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Landscape of b2b sales tools

A baker needs a good oven, a hairdresser sharp scissors – and which is the sales tool you cannot work without? Can you pin it down to one?

We love FashionTrade.com for its intuitiveness, for the new business opportunities and for its support, there is no doubt. Nevertheless we know that there are a ton of other really useful online tools that improve your sales. Since the selection is so big we have broken it down into a simple list of tools that help you detect and evaluate leads and prospects, to tools that help you engage with your customers up to tools like complete ecommerce solutions that let you do your sales in a few clicks.

Networking tools like social platforms

Facebook is for friends, twitter is for politics and instagram for fitness fanatics? Well, that is one way to look at this. We believe though, that we are all humans and that our world has been connected so thoroughly that you cannot separate your private fitness world from your business world on Linkedin. We are all just social humans and we need to take a holistic picture into consideration when we engage in any kind of relationship, private or professional. This also means that all are new opportunities to engaging with your target audience. Linkedin and Xing in the German speaking markets are great tools to find out about different companies and to locate the key people that will be most interested in or relevant for your solution. On Linkedin however you won’t find out much about the person’s interests and motivations and you probably won’t have as engaging a conversations as you would tweeting back and forth on a topic that enthusiasts you both. So we suggest you use all social platforms that are out there to discover your target audience, to get familiar with their topics of interests and surely also to learn about your own business and how your solution is applied by different stakeholders.

Calendar apps to keep track and schedule appointments smoothly

If you are using a CRM tool to keep track of all you contacts like the good old filofax than you are probably already familiar with the problems of calendar apps. Not all use the same system so sending a calendar invite to Gmail to an icloud user will very likely get you a rejection or error message. Sunrise calendar, available for iOS and Android phones but also for Mac and Windows as desktop computers offers the solution by combining the different calendars and is very easy and straightforward to use. Since they joined Microsoft a while ago, the product has somewhat turned into a modern outlook, heavily combining email and calendar functions.

This might be a solution that makes you feel comfortable as it hits close to home. However, we feel the logic is kind of outdated and we believe you can give your customers a better service by letting them choose among your available time slots the one that suits them best. Easy for your customer and no hassle with emails going back and forth asking if 4pm is right, or no, 5pm might be better or are you off work already? And so forth. Just like in the physical apple store, when you need to book an appointment with a Genius to help you fix a problem with your notebook or phone, applications like Calendly, Timebridge or Reservio lets your partner schedule a meeting with you selecting from available times. This is very similar to online booking for hotels or appointments in beauty salons but it can easily be applied to our case as well and makes for a nice experience for your customer.  Lastly, to share your calendar with your teammates so that all are up to date on current meetings and events, we have found Cozi, originally designed for families really intuitive to use, whereas Teamup offers great integration with other services.

As you see there is a wide array of possible solutions to the calendar dilemma, you just have to pick yours!

Ecommerce solutions to do your sales

Once your prospect is hooked and wants to get your brand in his or her store, then what? How do you do the transaction? By phone or email sending style sheets, order excels, invoices and payment reminders or receipts? At FashionTrade.com we believe that there is a better way to do this and that’s why we are building our ecommerce platform. Just like any b2c business your prospect can go online and buy directly from your brand on your personal brand profile. Your retailers will get an overview of all your collections and single items, pre-packed or pre-selected boxes to buy a certain style in a few clicks and you will be sure that you are dealing with a trustworthy retailer. An intuitive and stressless experience for all – that’s why we believe that you not only make your sales more smoothly but also increase the retention rate for your brand. An easy shopping experience makes your retailer want to come back to reorder and order again once your new collection is out.

After sales tools

And of course, there are special tools that help you keep track of your customers once a sale is placed. You do want to follow up, do you? How has the delivery been, is everything in order with the invoice, are sales going up due to the new merchandise, shall any item be reordered and many more are the questions you will have for your customers. But what are the touch points? Do you talk on the phone, write emails or even visit in person? Again, this is probably best done according to your strength but we would just like to mention some general tool that might make your life easier and your after sales more efficient.

For us, after sales activities are employed to foster retention and loyalty, to extend the purchasing experience further and to bind the customer to your business. Through FashionTrade we therefore not only let you order but also place reorders and have created a native app so that you can do those things on the go. Imagine your customer placed an order about two months ago and you have followed the retailer’s activity and know that some items should be running low. With FashionTrade you can now simply pick up your phone, open our application and send a customized promotion with those low-stock items to your customer. How can he or she resist?

With your CRM and calendar app you can set up check-up points or automated reminder to send out a message to your customer, to give them a call or to meet at an event like a tradeshow. If you use nimble as a social CRM than you are already familiar with social selling. Keeping an eye on the social activity of your customers will let you be up to date with the newest trend that he or she is looking for, other brands or people he or she is engaging with and events your customer might attend.

About FashionTrade.com

We have mentioned our own product quite a lot because we are convinced that we are building a platform that will enhance your sales even further: Reducing your time spent and increasing your margins. FashionTrade is a digital B2B marketplace that helps brands and retailers to improve their margins, to reach a broader customer audience, usable market insights, and the ability to run their business 24/7.

We provide for a fully cloud-based b2b wholesale platform, including relationship building (matchmaking). Among hundreds of other features and benefits, the platform provides digital showrooms and retailer profile pages, intelligent and self-learning recommendations, intelligent cross-sell and up-sell suggestion and stock-surplus management.

FashionTrade is a marketplace that ensures a smooth and efficient cooperation between brands and retailers in the following categories: Apparel, Accessories, Underwear & Lingerie, Swimwear, Active Wear, Shoes, Bags, Denim, Fragrance & Cosmetics.  For now, our geographical focus will be on Europe with an ambition to expand globally.


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