Digital marketing has enabled company sales programs and teams like no other sales tool or campaign in modern times. Marketing has always provided the content pieces, process and tools to equip sales teams to go to battle more effectively. While both marketing and sales are critical in every business, digital marketing has propelled itself into a position of pure enablement by building digital tools that place customers and prospects into the sales team's grasp. This moves the selling effort toward a "team revenue" model, relying on marketing and sales to work closely together to achieve sales goals.
The critical operation of marketing is to provide the tools for the sales team to find and hold the hands of prospects throughout the buying process. It's the advanced technologies available via digital marketing that enables the ongoing process to equip all client-facing sales team members with the "right" set of circumstances at the right time.
Digital Marketing as the Business Growth Enabler
So what has changed over the past 5 years to grow the responsibilities of digital marketers into the selling and business growth driver's seat? We at TIP see the change as a dynamic shift in digital marketing's responsibility for ensuring that every seller has the required customer and market knowledge and skills to capitalize on every interaction with target buyers. As we mentioned earlier, the selling effort is evolving into a "team revenue" model.
Digital Marketing Enablers for Sales
- Marketing Insight & Data - digital marketing and sales have untethered access to customer records, data subscriptions and audience research at their fingertips. So the beginning process of really understanding "who the customer is" falls within an easier grasp of both teams. Using digital programs and models, marketing can create a really strong persona (customer profile) of whom the teams will approach, right down to what they do in their spare time and what days of the week they research purchases.
- Customer Journeys, Not Sales Funnels - people traditionally buy from people and companies they like and trust. When you blend in strong digital marketing, these customers can research and consume content about the company outside of talking to sales reps or being inside an annoying sales funnel. Digital marketing programs will include the writing and delivery of precise content and calls to action at each step of the customer's journey to a purchasing decision. This type of customer journey experience still builds trust and relationships while educating and offering the customer opportunity to digest this on their own time and schedule.
- Owning the Customer Experience - digital marketing enables sales teams to think like a buying customer, not a sales process. Marketing is creating a digital buying environment that is 100% customer focused and positioning the company as a personal companion during each customer's journey to a purchase. There's a big difference in pushing people into sales funnels vs. helping people buy products or services from you.
- Start Digital Conversations Early in the Customer's Journey - creating "just in time" content and online customer experiences during their research stage of buying literally opens the door to conversations with customers while they are labeled as browsers or shoppers. Offering shoppers opportunities to engage with your product or service through their digital channels is a soft way of qualifying and steering them toward your brand while they are beginning the journey to purchasing.
- Focus Your Products & Services on Buyer's Needs - this may sound elementary, but we're referring to accomplishing this through digital marketing. Customer success stories and testimonials from their point of view create persuasive "events" on the customer journey. The focus is not on the incredible feats of performance that your products provide, but rather the focus is on how your customers have used the products to improve their lives or to solve problems that they had. It's all about the customer, right?
The digital marketing process enables the sales team to have the delivery of conversations and tools in the right place, to the right people, at the right time to assist in moving sales opportunities forward.
Building a team of sales professionals who are digitally savvy will help in greater conversions from a digital marketing program. "This is the way we've always done it" is a sales killer rather that motivator. All sides of your customer-facing teams need to be upskilled and trained in the use of digital tools and the understanding of how digital marketing impacts the customer journey to increased sales. Can you envision your company evolving to share in this new "team revenue" model?
We can work with your marketing, sales and support teams to build digital marketing and sales strategies so your business can can grow from digital marketing enablement. Call Jay Joyce at 704-398-4437 or email Jay to learn more on how digital marketing enablement will work with your company.