Traditional sales is quickly being replaced by digital sales but the basic tenants are still necessary when it comes to meshing sales with advertising/marketing.  With more information online, we are just smarter in how we approach those customers and where we get the data.  

Most companies have loads of data, yet many aren’t using it properly, if at all, to bring in new customers.   When marketing and sales are work together this becomes a much smoother process.  According to research from Hubspot, when an organization aligns sales and marketing, teams achieve 20% revenue growth on average annually. Those with poor or no alignment saw revenues decline by 4%.  Knowing how to use data to sell has never been more important to your advertising.  

Digital selling has become the new norm for companies and for sales people.  So much so that there are now several classes online offering diplomas in Digital Selling for beginners on up to full degrees.  IBM even created a course just for their employees.  Companies such as Google, FaceBook, LinkedIn and Twitter are validating these courses.

In the rapidly changing environment, here are  5 rules for effectively selling in the digital age.

  1. Sales and Marketing are basically same thing.

 

 Great sales people now have to be great marketers.  They know their clients so well that they use that information to their advantage to not only get in front of their clients, but also to educate and up-sell them.  To be successful moving forward, companies are going to need to employ social marketing strategies to help their sales people engage prospects online and close more deals. And this means taking the time to understand the data and using it to help build awareness around consumer buying habits.

  1.   Know your customer

This can be overlooked these days.  Companies have all kinds of data but making sure it’s used properly is important.  Successful sales people know they have to intimately understand  their customers. The internet is exceptional at developing relationships  and helping you to develop trust among your existing and potential customers.  Making sure you put the right information in front of your customers at the right time is key.  The more you know about your customer, the easier it is to get in front of them.

  1.   More Knowledge = Better ability to target customers = cheaper ads

According to Harvard Business Review 90% of Decision Makers don’t answer cold outreach anymore, making this step critical for sales success. So even if you have the knowledge but you are reaching out cold, you may never reach your prospect.  Making sure you use the right data to reach the right audience  on the right platform is necessary to build your sales funnel.  This also helps to turn those cold leads in to warm ones.  When you are targeting the right customers in the right places, this helps to set your sales people up for continued success.

  1.   Educate your customer

Customers have access to all kinds of data at their finger tips in seconds.  More and more companies understand the need to produce thought leadership in their field to differentiate themselves from their competitors.  However, too many still just sell their  features and benefits leaving the customers or potential customers wanting more.  They can get that type of information anywhere.  Teach them something they don’t know.  Be passionate about what you’re putting out there.  Help them become an expert so they can help their clients.  If you provide them with great content and information they will keep coming back and you will be the expert they buy from.

  1.   Keep current clients happy and find new ones

According to PwC 78% of consumers were influenced by social media in some way when purchasing. With the help of many social platforms you have lots of data about your customers  to help you understand them better.  But now, a lot of platforms also help you find similar audiences to expand your current customer base.  So if you did your homework right and you know your customers, you can use social platforms to grow your sales.  Be sure to maximize your selling strategy with social selling.

– Laurie Snively – VP of Sales