Categories: Founder's Blog


Sam Bayer


12 job roles required for B2B ecommerce? Or just 1?

I originally published this blog post on April 8, 2014  when we were B2B2dot0.  Since the topic is as relevant today as it was then, I decided to republish it here today.


I just came across this article over at entitled “12 Key Job Roles for B-to-B eCommerce Success”.  What amazed me most was that we have several clients who have achieved unquestionable success with their B2B eCommerce initiatives with only one of those roles on staff.  What’s even more fascinating is that they aren’t even dedicated full time to working on their SAP Integrated B2B eCommerce website.

Which role do they have and how can that be?  Read on.

First of all, let me re-organize the 11 job types referenced (the article alluded to 12 but I could only find 11 :-)) into four categories:

Drive Traffic to the site

  1. Digital Advertising
  2. Search Engine Optimization
  3. Social Media
  4. eMail Marketing

Sell Product

  1. Rich Content Development
  2. Online Merchandising
  3. Promotions

Build the Website

  1. Business and Customer Experience Analyst
  2. Designer
  3. Developer

Production Support

  1. Customer Support

If you guessed Customer Support, you win the prize.

The only role that 100% of our clients have in place is the Customer Service Representative role.  It’s the only role that is absolutely required for success and every manufacturer already has CSRs on staff.  So why don’t our projects need the other 10 roles?

The secret is in our phased approach to implementing SAP Integrated B2B eCommerce websites.  We focus on catering to our client’s “power” users first.  They are the ones that are regular customers, know what they want to buy and are simply looking to make the order management process more accessible and efficient.  Focusing on the power users means our clients don’t have to initially staff roles 1-7 in the above list because we don’t have to “drive traffic” or “sell” product.  Our clients already have established relationships with many of their customers.  Sure everyone wants more customers and wants to sell more product.  But you don’t have to satisfy that goal on day one when you’re first launching your B2B eCommerce infrastructure.

Our projects can dispense with roles 8-10 because we offer a cloud based turnkey solution that benefits from six years of development and hundreds of thousands of users having successfully used the website to process millions of transactions directly into SAP systems around the world.  The technology is in place, is quite friendly to use and has withstood the test of time.

So the only thing left to make the project successful is someone that cares about the customer.   Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?

Once we get past the initial GoLive to our power users, the sky is the limit.  We have clients who are happy to simply be offering an ETDBW (easy to do business with) platform.  One that exposes all of the goodness that’s in SAP to their customers in real time.  On the other hand, we have other clients that are setting new standards for driving web traffic and merchandising.  You can be sure they’ve hired designers, marketeers and Magento developers to help them on their B2B eCommerce journeys.

I just don’t want SAP Industrial Manufacturers who are contemplating getting into the B2B eCommerce game to think that they need to form a new subsidiary to staff their project.  You already have all that staff that you need to be successful in a big way!

You just need us and the cloud to help you get started.