Today's post is by Jeff Davis, an international keynote speaker and author of the award-winning book Create Togetherness, a strategic roadmap to help B2B revenue leaders accelerate revenue growth by strategically aligning their sales and marketing teams. You can learn more about his work at meetjeffdavis.com or by following him on Linkedin, Instagram, and Twitter.
Digital disruption has had a major impact on the sales profession, and it’s important to adopt new ways of working r in order to stay competitive. One area where this is true is customer acquisition and sales productivity. Forrester has shown that 90% of B2B customers start their journey with digital search, meaning sales leaders must focus on making the company and product as visible as possible through multiple channels, all while collecting feedback from customers throughout the process so that they can better serve their needs. It might seem like a daunting task, but a structured approach like Digital-First Selling™ can set you up to transform your sales team into a digital selling powerhouse.
What is Digital-First Selling™?
Digital-First Selling™ is a process that leverages digital tools, content, and channels to identify, target, and seamlessly engage buyers throughout their entire buying journey. This approach leads to higher engagement and acceleration of speed-to-revenue. Its primary objective is to help sellers get into the right conversations, with the right people, at the right time.
Some of the key benefits of this strategy include:
- Improved lead quality
- Shorter sales cycle length
- Growth of inbound leads
- Increased sales rep productivity
- Improved ability to connect with key decision-makers in the buying group
The Digital-First Selling™ Blueprint
As a sales leader, you must become the change agent for the organization to adopt these new digital selling principles. Here’s how:
Step 1: Understand the Digital-First buyer mindset
Increase revenue leaders’ knowledge about how the modern buyer’s preferences have evolved. This can be achieved through activities such as attending workshops, developing a reading list, or working with a consultant.
Step 2: Develop a 360-degree view of the buyer
Connect all sources of customer data (i.e. email, CRM, web leads) to develop a holistic picture of the buyer and establish a single source of truth for the organization. This involves strategic alignment across all customer-facing functions.
Step 3: Establish cross-functional alignment on Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
Leverage cross-functional data to determine which customer types provide the most significant ROI for the organization and prioritize targeting other companies like them. Consider metrics like customer lifetime value, customer acquisition cost, and average order value.
The profile should include standard firmographic identifiers such as annual revenue, geography, and industry as well as business fit metrics such as complimentary software being used, tech adoption maturity, and key business objectives.
Step 4: Orchestrate a cohesive lead-to-revenue process
Map the buyer’s journey based on feedback from actual customers. Ensure the map expands across all customer-facing functions (i.e. marketing, sales, customer service).
Step 5: Develop buying interactions that build confidence
Identify where gaps exist in content and/or other types of buyer interactions that empower the buyer to progress through the different stages of their journey. Ensure each function clearly understands the different stages of the modern buying cycle and how their role can best add value to the customer during each of them.
Step 6: Optimize digital selling tools and the revenue tech stack
Audit both the sales and marketing tech stacks to ensure you have the optimal mix of tech for your business. Also be sure that sales reps have the right digital tools they need to be successful, such as video conferencing, sales enablement, and automated meeting scheduling.
Step 7: Create a digital sales playbook for reps
Create a resource that helps sales reps understand how to incorporate all the different selling channels that are available to them to have a cohesive conversation with target buyers. There will most likely also be a need for digital sales training.
Step 8: Establish a formal feedback loop
Schedule a consistent cadence of cross-functional revenue team meetings to focus on pipeline health, sharing business intelligence, and adapting to changing market dynamics.
To be successful in this new reality, sales leaders must help their sales reps increase their digital acumen. Adopting an approach like Digital-First Selling™ can provide your company with an edge over competitors who are still stuck in the old paradigm of solely cold-calling or emailing prospects that have yet to show any interest and low intent to buy.