Sam Bayer


How to build a B2B business case for ecommerce

I didn’t write this article.  I wish I did, and I know I could, but someone at Sterling Commerce already did, so why not just give them the credit and make it available here?  I think it’s a great white paper and anyone considering investing in a B2B sellside eCommerce project should read it.

Go visit their website for a ton of other information, and then come back here when you’re ready to implement a pragmatic, cost effective B2B solution :-)

For those of you struggling to write the B2B business case for your organization, here is my paraphrasing of their overview of their 9 step process:

  1. Target your audience – make sure everyone reading it can relate to it
  2. Consider the context – build your case to acknowledge the current economic climate
  3. Secure Solid Executive Sponsorship –  we’ve yet to see one of our projects sponsored by anyone lower than President or CEO.
  4. Team up with a Business Partner – this isn’t about technology…it’s about the business.  Make sure someone in the business is driving the project.
  5. Frame the Problem-and the solution-in business terms. – this isn’t about technology…it’s about the business.
  6. Build a Realistic Cost-Benefit Picture – it’s either about making more money or saving it…or both.  Pick the greatest value proposition and deliver on it!
  7. Don’t Leave Out the Indirect Benefits – but don’t put too much weight on them either, especially in this economy!
  8. Make the Business “Own” the Benefits – this isn’t about technology…it’s about the business.
  9. Establish Key Vendor/Solution Selection Criterion – and make sure that it ends up picking us :-)

If I had written this white paper, I would have added one more critical step.  Not
only because that would have rounded it out to 10 steps, but because
there really is one more step that I think is crucial to getting your
business plan accepted and to succeeding with your implementation.

Plan for an Incremental Rollout – don’t allow more than 30-60 days elapse before you start deriving real (monetary) value from your solution!


Technical White Papers – Sterling Commerce – 9 Steps – B2 B BizCase R3