The Digital Selling Revolution What You Need to Know
Why your company needs to embrace Digital Selling
The Age of Digital Selling is here. Rapid Technology Changes have Empowered Your Customers to take more control over the buying process than ever before.
In fact, according to research firm Forrester, 70% of the B2B buying journey is now done online. So what does this mean for your sales team, who most likely have had little to no contact with these buyers and thus no influence over them?
Well, that depends on your marketing and sales teams and how much they have integrated digital selling tools. How does Marketing interact with prospects? At what point in the buyer journey do Sales interact with prospects? How good is the synergy between Marketing and Sales?
The Educated Customer
Today, your customers are educating themselves about your products long before they express interest and contact you. Digital selling and the closely related concept of social selling has evolved as smartphone technology has allowed your customers to start their research process from almost anywhere at any time. From mobile device to tablet then to laptop or desktop, your prospects are becoming savvy about who they buy from as they become more knowledgeable about the solutions available to solve their problems. The demand for the right content at the right time is shaping how companies do business.
This ability to learn represents an opportunity for some companies as much as it represents the promise of failure for others.
For companies that have embraced digital selling by investing in content focused public relations strategies, the future looks good. Types of digital marketing these companies use in their strategies include blogging, whitepapers, ebooks, social media networking, lead nurturing and search engine optimisation. These smart companies are the industry leaders who people will turn to when it comes to doing their research. If you offer more high-quality content and educational materials than your competitors then you are more likely to be seen as the thought leader.
Thus, the promise of failure becomes apparent. If you have not invested in content marketing then you are missing out on the opportunity to be ‘the expert’ who people turn to when they need information. Digital selling is about customer experience. No one wants a poor experience.
Marketing & Sales – Who bears the responsibility for selling?
Earlier I asked the question, “How good is the synergy between your marketing and sales team?”
I have always thought of Sales and Marketing as one entity. One can’t really exist without the other. Yet many companies seem to view them as separate and the two are often disconnected and at odds with each other as they play the blame game.
On one hand, Sales say that Marketing sends them poor quality leads, which is why their closing rate is poor. On the other hand, Marketing says Sales wastes the leads they get. This leads management to question the ability of their sales team. Management also begins to wonder if their marketing team is effective or wasting precious marketing budget.
So what is the problem?
Personally, I believe it boils down to a lack of synergy or symbiosis between the two. Sales are burdened with too much responsibility for generating income. While marketing does not bear enough responsibility.
So where does that leave us?
Building Trust & Relationships – The Salesman of the Future
Bringing Sales and Marketing together is not only a smart move but a necessary one. Both are vital in addressing the needs of today’s customers. As buyers take more self-determined journeys to knowledge, your sales and marketing teams need to be there every step of the way. They need to be educators, guides and trusted consultants who will make the customers journey that much more rewarding.
The Salesman of the Future is a Digital Consultant. Able to build trust and valuable relationships with prospects on their journey to becoming customers. The scope of this article does not allow me to go into the details of how the two departments combined. Nor does it cover all the methodology in building trust and relationships with prospects.
What I will say is this:
“There really is no such thing as a poor quality lead. If someone expresses interest they are a lead, period. There is, however, such a thing as an unqualified lead. Knowing the difference, and knowing how to shape their buying experience in order to turn as many leads into thrilled customers is what the Digital Consultant has to accomplish. The Digital Consultant is a Customer Experience Engineer.”
Embrace Change and Grow
This brings me to my conclusion. The Digital Selling Revolution is happening whether we want it to or not. Your customers are already embracing their new found power and control over the buying process. You can choose to seize the opportunity Digital Selling represents. Or you can struggle along as its effects become more apparent and you are forced to adapt.
The sooner you Embrace Digital Selling the Faster you will Get Ahead of Your Competitors…
Do you want to know more about Digital Selling and the Digital Consultant of the future? What are your thoughts on the future of marketing and sales?
Feel free to leave your thoughts below. I look forward to reading your responses…
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