For some sales teams, it can be a long slog to truly go digital. Many companies have gone to great lengths to extend the capabilities of their sales reps by embracing digital and social selling techniques. Still others have said they’ve gone digital, only to realize that there are tricks to the trade they have yet to master. This can slow down their growth and the benefits of digital selling. Digital channels now influence 92 percent of B2B buying decisions, so it’s imperative that you recognize which group you fall into.
Here are six signs that your sales teams may be in danger of falling behind in the race to close more business.
1. You’re Missing Quotas on a Regular Basis
It’s not unusual for a sales rep or manager to miss their designated quota, especially in volatile markets or markets with longer sales cycles. But when they miss on a regular basis, it can be a sign that there is something more fundamental going on. Digital and social selling can make the difference: social selling leaders create 45 percent more opportunities, are 51 percent more likely to reach quota, and 78 percent more often outsell their peers who don’t use social channels. Moreover, an Ernst & Young report shows that digital-selling companies are 5.7 times more likely to secure prospect meetings and hit 150 percent of their quotas on average. These statistics tell a very compelling story.
2. Customer Churn Rates Are Abnormally High
In today’s digital buying environment, customers have gotten used to a more personal touch from sales and support, helping them stay more engaged with the brand and remain loyal customers. But customers will leave for greener pastures if they’re not satisfied. Sellers who leverage social channels can establish a better one-to-one connection with customers through social investigation and customized outreach, and customers concur: 78 percent say sales teams should personalize interactions based on their online activities. Sales teams use LinkedIn (84 percent) and Twitter (50 percent) primarily to prospect and build stronger relationships.
3. You Spend Too Much Time on One-off Customer Requests
Once the sale is done, effective sales teams continue to use social and digital channels to keep the relationship strong. One key tactic is to leverage predictive analytics and social channels to better anticipate future customer needs and reduce the chance of customer surprises. Salesforce research shows that 78 percent of sales teams have increased their focus on anticipating customer needs over the last 12–18 months. There are predictive analytics packages that can help determine follow-on product or service recommendations based on buying preferences are growing in popularity, with the predictive analytics market expected to reach almost $11 billion by 2022.
4. You Still Send Out Mass Emails
The social channel is improving the ability for marketers and sellers alike to reach out to preferred prospects with a focus on one-to-one marketing messages, and now they can do it at scale. Remember that buyers are already 57 percent through the purchase process before sales professionals even speak to them, using digital and social media to do their own research. And 48 percent of Americans have interacted with companies or institutions on at least one social media network. Sales and marketing teams that follow their moves know where customers stand in the sales cycle and are better equipped to respond to them in a less generic manner.
5. Prospecting Is Still Done the Old Fashioned Way
It’s clear that customers prefer the digital touch when interacting with sales teams, and yet, many “old-school” sellers, particularly in the business-to-business (B2B) space, still rely on cold calling to build their prospect list. Unfortunately, that ship has long since sailed: a recent survey found that more than 90 percent of decision makers indicated they never respond to cold calls. The only way to truly connect and build revenue is via social media such as LinkedIn, where you can focus on utilizing your networks and targeting decision-makers. And of fourteen industries analyzed by LinkedIn, all of them show more than half of their revenue being influenced by LinkedIn selling tools. The top industries are computer software and computer and network security at 67 percent and marketing/advertising and management consulting at 66 percent.
6. Sales Teams Are Still Holdouts on Skills Training
Most sales reps have a system that works for them, so they are not always open-minded to digital skills training. But sales teams stand to benefit from a wealth of options: Digital Selling upskilling can help you master a wide range of digital and social tools to help close business; social media marketing illustrates the ins and out of social media channels, and even content marketing and email marketing can both impact the sales process in a positive way.
Remember that in the end it’s all about results. 63 percent of sales professionals say that social and digital selling are vital to closing new deals, so take these warning signs to heart and build your digital selling future today.