Each day, your sales reps need to develop and sustain strong relationships with the retailers and distributors of your product in order to ensure that targets are met and orders are filled. In many emerging markets these interactions are still very manual, but in more progressive markets, this communication has become digitized. In fact, in a recent Google survey of over 2700 B2B sales managers, they discovered that many top sales leaders dramatically underestimated the importance of strategically digitizing sales communications. So here is what you need to know about driving sales with digital communications, so that your business isn’t left behind.
Why manual communication limits your sales and costs more
We are living in the land of instant gratification. When requests aren’t attended to timeously or are slower than expected, sales are lost. This is a massive frustration which customers constantly face and so response times need to be addressed as a direct link to sales. By digitizing communication, customer interactions become the differentiating factor in driving sales. The experience felt on the receiving end of digitized communication is a personalized and high quality interaction. Part of this process requires giving the sales team access to raw POS data so they not only respond timeously to customers but also understand (at the touch of a button) which resource to allocate to them.
Digital communication is directly linked to sales
Statistics prove that the smallest FMCG brands for example, now account for over 53% of sales growth in that sector. In this market, e-commerce’s market share has climbed to 17% proving how the future of sales is headed in the digital direction. This is not to mean that digital alone is the way forward. Rather a thoughtful combo of technology and a careful human touch will see the most success. Here savvy marketers understand how to harness the power of technology in order to increase visibility across the distribution network, and empower their sales reps to make strategic, data-driven decisions that meet the merchant’s needs.
Why digitalization and sales are inextricably linked
In the old days, the sales process was driven in person. But now things have changed because the process actually begins in the digital space as customers are out there researching online, on social media and websites. According to research by Roland Berger research, 46% of the under 35 ‘Millennial’ customers prefer googling for product. Meaning that now the customer decides when they need a salesperson to assist and reaches out accordingly. This means that your website has never been more important and should be a key area of investment in order to properly inform customers of everything they require to drive sales.
So what are the 3 key steps to digitizing your sales?
Launch fresh communication channels
Use “social selling” to promote your new sales channels on social media. Find ways to stand out on these platforms as an opinion leader for prospective customers. This can be done by sharing interesting insights, offering solutions to common pain-points and sharing your expertise. By doing this, you will influence potential customers into taking notice of you and learning to trust you.
Adapt your website so it speaks directly to your customer’s needs
Websites are the start of the purchasing process. So content and communication needs to be carefully arranged to keep the customer’s journey smooth, intuitive and slick. So start by stepping into your customer’s headspace and imagine what they may need. Figure out how you can help your customer along that early phase of gathering information and deciding what to buy. What is the thing that will convert them into happy paying customers? The answers to these questions will help you set up your navigation and design.
Understanding customers should sit at the heart of your technology strategy
Social networks help you understand your customer, but sales data can do this too. By tracking technologies alongside your sales data, you can begin to understand what your customer’s key touch points are; like where they hover on your website, how they found you, what they like and when they buy. Each piece of information will help you better understand your customer’s persona and then you can reach out to them before they try find you.
The bottom line
Manual sales are a thing of the past. If you want to drive sales and propel your business into the future, you need to be digitizing your communication sales and integrating them into various technologies. This combination will help you understand your customer, communicate more effectively with them and serve their needs. This kind of strategy empowers you to respond to your customers in real-time and drive sales five times faster than those who are not. With these stats in mind, it’s not a question of ‘if’ but rather of ‘when’ you should be digitizing sales to drive business growth.