This is the fourth in a series of blogs that talk about the major differences between B2C and B2B. The last blog talked about why alternate parts are important for a B2B buyer (see link to blog). This blog will talk about the value of being able to request quotations from multiple sellers.
Being able to request quotations from multiple sellers is a bit like going to one of the comparison shopping sites like Buy.com. A heavy duty truck parts buyer has a couple of reasons for wanting a quote. First, the part might be expensive and worth comparing prices. Second, the buyer may require a larger than normal quantity and is looking for a quantity discount.
Whatever the reason, an online B2B shopper needs the ability to request this information without having to make a phone call. Also, the buyer must be able to track his RFQ’s so that he can make sure they are being processed and responded to. Visibility is really important for this buyer. He submitted the RFQ and is waiting for a response and will have much more confidence if the status of his request is completely transparent. This can be the difference between winning a new loyal customer and losing one.
Once the buyer submits a RFQ, the seller must have a process to locate the part(s), get pricing and availability, and respond to the buyer via email or text. Each RFQ must have a tracking number so the buyer can manage the RFQs that he is currently waiting on. One clear value of being able to place RFQs online is time savings. A parts buyer could have any number of RFQs out with many sellers and not spend one minute on the phone. If you consider that the real cost of the part also includes the time it takes to buy it, the result is a much cheaper overall cost. The advantage for the seller is also lower cost. Online RFQs come in via email and can be responded to either through its website or email which is a much more cost effective way of handling volume.
Request for Quote is a key part of complete customer service and important for a B2B site to be successful.