Technology has revolutionised the way we live our lives. From ordering a takeaway to getting medical advice – it can all be done thanks to a range of digital touch points. As we embrace these changes, we need to be mindful that they are responsible for the rapid evolution of sales and buyer journeys. And as sales professionals, we need to adapt quickly, or risk being left behind.
With over 90% of purchasing decisions starting online*, and up to 70% of the buyer journeys being done before a salesperson gets involved**, traditional sales processes are becoming obsolete. Add new regulations such as GDPR, digital transformation and tech savvy millennials acting as gate keepers to the mix, and you’ll understand how badly you need to evolve your sales processes to remain relevant in the marketplace.
The paradigm shift
Without a doubt, GDPR has changed the way we interact with customers and prospects, digital transformation is changing the way we do things and while decision makers may still be Generation X or Baby Boomers, the researcher for new IT projects is nearly always millennial. Fail to influence and you won’t even get shortlisted – it’s as simple as that!
With cloud technology at the helm of everything, the good old days when you had to compete with a handful of on-premise solution providers are long gone. Cloud technology has become the catalyst for hyper-competition within the communications industry. Thanks to cloud, you must compete with both traditional telephony manufacturers and IT companies alike.
With competition becoming intense, and regulations being far from conducive for traditional sales, it’s time to look beyond the push strategies and outbound marketing, and focus on a pull strategy supported by inbound marketing.
Culture too plays a key role in everything, and that’s why you need to revisit your organisational culture to find out what’s working and what’s holding you back. At the end of the day, it’s all about reducing the red tape to ensure you can turn things around quickly to keep up with changes in the market. So, take the time to carry out a thorough assessment and eliminate the inhibitors of growth.
Content is king
Content still reigns supreme. That is why your inbound strategy should include useful, actionable content that is as engaging as it is informative. Luckily for you, you don’t have to start from scratch. Our reseller portal has a host of whitepapers, guides, infographics and even social posts that you can rebrand and make your own.
Presence is key
Then comes the question of digital networks, we believe in adopting a two-pronged approach. We use channels like Facebook and Instagram to demonstrate our brand’s personality and use channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter to build stronger connections with customers and prospects through valuable content. But whatever the case may be, a social presence is essential in this day and age.
In a time when prospects and customers carry out online research before they engage with a company, maintaining a positive image on online review platforms is crucial for all businesses. You need to look beyond the annual customer satisfaction survey and focus on online review platforms like Google Reviews, Yelp and Trustpilot. A dedicated team needs to constantly monitor these channels and swiftly respond to and deal with concerns raised by customers.
Winning in the digital age
In order to be a cut above the rest and make turn these changes in to an enabler of business, you should:
Embrace innovation: As discussed, you can’t depend on the historic sales and marketing approaches to help attract customers. What will give you an edge is your ability to find innovative ways of reaching customers and prospects, using new channels or even inventing channels so that you have a first-mover advantage.
Find a niche: While recognising that you can’t be everything to everyone, you need to find a profitable niche and focus your efforts on becoming a key player within that channel.
Know your customers: Go beyond traditional buyer personas and get to know your customers and prospects better. Speak to them to find out makes them tick, what their concerns are and how they hope to grow their businesses over the next couple of years.
Know your data: Have more faith in data, set up processes to collect more data that is accurate and actionable. Introduce new metrics and ways in which data can be analysed to identify trends. Use the information collected to drive sales and marketing processes through to the digital age.
Whatever the case may be, we’re here to help you make the most of these changes. Our dedicated sales and marketing team will work as an extension of your team to ensure that you succeed in the digital age. Find out more about the support we extend to our reseller partners here.