As the digital age continues to take over, adapting to digital practices is now a requirement for all companies. Customers are at the forefront of sales and marketing – what they want is to have a better end-to-end customer experience with brands, on top of purchasing the right product or service, and this experience includes digital platforms.
A reported 63% increase in revenue when companies started using digital tools means that the majority of the sales are online. The increase in online usage means that customers are more informed in their buying process – they do research, scope out options, and listen to peer reviews before making a purchase. Most users who research brands look at social media pages first because they can get a firsthand look on how other customers react to the brand – what kind of comments or reactions do they leave on the brand’s posts? Do they have chatbots at the ready to answer any inquiries that they may have? Potential customers are more meticulous in the way that they look up the brands they’re interested in online ever since the rise of the digital age.
Shifting your mindset from traditional to digital may sound challenging, but it’s a tactical move if you want to get more sales while also increasing customer engagement.
Consumer habits have changed over the years. Before the digital age of sales and marketing, salespeople were considered the front-liners of any brand, approached continuously by customers to inquire about the brand’s products or services before making a purchase. With the recent technological advancements, customers are now shifting from salespeople to online research, gaining more autonomy over how they decide to purchase a product or avail of a service.
Digital sales, by definition, means selling through digital media, regardless of what digital platform the customer buys from. While websites like Amazon and eBay fall under this category, this term mostly applies to business to business (B2B) situations. Common offers from digital sales are webinars or presentations that usually lead to an actual product or service. When users avail of these offers, it turns them into leads, meaning that they’re interested in buying from a brand, but not quite there yet to make the final purchase. At this stage, they want to know more about how the brand can help them address their needs before deciding to buy from them.
Not to be confused with digital marketing, digital sales is the end process of the buyer’s journey. Digital marketing focuses on promotion more than purchase, meaning that its goal is to seamlessly attract customers and convert them to leads, or people who are interested in buying your product. After the customer has been converted to a lead, the sales team converts that lead into a buyer by using online sales tools, like the offers mentioned above.
As the habits of customers change, so should the businesses that cater to them. Sales digital transformation is just that – sales adapting to the rapidly growing changes of the digital age.
In a traditional sales and marketing setup, before technology was introduced, the steps of the buyer’s journey were shorter. Customers would mostly rely on print ads and salespeople before making a purchase. More often than not, they rely on their peers who have bought from the same company, checking whether the product they bought has helped them or not. Now, they look to social media, a platform where they can also see other customers review the company they’re about to buy from. Buying a product is now self-servicing, as customers do the research themselves and require little to no interaction with actual people before deciding.
To not get left behind, it’s essential that your sales team adapts to your customers. Having a sales team on the ground can work if your customers prefer physical interaction, but if a majority of your buyers are online, developing an online sales team can help you interact with more customers and increase your sales.
Turning your prospects into customers is a task that requires all departments to work together. Sales, marketing, and operations all play into making sure you take your customer through the buyer’s journey as seamlessly and effectively as possible. While marketing provides them with the kind of content that attracts your customers to your brand, operations make sure that all your processes, technologies, and people are working efficiently together to close the deal.
It’s crucial to maintain consistency among all three departments, especially in sales and marketing. Your sales team talks to customers more and knows what interests your customers or what makes them leave. Carrying that data over to the marketing team can help your organization develop content that caters specifically to what your customers want to see. New promos and offers should run through sales so that your sales team can review whether these offers are what your customers would want from your company based on feedback.
Building an online presence can help you increase sales and establish credibility. Customers are quick to look up your brand online if they’re not familiar with you. If you have little to no digital content about your company that’s easy to find, you’ll quickly lose the interest of your potential buyers.
It’s important to understand how your online presence affects the interest of your leads. Since they’re already interested in buying from you, the vital step to take next is to show them why they should avail of your product or service. Curating your content, such as sharing third-party content or interacting with thought leaders in your industry, makes you more credible in the eyes of your customer.
The most crucial part of conversion is the waiting time of your customers – if you take too long to contact them after they’ve signed up for your service, they’ll forget about your brand and move on to the next best thing. Leads are already halfway to becoming your buyer, so they’re excited to know more about your product and see how you can help them solve their problem.
Beyond just closing a deal, using digital media platforms for your businesses gives you a better view on how your customers interact with your business. Seeing real-time customer feedback on your social media pages or website makes your customer data more organic, thus giving you an idea on how you can improve your marketing and sales strategy.
Apart from that, it’s easier to handle any friction that your customers experience with your brand. Inquiries and concerns can be addressed through chatbots on social media, making your brand more transparent and approachable. As users are readily online anywhere and anytime that they want, they could research about you whenever they have the time. No matter what stage they’re in, it’s important to continually build authority and trust among your leads, showing them that you know the industry and that you know what you’re doing.
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