Issue: 10
Date: December 2015

Selling in the Digital Era

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Understanding the change in business trends and its implications on business, is perhaps one of the most important aspects for business continuity. Since business continuity depends on sales, noticing how sales practices are changing is vital for a company.

Many marketing companies agree that the sales methods are changing rapidly through fast development of the digital platform. In the old days, sales people had a heavy mission to inform and educate their clients in order for sale process to advance. Sales people were doing the hard work in order to gain interest, provide effective sales pitches and bring the sales to a close.

The difference today is that the buyers are able to do a fast web research before they start contacting companies, prior their purchase. They will have already created shortlists and eliminated most candidates before they get in touch with providers. They are able to do this by using their computers, tablets and even smart phones very quickly. Search engines are developing great algorithms to bring information that a consumer would need to make a decision. The digital impression that websites and social media pages provide is playing a greater role on sales than ever before.

The decision phase has moved to a much earlier stage of a typical sales process. The sales function also needs to be in the digital environment and be more convincing to close deals.

Another factor is the awareness of competitors. Many competitive products appear on digital platforms making buyers consider alternatives. This is also effecting customer loyalty and keeping present customers. Constant flow of information and keeping clients up to date is also a new area of competition.

However one should not fear of the new period. Everyone has a chance to benefit from digital platforms. There are many affordable channels to attract large audiences. It is much simpler and cost effective to illustrate and introduce ideas, concepts and competitive advantages. Animations, videos and interactive websites are quicker to deploy. Online camera communications and instant reach is mostly free and effective. Small efforts in advertising and content management options may enforce loyalty when practiced regularly. Increasing number of users active on digital platforms is a sign that the impact will grow in the future.

Digital media is great for sales teams to stay connected with their customers. Instead of mailing or calling each one, they are able to notify them with brief newsletters, blogs, webinars and campaigns. They are able to draw attention to their informative websites. They can manage rich knowledge base on their website and analyze visit data to view areas of interest.

Companies that make use of digital marketing also receive lots of feedback which is also important to develop marketing strategies. They are able to foresee areas of improvement and develop to meet the needs of their prospects.

Companies that are involved in digital platforms are more up to date with their industries, create more loyalty, they are more inspired about new engagements and increase their reach to new audiences in a continuous cost effective way.

However, there may be a few risks to look out for. Having errors on a website, keeping old content for too long, using old technology that does not support new devices, making mistakes on social media management, uncontrolled individual employee practices and not having a digital media management plan may cause problems. Planning for a digital media management strategy, and updating it often is important.


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