6 strategies to increase B2B wholesale sales in 2023
Increasing B2B wholesale sales is a sure-fire way to boost your bottom line and grow your business.
In today’s hyper-connected world, digital transformation enables you to connect and engage with your customers more than ever. Here are 6 strategies where you can use digital transformation to increase B2B wholesale sales in 2023 and beyond.
Offer special deals and loyalty points to reward customers and encourage greater spend
It will come as no surprise that special deals and rewards make customers happy. More specifically, they influence their buying decisions. In a survey by RetailMeNot, 80% of people said they would try a new brand with a discount or offer, while two-thirds of customers said they made unplanned purchases solely because of a discount or coupon.
While the survey was about retail consumers, the psychology is no different for B2B. People don’t want to miss out on a good deal – and the same is true when they’re buying for their business.
One method you can use to offer wholesale customers bespoke pricing is through an ERP system. Fully integrated ERP software like Profit4 will enable you to set a bespoke price for an individual customer within the system which will then automatically mirror it across all your sales channels (including your trade counter, telephone and website).
You can also offer loyalty points against purchases in your online store which can encourage customers to spend more and redeem those points against other products that you offer.
It’s not just about reeling in orders though. Special offers can also increase the value of your orders too, such as:
Free shipping for orders over a certain value
Free shipping is a tried-and-tested method that bumps up order values to the necessary threshold. Buyers would rather spend extra money on tangible goods that are an asset to their business than pay to get those goods where they need to be.
The result could be an order of £400 becoming over £500 to get free shipping, for example. It means you’d lose the cost of shipping, which you would have to cover, but you gain the extra £100 in sales revenue as a result.
Percentage discounts for different thresholds
Another great tactic is offering a percentage off B2B sales depending on the total order value. Again, this can tempt buyers to increase their order value to meet each threshold. For example, 5% off £500 or more and 10% off £1,000 or more.
As above, £400 soon becomes £500 or £900 becomes £1,000. The percentage discount means that customers paying £500 would save £25 and think they’ve got a great deal, but they’ve actually spent more to make it well worth it for you as a wholesaler.
Keeping track of discounts
One reservation B2B wholesalers may have about discounts is how you stay on top of them. Further down the line, a customer might enquire why they got a lower price on a previous order – or on the flipside, why they have paid more in the past. You might be worried that customers could actually become confused or disgruntled.
An ERP system like Profit4 which has inbuilt Customer Relationship Software eliminates this issue, giving you a full breakdown of previous orders for each customer, including prices paid and volumes ordered. Armed with this information at your fingertips, you can easily explain that discounts were given based on higher order volumes, which could even persuade them to order more again.
Stay on top of what customers are buying
It’s commonly cited that the cost of acquiring a new customer is five times higher than that of retaining your existing customers – or thereabouts. As an extension of that, one of the best ways to increase sales is by ensuring existing customers are buying as much as possible from you.
We’re not just talking about volume and quantities, but the range of products they buy from you. With individual job roles or even full departments dedicated to purchasing, it’s perfectly conceivable that a buyer could get their building tools from one supplier, for instance, but their workwear from another.
For your business, that’s a missed opportunity. You have to ask why customers are doing that? It could be down to price or just a lack of awareness. At the same time, it’s a foot in the door for another supplier. It could be a matter of time until they make the move and steal some of your sales.
How to track customer purchasing habits
If you want to maximise order value for each customer, the first step is knowing what they’re buying. This is where your choice of order management software is crucial. Profit4 gives you complete visibility of each customer’s order history and how it’s changed over time.
Rather than simply seeing order value, which can be misleading, you’ll see their order history broken down into products and categories. This allows you to identify leakage – and it’s easier than you’d think. Profit4’s leakage reports allow you to spot any loss of sales in just a few clicks.
Improved customer experience
Customer experience is just as important as product quality for many B2B buyers. Customers want first-class customer service with a quick, seamless ordering experience.
This is where ERP software comes in. Profit4 provides real-time information that covers all bases – from sales and order processing to finance and purchasing. Each member of your team can create their own customised dashboards, enabling them to view the most relevant data in a couple of clicks.
Whether customers want to know about their fulfilment status, credit limits, shipping updates or stock availability, you can tell them over the phone or at your trade counter without the need to wait around or put anyone on hold. Tracking updates can also be sent automatically by email, while customers can see real-time product availability through your website – so it really does cover all bases. Where possible, you can even reallocate stock to keep priority customers happy and provide a stellar service.
Make product recommendations
Product recommendations are a great way to increase order value when buyers are browsing online. There are a wide range of products you can recommend that could be of interest to customers:
- New arrivals
- Discounted products
- Best reviewed products
- “People also bought” – items commonly bought alongside the product being viewed or purchased
- Similar products to those being viewed or purchased
- “Don’t forget” – previously viewed products
With Profit4, you can provide suggestions like those above when people are shopping on your website. But that’s not all. Those suggestions can also be displayed to trade counter and call centre staff, so they can encourage additional sales too.
Sell through new channels
Customers all have their preferred methods of buying. More specifically, we’re talking about different sales channels. Some might pick up the phone when they need new stock, others will head to your website or trade counter. But don’t forget about the opportunities on marketplaces like eBay, Amazon and Etsy.
Using an ERP that integrates with these marketplaces will allow you to increase sales without a huge uptick in time-consumption – as discussed below…
Ensure ERP software integrates with your eCommerce platform
It’s important that your enterprise resource planning software integrates with your ecommerce platform. This will allow you to show customers real-time stock availability to minimise delays. It also means you can reduce admin when online orders increase.
There’s no need for your team to enter online orders into a separate ERP system. With Profit4, it’s done for you automatically. That means no chance of human error and lots more time for your team to focus on bringing in more sales, which brings us to…
Marketing to attract new customers
When things are going well, it’s easy to forget about marketing. That’s especially true if you’re a small wholesale business, where marketing is just one of many responsibilities for your sales or management team.
Marketing allows your business to expand its customer base and attract new customers. However, it can also be used to push new products or entice repeat business with existing customers. Here are some ideas…
Email marketing is potentially the most cost-effective way to make customers aware of your products or special offers.
Profit4 makes this easy, allowing you to send emails to customers through the software. You can also consider sending tailored emails based on data in Profit4 around their buying behaviour, such as cross-sells or upsells. Think all customers buying something specific might be interested in a similar product? Send all those customers an email promoting that complementary item.
Direct mail is a great option for leaflets, brochures or catalogues for your customers. Whether they’re flicking through on their lunch break or browsing for something specific, a physical copy is a good way to increase awareness of your product range and any special offers.
Customer relationship management software can make email marketing and direct mail a lot easier by:
- Storing all contact information in the same place
- Enabling you to quickly group and segment the most relevant customers
- Storing multiple contacts for each business
- Tracking all communications and events alongside historical sales data
- Putting all of this into dedicated dashboards for each customer or prospect
Social media is a space where you can grow a network of customers and keep your followers updated about the latest products and offers. This can be done without any cost other than the time spent creating and posting content.
According to LinkedIn, “social selling leaders” are 51% more likely to reach sales quotas – and 78% of them outsell peers that don’t use social media.
Why? Because social media allows them to educate customers about the benefits or values of their products. That can be done using a variety of methods, including how-to blog posts, explainer videos or just short, snappy posts with bullet points to highlight the key features of a product.
Pay per click advertising
As the name suggests, pay per click (PPC) ads don’t have the advantage of being free like some of the alternatives. However, they do offer a much more targeted approach. Whether it’s specific search terms on Google or a finely curated audience on social media, you can ensure your ads only appear to relevant B2B customers.
While you will have to pay per click, the returns are measurable and you can continue to fine-tune your approach to improve ROI.
Offer incentives for referrals
Word of mouth marketing is arguably the most powerful tool in your arsenal. Why? People trust recommendations from friends or colleagues, far more than they trust what any company says about itself.
As a B2B wholesaler, most of your customers will have a network of like-minded businesses who are also potential customers. However, you can’t always rely on wholesale suppliers to come up naturally in conversation.
One way around this is to offer incentives to existing customers if they refer you to another company. That could be a percentage off their next order or just a credit amount to spend on your online store.
The results could be more lucrative than you think. Take a look at these referral program examples for some real-world results.
Monitor sales performance and results
To make the most of these sales-boosting strategies, you’ll need to know what’s working and what isn’t. It’s hard putting time, effort and money into marketing, for example, if you can’t track the return on investment.
Profit4 provides built-in reporting and analytics, so you have complete visibility of all your sales information – both historical and real-time. It’s easy to monitor sales performance for products, categories or even customers, so you can see whether discounts or marketing campaigns are having the desired effect.
Equipped with this information, you can make informed decisions to drive profits. If something is working, it’s time to roll it out for other products or customers. On the other hand, if a strategy has failed, there’s no need to run with it.
How Profit4 can help you increase wholesale sales
Take your pick from the strategies above to grow your sales in 2023. Whatever your preference, Profit4 is a feature-rich system that makes life easier for ambitious B2B wholesalers.
Automatically store data for every sale then access relevant information when you need it. Check every order, price and volume from each customer’s dashboard to make sure you know what pricing model they are being offered and any relevant discounts – and keep customers happy with their purchases.
Profit4 provides you with a 360-degree view of your business. Keep track of stock levels and sales in real-time. As well as monitoring how profit margins and sales volumes impact your business’s top-level financial performance with integrated profit and loss sheets.
Effortless customer service
Keep customers in the loop with dedicated customer dashboards that provide quick access to the information they want and need – including stock levels, fulfillment, shipping and finances.
All Profit4’s features can be integrated with multiple sales channels, so there’s no need for error-prone, time-consuming data entry. Integration also enables real-time stock levels to be mirrored through your online store.
Crucially, our intuitive software ensures that you’re prepared for more sales by automating lots of your sales admin. It can automatically optimise stock levels with recommended minimums and maximums, reordering products when needed to avoid stockouts – no matter how much your sales grow.
Ready to increase your B2B wholesale sales?
If you’re looking to increase wholesale sales in 2023 and beyond, Profit4 is the ultimate software to have on your side. To find out more, watch our demo online or contact our friendly team to talk about your requirements and how we can help.