One of our team members recently commented that a door-to-door salesperson came to their home to try and convince them to change electricity providers. Not only did this experience agitate our team member given the inconvenience and lack of suitability relating to the selling technique and actual proposition being offered, but it also served as a clear reminder of the need to get your sales pitch right regardless of what you are selling.
Given what we do at FiveP, this made us think about how best to approach, implement and optimise your sales approaches to effectively connect with your target audience for long-term success. According to customerthink.com, digital transformation is impacting sales approaches on a global scale:
“For salespeople, the shift that’s happening is that you have access to better data and better information. You can get to team and collaborative selling techniques that you weren’t able to get to before. And over time, a lot of the selling that we could do by gut is happening in front of you in terms of insight. What digital does is it democratizes the ability to access information, and ultimately democratizes decisions and allows every sales rep to be productive”.
This has been further impacted by the global proliferation of social media and how organisations are utilising this communication approach as a vehicle to optimise their sales activities. In marketing terms, this is referred to as ‘social selling’. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, social selling is “when salespeople use social media to interact directly with their target audience. Successful social sellers can be regarded as thought leaders by prospective customers as they provide value through industry insights, sharing expertise and offering solutions to common consumer questions through creating or sharing insightful content. Ultimately the goal of this tactic is to build trust with a customer until they are ready to invest in a service or product”.
The Digital Marketing Institute shared an interesting comment which vindicated our view at FiveP that social selling is crucial to any current sales and marketing strategy: “Recent research by PwC found that 78% of consumers were influenced by social media in some way when purchasing. In today’s connected digital world, people have more of a voice than ever – and customers can find out pretty much anything they want about a product or service from each other, with a few clicks of a mouse”.
You may be wondering how your organisation can best embrace the digital world to drive sales, build a strong brand presence and grow profitability longer term. You’re not alone with this challenge.
According to McKinsey & Company, “selling models remain firmly planted in the offline world. Company websites, though rich in product descriptions, are often little more than digital brochures that fail to provide an easy way for customers to buy. And while sales teams are working harder to navigate deals that stretch longer and involve multiple influencers and buyers, they often lack (or are unable to apply) the analytics needed to manage the sale profitably, understand who the real decision makers are, and what sorts of outreach might prove persuasive”.
Microsoft stated that “brands and organizations are looking to digital transformation as the key to innovation, growth, and the discovery and creation of new business opportunities. Customer acquisition, the customer experience, and customer retention have become make or break stakes”.
If you’re from the traditional school of sales and marketing, unfortunately for you the digital transformation juggernaut is not going away any time soon. In fact, quite the opposite! TechRepublic have published some very current research in relation to the projected growth of digital transformation in coming years. They provide research just completed by the International Data Corporation (IDC) as follows:
- By the end of 2019, spending on digital transformation will reach $1.7 trillion worldwide
- By the end of 2018, at least 40% of organisations will have a fully-staffed digital leadership team
- By 2020, 60% of all enterprises will have fully articulated an organisation-wide digital platform strategy, and will be in the process of implementing it.
TechRepublic go further to state that “digital transformation technology spending continues to grow across all geographies and industries, the report noted. However, 59% of companies remain at an early stage of digital transformation maturity, or what IDC calls a digital impasse”.
If you are one of those organisations that remain stuck in a digital impasse, it’s probably time for a discussion with FiveP to determine the best way for you to embrace the digital transformation and optimise your sales functionality to effectively compete in the border-less business world of 2017 and beyond.