3 Simple Ways to Get Started with Digital Sales
The world has become a digital paradise. Online sales are growing 10x faster than offline sales and the number of mobile devices is expected to exceed the world’s population by 2014 to reach 7.4 billion.
Your potential customers are already comparing your brand with the competition and 70% of B2B buying process happens online, which means if you are not online and engaging with them then you are losing revenue.
The Demand For Digital Sales Managers
The explosion of the Internet and eCommerce has helped fuel the growth of digital jobs.
Of the top 10 job trends in the US, all are digitally related. And whether you call it eCommerce, digital sales or acquisition, the role itself remains clear – Get more customers.
If you have spent half of your life selling offline and in person, adapting to the Internet and social media can be intimidating. Closing deal-after-deal and in person is a skill you are born with, and you will always need to have sales teams that can sell out in the field, but sooner or later you will need to get online.
Yet, the demand for a digital sales person is outweighs the supply. According to Indeed.com, Digital sales managers can make more than three-four times as much in salary compared to their non-digital counterparts. In fact, digital sales managers’ with three years’ experience are commanding compensation packages of more than $250,000.
Before the inception of the Internet, we spent a lot more time in person. 99% of sales were made in person, and not much has changed in the way sales teams close deals today. You are given a list of leads to follow up with and try to persuade them to choose your product over another.
And as we become even more connected to the online world through mobile; the mold of the traditional salesman is changing as the digital salesman becomes the necessity.
Getting started with Digital Sales
B2B sales teams need to adapt to the modern day buyer but, if you’re in sales and not online, where do you start?
There isn’t a lot of information on the web that covers steps you can take to go from selling out in the field to selling and building relationships online, which is why we have created three simple ways to help you and your sales team to go digital!
1. Host an online webinar
A webinar allows you to host and share presentations, videos and other content with your audience online.
The best way to get started with a webinar to talk about a topic you know; your brand. Webinars can be created using services like GoToMeeting and WebEx – All you need is to set a date for the webinar and send invitees a link to where they can sign up. Then, send an email to your contacts, leads, prospects and invite them.
By hosting a webinar, people can attend from anywhere in the world and interact with you in real-time, which means you can access a wider network of potential customers and invite them to engage with your brand. In fact, webinars are a great source for making new contacts, generating leads and educating new prospects.
Three key points to remember when hosting a webinar are:
- Use the screen sharing feature to share presentations during the webinar
- Record the webinar so that in case anyone misses it, you have a copy
- After the webinar, upload your presentation to SlideShare.net
A great way to connect after the webinar is to email the participants and ask for feedback, and include a link to the Slideshare presentation and video recording.
2. Upload presentations to Slideshare
Like most sales people, it’s common for you to give presentations to prospects, leads and customers. In fact, you will probably have a folder on your desktop dedicated to presentations. Instead of keeping it locked away, share them with your online community.
SlideShare allows you to upload presentations online. It’s quick and easy to share slides and is a great opportunity to increase awareness for the next time you host a conference, event or webinar. It’s also one the most visited sites on the web:
- One of the top 150 sites on the web
- 60 million visitors per month
- 3 billion slide views per month
LinkedIn purchased SlideShare in 2010 and you can share presentations directly with your online network and if you sign up for a PRO membership, you can create a web form to collect information from people viewing your online presentation.
While Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook send more visits to a website, SlideShare has a higher visit-to-lead conversion rate.
SlideShare is a great medium and has five times more traffic from business owners than Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. You can include your SlideShare link in your email signature to increase awareness.
3. Become a LinkedIn power user
LinkedIn is the leading social network for business with more than 250 million users and more than 184 million visits per month. You’re most likely one of them, and it’s also likely that you’re not taking full advantage of this powerful service.
Becoming a power user on LinkedIn does not happen overnight. The key to becoming an influencer on Linkedin is persistence. 40% of LinkedIn users visit the site daily and the average LinkedIn user has 393 connections. And amongst those daily visitors are decision makers.
In order to become an influencer, you need to join one of the 2 million groups that are available. Choose a group that you are comfortable in participating in. Then once you have joined, you can start your own discussion. Points to remember are:
- Find a relevant topic that appeals to those in your industry
- Post early in the week (Monday to Wednesday)
- Include links in your discussions to back up any facts
- Post in other discussions too – It’s just about you
Once you are confident that you are a top influencer in your group, you can start social selling by joining new groups to reach decision makers and build a bigger network of contacts that look you as the go-to subject matter expert.
The silver lining
In July, 2013 the number of sales jobs in the US alone rose by 445,000 to a four year high of 15.8 million. And 35% of sales managers are said to be having a hard time finding candidates who are qualified.
And not only are sales jobs increasing, but sales people are needed. Research by the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA) has found that 70% of B2B buyers want to engage with a sales person early in the sales process when making decisions on a major purchase of more than $500,000.
There is no longer a competition between online sales and offline sales – Your customers don’t care which channel you are in, and their buying habits reflect that as the research online and shop offline or vice versa. They only care about getting the best experience they can buy for their investment.
By shifting your sales strategy to include engaging on the web, you can build relationships both online and offline that will become longer lasting, which in turn will result in a more diverse skill-set, higher sales and a happier customer base.
Download our Secrets to Sales Success guide to read more tips on how to improve your sales process.
What are some of your best tips for sales managers to go digital? Let me know in the comments section below.