There has never been more opportunity in the world of sales. Digital channels and the internet have opened the door to reaching more people, more effectively, than ever before.
Your prospective customers are online every day, searching, scrolling, and consuming content related to your industry. They are actively trying to learn more and find solutions to their problems (that you can solve).
It’s up to YOU to take advantage of this new selling paradigm. It’s up to YOU to execute a digital selling strategy.
Why Digital Sales is Effective
Let’s first talk about why digital selling is so important. Because understanding the “why” behind your strategy is just as important as the execution itself.
The premise of a digital sales is based on the following principles:
- People like to do their own research. 81% of buyers will research online before talking to a sales representative (source: GE Capital). In our internet-enabled world, we’ve become accustomed to doing our own research for nearly every purchase we make. This means that the true competition for prospects begins with the first piece of information that they consume online.
- Sales requires trust. The backbone of nearly every purchase is trust. Your prospect needs to trust that you can successfully help them make the change they desire. And one of the best ways to build trust is through educating and providing helpful content to your prospective audience.
- Digital content scales. The digitization of information allows us to scale our reach much further than ever before. A well-performing blog article, webinar, or social media post can be seen by hundreds or even thousands of people. Through the creation of digital content, you are able to scale how many prospects you can reach.
Taking these principles together, we can see why digital selling is so important. It enables you to build trust with an audience at scale. With today’s buying behavior, that means you close more deals.
The Digital Sales Funnel
So how should you approach digital selling? I have a simple framework that I use to build out digital sales strategies: Educate > Capture > Consult.
The top of your funnel is to educate. This is all about gaining visibility and building authority. At this stage, you are trying to cast a wide net by building up your authority as an expert in your industry.
Your educational activities should not be directly sales-focused. The goal at the top of the funnel is to showcase your industry knowledge and provide helpful information to your prospects doing their own research. They will search, and you will have the answers.
- Publishing blogs
- Social media posts
- Video Series
- White papers and case studies
The middle of the funnel is all about capturing leads. Your goal is to get your captive audience to convert into identifiable prospects. Your educational activities were the planting and nourishing of your prospective crops; now you need to perform the harvest!
To be effective in lead capture, provide something of value to your audience. Whether it be access to a presentation, a downloadable guide, or simply letting them know you’re available for one-on-one help, give your prospects an easy next step in their process.
- Website/Blog contact forms
- Social media engagement
- Email newsletter sign-ups
- Offering one-on-one discussions
Once you’ve identified a prospect, it’s time to be their personal industry expert. People don’t want to work with salespeople, they want consultants. 84% of business buyers are more likely to buy from sales reps that understand their goals (source: Salesforce).
Your job here is to guide them through the buying process. Aligning their business goals with your solution design offer.
- Design a simple buying process
- Uncover problems and the impact on their business
- Create tailored proposals and solutions
Your Digital Selling Strategy
This is your digital selling strategy. This is your opportunity to take advantage of the powerful ways digital channels can empower your sales process.
I encourage you to start by self-reflecting on your unique industry knowledge and how you can leverage that in your strategy. Be the “favorite teacher” that your audience loves to learn from. Develop a consultative approach that makes the buying process simple for your audience.
I also encourage you to just start. Creating content and posting online can seem unnatural to many people. But you’ll never get better and experience the true benefits of digital selling until you start taking those first steps.