We’re already familiar with the concept of digital transformation in our personal lives. Analog processes and objects which are transformed through digitization, enabling them to be improved with computer software and hardware.
A few common examples are:
- Physical Letters -> Emails
- DVDs and CDs -> Streaming Services
- Film Photography -> Smartphone Camera
- Bank Branches -> Online Banking
- Travel Maps/Atlases -> Google Maps
In all these cases, we experienced efficiency and efficacy gains by digitally transforming an everyday process.
But what about the business world? Specifically sales roles. Let’s look at how digital selling can improve our business results.
What is Digital sales?
Digital Sales is simply the sales activities that are conducted through digital channels. It’s a broad term, that can describe several strategies incorporating software, hardware, and computer networks to improve your sales process.
Like its sibling, digital marketing, digital sales is part of a modern strategy to help businesses take advantage of new opportunities to grow their revenue. It’s a way to leverage technology, software, and hardware to be more effective in your business.
Traditional sales processes are very labor-intensive. Each part of the sales cycle requires lots of time and energy to work through; prospecting, relationship building, deal management, to then existing account management.
Digitizing and automating parts of the sales process allows you to be more efficient and effective with your sales strategy. This means more revenue for you and a better user experience for your customer.
What are digital sales components?
While digital sales is a broad term that encompasses many different digital channels that sales teams use, here are a few examples of common digital sales components:
- Social Media – Using social media to do social selling. On a basic level, this could be prospecting and connecting with your customers on social media platforms. In more advanced cases, it could include thought leadership and content creation.
- Email – Email is now the standard method to reach your customers. Nearly every sales team uses email to communicate, but this can be taken further with email marketing campaigns and email prospecting software.
- Websites – Your website is often the first place your prospects interact with you. It’s the entry point for people to learn about your product or service, and contact you. It’s also a great place to publish content to help your prospects research and educate themselves on your industry.
- Virtual Meetings – Video conferencing began to replace, or at least supplement in-person meetings, especially post-covid. Customer meetings can be done easily through platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams. Events can be hosted live on webinar platforms and through social media streaming.
- CRM Software – At the heart of sales data management is CRM software. This software has become the primary digital location for customer relationship management, including prospecting lists, deal management, and activity tracking.
- Market Intelligence – Taping into intelligent data for prospecting and market research is enabled through market intelligence platforms like Zoomfino. You can see research potential contacts, business analytics, and even buying intent of your prospects.
- Automation – New sales software has enabled automation in multiple facets of the sales process. Automation and artificial intelligence is improving lead scoring, nurture campaigns, chatbots, and more.
And remember, the list above is certainly not exhaustive. There are many ways that sales and marketing teams can leverage digital platforms to improve sales results.
Enable Better Selling
To be successful at sales, you need to be able to build trust and show empathy. It’s still about people at the end of the day, even in the digital world.
The goal of your digital sales strategy should ultimately be to enable better selling. It’s not about fancy tools or automating away the human element. It’s about becoming more efficient and effective at what you already do.
A great digital sales strategy will allow you to leverage and scale your effort. Digital channels can scale what you are already doing through digitization and automation.
You can experience exponential growth in your sales reach using digital channels, versus more linear growth with traditional analog sales processes.
For instance, you might effectively reach one prospect for every 10 cold calls you make. So to grow to reach 5 prospects, you’ll need to make 50 phone calls. You’ll never be able to scale your reach, only maintain that 10-1 ratio in effort to result.
However, the growth can be exponential with a digital channel, like publishing industry insight content online. Your first 10 articles might not reach many people. But, as your social and search network grows, your content’s reach will grow exponentially. Your 30th article might reach 5 people. Your 100th article might reach 100 people. Stick with it long enough… you’re 1,000th article might reach 250,000 people.
And no, this is not hyperbole. I’ve seen results like this repeatedly when working with clients who stick with it.
In addition to making your job easier, you’ll also benefit your customers. Utilizing digital sales channels empowers your customers by making it easier for them to learn about, contact, and buy from you.
Implementing Digital Sales
So, how do you get started with digital sales?
My recommendation is to look for opportunities to streamline and automate with technology. What tasks are you doing today, whether it’s prospecting, lead nurturing, proposal presenting, etc., that can benefit from a digital change? Start with the processes that will have the largest impact.
When working with my clients, I use a “Digital Sales Funnel” to help frame their digital sales strategy. The basic stages of the funnel are:
- Educate – Expand your reach and build awareness through publishing educational content online.
- Capture – Utilize calls to action and offer value in exchange for lead information.
- Consult – Provide a consultative sales process that solves your customer’s problems.