The pandemic outbreak changed the way we live, work and have fun, but has taught us to carry out our day-to-day tasks in a different manner. Everything was shifted online — shopping, working, ordering food, interaction with friends and family, etc. The forced lockdowns led organizations to lean on the new age technology tools to keep their operations afloat in times of unprecedented change. Organizations that moved quickly & adapted to the new digital world proved to be the most resilient and successful players in the market.
Similarly, the landscape of Sales has changed drastically since 2020. Before 2020, Salespeople were skeptical about the term “Digital Sales”. It brought upon a lot of questions, how to sell remotely, engage with prospects virtually & manage to bring maximum sales revenue to the company without meeting people personally. Social distancing became mandatory where socializing was the key to sales. But now we don’t have a choice. All the face to face sales meetings got replaced with “Admit” buttons on Zoom sessions. Digital Sales has turned from a “nice to have” to a “need to have” strategy.
Digital Sales: What Does it Mean?
Digital sales is a brand of ‘Sales’ conducted through or supported by virtual channels and outlets, including social media, online reviews, email, and web-based content. The fundamental premise is — using virtual mediums to reach out to prospects and increase the deal creation volume eventually.
The Digital Selling percentage in 2020 rose from 27% to 71%. Experts say Digital Selling is here to stay. And, the hard truth is — those organizations who fail in Digital Selling are likely to lose out on valuable sales opportunities.
Organizations need to hit the ground running or at least dip a toe into the Digital Selling water, to stay afloat in the market and reach potential sales opportunities.
How to Identify which area of Sales needs to be Digitized?
The move towards Digital Sales can be a complex process. When you decide to make a conscious investment in Digital Sales, it can be difficult to pinpoint where, to begin with.
Before you begin your journey in Digital Sales, you need to have an answer for this question: “What should be digitized, and why?”
The external force of change — “COVID 19”, caused many organizations to hastily initiate Digital Selling without establishing any concrete business goals — thereby experiencing failure at the very 1st stage.
- have a clear vision about which areas of sales should be digitized and can be revenue-driven.
- research on which Digital Sales Strategy can create a positive impact on the revenue stream.
- keep track of whether the strategy adopted optimizes sales productivity or disrupts the entire workflow.
The Secret to making it in the Digital Sales World: The Blend of Human Touch & Technology
It’s not new that Digital Sales is growing. Yet there is no one-size-fits-all approach to selling online. Whether it is a B2C or B2B, companies need to consider the buyer experience at every stage of the journey.
According to a McKinsey report, for a greater experience, customers prefer to have both Human and Digital Interactions while making a purchase. It is imperative to have a balanced approach between Automation and Human Interaction.
Sales automation tools enable Salesforce to do a better job by collecting and interpreting consumer data. The power of Human Touch is to act on data that can’t be further converted into algorithms of selling a product but through behavioral and digital skills adopted by the Salesforce.
Gartner’s Future of B2B Sales report predicts the future of sales to be adaptive through the convergence of Hyper automation (Technology + Process), Digital Scalability (People + Process) and Artificial Intelligence (People+ Technology).
Each factor of the Sales Ecosystem i.e., People, Processes and Systems are on the verge of revolution, with a lot of changes redefining the sales strategies. Alongside, COVID- 19 has also changed the buyer’s preferences, by being more content-driven, techno-savvy, proactively making purchases through Digital Channels.
This drives organizational business models to redefine their operations-
- Conscious adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) –
In the Virtual Selling process, your sales team needs to have the right resources and tools to convert and close deals to drive revenue in time. This can be done through the adoption of Sales Enablement strategies and software.
Sales Enablement Strategy can be as simple as your Marketing Team providing you with a variety of resources in the form of blogs, videos, testimonials, product templates that eventually enhances the interaction between you and the buyer. The content shared also adds influence to the buyer’s decision making.
Similarly, there are some tasks that need to essentially put on “Autopilot” mode. Sales Enablement software acts as an autopilot and manages all your resources, materials, tracks your prospect’s journey and thereby contributes to improving sales productivity. These automating sales processes eliminate the time-consuming redundant tasks and let the salesforce focus on revenue generation.
- Adoption of New Digital Selling Skills-
As you plan to enter Digital Selling, even though you enjoy the benefits of the sales enablement software and strategies, you need to pay attention to — How Your Salesforce Sells.
Earlier, a bimodal approach of creating a separate group to handle Digital Platform with the requisite skill set would have made sense. But the pandemic outbreak has made this approach ineffective or less effective, where now all the employees are required to shift to Virtual Selling. Organizations have to either focus on upskilling the employees or filling the talent gap by including Digital Assessments in the Hiring Process.
Some of the Digital Skills that facilitate virtual sales are — efficiency in written communication, technological literacy, business communication skills, social media skills, positivity, perspective taking, etc.
For instance, 79% of companies say that live chat has had positive results for sales and revenue. This can be attained only if the salesforce upskills themselves to serve better by adopting a combination of efficient written business communication skills & the ability to understand their prospect.
To make Digital Sales work effectively, not only the organizations but also their employees need to have a futuristic approach, especially when the external force of change — COVID 19 is proliferating. Fortunately, the fear of getting extinct like dinosaurs in this pandemic is currently leaving no other option open to organizations than to explore the Digital Sales World.
Team PMaps — Psychologist