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The Backbone of B2B Commerce: The Crucial Role of Trusted Product Data

Investing in a source of reliable product data is not just a strategic imperative but a fundamental requirement for sustained success.

The B2B commerce evolution is in full swing. Nearly three-quarters of B2B buyers make purchases through digital channels today. Yet, 63% say their experience falls short of expectations. So, what’s missing? recently shared the B2B Commerce Maturity Model that sheds light on the stages companies move through in their transformation journey, and what’s needed to level up. Three critical components that you need in place:

  1. Trust: Healthy, robust product data to feed a comprehensive digitized catalog
  2. Scalability: Connected systems with omnichannel extensibility
  3. Engaging experiences: Deep understanding of your buyers’ needs to guide more complex sales

Can your buyers trust your information?

First and foremost, product data forms the foundation of every commerce interaction. Customers expect to find accurate and updated information, no matter the channel, as they research specifications and configure solutions to build confidence in their purchase. From browsing catalogs and comparing products to placing orders and tracking shipments, every touchpoint in the B2B buying journey hinges on the availability of reliable product data. 

In the past, this information came through tribal knowledge among sales and service teams or from high-touch interactions with product owners. The move to digital, scalable customer experiences dictates the need for a more centralized, reliable source of product data.

“Consistency and transparency of information to buyers is extremely important for the trust that is inherent to any commercial transaction,” said Andy Peebler, VP of Product Strategy & Ecosystem, Commerce Cloud at Salesforce. “The great benefit of commerce initiatives is that it can be a forcing function to drive companies to align their data, and that will benefit every channel you have.”

Businesses that prioritize data accuracy and integrity help customers make more informed purchasing decisions today and build loyalty for the future. 

A product information management (PIM) solution provides the foundation commercial teams need to access rich product data and transform it into the experiences that keep customers coming back.

Can you scale quickly in dynamic markets?

Change is the only constant. New products are always on the horizon, along with new ways to sell them, as seen by the growing subscription economy. Likewise, customer channels are ever-evolving, each with its own requirements and data needs. 

Digital commerce maturity recognizes that transformation is never complete. Rather than building rigid, stagnant relationships between legacy systems, companies need to look toward adaptable, extensible solutions. This helps each functional team keep pace, while also passing critical data to downstream stakeholders. However, standalone solutions can still require costly integrations that are challenging to maintain over time. 

Instead, the most innovative companies leverage a unified platform, such as Salesforce, to share data and workflow across all product and commercial processes.  

Using native applications, like and Propel, teams seamlessly collaborate across the entire value chain to create a comprehensive product thread ready for solution configuration and sales. This approach ensures that all pertinent product data, from compliance details to digital assets, is accurate and available for users and customer channels throughout the product lifecycle — from design to commercialization.

Companies that can move at the speed of innovation outpace the competition. When your product data comes directly from the source (in the same platform), you will launch sooner, capture sales faster, and drive growth—all while the others are still racing to the finish line.  

Can you engage loyal buyers? 

A complex market requires complex data management. It requires a deep understanding of your buyers’ needs to guide more complex sales.

Instead of thinking of customers as the end of the cycle, product companies need a customer-centric approach that brings market feedback into product and marketing teams. 

This closed feedback loop helps create more seamless buyer journeys as they move between channels, including sales, digital, and field service. By allowing richer self-service, sales and service teams can create more relationship-building interactions with customers, rather than purely transactional. 

For example, Panduit is a worldwide provider of network and electrical infrastructure that uses to transform digital catalogs into valued solution configurators. 

“We’re providing customers with tens of thousands of parts that are engineered to be solutions. We want to make sure that customers understand what works together, and how it answers their application,” said Caroline Gillis, Sr Manager of Digital Experience at Panduit. “When they buy solutions versus parts, we have a better chance at gaining that customer’s loyalty.” 


Trusted product data serves as the cornerstone of a mature B2B commerce model. It underpins transparency, efficiency, compliance, customer experience, and innovation across the entire supply chain. 

As businesses continue to navigate the complexities of the digital economy, investing in a source of reliable product data is not just a strategic imperative but a fundamental requirement for sustained success in B2B commerce. 

Propel is your product data secret weapon. See a demo of the solution.

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Post by
Jill Mueller
Director of Product Marketing, Propel

Jill has a passion for bringing brands to life to drive strategic growth. Her experience in both retail and manufacturing provides a strong balance of marketing, development, and production knowledge. Most recently, Jill worked with private-equity-backed firms to identify and execute market growth opportunities, including channel expansion, product category launches, and global supply chain improvements.

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Jill Mueller