While most marketing organizations have learned to master digital techniques to improve the quality and efficiency of their profession, sales organizations are still playing catch-up. Digital channels can make the sales process much easier as it not only helps in identifying the right sales prospects and their needs, but also in automating many of the most tedious organizational tasks and crunching marketing data to anticipate customer demand. The Digital Marketing Institute reports that digital channels now influence 92 percent of B2B buying decisions, offering sales teams a tremendous opportunity to master this revolutionary medium and turn their sales efforts into better revenues and higher margins.
Following are some key trends and developments that are driving sales organizations to make the investment in digital selling expertise.
Digital Selling Means Better Results
Social media in particular has had a massive impact on the way sales teams can better understand customer preferences to target and influence their prospects more intimately. The top and bottom lines are what counts most for sales teams, so here is a roundup of metrics to prove how social and digital selling help sales performance:
- Social selling leaders create 45 percent more opportunities, are 51 percent more likely to reach quota, and 78 percent more often likely to outsell their peers who don’t use social channels.
- Over 72 percent of salespeople using social selling as part of their sales process outperformed their sales peers and exceeded quota 23% more often.
- 63 percent of sales professionals say that social and digital selling are vital to closing new deals.
- Digital-selling companies are 5.7 times more likely to secure prospect meetings and hit 150 percent of their quotas on average, according to an EY report.
Consumers Are More Demanding
Digital and social channels are making it easier for sales teams to connect with their prospects and customers. Consumers show their true colors on social media, offering insights into their buying needs and preferences. More than 73% of users follow a brand because they’re interested in the product or service, and 31 percent of B2B professionals said that social selling allowed them to build deeper relationships with their clients. In the end, consumers are fully aware that digital sellers are watching them. In fact, 78 percent of customers say sales teams should personalize interactions based on their online activities. Consumers are far more savvy in the digital age and they expect sales teams that want to target them to understand what motivates them and establish a better one-to-one connection with social investigation and customized outreach.
It’s a DIY (Do It Yourself) Consumer Culture
The digital medium has also made it easier for consumers to get a big head start in the buying process. 77 percent of B2B buyers said they did not talk with a salesperson until after they had performed independent research. In fact, buyers are already 57 percent through the purchase process before engaging a sales professional. The do-it-yourself mentality of today’s B2B consumers saves time for both consumers and digital sellers and produces significantly shorter sales cycles. Even on the service and support side, 44 percent of consumers prefer chatbots to humans for customer relations.
Marketing and Sales Become One Team
Sales and marketing teams are increasingly seeing their worlds overlap, and good digital sellers relish this transformation. Sales can develop a better synergy with their marketing counterparts by collaborating on what digital tactics and content are working best. In the old days, marketing would create content and campaigns and throw leads over the wall to sales, without a good conduit for feedback and information sharing. Digital and social channels do just that. Sales teams can enhance their ability to work more closely with marketing by improving their social media marketing expertise as a first step. Besides, digital selling upskilling programs are designed to help enhance your social presence to influence buyer decisions, use social selling tools to increase sales conversions and develop a mastery of CRM and business intelligence tools to boost customer loyalty and retention.
The Rise of Video on Social
Social selling will also rely more heavily on digital and streaming content. About 80 percent of consumers would rather watch a live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82 percent would prefer live video to written social media updates. As digital sellers work to enhance their social marketing acumen, impactful video content and production will continue to set the tone.
Sales teams have a lot to gain when it comes to digital and social selling. In today’s do-it-yourself consumer culture, knowing how to push the right buttons with consumers in social and digital channels will improve your sales performance and make you a star with your marketing partners.