The landscape of sales has shifted radically over the past decade or so. While phone calls, meetings, and other familiar sales staples still have a place in the field, digital sales tactics — techniques conducted through virtual channels — have emerged and started taking up some serious space.
A thorough understanding of digital sales has turned from a “nice to have” to a “need to have,” and having a handle on the concept and its strategies is only getting more important. But what, exactly, does “digital sales” entail?
Well, this article will provide some insight into the nature of the concept and some specific digital sales practices your organization should at least consider employing.
What is digital sales?
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 definition of digital sales is relatively broad and can encompass a wide variety of practices, but they’re all tied together by one fundamental premise — using virtual avenues to make meaningful contact with prospects.
It’s a practice that’s been picking up steam for some time now, and having a solid digital presence is becoming a staple of any high-achieving sales professional’s repertoire.
Research from LinkedIn shows that top-performing sales reps, who close deals 51% more than their peers, consider social networking platforms “very important” to their success.
With the rising tide of digital transformation and the massive implications it has on sales, it’s important for sales reps to have at least some grasp on digital sales techniques and processes. Here are some of the most prominent, effective strategies sales reps can employ to supplement their sales efforts.
Digital Sales Strategies
- Leverage social media.
- Empower evangelists.
- Conduct webinars and other web-based events.
- Supplement your sales efforts with original content and case studies.
1. Leverage social media.
Social media is one of the foremost channels at any digital salesperson’s disposal. These platforms have tremendous potential to enhance your prospect outreach, content promotion, and ability to track which aspects of your messaging prompt the most engagement.
These platforms provide a means for you to better understand and touch base with your prospects. You can identify users that are particularly interested in your industry or products and services similar to yours through forums like LinkedIn groups and similar message boards.
By joining and contributing to those groups, you can find interested prospects and establish yourself as an industry authority through your insight. You can also directly communicate with prospects by answering their questions in comment sections and connecting with them after.
Social media is also a valuable resource for digital sales techniques like sharing content, using social listening alerts to stay abreast of industry trends, and projecting success stories.
In many ways, it’s a medium that can support every other point on this list, so if you’re interested in conducting effective digital sales, you’re going to want to establish a presence on social media.
2. Empower evangelists.
A customer referral is one of the most compelling assets you can count on to generate new business. Consumers tend to trust other consumers. That’s why company evangelists are extremely valuable.
If you have a customer enthusiastic enough about your business to want the world to know how great you are, it’s in your best interest to give them a platform.
That’s where digital sales techniques come into play. You need to let the world know about those evangelists, their stories, and how much they love your business.
It’s hard to do that via more traditional sales techniques. It would be tough to conduct a string of cold calls, telling everyone how much some person they’ve never met enjoys your company, and see success.
Post testimonials of satisfied customers on your social media channels and website. Reach out to users who have spoken highly of your business in online reviews to see if you can tease out some more thorough information on why they enjoy your product or service.
Here’s an example from a HubSpot customer:
One way or another, take strides to amplify your happy customers’ voices — whether that be through your social media profiles or any other online avenue.
3. Conduct webinars or other web-based events.
When done properly, an event like a webinar is one of the most effective digital sales techniques you can leverage. It’s an excellent way to establish yourself as an industry authority while simultaneously attracting warm prospects. If you can put a thoughtful, educational presentation on a topic of interest, you’ll bring in parties with an immediate interest in what you have to offer.
Webinars are one of the few mediums where you can directly communicate with a dedicated portion of your target audience from anywhere. The premise behind these events captures the essence of digital sales I mentioned earlier — using virtual avenues to make meaningful contact with prospects.
If you have the resources, know-how, and potential audience to make a webinar worthwhile, conducting one can be a big help to your digital sales efforts as a whole.
4. Supplement your sales efforts with original content and case studies.
Helpful, constructive, original content can be an excellent way to draw in and assist prospects. If you can tailor blog posts, whitepapers, or other informative content to suit your target audience’s needs and interests, you’ll have an effective means of reigning prospects in and some excellent starting points for initial conversations.
You can also use your content to address specific questions you see prospects raise on social media. If someone on a LinkedIn forum has some issue or concern that your content can address, you have an excellent in for what could be a productive connection.
Case studies can also be particularly helpful when conducting digital sales. They provide an air of legitimacy to your efforts and give prospects some additional clarity about how your product or service works.
Though this kind of content isn’t exactly tailored to intrigue potential customers or answer their general questions, it’s still incredibly useful after connecting with an interested prospect.
To say that digital sales is the future is selling the concept short — because it’s also the present. No matter what your company sells, you still stand to gain something from leveraging some sort of digital sales tactics.
If you’re interested in enhancing your sales efforts and keeping pace with an ever-changing sales landscape, it’s in your best interest to thoroughly research and identify some digital sales strategies that suit your needs.