Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80% of all B2B sales interactions will occur in digital channels. Already, 33% of buyers say they want a seller-free sales experience, and that number is expected to grow as more B2B buyers take the reins of their own buyers’ journey.
Rapid shifts in the B2B landscape have made digital sales dominant – and there’s no going back.
Traditional sales methods still have a place in the field, but digital tactics help you meet customers where they are – and that’s online.
Amid these changes, it’s critical to increase your sales team’s digital skill sets so they can facilitate complex online buying decisions.
In this article, you’ll learn how digital sales fit into a holistic sales strategy for your B2B company. You’ll also get best practices for establishing a solid foundation for digital sales in your organization.
What is digital sales?
Digital sales is a catch-all term that includes all aspects of a sales process conducted digitally. In digital sales, companies use online mediums like social media, email, websites, chat, mobile apps, and ads to connect with prospects, provide education, and offer solutions that meet customer needs.
Why you need a holistic digital sales strategy
Today’s B2B buyers are savvy in their approaches to identifying and evaluating potential suppliers. So successful sales teams need to focus on providing value, building relationships, and developing trust.
By meeting customers where they are – in the digital world – you can increase your revenue, provide a more unified and consistent customer experience, and make your sales cycle more efficient and effective.
Digital sales strategies like targeted website content, microportals, digital sales rooms, email, social media, ads, chatbots, and online reviews help your sales team identify, engage, and connect with prospects. Your sales reps can then turn those online connections into one-on-one conversations.
With digital sales, customers can consume content online in a low-pressure environment. There’s no need to set up virtual or in-person meetings. Prospects can learn about your products and services and get questions answered on their schedule. And they can do all this by using the tools and platforms they prefer.
Digital sales strategies also increase the number of inbound leads your company gets – and the majority of marketers say inbound leads are typically higher quality than outbound ones.
With proper tracking, digital sales also enable you to collect a treasure trove of data on buyer and seller behavior that can help you improve sales processes, boost productivity, and increase conversions.
Learn more about how data-driven sales can help your team prioritize and spend their time focusing on the most qualified prospects.
How to implement digital sales in your organization
To successfully adapt to digital sales, your team will need to learn to deliver value through an omnichannel model and guide customers in navigating their own buying journey.
Here are some best practices for implementing digital sales in your company:
Analyze data to gain insights about your customers
Collecting data on buyer behavior is essential for understanding what your customers want and need. You can use the data to refine your sales processes, improve sales rep performance, refine your content marketing efforts, and improve digital conversions.
For digital sales, you should be measuring and monitoring:
- How buyers independently interact with marketing materials
- What content gets shared most often, and by whom
- Highest-converting products and services
- Seller interactions with customers, using email and social media
- Chatbot interactions
- Where leads convert or drop off
- Common complaints found online on review sites and social media
Fine-tune and personalize your content marketing strategy
Turning online leads into customers using digital sales may require changing your current content marketing strategy.
Evaluate your current content marketing efforts to make sure you’re meeting customer needs:
Are you answering the questions people raise on social media, and via email conversations?
Are you creating and distributing the best content for digital sales?
Are you providing content that meets their needs and desires?
You may need to reassess your existing customer personas to ensure the blog posts, ebooks, white papers, case studies, and other relevant content you’re offering are the right fit for your digital buyers.
It’s also critical to give your prospects easy access to the materials they need to learn about your products and services to make a decision. You can use digital sales rooms (DSRs) to give your customers a centralized, secure place to consume content. This can include personalized presentations tailored to their specific needs.
DSRs have become so prevalent that Gartner is now predicting that by 2026, 30% of B2B sales cycles will be managed through them.
Deliver an outstanding customer experience
If your customers don’t have a good experience when they interact with your brand online, they will take their business elsewhere.
Here are some tips for improving your customer experience with digital sales:
- Collect feedback and listen to what customers are saying about your company online
- Make sure your website (desktop and mobile) is user-friendly, accessible, and easy to navigate
- Provide helpful content in digital sales rooms linked to digital commerce platforms, for easy collaboration with buying teams
- Minimize wait times when people ask for a response from a sales representative
- Provide top-notch customer service across email, mobile apps, phone, live meetings, and chatbots
- Automate sales processes in your digital systems, including offering FAQs in chatbots, automating follow-up emails, and setting up email autoresponders for online inquiries
Provide robust, individualized digital sales coaching
Digital sales require different skills than traditional selling. So you’ll need a plan to coach your reps for success.
Effective digital sales coaching reinforces successful behavior, identifies areas that need improvement, and gives reps strategies for getting the best possible results.
Coaching should include resources and guidance on how to improve online conversions using email, social media, and digital sales rooms.
Sales enablement platforms like Pitcher give you the tools you need to boost the effectiveness of all your sales coaching conversations.
With sales enablement solutions, you can:
Share personalized feedback on employees’ activities and skills, and track progress over time
View results in skills evaluation reports
Create personalized training paths on internal training platforms
Provide instant feedback for team members
Develop and share customized sales playbooks that include scripts, templates, social media messages, emails, and best practices from top performers
Align social media marketing with sales
If you want to meet prospects and customers where they’re at, it’s no surprise that social media is the place to be.
According to the Datareportal 2022 global overview report, 4.70 billion people around the world now use social media. With 227 million new users coming online in the last 12 months.
By aligning your social media marketing content and sales data with feedback from sales teams you gain relevant insights into whether the leads coming through are converting.
Provide valuable content that helps your prospects with the problems they’re struggling with and answers the biggest questions on their minds as they’re examining solutions. Engage with your audience members by asking for feedback and responding to their comments.
Research and join prominent social media groups in your industry, and establish your company as an authority by posting content and answering questions in those groups. Then connect with individuals in your groups to further sales conversations.
Track which aspects of your messaging are resonating on social media, what content gets the most shares, likes, and clicks, and which leads are high quality for your sales team.
Targeted ad campaigns on social media platforms can also help you test messaging, put relevant content in front of your prospects, and increase brand awareness.
Adapting to the digital sales transformation
Digital sales is no longer a concept of the future – it’s here. And it’s not going anywhere. By leveraging digital sales tactics, you can keep your competitive edge and keep pace with what modern B2B customers want.
At the same time, you can improve your sales processes, boost productivity through automation and personalization, and gain valuable insights that help you meet the needs of your target audience.
Learn more about how Pitcher can help with your digital sales transformation.