by Marc Holt of Action Selling
Modern sales professionals have adjusted to a new role. With the emergence of online marketing, sales leaders have changed their strategies when it comes to connecting with potential customers. Maintaining customer satisfaction and creating loyalty for your brand is still a priority, but how you go about achieving that is much different than what it used to be.
So how does digital marketing play a role for sales professionals? Reaching your target audience through innovative ways is the start. However, having a customer-centric approach is still crucial to your overall outreach success. With the constantly evolving landscape that is digital marketing, honing in on the right skills is necessary to perform in the current environment. Here are some digital marketing tips that every sales professional should follow.
The Skills Needed For Success.
For sales professionals, there are two categories of skills you need to master: hard and soft skills.
Hard skills refer to the technical aspects of a job. They are learned through formal training. In the context of the sales world, this could include contract negotiation, product knowledge, or learning the software for various platforms.
Soft skills are built over your lifetime. These types of skills typically relate to your ability to build relationships, connect with people, and gather information. However, they can be developed and strengthened through sales training programs.
While both skills are necessary for being a successful sales professional, soft skills are much more important. Learning hard skills just takes practice, whereas soft skills take time. Enhancing your skills is a constant goal–you cannot just expect to master both hard and soft skills in a short period.
How Digital Marketing Influences Your Skillset.
If you’ve been a seasoned sales professional, you likely have a strong grasp of the selling process. However, despite your ability to sell, you may have a tough time generating leads.
Consumers don’t want littered inboxes and constant cold calls. They want information. Digital marketing caters to the new demands of the consumer, as it eliminates what was formerly exclusive information to the industry.
When a customer is ready to buy something, they are going to look up services and products that fit those needs. They are no longer waiting on someone to come to them. The first step in their journey is to conduct a Google search. One search can yield billions of results, but they likely won’t go past the first page.
Strong lead generation relies on digital marketing techniques, via ad campaigns, social media, content marketing, and developing an aesthetically-pleasing yet functional website.
Implementing Sales Strategies Into Marketing Plans.
Many aspects of marketing and sales go hand in hand, and most successful sales professionals need to be proficient in all techniques. In the past, an advertising campaign was more-so focused on the product. They would highlight the uses of the product, who can use it, and how it works. Nowadays, advertising campaigns are much more focused on the consumers. The campaigns are tailor-made to their target audiences.
Not only do sales reps need to fully understand the service or product they are selling, but they also need to have a strong grasp on who would buy the product or service. Sales professionals must now be actively involved in the overall marketing strategies, so they can develop a better understanding of how to effectively sell to the consumer.
Effective Digital Marketing Strategies For Sales Professionals.
Marketing is an umbrella term. There are print ads, billboards, TV commercials, influencer marketing, social media, and so much more. While digital marketing falls under the umbrella, it is also an umbrella term. Digital marketing, which is often referred to as online marketing, encompasses the entirety of marketing efforts on the internet. While there are dozens of marketing techniques that fall under the digital marketing umbrella, there are some simple yet highly effective ones every sales professional should employ.
Search Engine Optimization.
Consumers are becoming more proactive in their search for finding a solution to their problems. As mentioned earlier, customers are utilizing search engines to find information about a service or product. Because many people don’t skim past the first page of a Google search, your brand needs to rank high above the rest. To do that, you need to artfully optimize your webpage for search engines.
Search engine optimization (also known as SEO) is an integral process of your overall marketing campaign. Unlike running an ad for a few weeks, SEO is constant. When you launch your website, you need people to click on it. The most effective way to bring traffic and generate leads is by ranking high on search engines. Many tactics can enhance your ranking, however, SEO is not a “one-and-done” operation.
To maintain your ranking, you need to optimize your webpages so that the ever-so-changing Google algorithms notice your site. The most tried-and-true method of good SEO practice is by constantly writing content. Creating a blog and updating it monthly is a great start.
Another useful tactic for positioning your webpage on the first page of Google is through Pay-Per-Click (PPC). PPC is an excellent way to enhance your lead generation, as it puts your website at the very front for qualified consumers. You only have to pay when someone clicks on your website, hence the obvious name. PPC can generate traffic at a much quicker rate than SEO, however, it is still important to have your website yielding organic traffic through SEO efforts.
Social Selling is the practice of cultivating a network and nurturing relationships within it. Connecting with potential customers through social media, especially through LinkedIn, can be highly effective. Consumers still want helpful information from a trusted source.
For salespeople, this tactic should feel natural. Building your network can yield powerful results. Social selling makes it easy to listen to a consumer’s demands and match them with whatever it needs to solve their problem.
In this day in age, sales professionals need to be digitally savvy while grasping a variety of sales skills. While learning the tools and processes to enhance your digital marketing techniques, a salesperson must still develop strong selling skills. Sales training programs always beneficial for sales professionals, as they help develop and grow the soft skills that are necessary to sell effectively.
Marc Holt is a marketing spokesperson for Action Selling, a sales training company based in the US.