The future of your sales team need to be NOW!
It doesn’t matter if the world goes back to something that resembles normal. It doesn’t matter if you can go back to having conferences or being able to meet face-to-face with customers. It is time to future proof revenues by equipping and training your team to sell virtually.
Virtually selling is the process of using your digital presence and activity with social media and email to start conversations with ideal customers that lead to new business opportunities. Sounds easy enough, right??
Here are 2 problems I see continually.
- Sales professionals are not trained how to sell using their digital presence or social media behavior at all.
- Sales professionals are trainee to use emails, their digital presence and behavior on social media to message their ideal customers and ask for conversations or demos.
Sales professionals must be content creators
This is not an option. Buyers are savvy. Buyers want to work with people who they have confidence in. In a digital world, that means content creation. We need to get past the days where marketing is the only team that creates content. The more content creators on a team, the more the company will dominate the newsfeed and increase brand awareness.
Organic reach from company pages has dwindled to nearly no reach. In order to reach more customers, companies have 2 options. Spend a lot more money on advertising that has declining returns. Or, train and empower your team members to become content creators.
Sales professionals and all front facing customers need to contribute to the team content creation and sharing. Buyers spend more time in digital and social environments for research and awareness. Your team need to be there daily. Especially because few of your ideal customers Follow your business page so they are missing all the great content your marketing team creates and publishes.
Sales professionals must engage socially
If anyone feels compelled to respond to this with “we don’t have time” then you may want to quit reading. This is not an optional activity. Sales professionals must consistently engage with other social posts their ideal customers and industry are reading. Even when your customers are not creating content themselves, they are engaging with other’s posts.
That is where your team needs to be active. I like to call it the “line of sight” strategy. Here is what it how this strategy plays out.
- Identify your ideal customers,
- Visit their social profiles on LinkedIn and view their Activity section and select “see all activity.” Start on their “Post” category. If they have not posted recently, it is not a problem. Then, select their “Post Activity” option and see the social posts they have either liked or commented on.
- Engage with the social posts. Either like or comment on posts. The preferred option is to comment on the posts because there are always fewer people who comment on a post than those who simply press the like button.
When any LinkedIn User engages in this manner with social posts, other users who have previously liked or commented on the post get a notification alerted the user that a new comment on the post has been published. They see the name and often the image of the person who commented. This is what I call Line of Sight.
This is important because when your ideal customers frequently see individuals in their notifications because they comment on and like the same social posts, it creates familiarity. Our data shows connections requests acceptance increases by over 50% and an acceptance to a first conversation increases by 35%+. It varies from company, industry and title.
Sales professionals must strategically build their online network
Sending out connection requests can not only be to then ask for a phone call or a demo. Unfortunately this has become standard procedure for too many sales professionals and why the efficacy of this strategy has diminished.
Sending out connection requests as part of a consistent strategy of creating (and publishing) content and engaging with your ideal customers builds a personal brand quickly. A personal brand for a sales professional who is known as an active participant in industry posts and a content publisher gets more phone calls returned, more emails clicked and more first conversations with ideal customers.
In a 2019 SAP study, they found digital selling professionals had 300% larger average deal sizes than traditional sales professionals and they were also 90% more likely to exceed quota. Digital selling is no longer a nice to have. It is a necessity.
Digital selling decreases expenses because digital sellers don’t fly around the world, stay in hotels and Uber from meeting to meeting.
Digital selling does not require expensive dinners either
Digital selling does not require your sales team to spend majority of their hours in cars, planes or spending hours and hours of time for just 1 meeting.
Digital selling is virtual. Digital selling activities will not be cancelled by a pandemic nor will they be affected for a cancelled conference.
This is why your future of sales is NOW.
Do you need to learn more? What to chat about your company’s goals or needs? I would be happy to spend time with you. Let me know how I can serve you.