Is Your Sales Team Prepared for the Digital Age?
There is no doubt that the internet has changed our everyday lives, especially the way we communicate and reach out to other people.
In line with this, businesses are now taking advantage of the convenience that digital media offers considering the changing consumer behavior by announcing sales, promotions, and events through email and their website, as well as social media and internet ads.
Like for instance, some companies are taking their incentive programs for employees and customers alike to the next level by converting traditional performance-based rewards program into one that is online and accessible everywhere.
The rapid evolution of digital media has created new avenues and opportunities, having significant impacts on how we act as consumers, how we do business, and how we behave socially. With just one click, businesses can reach more customers.
Digital media can affect every part of the consumer decision journey, as consumers can easily share or obtain information regarding anything under the sun. A single promotion featuring a contest or giveaway—comprised of audio, visual, text and interactive media, have the possibility to earn thousands of views and impressions when posted online.
Power of the Consumers
Through digital media, consumers now have more information and more choices. However, it has also increased the complexity of making decisions for them.
The buying process of consumers is now subject to interruptions, diversions, and delays. Instead of simply consuming products, customers can also become critics and creators—which gives them the power to make or break brands.
Listed below is buying process of consumers and how digital media has changed their decision-making process.
Before the digital age, consumers do not have any ways to evaluate the products before buying it, as they only rely to sales and marketers
With the power of internet, however, things have changed. Today, we all have access to assess and discover more about a certain product even before buying it. Moreover, consumers can be influenced by customer feedback from social media even before they see your actual product or experience your service.
Reviews are the new word of mouth. With the emergence of forums and community sites, online comments have become an extension, if not the replacement of word of mouth.
A survey from Deloitte’s Consumer Review in 2014 reveals that 81% of potential buyers have read customer reviews and ratings online before purchasing a product. Even when they become curious enough to try the product or service, they’ve already formed an opinion inside their head. It falls on the business to meet high or raise low expectations.
The convenience of websites and online shops like Lazada, Metrodeal, and Zalora enable consumers to save time and effort from personally going to stores and malls to make a purchase by shipping the product at the customer’s doorstep.
With just a single click, consumers can instantly place an order or reserve a product they wish to purchase. In fact, online shopping has become a trend now, as 46% of internet users in the Asia Pacific region purchased products via a mobile device.
The Evolution of Sales
Undoubtedly, there is a profound shift in the evolution of technologies. As consumers interface more with machines rather than humans, it’s very important for salespeople to adopt or risk being replaced.
As consumers rely on digital media channels for information and convenience, it’s important to equip your sales team with effective digital marketing skills to better target consumers.
Know Your Target Audience
Do your research and know your audience by finding them online. Social media has become a virtual diary for consumers. Each platform has their own role in a person’s life. For example, sales people with B2B buyers can look at LinkedIn to find out their prospect’s professional history and connections. They can also take a look at Twitter about the topics they’re interested or people they follow.
Focus on understanding customer’s buyer persona and personalize the sales process. Remember, it is always quality over quantity.
Listen and Engage with Your Audience
Take advantage of the opportunity to know their problems or what they need before selling your product or services. Go through community sites and forums to interact with prospect clients. These venues open up a huge possibility to discover opinions about your brand, competitors, and influencers.
Dive into Online Marketing
The information and data you have gathered from your research can be applied to marketing strategies to better reach and engage your audience.
Here are few channels where you can reach out to your audience:
- Email Marketing – This is still the most effective and direct method of reaching out to customers. Personalized email content has a higher possibility of getting a response. It’s safer to email a prospect during the initial sales process than calling them. People are more likely to assume that you’re a telemarketer and instantly choose not to listen.
- Content Marketing – content can be effectively used in a variety of ways when you know how to use it. Know which type of content resonates with your readers to increase the chances of converting inquiries to sales. For example, case studies are a great piece of content to show what your company can do for B2B buyers.
- SEO and PPC – These are closely tied to content marketing efforts, but focus on the keywords your audiences use in searching on the internet. You can strategically use them on your ads and content to attract organic and paid clicks and searches.
- Social Marketing – Sales teams should also keep an eye on their brand’s online communities to identify customer pain points and challenges, which will enable them to create a more personable sales process that answers their needs and dispel hesitations.
Sales should not only work hand in hand with marketing, they should learn from each other for a smoother conversion process.
It is important for salespeople to be trained and be able to communicate effectively on whatever platform it may be because they are the ones who interact with the customers.
Industry trends and technology will continue to change and evolve through time, so invest in your team to help them prepare and adjust for better execution of plans and strategies that would benefit both the employee and company.
Learning and training is a long-term process. Providing proper training, as well as implementing loyalty programs in the Philippines, can increase employee retention and boost performance. When your workforce knows that you’re willing to invest in their career, they will also become invested in the success of your business.