The Digital Sales Ecosystem – from Concept to Practice
The Digital Sales Ecosystem – what is that?
At Vengreso, we believe it is made up of four areas that a business must understand and master:
- Content Strategy and Distribution, so you have a blueprint for the messaging and content assets that meets the needs of your customers at each stage of their buying journey, as well as distribution platforms and methods to ensure that your customized approach will scale;
- Personal Branding, so that your LinkedIn profile projects a professional image and, if you’re in sales, attracts your buyer;
- Digital Sales Training, so that sellers understand how to attract and engage buyers in digital channels to build trust, build pipeline and get the results you need;
- Talent Recruiting, using social recruiting methods to attract—and retain—the best salespeople for your organization so you can grow your sales team.
That’s the official description from our Marketing department. Here’s what the Digital Sales Ecosystem means to me and one of my clients.
For this story, it’s important to understand how I ended up working in the Digital Sales Ecosystem. After a 20-year career in tech sales and leadership, I started my own Salesforce.com consulting business in 2008. My LinkedIn sales training niche started when LinkedIn went public in May of 2011. I believed that LinkedIn was going to be the biggest thing in B2B selling, so I made the decision to go “All-In” with LinkedIn. While there were plenty of opportunities to expand my services over the years, I remained focused to be an “inch wide and a mile deep” on LinkedIn sales techniques.
My First LinkedIn Seminar, May 2011 http://bit.ly/2tNQbd2 @GOVengreso @KurtShaverClick To Tweet
The Digital Sales Ecosystem in Practice
Last week, I visited one of my best clients. The client hired me over five years ago, in the first year that I started training salespeople how to use LinkedIn. Over the years, this client has continued to bring me back as the expansion of their sales team and the constant changes in LinkedIn functionality have required training updates. Whether I delivered training in person, online, or via a guided selling application, the service was always 100% LinkedIn sales training.
However, last week’s meeting was different. Not only was it my first face-to-face meeting as CSO of Vengreso, but I did not meet with my typical contacts in the sales department. This meeting was with leaders of their Marketing and HR departments. The reasons are that the company is in the midst of a major re-branding effort, and they also want to increase the hiring of new sales talent. As a result, they have a number of objectives including:
- Determine the content marketing strategies to support the new brand
- Upgrade the online professionalism of all employees
- Recruit new sales talent to the company
Now, as part of Vengreso, I’m able to serve my clients in a much larger way.
It all starts with building the Content Strategy and Distribution process to support the new brand. Of course, standard elements like business cards, slide decks, and the company website will all be revised, but today’s marketing has to include a plan for how to leverage content marketing vehicles like social networks, blogs, video, podcasts and more. All these assets will help the company attract new customers. They will also raise the company’s visibility and credibility to help attract new talent.
Given that this company started LinkedIn sales training in 2011, they can be considered a pioneer in social selling. Now, the client is ready to expand beyond social selling to become a social business. One step in that direction is helping all employees upgrade their LinkedIn profiles to project a more professional image. While people in the Accounting or IT department do not need to know advanced LinkedIn prospecting techniques, every employee should represent themselves in a professional manner. That’s where Personal Branding services come into play with deliverables like role-based LinkedIn Profile Playbooks, 1:1 coaching, and completion audits.
Vengreso’s expertise in Talent Recruiting grew out of client demands for Colleen McKenna, one of my Vengreso co-founders. Like me, Colleen started her LinkedIn sales training business about six years ago. After training a sales team, leaders started asking her if she could help them find more socially-savvy sellers. Quick to serve a client need, Colleen ended up building a strong sales recruiting division, which now rounds out Vengreso’s Digital Sales Ecosystem. We offer two types of recruiting services. Vengreso recruiters can do the work and deliver sales candidates, and/or they can train our clients’ recruiters or sales managers how to do it.
While the linkage between a company’s brand, its employees’ personal brands and recruiting success may seem obvious, one thing that struck me in the meeting was how isolated these departments were at the client company. It’s due, in part, to the fact that most professional services firms only deliver part of the solution (like I used to), so they only talk to the person responsible for a single area.Most vendors deliver part of #DigitalSales solution making it hard to see the big picture #GoVengresoClick To Tweet
Based on the insights gained by having all the key stakeholders discuss an integrated sales acceleration strategy, I’m convinced that adopting a Digital Sales Ecosystem is critical to a company’s success in the modern age of digital sales transformation. I invite you to join the movement. The #GoVengreso movement.