Digital Sales: Adapt or Die
By Jason Robinson on May 11
Digital Sales: What Does it Mean?
How much time does your company invest landing a single sale? Traditional sales — the phone calls, meetings, and lunches of the past — have taken a back seat to digital sales in the past decade. Now, companies hoping to steadily land new clients must reinvent the sales process to cater to the needs of customers without losing the all-important personal touch. Discover why traditional sales processes are failing and what you can do to change your company’s outlook for the future.
Want more detail? Download the PowerPoint slide at the bottom of the page for a detailed blueprint for a successful digital sales program
The Problem with Traditional Sales
When it comes to selling the traditional way, everyone loses. Why? Because your company invests significant time and resources without an impressive return while your customers are forced to dodge unwanted sales calls and come up with new excuses as to why they’re not “all in” with your product or service. It’s frustrating for both sides, and doesn’t help your company grow in the long run. With more than 2 billion people using the Internet, it no longer makes sense to approach sales with dated ideas. It’s time to innovate your sales process using proven digital tactics.
How to Perfect Digital Sales
Digital sales involves the use of virtual channels to reach out to prospects, provide education, and ultimately offer a solution that uniquely meets their needs. Think of it as 1-1 marketing. Here are three key strategies to complete an effective digital sales model.
Understand Your Customers Through Enhanced Profiling
Your sales department’s secret weapon is using customer data to improve the customer experience.
- Use the Data You Have: Organizations have plenty of insight on their prospects and customers which they can use to make sales more effective. Whether it is providing sales with triggers around specific activity or prioritization of leads/accounts with a lead scoring model, making better use of data can make a big difference in sales productivity.
- Social Media: Facebook alone has more than 1 billion users and LinkedIn has 300+ million. The growing number of social platforms gives your company endless options to listen to what customers have to say and learn more about them through improved profiling.. From reviewing common complaints to addressing unmet needs, building a strong social media presence is essential to digital sales.
- Advocate Based Selling: Online reviews are a great way for customers to get acquainted with your company while researching whether you’ve effectively solved a problem for someone else. Monitoring reviews and providing advocates with the power to share their views will not only offer a snapshot of sentiments about your solutions, but also offer social proof of your value for uncommitted prospects.
Sell Like a Marketer through Digital Channels
- Social. A common misconception about social media is that it’s just for socializing. For brands, engaging customers with social media posts, news, and responsiveness through social media, however, is the best way to build rapport and engage customers (all while in a platform of their choosing).
- Email. Without a doubt your most direct digital channel, email is the crux of your company’s customer engagement. Between drip campaigns, newsletters, and special offers, email simplifies lead nurturing without tying up your sales department’s resources.
- Marketing Automation Work with marketing to gain insights to customers with this tool. Use these insights to offer up personalized content or offers to your prospects.
Educate Your Customers with Digital Content
One of the best ways to communicate value online is by providing education to prospects. Not only does this benefit them without forcing a commitment, but it shows you’re investing in their problems by providing solutions tailored to their needs. Use the following assets to educate via digital channels (and make recommendations to sales on how to use them):
- Personalized Content. Whether creating blogs, white papers, or social media content, you have the power to offer helpful advice and tips through content tailored to your prospects. Incorporate both written and visual content into your sales process to make solutions accessible to Internet prospects.
- Curated Third Party Content. Thoughtfully curated content from third party sources shows you’ve taken the time to cater to your prospect’s needs.
- Case studies. Sometimes it’s difficult to visualize how a solution will benefit your customer’s life, but detailed case studies can add an illustrative quality to the typical problem-solution equation. Create case studies focused on industries you serve by outlining their struggles, failed solutions, effective solutions, and ultimate results.
- Web-based events. Working with marketing to host an event, such as a webinar, is a great way to establish expertise and use digital channels to make a personal connection with many prospects at once. Develop webinars focused on a particular topic, use complementary visual elements (such as slideshows or presentations), and leave room for engagement with customers after the event.
The result of using digital channels: Time and frustration saved
These new channels are making it much easier for sales teams to prioritize their targets and spend time on the right ones. Using digital tactics and technologies allows you to connect with the right buyer at the right time, as opposed to the traditional pure volume metrics of yesterday.
Which of these elements is your digital sales strategy missing?
More detail on specific Digital Sales best practices:
Enhanced Customer Profiling:
- The Power of Personas
- Using IoT, Customer Service Data: How to Cross-Sell at Scale, Part 2
- Effective Social Listening: