Customers buying process has changed along digitalisation, that is clear. This has forced the selling process to change too. In this blog text we cover the biggest challenges that us sales people encounter in the digital world. But don’t worry seller, obstacles are meant for crossing!
1. PRODUCING VALUE
There is still a lot of companys that do sales and marketing with the “product first”- attitude. “Me and my product”- thinking just doesn’t work anymore. Competition in the markets is harsh and standing out from the competitors with the features of the product is very hard. Sales persons need to sell the product or service to the customer by the value not by the features. To do this seller needs to recognize the customers real need. There needs to be a solution to this need and this needs to be presented to the customer by bringing out the benefits and value that customer will gain by using your service.
2. EXPERTISE SELLING
Everyone has an access to the sea of information online and it feels like it’s fluding out from every channel. When facing a problem or need the customer can write a few words on Google and in a fraction of a second find thousands of solutions in front of his eyes. You could say customers are experts of many topics themselves. When selling your solution, you need to offer something that the customer can’t get online. You don’t get very far with a basic knowledge of your own product, today’s sales persons need to be an expert who also knows about the competitors solution. It’s important to remember that in the end also B2B sales is always people-to-people selling.
3. RECOGNIZING THE TARGET GROUP
Competition is harsh in most lines of business. In spite of this, not every one is your customer. These days it is a waste of resources to not to target your marketing. It’s essential to recognize your own target group, but not necessarily easy. Who is the customer you can bring most value to? Keep that is mind when doing sales.
4. GETTING IN TOUCH WITH THE LEADS
When a good prospect is in the hands seller often ends up in the situation that it’s impossible to get the hold on him by phone or email. In a digital world you could imagine that this would not be a problem. Vise versa, accessibility is more difficult than ever before, because people question the answering to unknown numbers. In most cases the getting in touch with the lead is a long term project and sales person has to use multiple different channels to contact the lead.
5. CREATING A QUALITY ENCOUNTER
In a digital world where face-to-face meetings are decreasing day by day, people grave for genuine encounters. After all the work of getting the meeting, sales person has to put effort on making the meeting a quality one. A quality meeting doesn’t necessarily mean that it ends up on a deal, even though this is always the ideal goal. Quality meeting means good atmosphere. Identifying and understanding different people types and modifying your own behaviour to these helps with creating a good atmosphere.
6. IDENTIFYING A WARM PROSPECT
Do you know when the prospect has proceeded to a next level of buying process, when is he researching different service providers? Do you recognize customers who are ready to buy? When over 70% of decisions are made based on the information online, hidden from the sales person, it’s important to take care that all the active prospects are been noticed. This is where marketing automation steps up and helps!
7. DIVERSE KNOWHOW
Today’s sellers need to be more than product presenter. Sales people have multiple roles; expert, brand ambassador, partner, customer service manager and the list goes on. By diverse knowhow we don’t mean a sales person needs to be a robot who knows everything about everything. No not at all. But to manage and succeed in the digital jungle you need to have a diverse palette of knowledge. Don’t get scared tho. When it comes to knowledge and expertise the key factor is your own attitude. Anyone can have the diverse knowhow if you just have eagerness to learn new things.
LinkedIn, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and multiple other channels can give you a headache. Seller needs to be where the customers are. Most big companies actively use at least few of these social media channels. This means that a sales person needs to use them too. I must say that the most effective channel for social selling in b2b markets must be LinkedIn. Many sellers are active and grow their network in LinkedIn. Different channels offer you the opportunity to approach the customer from different angles.
9. TECHNOLOGY SKILLS
Sales persons toolbox is pretty full these days. Luckily these tools are very light to carry around because all of these are different apps and softwares. It might feel overwhelming to use all these different systems but the purpose of them is to improve sales and this way decrease the amount of manual work. For example the goal for marketing automation is to produce quality leads that wait for your call on the other side of the phone! Automation produces leads in a steady speed – No more time-consuming prospecting, yeyy! Download Vine’s buyers guide to read more about marketing automations benefits:
10. COLLABORATION WITH MARKETING
Even tho this has been a popular subject for years, it’s sad that in some companies sales and marketing still don’t work together. The collaboration between sales and marketing always means better results. Is your sales getting all the important information from marketing and vice versa?