Why You Need to Invest in a Digital Sales Strategy
If you haven’t already heard, B2B buyers are at 70% through their buying process before even speaking with a sales representative. This directly aligns to another sobering fact:
“Buyers prefer to do research online instead of interacting with a sales rep because the rep pushes a sales agenda rather than helps solve a problem.” – Forrester
So, you might ask, why does this matter to my sales strategy? Who cares that buyers reach out to my sales team later in the sales cycle. Here are 3 top reasons why it does matter, and why you as a Sales leader should care about digital selling.
1. Your sales team gets business insights on your customers & prospects
Our world is very quickly becoming a data-driven experience. Just ask Dun & Bradstreet who operates the largest global commercial database or Facebook and LinkedIn who listen to every like, comment, share and search we do.
The little IT mega trend called Artificial Intelligence (AI) is alive and well because of the amount of data information we consumers have generated across all digital channels and business engagements. Without data, AI can’t live like the minds of humans. We’re all made up of a “Digital Identity” and it continues to grow each digital action we take online.
How does this relate to digital selling?
Digital selling solutions such as LinkedIn, DiscoverOrg or RainKing all thrive off aggregating B2B company data into a single platform for sales professionals to gain business insight on:
- Which customers and prospect are actively searching online for products or services you offer – this is called “Intent data”, a key feature in DiscoverOrg’s platform
- What upcoming business projects is a company beginning
- What pain points are your customers and prospects experiencing
- Which contacts in a B2B org chart have been promoted or left the company
- Full contact information on your key buyers and who reports directly to who to distinguish your Decision Makers vs. Influencers
If you haven’t invested in digital selling solutions, ask your sales team two questions:
- How much time do they spend researching their prospects?
- How much time do they spend speaking to lower level contacts to try to gain access to key decision makers
So buyers are 70% through their buying journey. Wouldn’t you want to know what they are doing during that 70%? How much customer impact would your team have if they were able to drive engagements earlier in the buying cycle?
When your sales team is too late in the sales cycle, guess what buyers typically ask for?
Request for Proposal!
2. Sales reps only spend 36.6% of time actually selling
A study from InsideSales.com researched over 200 sales professionals to find out how they spend their time selling. Here is what they found:
- 36.6% is only spent on selling
- 18% goes toward CRM
- Dealing with internal policies and approvals takes 12.8% of their time
- Another 12% is taken up by researching target accounts and contacts
- CRM was rated as the most ineffective system
You thought investing in CRM would help your sales team sell more effectively. Yet most of their activity in CRM is spent updating pipeline and maintaining records in the system. This sounds like value to a VP of Sales, doesn’t it?
CRM historically has been a record keeping and reporting tool, which adds tremendous value to oversee your business. However like they say “Bad data in, bad outputs”. Fortunately, with new integration capabilities from certain digital selling platforms, good data becomes much easier to empower your CRM with insights. This becomes your foundation to optimizing the next value wave in CRM – sales automation of activities such as nurture emails.
The core value to a digital sales strategy is to equip your sales team with effective customer insights to do the job you hired them for in the first place – increasing customer calls, meeting with prospects, X amount of conversations to drive X pipeline to convert X high closing rate.
When you make investments, aren’t you looking for the greatest ROI? Your sales team is an investment. Enabling them with customer-focused activities and strategies is where the ROI comes from.
3. Millennial’s make 73 per cent of purchasing decisions in B2B
It’s time we face the facts, our workforce generation is shifting. The whole “millennial this, millennial that” story is now a reality whether you like it or not. Millennial’s represent a large buying group with purchasing power in the B2B space.
Millennial’s are tech savvy, they use social media and search to engage with brands, get online reviews. They’re a much more informed buyer. Connecting with this audience isn’t your traditional phone outreach. When bringing up the fact you researched their company online, guess what? That’s table steaks to them!
Since Millennial’s use LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Search, Instagram (the list goes on) as part of their “Digital Identity”, the more data it gives to digital selling strategies. With this digital data, your sales team can use it to their advantage by personalizing a message much more accurately and earlier in the buyer’s journey.
What ROI should you expect from a Digital Sales Strategy?
As a DiscoverOrg service partner, we get to witness how clients use DiscoverOrg’s platform to drive growth and transform into a digital sales strategy:
- 60X ROI in less than one year
- 50 more meetings per sales rep each year
- 200% faster deal velocity
- 20% annual increase in leads and revenue
Next Up: How to Maximize your DiscoverOrg Sales Investment