategy Survey. This survey was conducted to understand the best practices of high-performing commercial organizations in terms of pipeline management, marketing-sales alignment and use of technology. The survey was completed from November 2023 through December 2023 with an online sample of 412 senior marketing and sales leaders across North America (n = 245) and Western Europe (n = 167). Qualifying respondents belonged to a marketing or sales function of an organization with enterprisewide annual revenue in 2022 of at least $100 million or equivalent. Industry segments included manufacturing, information technology and high tech, insurance, banking and financial services, and pharmaceuticals.

2 2022 Gartner B2B Buyer Survey. This survey was administered in November and December 2022 and includes data from 771 B2B buyers from the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Australia. Respondents who qualified for this survey had to be employed full time at an organization with total revenue of at least $250 million or the equivalent and had to have participated in a significant B2B purchase decision. A “significant B2B purchase decision” is defined here as a decision that required deliberation with at least one other person and the evaluation of more than one potential supplier or vendor. Respondents were instructed to answer questions based on their experience with this recent purchase and with the supplier that was used to complete the purchase. Respondents evaluated the quality of the purchase decision and provided insights into various stages of their recent purchase decision.

3 2022 Gartner Chief Sales Officer Strategy Survey. This survey was conducted from November 2022 through December 2022 to understand how sales teams align their go-to-market (GTM) approach to changing customer needs. The survey was completed with an online sample of 213 chief sales officers and senior sales executives across Asia/Pacific (13%), Western Europe (17%) and North America (70%). Qualifying respondents belonged to either a sales, commercial operations or revenue operations function of an organization with enterprisewide annual revenue in 2021 of more than $50 million or equivalent or business unit/region annual revenue in 2021 of more than $250 million or equivalent. Industry segments included banking/financial services, manufacturing, services, information technology, healthcare providers and energy.

Disclaimer: Results of these surveys do not represent global findings or the market as a whole, but reflect the sentiments of the respondents and companies surveyed.

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