Updating Your Traditional Sales Skills for the Digital Marketing Era
It’s easy to get stuck in the 'old ways' of doing things—especially when you’ve been doing business with the same kinds of companies for many years. But you may have noticed your traditional sales methods starting to falter in terms of bringing in new customers and income.
If you’re looking to brush up on your selling skills, here are a few key things your sales team should know.
Become Experts in Your Field
"Content marketing" has become a buzzword in the last few years. While it's definitely not a new concept, it's become the darling of the sales world thanks to the dramatic changes in Google's search algorithms.
But content marketing isn't just a tool for your marketing department, and its benefits reach far beyond search engine optimization. More and more, people want solid information instead of a list of selling points when they're considering what's best for their businesses.
That means, in order to be more successful at selling your company’s benefits, you need to focus on delivering quality, educational content to your customers and prospects. This helps you position yourself as an industry leader and builds trust that can translate to more sales.
Learn New Platforms
With people conducting more and more of their daily lives on the Internet, online lead generation has become a crucial part of the modern sales cycle.
And that doesn't just mean encouraging your marketing department to place more online ads. Your sales team can bring in more leads and close more sales by spending time in the online places where your customers and prospects hang out.
That means becoming active on social media, engaging in conversations, and (going along with our first point) providing helpful information to others in your industry.
Rethink Sales Presentations
Does your sales process still focus too much on your actual products and services, and maybe leave out some of the benefits your customers enjoy?
It's probably time to change your focus.
These days, it takes more than a list of killer features to sway a business owner's mind and convince them to spend money on your product or service. Instead, you need to focus on the specific needs of your prospects—what challenges do they face in their businesses? What keeps them up at night?
Then, rework your sales pitch to show that you understand those challenges—and highlight how your business can help overcome them. When you can show concrete ways that you provide real value to your customers, your sales process will get easier and faster.
Work with Marketing
Marketing and sales have always been connected, but the line between them is becoming increasingly blurred in the digital age. In order to be truly successful in bringing in new customers, you'll need to get your marketing and sales departments on the same page.
Marketing may bring initial interest from prospects, but the sales team actually speaks with these prospects every day. Make sure sales has a way to give marketing feedback on the quality of leads they're generating ("tire kickers" rather than motivated buyers, for example). Getting these two departments collaborating with each other can shorten your sales cycle significantly.
These are a few of the essential skills your sales team needs to have in order to remain successful in the modern marketplace. By keeping up with what customers and prospects really want to hear from you, you'll be better able to stay competitive as the industry continues to evolve.
John Foley Jr. is the CEO of interlinkONE and Grow Socially. John and his team help printers get on a strong path to marketing success. Their approach includes software solutions, consulting, Website development, marketing audits, and strategic marketing plans. interlinkONE’s software solutions for the print industry include their marketing automation platform, MAX, and ilinkONE V8. Learn more about MAX: Marketing Automation. Executed. by visiting MarketWithMAX.com, John at JohnFoleyJr.com, and his companies at interlinkONE.com and GrowSocially.com.