In this article, I will describe the most common problems with digital transformation projects that have come up during discussions with owners, ecommerce directors, sales directors, and marketing directors in B2B companies.

What will you find in this article?

What are the most common problems with digital sales transformation?
Source of information about the described problems
5 issues during Digital Sales Transformation

What are the most common problems with digital sales transformation?

Let’s start with a simple answer to this question. The five most common issues primarily include:

  1. First, there is too little time allotted on your side (meaning the company where B2B ecommerce is being developed and the transformation process is taking place).
  2. The second problem is the integration.
  3. Third is improper communication within the team regarding the objectives and progress of the digital transformation process.
  4. The fourth issue is the lack of standardized procedures before implementing B2B ecommerce and before the digital transformation project.
  5. The final point, which often occurs in such projects, is implementing too many changes at once.

That’s a brief introduction to the subject. If you want to learn more, read the rest of the article.

Source of information about the described problems

I often encounter specific problems when talking with clients, ecommerce directors, sales, marketing, or company boards, where I implement ecommerce solutions.

These problems are most often related to changing how a B2B company operates. If you are considering undergoing such a digital transformation in your organization or are in this process, this article is for you. You may encounter some of these issues after all.

I will add critical note at the beginning—we often work on digital transformation projects that include implementing B2B ecommerce. Therefore, remember that I view digital transformation projects through this lens.

5 issues during Digital Sales Transformation

Now I will discuss in detail each of the 5 issues that most commonly recur during the discussions mentioned above.

Digital Sales Transformation team

Your Work and/or Your Team’s Work

The first issue is not allocating enough time or having incorrect expectations regarding the time it will take to complete an organization’s digital transformation.

For instance, you run a B2B company. You are a producer and operate in the construction industry. You have decided that implementing B2B ecommerce would be beneficial in streamlining sales.

Such ecommerce will speed up order fulfillment, reduce the number of errors during order processing, and allow you to sell more quickly to the new generation. It is known that there is a generational change among your customers, and the new generation likes to use B2B ecommerce and the possibilities of online shopping.

One idea for digital sales transformation is, indeed, to implement B2B ecommerce. The problem is that B2B company boards, and directors reporting to them have unrealistic expectations about how much work time the implementation of such B2B ecommerce will take.

In a previous article, I wrote about how much time a project coordinator would dedicate to [working with] an ecommerce agency.

A realistic expectation is that during the pre-implementation analysis, it will be at least 20 hours, roughly a half-time job, and during the actual implementation, i.e., coding work, about 16 hours or approximately 2 workdays would be required.

It is often expected that during cooperation with a software house, one meeting per week plus preparation for this meeting, totaling 2 hours, would suffice. The software house will take care of the rest of the work. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.

The person leading the project on the B2B company’s side where B2B ecommerce is being implemented will experience a significant increase in responsibilities during the implementation. Internally, there is a belief that this additional work will only take 2 hours, which is untrue.


Another critical issue is integration. In B2B companies, several different IT systems often communicate with each other to varying degrees.

There is something like Product Information Management (PIM), which is a tool for managing stable data. On the other hand, there’s ERP, WMS, CRM, and sometimes even a separate tool for handling RMA. Additionally, there’s the entire ecommerce system.

Some B2B companies implement an ecommerce system to conduct B2B sales and to simultaneously sell B2B and B2C within a single ecommerce system. In this context, there are many issues with integrations.

Few companies realize that integrations can consume half of the entire implementation budget for ecommerce, generating significant costs.

In the entire process of implementing e-commerce, the implementing companies and those managing ERP, WMS, and other systems must be involved. Typically, this involves an external integrator.

For example, if you use ERP from Comarch XL, it is most likely implemented by a company that is a partner of Comarch XL. During the integration of an ecommerce system, such as Magento, which can accommodate B2B, it is necessary for the company implementing Magento to collaborate with the company managing the ERP. This cannot be avoided.

One serious issue is that the rules, terms, and assumptions for integrations are often discussed too late. Often, this only happens in the middle of the project, whereas it should occur during the pre-implementation analysis stage.

Suppose we define the requirements early and start meetings between companies developing different systems and the company implementing the ecommerce system. In that case, we significantly increase the likelihood that the entire implementation will be completed on time.

Unfortunately, integrations themselves are often the reason for the most significant delays and budget overruns in projects.

Digital Sales Transformation

Internal communication

The third point is proper communication within the organization about the goals and progress of the digital transformation project.

An example is a situation where salespeople wonder how the revenue generated by B2B ecommerce and revenue from their customers, who will be placing orders on B2B ecommerce, will affect their bonuses or commissions.

Depending on the system (bonus or commission-based) and communication, sales reps can either oppose the implementation of B2B ecommerce and discourage their customers from using it, or they can be its ardent supporters.

For this to work properly, appropriate communication and the development of a revised commission and bonus model are necessary. The example with salespeople is the most obvious, but it doesn’t only apply to them.

Implementing B2B ecommerce will affect almost all departments’ work, which is usually challenging. Customer service processes and how accounting works and communicates with your customers will change. The sales director’s way of working and the terms of cooperation with the marketing director and ecommerce director will also change

Many things will change, and how this change is communicated and implemented will greatly impact whether the implementation of B2B ecommerce and the digitization of sales ends successfully.

The key is open communication and engaging all parties in the project. Everyone should know the project’s goal. It seems trivial, but adequate initial meetings are often lacking where these topics should be addressed.

However, it is worth noting that this is a risk area because people usually do not like change, and implementing B2B ecommerce and digitizing the sales process is a huge change for the entire organization.

Lack of processes

The fourth point is the absence of standardized processes and procedures you would like to transfer online.
If you are implementing B2B ecommerce, you are usually doing it to increase the efficiency of the sales and customer service departments. You want your team to be able to handle more sales and more revenue with the same staff composition.

For this to be possible, processes must be standardized. You cannot digitize processes that do not exist. If each customer is served individually, with different logistical rules that can be changed individually for a given customer without clearly defined principles, this creates a problem.

For example, nominally, there are standard discounts (pricing policy) with minimum prices. Still, in exceptional situations, if the sales representative talks to the customer and the customer applies strong pressure, obtaining an additional discount and circumventing the pricing policy is possible.

In some cases, a process cannot be digitalized. It is impossible to digitalize a process that is not truly a process because everything is carried out in an informal, individual manner. Many companies gain a market advantage by relying on individual customer treatment and meeting their needs. In such a case, however, one should consider whether conducting a digital transformation of sal is even possible.

You should also consider which area can be digitized and which is better left untouched in such cases.

Too many changes at once

We now move on to the fifth point, implementing too many changes simultaneously.

Organizations wanting to implement B2B ecommerce and thus carry out a digital transformation of sales often take the approach that they want to implement a large technological solution, change the organization’s sales strategy, and do it in 8 months.

However, such a project, including changing all internal processes, often cannot be implemented quickly.

Change should usually be gradual and implemented in stages. Gradual implementation of changes is key for their effective incorporation into an organization. If too many changes are introduced all at once, the company is likely to be destabilized.

Therefore, the gradual implementation of changes and their successive realization is crucial. So, what should these stages look like?

My experience shows that the first version of a technological solution can often be implemented in 8 months. This alone allows for a significant change.

However, if we are talking about a major digitization project with a budget of 250.000 EUR/USD, 500.000 EUR/USD, or 1.00.000 EUR/USD, it usually spans 2 or 3 years.

Such a project consists of several stages, typically from 3 to 4, lasting several to a dozen months. Changes are introduced gradually so the organization can learn a new way of working in certain areas while maintaining correct operational activity.

We cannot expect the organization to switch to a new operating model overnight. Changes must be introduced in stages and divided into phases that the organization can safely manage.


I often observe that boards, not fully understanding the entire scope of the project, have different expectations than directors and managers, and those, in turn, differ from the expectations of specialists working on the project.

This leads to significant misunderstandings regarding whether a particular element poses a risk and how exactly the risk should be addressed.

The most common issues with digital transformation projects and B2B ecommerce implementation are:

  1. Too little time allotted on your side, i.e., the side of the company intending to conduct digital sales transformation.
  2. The second major issue is integrations – the more there are, the greater the project risks – in B2B companies, integrations are generally much more complex than with online stores, something worth noting.
  3. The third most common problem is improper communication within the organization about the upcoming changes, leading to insufficient promotion of the B2B ecommerce implementation project.
  4. Another issue is the lack of standardized processes before starting any digital sales transformation, without which the transformation can be extremely difficult to carry out and sometimes even impossible.
  5. The last problem is conducting and implementing too many organizational changes simultaneously.

If you are currently considering or during digital sales transformation and are implementing B2B ecommerce and have encountered a problem, let’s talk. At the very beginning, we will become acquainted with your situation and then conduct brief workshops any develop a concept of how to effectively implement B2B ecommerce in your company.

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