10 years ago, Content Marketing evangelists began to proclaim, “Content is king!”

5 years ago, Social Selling evangelists shined a light on selling through social networks.

Today, I and the entire leadership team of digital sales evangelists at Vengreso are focusing sellers’ and marketers’ eyes on the entire digital sales model. As you might expect, this far more comprehensive view brings clarity to an integrated sales process, one that goes beyond the limited capabilities of content marketing and social selling standing in their own silos.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Vengreso founders R focusing sellers & marketers eyes on the entire #DigitalSales ecosystem w @M_3Jr” quote=”Vengreso founders are focusing sellers & marketers eyes on the entire #DigitalSales ecosystem w @M_3Jr”]

Enter onto the scene, the Digital Sales Transformation. Why is it necessary and why should you care?

Because in the last 5 years, even though more content has been published than had been produced in the history of the world, and even though the use of social media by salespeople has risen (particularly because of companies like LinkedIn), sales and marketing continue to face these 8 challenges to growing sales revenue.

  1. Content Marketing Institute reports that 75% of B2B marketers rate their content marketing approach as “minimally successful” or “moderately successful.”
  2. Sales and Marketing remain in silos, with little or no alignment to create what sales needs to digitally attract their buyers and what marketing needs to amplify the brand and grow sales leads.
  3. Sales reps and leaders are still of the mindset that this “thing” called social networks is a phenomenon just for those millennial kids who want to “play.”
  4. Sales reps and leaders believe that using LinkedIn to do research or send an inMail is “social selling”.
  5. Marketing leaders have failed to equip their sales teams with a personal digital brand that attracts and helps their buyers.
  6. Sales and Marketing leaders have not implemented a digital selling environment which includes the use of content sharing (employee advocacy), personal digital branding, social networks, texting, social video and warm referrals.
  7. Sales leaders have also failed to integrate digital sales with traditional sales methodologies such as:
    • Leveraging the phone to call someone with insights
    • Using email in a way that creates a human to human connection
    • Developing a cadence program that includes outreach via social video, texting, email, phone, social networks, etc.
  8. Sales and Marketing leaders are searching for new talent with the same set of lenses they have always used.

[clickToTweet tweet=”There R 8 challenges preventing U from growing #Sales, says @M_3Jr! #SocialSelling #DigitalSales” quote=”There are 8 challenges preventing you from growing #Sales, says @M_3Jr! #SocialSelling #DigitalSales”]

If any of those challenges resonate with you, you can take solace in the fact that you are not alone. As a former VP of Sales, I know firsthand that most organizations suffer from at least one of these challenging issues, if not all of them. But please note that if you continue to ignore these challenges, you will be doomed to fail.

Winning in sales isn’t easy, but it never has been.

The good news is that the Digital Sales Transformation (DST) has arrived, and for those who embrace it, they won’t be left behind.

Selling Is Transforming as Buyers Change

Charlene Li, Principal Analyst at Altimeter, a Prophet company, wrote in the report, The Transformation of Selling: How Digital Enables Seamless Selling, “Selling must transform because the way customers buy has changed.” Consider the following findings:

  • B2B customers are more than half-way through their decision-making process before they contact sales1
  • 70% of B2B buyers use social media when choosing a solution2
  • 67% of the typical buyer’s journey is now digital rather than traditional3

[clickToTweet tweet=”#Sales must transform bc the way #customers buy has changed says @charleneli w @M_3Jr #socialselling” quote=”#Sales must transform because the way #customers buy has changed says @charleneli w @M_3Jr #socialselling”]

Buyer behavior has changed. Sales must keep up. Today’s modern buyer requires — and deserves — a modern seller. What makes a seller a modern seller? It’s not just a rep who knows how to run a filter on LinkedIn or tweet on Twitter. Rather, a modern seller is someone who has adopted the correct mindset, possesses the correct skillset and implements the correct toolset to accomplish their job. What is that job? Create more conversations with buyers.

Forrester’s Mary Shea put it this way in B2B Buyers Make The Case For Better Marketing And Sales Alignment,

“Your buyers want contextual interactions with both human and digital assets across a holistic but non-linear journey. And, by in large, they want their experiences with sales people to be high value or frictionless.”

[clickToTweet tweet=”Buyers want human n digital engagement w #Sales says @sheaforr w @M_3Jr #SocialSelling #DigitalSales” quote=”Buyers want human and digital engagement with #Sales says @sheaforr with @M_3Jr #SocialSelling #DigitalSales”]

Giving Buyers What They Want

The need to bridge the gap between B2B buyers and sellers and create a holistic, high value/low friction journey has given birth to the Digital Sales Transformation, a movement that Vengreso is leading and advocating to enable sales & marketing teams to provide the content, digital and traditional interactions buyers want and need at every point along their journey, even before they ask for it.

If you are thinking, “That is not what our salespeople do today,” I don’t doubt you. But this is exactly what forward-thinking sales and marketing organizations that thrive in today’s digital selling ecosystem are doing. Think of it as the “old” way of selling vs. the “new” way of selling.

This infographic compares the status quo with the Digital Sales Transformation.
Digital Sales Transformation - New vs Old (Infographic)

Which side are you and/or your sales team on today?

[clickToTweet tweet=”The new #sales paradigm vs the old! @M_3Jr asks which R U? #infographic #DigitalSales #SocialSelling” quote=”The new #sales paradigm vs the old! @M_3Jr asks which are you? #infographic #DigitalSales #SocialSelling”]

The Digital Sales Transformation In Action

In a recent digital sales training, I taught an NFL sports team how to combine digital selling with traditional selling. I was hired by that NFL team not because I cold-called the buyer, but because I took a holistic digital sales approach to the selling model. Here’s what happened.

A buyer engaged with someone else’s status post that I was tagged in … I noticed he also viewed my optimized LinkedIn Profile … I reached out via a customized connection request. He responded. He was curious about what I did with that other NFL team. We hosted a call. From there, I engaged not just on social media but by phone, video, text, email and social media over the period of 7 months. I used every part of the new integrated digital sales methodology as shown in the infographic above at least 3 times each … I won the business.

Because I had already embraced the four pillars of the Digital Sales Transformation, I had a tremendous advantage over my competition.

Here are those 4 Pillars of Digital Sales Transformation.

1. Alignment between sales and marketing to provide content buyers need and the branding sales needs to attract their buyers

2. Mindset to consistently engage through both digital and traditional methodologies in order to get the job done

3. Skillset to shatter sales goals by understanding how to cut through the digital noise of data and leverage what is needed to create more conversations

4. Toolset to scale results is critical, as in most cases it’s a multitude of digital tools not just the phone or email anymore

By embracing these four pillars and putting them into action every day, you can enjoy the same advantage. Remember, today’s modern buyer requires a modern seller.

[clickToTweet tweet=”#DigitalSales Transformation pillars = Alignment, Mindset, Skillset & Toolset! @M_3Jr #SocialSelling” quote=”#DigitalSales Transformation pillars = Alignment, Mindset, Skillset & Toolset! @M_3Jr #SocialSelling”]

No Need to Wait

We often read about big changes that are going to happen “sometime” in the future, and then we have to wait for them. But Digital Sales Transformation isn’t one of them. It’s here now, and it’s working for businesses of all sizes. All you have to do is #JoinTheMovement.

If you’d like to see how to address each of those 8 challenges listed above, I encourage you to subscribe to our content right now, as each week for the next seven weeks will be addressing every one of those challenges!

#JoinTheMovement and Grow Your Sales!

[clickToTweet tweet=”#JoinTheMovement! @M_3Jr says a Modern #Buyer requires a Modern #Seller! #DigitalSales #Sales” quote=”#JoinTheMovement! @M_3Jr says a Modern #Buyer requires a Modern #Seller! #DigitalSales #Sales”]

Assess if Your Team is Ready for Social Selling

Tying traditional and modern sales approaches together significantly boosts the potential of acquiring more leads in your sales pipeline.

However, before you decide to incorporate a modern selling strategy within your sales process, find out if your team is ready to leverage these new techniques. Learn more about our Digital Selling Benchmark Report to assess your team’s current skill set.

1 CEB Global. The Digital Evolution in B2B Marketing. 2012
2 Dell and Social Business Engine. “Digital Transformation: Social Selling Research, Insights, and Best Practices.” Social Business Journal. 2015
3 Heuer, Megan. “Three Myths of the “67 Percent” Statistic.” SiriusDecisions. July 3, 2013
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