Pretty sure you intuitively know most things about digital sales already. Why? Well, because you live in today’s world. You lived before that, too and because of it, you’ve got to experience and witness multiple ways of selling and buying things.
Digital sales then and now
Maybe when you were younger people would randomly show up at your door and for whatever reason, in no time you saw your grandma run to get her wallet.
A few pleasantries (and currency) were exchanged and then the unknown person would hand her a box of something.
House appliances, you’d learn after snooping.
You didn’t even know you needed them.
Did she know she needed them?
The person selling her the stuff must have, right?
Thanks, stranger at the door. For the appliances and for setting a younger me on the curious road of customer behaviour analysis.
Digital sales are the cool rich aunt
People going door to door to sell stuff is still a thing (not a 2020 thing with the pandemic and all) but admittedly a more rare occurrence.
When is the last time you bought something from someone who showed up at your door?
Scratch that: when is the last time you even gave your time to some unwanted guest? Depending on your age, the answer might just be never.
It’s not you, and it’s not them. It’s this digital reality that we all have had to align with to not get left behind in our lives and businesses.
No reason to be intimidated by the notion of digital sales. It quite literally refers to the sales that are made with the help of virtual channels.
Do I mean that the whole thing traditional sales had going on simply moved to the digital space? Kind of, but with a twist.
- Yes, your goal is still to convert prospects into leads.
- Yes, you still have to build a well-defined strategy.
- Yes, you still have to be attentive and appropriately switch between tactics as dictated by your researched customer behaviour analytics.
But you also have to consider that the (digital) medium inevitably leaves its imprint on the whole ordeal. You’re cheating yourself, therefore, if you’re trying to figure out your digital sales strategy with the help of a sales funnel.
You need a digital sales funnel if you’re going to do this right.
The research before buying
The second something catches their eye, most people go online to look it up. Serious homework is done before purchasing something.
This isn’t grandma interacting with the object of her desire for the first time on her doorstep. This is competition, options, and 24/7 wealth of knowledge availability. You don’t even have to talk to anyone.
Understand online customer behaviour and then you can take care of the rest of your problems.
Realistically speaking, figuring out how to turn prospects into leads regularly should be the constant goal of a small business. You’d be surprised how many outright neglect pouring their efforts into bringing in new clients and instead keep refining processes ad infinitum.
But whatever insecurities fuel this stalling, we all know at some point you’ve got to jump. Sometimes you get it together and just do it, other times it can take you a while, but every time, you’ve got to do it eventually.
What is digital sales and marketing gold?
The digital sales funnel. Do not overlook the “digital” part of it. Do so and you miss out on the complexity that characterizes digital sales. And on the revenue associated with it.
You have to be prepared to handle non-linear, informed decision-making coming from the side of your customer.
Why non-linear? Because of the web.
Why informed? Because of the web.
So what else is happening to your business because of the web? That’s on you to examine, research, and assess so that you can put together a proper customer behaviour analysis.
Document it, come back to it, share it with your team, talk it out with people who are smarter than you. Stay engaged in the process. Harboring data for the sake of harboring data is way too common of a practice, and we could always use a reminder to snap out of it.
You’ve got to put in the work. You’ve got to anticipate the moves of your clients. This is what customer behaviour in marketing is about. You, the small business owner having sets of potential customer obstacles and motivations written down and shared with your team.
Each stage of the sales and marketing strategy is defined in a way that is easy for both your sales team and your marketing team to visualize and use. If that means involving the teams in putting together the plan, then that’s what you need to do.
Have a chat with sales and marketing.
- If by the end of it you’re working with 2 different sets of solutions for top of the funnel clients and bottom of the funnel clients, you’re doing good.
- If by the end of it both your sales team and your marketing team perfectly understand the differences between the two sets, you’re doing great.
Quick side note before closing:
Do not underestimate how much reporting your sales team needs to do.
It’s not a lone-wolf job. It’s not a “my natural charm closed the sale” thing.
The salesperson needs to be observant of everything that happens – and I mean every little thing that occurs in the customer journey – and communicate that to marketing.
Your salesperson needs to give more of an input than I closed the sale or I did not close the sale. This kind of info helps marketing not shoot in the dark and waste serious time and resources.
Any hesitation, and misplaced clicks, any color and sound preferences will help the marketing team shape up the relevant content for each stage of the digital sales funnel.
Thank goodness that in the digital era we can use screenshots and voice memos to quickly share this kind of info, right?
I don’t want to hear about sales and marketing not getting along because they have to report to one another. How else are we supposed to work on content development and product design, and, you know, run a business?
Both the sales and the marketing team are in the generate quality leads team. The aim is to bring into the sales funnel leads that are a good match that you can easily nurture into paying customers.
Forcing each lead into the image of your ideal lead is an unfortunate but common practice among small businesses. It starts in desperation and ends up in chaos.
But this fact won’t stop the small business owner obsessively wanting new leads from giving it a try. Sure, look desperate in front of your clients and your employees, how could they possibly not rely on you after that?