U.S. sales processed through B2B eCommerce sites and online consumer marketplaces increased 10.9% to reach $9 trillion in 2019, the highest ever, according to the 2020 U.S. B2B eCommerce Market Report. Even more impressive, the report says, is that B2B eCommerce grew more than 18% in 2019 to $1.3 trillion.

Despite this proliferation of electronic sales transactions, customers still tend to fax and email purchase orders that companies need to manually enter. With a high volume of customers, this antiquated approach to orders sets companies up for errors, delays, and wasted resources.

In fact, almost half (49.3%) of total B2B sales are still conducted manually, according to a 2018 B2BecNews survey of 276 manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors by personnel, such as account managers and salespeople. Therefore, anything that manufacturers and wholesale distributors can do to simplify processes and reduce the time it takes to get products and services to the customer —without errors—can save money and earn repeat customers.

Purpose-built sales order automation (SOA) solutions can eliminate the need for human intervention and provide touchless order processing for all orders with 100% accuracy.

“Manufacturers increasingly believe that what sets them apart is not the product; rather it is their ability to deliver superior service in a highly competitive market. The one who can deliver the most efficient transactions—and do it with zero errors—is going to retain the most customers and have the most profitable business. Error-free service becomes a differentiator when products are very similar,” says Mark Toffoli, Vice President of Sales and Business Development for Conexiom.

“If you’re a manufacturer or distributor, there probably isn’t a better time to digitally transform, whatever that means to your specific organization,” says Judd Marcello, Chief Marketing Officer for Conexiom. “Modernizing your approach to processes, specifically manual processes, with automation is now the imperative.”

Fortunately, there are solutions on the market that take the manual labor out of generating, processing, and analyzing sales orders. A purpose-built sales order automation solution that delivers 100% data accuracy and touchless orders will save costs and create efficiencies. And in the long run, you can understand the buying history of your customers to help direct marketing efforts and generate new business.

Continue reading the Industry Snapshot on Sales Order Automation.

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