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DSR - Digital Sales 101

Digital sales 101

Modern consumers are turning to virtual channels and online platforms to find products and services that will solve their problems and fit their needs. It's become more important than ever for businesses to have a strong online presence to be able to reach these audiences and prospective customers.

Digital sales have become a pivotal way to convert more leads into customers by finding and interacting with the most promising leads in digital spaces. With this guide, you can begin to understand the importance of digital sales in today's market.

What is digital sales?

Digital sales offer a way to reach prospects, educate and provide a unique solution that meets their needs through virtual channels. The goal of digital sales is to convert leads into prospects.

Leads are at the very beginning of your sales process. They may have expressed interest in your product or service on some level but are still determining whether they could benefit from the product or match the ideal buyer persona. Prospects have passed this point of determination and are thought of as ideal customers that would consider buying your product or service.

There are a number of digital channels to utilize for digital sales, though email and social media have become two of the most common ways to do so. Through numerous virtual channels, digital sales aim to convince potential customers to purchase your products. This often involves taking your customers through lists of your products to find one they'll close a sale on. This process takes a skilled sales team who can effectively communicate and persuade.

For example, your digital sales team could find and build relationships with leads via social media platforms. They'll then use data to narrow down which of those leads has the most potential to become a solid customer. Your team may use a variety of sales and marketing tactics like:

  • Pay-per-click
  • Email marketing
  • Instructional content
  • Inbound lead generation content

After connecting with a lead several times through digital channels, your sales team should be able to develop trust and provide valuable information and products for the lead to convert them and make a sale.

The rise of digital sales

Digital sales have long been on the rise as businesses began to implement more and more technology in their operations. Early on, it was often only the most dedicated shoppers that were engaging with digital sales content. While this strategy likely would have eventually progressed to be a common sales practice, the surge in digital sales during the COVID-19 pandemic really led to the rise of this practice.

Before the pandemic, many businesses and companies used digital sales as an option for possibly generating a little extra revenue. Most companies didn't need to rely on digital sales nearly as much as they began to when the country shut down as a result of the pandemic. During the shutdown, companies and businesses of all sizes had to digitize their sales processes or risk going out of business. Because in-person shopping was quickly put on hold, businesses had to adapt to digital sales.

Quick adaptation boosted the use of digital sales significantly — grocery stores saw a 16% increase in sales between February and April 2020 alone because of a transition to e-commerce. Despite many companies using digital sales to stay in business during pandemic times, the use of digital sales won't disappear as the world returns to normal. The pandemic changed many aspects of everyday life, including the way consumers shop. Now that consumers and businesses see how beneficial digital sales can be, there's no going back.

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The benefits of digital sales

Digital sales have had a significant impact on who businesses attract and how they do it. This can be extremely beneficial for businesses because they have more control over more aspects of the marketing and sales processes. The reason digital sales work so well for businesses is because of the benefits associated with the process. Consider these six benefits of digital sales.

Track customer activity

Old ways of finding leads made it challenging to track how many people were seeing your content. You might've spent money on a billboard, though it's impossible to determine how many people actually see it and are receptive to the message. With digital sales channels, it's possible to track your customers' activity on your site and engagement with your content. When you're able to narrow down which leads are actually engaging with your content, you're able to hone your focus on them to ensure they convert to customers.

Automate marketing

With digital sales software, you can automate your social media posts, emails, and other content. Create content ahead of time and schedule it to post or send automatically at a future date and time. This allows you to have perfect timing to ensure certain leads and customers engage with your content. Automated content usage also helps you choose the best sales collateral for your prospects based on the stage of the sales process they're in.

Find leads with the most potential

Digital sales are all about finding leads you can convert to prospects and customers. Traditional marketing strategies make it hard to land leads because they're typically very general. Digital sales allow you to reach the people who are interested in your business. Targeting specific audiences increases your chance of finding leads with the most potential for converting and becoming buying customers.

Allow leads and prospects to find you

Digital sales techniques can take the pressure off of your sales team. Consumers are spending more time online now than ever before. In the past, sales teams have been limited in where they share their sales content. With so many digital channels and social media platforms today, there are numerous ways to share your business. More importantly, it's more likely for people to find your business. On Facebook alone, there are 2.89 billion active users. Putting effective content on platforms consumers use increases the chance of leads finding you.

Additionally, when online users "stumble upon" your business, they don't feel like they've been marketed to. Instead, they feel as though they found you unintentionally, which can be more effective for your business.

Improve conversion rates

02-Improve-conversion-rates

When you're targeting specific leads and finding the most potential leads, you'll be able to increase your conversion rates. Targeted digital sales content ensures you're finding people who are more likely to be interested in your business and the products or services you have to offer. Focusing on these people improves your chances of converting a lead. As you convert more leads and prospects into buying customers, your company will grow.

Personalize the sales experience

Digital sales make personalizing the sales experience much more effective. Consumers are much more likely to engage with your brand if they receive personalized content because it makes them feel like valued customers. As your sales team interacts with leads online, they can determine what kinds of products and services a lead is interested in. Then, they can provide sales content related to those products and services to persuade a lead to pay attention to your business.

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How your organization can grow with digital sales

Implementing a new digital sales program takes time and consideration to ensure it's done properly and will achieve the results you're hoping to get. Consider the following nine steps to start growing your organization with a digital sales program.

1. Identify and set goals

Before beginning, it's important to set goals and success metrics so your team knows what to work toward, what the organization wants to get out of digital sales, and how you'll measure that progress. When setting goals for your organization, consider focusing them around key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs measure your organization's success as a whole and within a certain area, like digital sales. It's good to set revenue-based goals, though your concentration should be on finding qualified buyers to have better sales conversations with.

2. Create buyer personas

Identifying buyer types or industries and how your team engages with them helps your team to target better buys more directly and effectively. When creating buyer personas, consider the buyer's title, business pains, and keywords they may use to find topical interests. As you define what your potential buyers are searching for online, you'll be able to speak directly to them and have better sales conversations. This information can then be used in developing a strategy and playbooks for your team.

3. Develop a content strategy

To effectively engage and connect with buyers, you need to create a sales content strategy that will speak to your buyers' sales journey and provide solutions to their problems. Having a strategy for developing sales content ensures you're speaking to your customers during each phase of a buyer's journey. During the awareness, consideration, and purchasing phases, be sure to provide resources to help buyers make their decision to buy. Create valuable content that answers a buyer's how-to, what-to, when-to, and why questions.

4. Use digital sales tools

One of the best practices for digital sales is to choose digital sales tools that will help you reach your goals. There are a number of digital sales tools available to businesses, though we think one of the best ways to sell in our digital world is through a digital sales room. Digital sales rooms, sometimes known as client portals or microsites, are secured spaces where sellers can interact with potential buyers. This creates a unique and personal buying experience for consumers.

One of the biggest benefits of a digital sales room is the ability to analyze the engagement your content receives from prospective buyers. These analytics will help you determine which pieces of content are working effectively and which aren't. You can then make the necessary changes to be successful.

5. Use an integrated CRM

Customer relationship management (CRM) programs integrate multiple digital sales tools to create one space to administer customer interactions. Quality CRMs will take sales interactions to the next level with live chats, SMS messaging, and personalized videos. In addition to sales interactions, a helpful CRM will enable you to create content, track analytics, write and share contracts, and send your team and customers automated reminders. When your sales team has all these capabilities at their fingertips, they'll be able to make better sales decisions and improve conversion rates.

6. Create playbooks for your team

Customized playbooks help simplify and streamline the digital sales process for your sales team. You may have playbooks to outline a number of things like what should be included in a sales rep's profile, scripts, messaging templates, success stories, or best practices. Playbooks help ensure each member of your sales team is on the same page, knows what to do and when to do it, and can create repeatable results. For example, messaging templates and scripts ensure communication with prospects and leads is consistent and effective.

7. Provide training

Your sales team will need training based on each of their individual roles. Individualizing your digital sales training helps team members in different roles understand how digital sales applies to them. For example, enterprise sales reps should receive slightly different training than vertical industry sales reps. Training is also helpful when introducing team members to a new CRM program. Ensuring each sales rep knows how to use features relevant to their role will increase their chances of being successful.

8. Adapt to improve

As your sales team works toward your goals, uses digital sales tools, and implements information from the playbooks, it's critical to evaluate what works and what could be done differently. Determine areas for improvement, make necessary changes, and keep doing so until you find what works.

There is no one way to make digital sales work, and it may vary from company to company and industry to industry. Adapting your sales team and digital sales process to meet your goals will help you improve your conversion rates and create a better sales experience for your prospects.

Boosting your digital sales

Despite the complexity of digital sales and the many different factors that go into them, taking the right steps can help you boost digital sales to new heights. With the ever-growing rise of online sales, this part of business is nothing short of essential. Hopefully, these tools and strategies have given you a good idea of how to improve your digital sales and reap the benefits for greater profits, efficiency, and customer satisfaction.

A robust CRM can help immensely and bring the necessary tools to your organization. Learn more about how GetAccept helps you reach digital sales goals. Reach out to us for more information and sign up for our newsletter to stay updated.

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