We’ve worked with many brands over the years, from long-time enterprise organizations, all the way down to brand new brands just getting their legs under them. Regardless of whether your brand is fresh on the scene or an established player, at a certain point it becomes clear that you need to improve your wholesale B2B platform in order to keep pace with your intended growth.
The idea of adopting a new piece of technology or wholesale system can be daunting. It’s often met with push back internally that can make the transition difficult out of the gate. For a lot of brands, this is when they’re still young and experiencing rapid growth, but even the big brands that have been around the block run into internal resistance when it comes time to change how they do things.
In this article, we're going to take a look at some of the most common objections we see, and why you shouldn’t let them hold your brand back.
You can dig deeper with our free download that walks you through how to prep your brand for a new wholesale B2B platform. Download it now!
1) It’s Too Expensive
It’s not unreasonable to be price conscious. In fact, we highly recommend setting a budget before reaching out to software vendors. The problem we see most often is that companies don’t know how to budget. They make the mistake of just comparing it to other systems they have, like Shopify, which is like comparing apples to zebras.
We recommend looking at 2 key elements to start:
- Current annual wholesale revenue
- Projected annual wholesale revenues in one year and two years (the standard length of a software contract)
You don’t only want to consider what you did before using a B2B platform. Consider your goals after implementing it, which should be growth of at least 15-20%.
From there, use the 1% rule. If you want to be conservative, take 1% of your current annual wholesale revenue. If you have big growth goals, take 1% of your projected annual wholesale revenue. For example, if you’re doing 1.2 million dollars currently, your annual budget should be at least $12,000 (1,200,000 * 1%).
Is it worth 1% of revenue to grow by 20%? Yes. Yes it is.
2) I Don’t Have Time
The seasonal element of the apparel and footwear industry can limit the time brands have to implement new technology. To pile it on, the wholesale channel might even be run by a single individual who is already trying to juggle a few hundred retailers.
For years, B2B providers have been offering up 12-16 week implementation timelines. Not to mention, the brand carries a large portion of the work, taking away from their normal responsibilities.
At Envoy B2B, we focus on being as close to turnkey as possible when it comes to set up. Our typical implementation time frame is 4-6 weeks. This is the outside timeframe, with implementation sometimes running on an even shorter time-frame, depending on complexity. And we take on the bulk of the workload, so your team doesn’t see a negative impact.
3) My Buyer’s Won’t Use It
Au contraire. Our research shows that your buyers prefer working with brands that have a B2B. 97% of retailers are regularly working with 20+ brands and over 5 B2B systems. You’re at a big disadvantage f you aren’t offering a digital ordering experience through a 24/7 online destination, becuase it's a sure bet your competitors are.
Buyer adoption is dependent on two things. Is the platform easy-to-use and how well does the brand support buyers during the on-boarding process? One of the key steps during implementation is helping our brands formulate and deploy a buyer on-boarding process. We go as far as giving you email templates to send out to all buyers, welcoming them into your new system. Because just like your retailers need a great partner to help them succeed, you need one too, and we can help show you the way to successful adoption or your new B2B platform
Will you have buyers in remote places that can’t always access an online platform? Of course. For those that can’t always connect to the internet, you can generate your order forms right inside Envoy B2B. This at least ensures that whatever they are using is current and accurate, because it was generated from your digital platform.
Buyers are already using multiple B2B platforms, especially as we continue to work through the changes wrought by the pandemic. Make sure yours is easy to use and retailers will be on board.
4) My Sales Reps Don’t Want It
This objection is becoming more rare, but we still hear it occasionally Brands using independent reps or even in house ones often try to cater to what that rep prefers. Sometimes this means relying fully on print catalogs and look books.
Some food for thought:
- If you use independent reps, they are already using a B2B with another brand.
- It’s your brand, and you need to choose what is best for it. Don’t inhibit your growth by catering to old school demands. A good rep will use the best tool available to them.
One of the fundamentals to building a strong wholesale channel is ensuring your brand has a team of digitally enablemed reps. This is especially important now that a hybrid selling model has become so prevelant. But you can't enable your reps without the best digitalntools possible to do their job and educate their retailers. Paper catalogs, excel spreadsheets, and outdated, utility-style B2B platforms don’t fit that bill. In today’s modern retail landscape, with fast paced seasons and technology savvy retailers, your reps need a strong B2B platform to succeed.
It's Time To Modernize Your B2B
Change can be daunting, and it’s not hard to find reasons to avoid it. The timing never feels “perfect,” or there’s too many irons in the fire, or any other number of excuses are easy to throw up. But the truth is, none of those old excuses hold up if your brand is truly looking to modernize and grow. Because the more you allow your systems to stay stuck in the past, the more your brand starts to flatline.
Our obsession is helping retailers love your brand. That means making sure your B2B is putting the right tools in the hands or your buyers so they fall in love with your product, your brand, and the experience of working with you.
Grab our free download today for more best practices on how to implement a modern wholesale B2B platform and grow your brand.