Yesterday, we posted a blog that discussed how your Ariba profile can help add more business. Today, we'll teach you how to get started.
What should I do to get started?
The following guidelines can help you create a highly effective profile that maximizes your ability to attract prospects and win business. While each strategy offers value, prioritize the top-tier tasks first.
- Pay extra attention to your commodity, sales territory, and location. Because the search engine uses your commodity, sales territory, and geographic location to match your company with buyer needs, this information is critical to the quantity and quality of leads you receive.
- Commodity tips: Choose categories rather than exact products or services by name (e.g., “beverages” rather than “bottled water”). If what you sell can be classified in multiple ways, select all possible commodity categories it falls into, rather than just one or two. You can use the Search option to find commodities via keywords, or the Browse option to scroll through a list of commodity choices.
- Sales territory tips: In the Sales Territory section, indicate the countries, provinces/states, or metro areas that your business ships to or services.
- Location tips: Note that many buyers—especially those seeking services—require local sources of supply, so if your business has multiple locations, be sure to enter all of them under Additional Company Addresses. This tells prospective customers where you have an actual physical presence.
- List any certifications you have. A growing number of buyers want or have mandates to use diverse sellers, and they can specify this as a requirement in their search. If you have certification as a small disadvantaged or woman-, veteran-, or minority-owned business, or have undertaken green initiatives or earned ISO certification, you can gain a valuable competitive edge by listing this under the Certifications tab.
- Include your D-U-N-S® number and tax ID. If you don’t have a D-U-N-S number, consider getting one. Buyers consistently stress the need for sellers to supply this information, since it helps them assess your company’s financial health—a crucial criterion in the vetting process.
- Keep contact information current. Under the Contacts tab, provide up-to-date contact information to enable buyers to reach the right person when sending RFPs, RFIs, or other inquiries.
- Request references. Most of us use Yelp or Google to check customer reviews on products or services we want to purchase; B2B buyers are no different. In a recent survey, buyers who use Ariba Sourcing™ underscored the importance of references in their assessment of prospective sellers, so be sure to include these in your profile. You can invite any customer to give you a reference. To do so, click on the Leads tab from your profile page, then click References on the Getting Started toolbar.
- Use social tools to promote your profile. Sharing buttons, vanity URLs, “Find us on Ariba” profile badges, and similar tools can help you connect with buyers and build your brand. For tips on using them, check out “Attract More Buyers Faster with New Social Media Tools” on Ariba Exchange.
- Capitalize on premium features. Subscribing to Ariba Discovery as an Advantage or Advantage Plus seller gives you access to premium profile features that help you market your company more effectively—such as a detailed company description, website URL, business logo, attachments of case studies and datasheets, and other resources that boost your credibility to prospective customers.