How a B2B online marketplace can help you scaleBy Domenica Martinello
Perhaps you’ve yet to consider the benefits of a B2B online marketplace, or it’s something that has been completely off your radar. That changes today.
Likely you’re more familiar with one of the pain points that agencies, managed service providers (MSPs), and a host of other businesses have in common. It is one that is further compounded by the demands of the digital world. What is it?
Scaling. Namely, how to scale sustainably to ensure future growth.
Scaling is not the only problem a B2B online marketplace can help address. Download “14 Challenges Agencies & Media Companies Face” to find out more.
Businesses have to address more than ever before. Clients now expect new, custom-tailored solutions to address fluctuating needs and priorities. On top of that, they want a streamlined experience to reduce complexity.
To remain competitive and profitable, resellers must consider:
- Consistently adding value where it counts
- Bundling solutions to increase recurring revenue
- Diversifying offerings to attract new audiences
- Providing consistent fulfillment to keep pace while scaling
- Upselling and cross-selling to increase basket size and reduce churn
With these considerations in mind, a B2B online marketplace is the best tool in your digital arsenal to help you scale.
What is a B2B online marketplace?
Before moving forward, let’s clarify the definition of a B2B online marketplace.
B2B refers to “business to business,” as opposed to B2C, which is “business to consumer.” On a simple level, a B2B online marketplace is a platform that acts as a digital store for products and services to be purchased, sold, and resold between businesses.
Agencies, MSPs, and other resellers using a B2B white-label software marketplace benefit from delivering solutions to their clients from a single, all-in-one technology hub that operates under their own branding.
What to look for in a B2B software marketplace
Are all B2B online marketplaces created equal?
In short, no.
To maximize your scaling potential, you will want to do your research before using just any marketplace to resell solutions to your clients. Here’s what to look for.
White labeled under your brand
Being able to white label an online marketplace platform and offer solutions under your own branding builds credibility for your business. It ensures that your clients see you as a one-stop shop and a single source of truth.
When it comes to scaling, it can help nurture and grow current business revenue while also expanding your reach by unlocking new revenue streams.
Reliability and expertise
There is always an element of trust in reselling solutions as your own, especially if your partnership includes fulfillment under your brand. Ensure you are partnering with a trusted expert with a proven track record.
Balancing quality with growth is a common struggle for scaling businesses (Investopedia). You can’t scale sustainably if the fulfillment quality of the solutions you’re purchasing and reselling are inconsistent or subpar.
Scope and variety
To scale, you will likely need to gain access to new audience segments. Ensure the B2B online marketplace you access offers a variety of white-label solutions as well as an expanding number of products from pre-vetted vendors.
Think about it: things move fast in the digital world. An online software marketplace should not be a static platform, but a hub of activity. Ensure it can evolve along with your scaling business and new solutions are added over time.
Vendor and marketplace support
A B2B online marketplace platform can have hundreds of powerful products to choose from (in fact, they should—see the point above). With the newfound ability to scale and expand your digital offerings, you can expect to navigate a learning curve.
But will it be too steep?
The right online marketplace will provide support and learning resources, as well as marketing collateral and built-in training and sales enablement.
You should never feel stuck scaling a steep knowledge gap alone.
Streamlined and simple
At the end of the day, you want to make your clients’ lives easier. An online marketplace should make it easy for clients to work with you.
Here are some ways an online software marketplace can keep it simple:
- Ensure your B2B online marketplace is effectively white labeled
- Provide all the solutions your clients are looking for in one place to reduce vendor clutter
- Remove the need for complicated contracts or unwieldy tech integrations
- Include transparent pricing and effective solution bundling
Scaling your business with a B2B online marketplace
There are many possible reasons why you would want to use a marketplace software platform to bolster your business. If you’re looking to accelerate your growth for the long term, here’s how a B2B online marketplace can help.
More products to sell
With access to hundreds of products and services in an online software marketplace, your business can unlock more ways to add value.
Remember: what brought your client to you might not keep them with you indefinitely if you are no longer serving their evolving needs.
What’s more, research shows that 80 percent of clients are more likely to make a purchase when a brand or business offers personalized experiences (Epsilon). Bundling the perfect solutions together could be that added extra touch—and it’s right at your fingertips with access to a robust software marketplace.
When your clients ask you for something you don’t traditionally provide. you don’t want to say “no” and risk losing their business. With a B2B online marketplace, you can always confidently say “yes”.
Attract new audiences
Likely there’s one thing your business does better than the rest. Your expertise is an important differentiator and likely how you initially achieved success.
But if you want to scale, even businesses serving a niche customer base are going to have to expand their reach and add to their repertoire.
With access to potentially hundreds of products and services, a B2B online marketplace is a great way to position yourself for growth in new verticals and reach more potential clients.
Upsell and cross sell
You’ve worked hard to both establish and nurture your core client base and to attract new audiences. But if you want to scale, you have to take it a step further than simply convert new leads.
You have to sell smarter, not harder. How?
By upselling and cross selling.
Upselling can include getting a client to invest in the “pro” version of a solution instead of purchasing the basic option or selling the same product or service but with additional add-ons and features.
Cross selling completely new services or bundling additional products from the B2B online marketplace to provide more robust, 360-degree solutions for your clients.
In addition to maximizing revenue, upselling reduces churn. Our study found that if clients were not upsold within the first three months of the partnership, 62 percent of them churned within two years.
Let’s return to bundling! It can be tricky to cross sell without new solutions and services to offer, and harder to custom-tailor your offerings.
But since that is no longer an issue with a B2B online marketplace, bundling multiple solutions together is an excellent way to scale by increasing average recurring revenue.
The bigger the basket, the bigger the bucks.
Plus, if you bundle and price products effectively, you are one step closer to being the only provider your clients need, improving account retention and reducing churn.
Scale without employee overhead
One huge blocker to sustainable scaling is often the prohibitive cost and administrative burden of bringing on additional employees.
Without a B2B online marketplace, imagine the cost of hiring developers to build new digital solutions? Or the cost of onboarding a fleet of new employees to manage fulfillment?
If you go from 3 clients to 300 clients overnight, a marketplace software solution can help you manage it.
Final verdict on scaling for smooth sailing
The status quo is not your friend. To thrive in the digital space that businesses inevitably occupy, you need to be prepared to scale sustainably.
Using an online B2B marketplace can unlock new opportunities for growth that are simply inaccessible otherwise.
Consider leveraging a white-label software solution to:
- Streamline. Your clients turn to you for all of their needs. Bye, churn!
- Grow revenue. Bundle products, increase recurring revenue, build long-lasting relationships.
- Expand your offering. Add more value and attract new audiences.
- Scale sustainably. Unmanageable employee overhead not included.