In the past, sales people were the only contact before or during a sale. Today, this is no longer the case! Thanks to digital networking, prospective buyers can obtain any information they need even before making a purchase. The various segments of the sales process are much more digital than ever before.
For this reason, it is especially important to be familiar with the new methods. Let’s take a look at the process, the advantages and various tools for digital sales.
What does digital sales mean?
Digital sales refers to companies that use digital technologies (channels and tools) to sell their products. Interactions and processes are made more agile, more relevant and successful. Based on existing customer data, analyses can be carried out to find potential customers on the web and provide them with the right offers. Digital sales between two companies is often referred to as B2B e-commerce, as companies sell their products to other companies via e-commerce platforms.
Companies should focus more and more on digital sales, as a kind of upheaval is taking place. People’s lives are increasingly taking place on the web, which is why the most important points of contact between companies and customers are happening here as well. Today’s buyers mostly use search engines for research, which is why companies need to make their information available to potential customers on the Internet. This means that sales must work closely with marketing in order to achieve joint success. Companies should prepare themselves for the digitisation of sales to not suffer from a competitive disadvantage.
Digital Sales Process
Various strategies can be applied to achieve digital sales. These may vary different depending on the company.
First, the target group should be identified and suitable customers found. This can be done, for example, with the help of the buyer’s journey or digital analysis tools. Potential customers leave digital traces on the web, which can be identified with the right tools. In this way, so-called buyer personas can be created. These are a kind of representation of customers who have certain goals, motivations, behaviours and values. When these factors are combined, new customers can be identified and addressed. In digital sales, it’s not just about the number of contacts found, but about their quality.
Potential customers go through various phases, which can be described with the help of the buyer’s journey. This consists of the following phases:
Depending on the phase potential customers are in, they must be addressed differently. Content should always be relevant and helpful to them. Other channels can be used to learn more about potential customers and their needs. Once this has been achieved, the right content can be made available at the right time in the future.
In order to be able to address customers specifically, it is important to know what their interests and intentions are. Marketing knowledge in the area of search engine optimisation is definitely helpful. The data collected can be used to create customised content and offers to address customers individually. Most customers expect to have already been familiarised with the company and its requirements and want to know exactly why they should purchase a particular product or service.
By using numerous tools for data collection and processing, companies gain a lot of data and thus more insight about prospects, new customers and regular customers. As a result, the target group can be accurately segmented and provided with appropriate information, and as a result, the efficiency of the company can be significantly increased.
Digital Sales - opportunities and risks
Digitalisation in sales offers some opportunities, but also challenges. Probably the greatest advantage of digital sales is that the reach of a company can be greatly increased through less digital effort. The digitalisation of sales processes also makes it much easier to acquire and retain potential customers. This is linked to significant cost advantages, since a one-time digitisation of sales can be adapted to new circumstances without any problems. Another advantage of digital sales is that it can take place not only regionally or nationally, but also internationally. Productivity can be increased by automating sales processes. Also, more data can be collected through digital sales, for example, to identify patterns and make predictions and recommendations. By using the collected customer data, more deals and higher sales can usually be achieved. In addition, efficient and effective customer acquisition can be carried out with higher customer satisfaction.
Digital Sales Tools
Digital sales tools are designed to make everyday sales work easier. In addition to CRM systems, these include numerous other tools such as our in-house PD Analytics tool, which can be used to find suitable leads.
1. CRM tools
A CRM forms the basis of your sales department. As a rule, all activities are recorded. For example, successes and customer behaviour can be tracked here. CRM systems fulfil many organisational & management tasks. An example of a CRM system is SuperOffice CRM. It offers a user-friendly interface, tracking of team progress in terms of leads and customers and supports customer support in general.
2. Lead generation tools.
These are designed to support a company, especially when researching potential leads. There are various tools such as the lead generator from LinkedIn. If you provide your CAD data on B2B platforms like PARTcommunity we have the perfect solution for you:
The PD-Analytics tool for lead generation (H4).
The PD-Analytics Tool processes user data from CAD data provided on B2B platforms such as PARTcommunity or Traceparts. With an interactive dashboard, the data and insights are provided in a simple and understandable way.
With the PD-Analytics tool, the following information, among others, can be easily found and interpreted:
The PD Analytics tool offers numerous advantages. For Digital Sales in particular, these lie in the fact that trends can be recognized early on, potential identified, costs and time saved, and successful new customer acquisition carried out.
You can find more information about the advantages and the functionality of the PD-Analytics Tool here.
3. Lead enrichment tools.
It can also be helpful to use a lead enrichment tool. With these tools, a perfect overview of the target group can be achieved. Those tools of provide a lot of information about the leads found, but still it may be that some information needs to be enriched itself. Data which can be enriched is for example company information, such as financial information from the commercial register or from public & available sources. Echobot is a tool with which up-to-date B2B company dossiers can be obtained at the push of a button.
4. Sales engagement tools
Another tool can be used in to-dos and prioritisation of tasks. When many suitable leads are found, it can happen that the overview of the upcoming tasks or other steps in the sales process are lost. To avoid this, tools can be used to increase sales engagement. The Xant tool automates and prioritises to-dos in sales. By using the software, effective task lists and sales playbooks can be obtained.
5. Tools for digital appointment coordination
After the best leads, their contacts and the contact person have been found, it is a matter of arranging appointments with them. In today’s digital world, it makes sense to support this step with certain tools as well. Potential customers can, for example, use them to schedule an appointment with a company themselves. A good tool for appointment coordination is Calendly. Using this tool, interested parties can easily enter an appointment in an appointment calendar.
6. Quotation creation tools
After a lead has been successfully converted to a customer, the next step is to create a suitable quote, because customers want to know how much a product will cost. If quotes are created by hand, there is a risk of careless mistakes creeping in. Using appropriate software, these errors can be avoided. Quotations can be created with the Pandadoc tool. These can then also be signed online.