April 12

Unleashing the Power of a Comprehensive Digital Sales Strategy

The world of sales prospecting has changed dramatically over the past decade. Traditional prospect badgering approaches to business development are giving way to digital sales strategies, especially virtual selling skills-based tactics, forcing businesses to evolve to succeed in today's fast-paced digital landscape. This guide will provide the tactics and insights necessary to master digital sales in 2023 and beyond, with detailed recommendations for each aspect of your digital sales strategy.

Understanding the Buyer's Journey in a Digital Selling World

The buyer's journey has transformed in the digital age. Instead of relying solely on salespeople, Self-Educating Buyers now conduct their research online before making a purchase decision. No longer can you rely on the sales funnel, but instead, must think about the buyer journey in terms of a sales radar. To successfully navigate this shift in behavior, at a top level your organization must:

  • Invest in creating educational and informative content that addresses buyers' questions and concerns throughout their journey, from awareness to consideration and decision-making stages.
  • Optimize your online presence for search engines, ensuring that your content is easily discoverable by potential clients searching for answers and solutions.
  • Track and analyze user behavior on your website, social media, and other digital channels to identify patterns and preferences that inform your content strategy and engagement tactics.

Building an Effective Digital Sales Strategy

Simply said, digital sales prospecting accepts that your prospective client's first impression of you may be invisible to you because it will happen on a social media platform or a webpage when you're not looking. As such, an effective digital sales strategy leverages traditional marketing strategies and tactics as much, if not more so, than traditional sales strategies and tactics.  Let's take a few minutes to break down how to build an effective digital sales strategy and digital sales process:

  • Establish a digital presence that showcases your brand's unique value proposition:
  • Create a professional, user-friendly website that makes it easy for your prospective self-educating client prospect to find answers to their questions. But don't stop there, funnel optimize your site to leverage related 2nd-Click Content, especially if that content creates competitive differentiation. 
  • Become known for knowledge by demonstrating your organization's expertise in your industry, addressing pain points, and providing valuable insights to your target prospects. Publish content on your website as well as others' websites. Speak at conferences. Offer yourself as an engaging podcast guest. Rinse and repeat as often as time allows.
  • Cultivate an active presence on relevant social media platforms, engaging with your audience and sharing content that reinforces your organization's values and expertise. Think of social media as the new phone. Only, this phone defaults to one-to-many conversations vs. one-to-one, effectively scaling your social selling efforts in ways heretofore unseen in sales prospecting.  
  • Use data and analytics to understand your sales prospects better:
  • Leverage Google Analytics and other platforms to analyze your website traffic, uncover hidden buying signals, monitor user behavior, and discover conversion patterns to identify trends and areas for content marketing and sales prospecting improvement.
  • Leverage customer data and feedback to create detailed buyer personas, which will help you tailor your messaging and targeting efforts and craft CRM tagging nomenclatures to better segment your database. 
  • Utilize social listening tools to monitor conversations around your industry and perform Social Reconnaissance, giving you insights into emerging trends and helping you build detailed prospect dossiers for social selling and networking.
  • Develop a consistent, personalized approach to engaging with prospects online:
  • Create personalized, targeted messaging that speaks to the specific needs and preferences of your different buyer personas. And for all that is holy, please do NOT use those stupid sh$ty LinkedIn and Email prospecting sequence templates we're all too familiar with seeing in our inboxes. Instead, leverage the Social Recon Dossiers you created in the prior step to uncover the natural connection points and shared passions that are perfect conversation starters.
  • Implement marketing automation tools to deliver timely, relevant content to your prospects based on their interactions with your content marketing or when you come across a great article, podcast, or YouTube video that you know they'll love. Honestly, if you want to network at scale, you really have to use a CRM or, if at all possible, a full-fledged marketing automation platform like the one I use.
  • Utilize interactive technologies like chatbots, AI-driven customer support, and others to provide real-time assistance and personalized recommendations to your prospects. If your self-educating prospect has a question, you want to make sure either your technology or you are available to provide the answer. 
  • Implement effective lead nurturing and conversion strategies:
  • Develop a multi-touch, multi-channel lead nurturing campaign that keeps you top of mind and guides prospects through the buyer's journey. Here again, if you invest in a good marketing automation platform, you can build a sales automation template populated with designated times to connect with a prospect on social media, send them an email or add them to a pre-scheduled email marketing sequence — ensuring a minimally viable sales nurturing campaign for every sales prospect in your business development database.
  • Develop a Lead Scoring system based on your sales prospects' engagement with your content, interactions with your social media, lead magnets they download, or information they've provided like direct office phone numbers or cell phone numbers. This helps to prioritize high-quality prospects.
  • Optimize your 2nd-Click Content and sales landing pages for conversion by A-B testing various headlines, subheads, and page layouts. Update your sales landing pages to showcase social proof, and utilize strong calls-to-action to encourage prospects to take a step and provide another hidden sales signal.

Aligning Marketing and Digital Sales Efforts

This one is a biggie! Let's face it, Marketing and Sales don't historically play nice together. Lord knows I've written in the past about the challenges misalignment causes. But with a little forethought and maybe even a dose of outside sales training or workshopping, you can get both the sales and marketing boats rowing in the same direction. 

  • Create a shared set of compensation goals and KPIs that both teams work toward, ensuring that their efforts are aligned and focused on driving measurable results. One of the key points I make in my sales and marketing workshops or training sessions is how each department is compensated. Why? Because that one point of differentiation is the genesis of so much misalignment and mistrust. 
  • Encourage open communication and collaboration between the marketing and sales departments, sharing insights, feedback, and best practices to create a seamless, data-driven approach to engaging and converting prospects online. In a modern digital sales strategy, Marketing plays a larger role in proactive sales prospecting, like cold calling with content. BUT, they can't effectively do it alone. They NEED those frontline sales prospect insights that only Sales hears. 
  • Implement lead scoring and lead nurturing systems that help both teams work together more effectively, ensuring that the right prospects receive the right messaging and support throughout their journey.

Have you read: The 7 Most Important Virtual Selling Skills for Salespeople Today?   

Click Here to Read Next

Creating a Digital Sales Culture

This isn't Field of Dreams, and you're not Kevin Kosner. If you build it (a digital sales strategy), they will not come. To launch and sustain a digital sales strategy, you must foster a vertically and horizontally aligned digital sales culture. To begin that process:

  • Encourage a growth mindset among your team members, emphasizing the importance of continuous learning and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in digital sales. 
  • Provide comprehensive training programs that cover the technical aspects of digital sales tools and the strategic approaches needed to succeed in today's digital sales environment.
  • Redefine success in digital sales to encourage and reward the right kind of activity. Create systems to detect and reinforce proper digital sales efforts to motivate your team to improve the adoption of the digital sales strategies and tactics you believe are required to succeed.

Mastering digital selling in today's competitive business environment is more critical than ever. By understanding the Self-Educating buyer's journey, building an effective digital sales strategy, fostering a digital sales culture, aligning marketing and sales efforts, leveraging technology, measuring success, and staying agile in the face of change, you too can thrive in the digital age. Don't let your competitors leave you behind. Open your mind, and embrace a digital sales strategy to secure your position as an industry leader AND produce a consistent stream of highly-qualified prospects.

This post was originally published on Painless Prospecting, the weekly sales and marketing blog created by the fine folks at Converse Digital. If you want to learn how to create, engage in, and convert conversations into new clients and customers, give them a call

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