The modern seller is someone who thinks like their buyer, always looking for ways to engage with relevance and value. Even if this comes naturally, don’t overlook the fundamental principles that are needed to be a successful modern selling professional.
According to CSO Insights’ 2017 Sales Enablement Optimization Report, sales reps’ quota attainment has been on a consistent decline over the past five years. Reps must take action in order to:
Develop more viable conversations
Meet the needs of the modern buyer
Be successful in B2B sales.
If you’re a sales rep, a sales leader or in sales enablement follow these four principles to use digital sales strategies successfully:
The 10 Steps for Digital Selling
Surely, you know that engaging in social channels where your buyer spends time is important to your sales success. For most people that involves LinkedIn at a minimum. But, rather than showing up randomly, without a plan and without a strategy, it’s critical to develop a sequence of digital selling steps that create behavior change and deliver results.
Whether you’re a sales rep or a sales leader or a business owner or an executive who sells, there are 10 proven steps to digital selling. Following are the first three. I’ll point you to where you can find the remaining 7 steps.
- Define your desired outcomes….Are you trying to meet new prospects or expand your business in an existing account? Are you focused on penetrating a geographic territory or a vertical industry? These are just a few of the desired outcomes you should be thinking about. Write them down and allow them to be your compass in the remaining 9 steps.
- Map your buyer personas…If you haven’t already written out each buyer persona, their unique interests and pain points, now is the time to do it so that you always know which persona you’re engaging. Remember, each persona is unique and it’s important to always engage people according to the needs of each persona. A technical buyer’s interests are different than a financial buyer and an executive buyer, and so on.
- Create and distribute content for the sales team. Each salesperson needs to engage their buyer with relevant content that is of interest to the buyer in their journey as they research products and services. By supplying the sales team with content that aligns with each persona’s interests, you strengthen the seller’s ability to be relevant to each persona/buyer in their journey.
The other 7 steps for digital selling will be covered in our 4-part webinar series. Register now to attend or get the on-demand webinar recording delivered to your inbox.
In 1997, author Tom Peters published an article in Fast Company titled The Brand Called You. In this article Peters called attention to the need for each of us to build our personal brand in order to build credibility with the people with whom we want to conduct business. Six years later, LinkedIn was launched in 2003. Fast forward to 2018 and we all have an amazing ability to develop our personal brand starting with our profile on LinkedIn.
Unfortunately, many sales professionals treat their LinkedIn profile like a resume. Instead of writing their profile through the lens of the buyer, many salespeople write to summarize their career, boast about exceeding their quota and how they are a strong contract negotiator, offering no value to their buyer. At Vengreso we say – transform your LinkedIn profile from a resume to a resource for your buyer.
Make your LinkedIn profile a sales asset with these basic elements.
- A background banner image that’s on brand and clearly communicates where you work.
- A LinkedIn photo that is a recent picture, ideally a headshot and with a smile on your face so people feel positive about connecting with you.
- A compelling LinkedIn headline that attracts buyers because it’s written to explain how you help your buyers.
- Rich media such as video, audio, presentations, PDF case studies, etc., that allows buyers to learn how you can help them.
These are the basics of a LinkedIn profile that transform the resume style to a buyer’s resource, achieving more visits from buyers and increasing the probability of creating more sales conversations.
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Connecting & Engaging
Once you have defined your goals and you’ve transformed your profile from a resume to a resource, it’s time to grow your network and to engage with people within your network. LinkedIn’s search bar is a powerful tool that allows you to search and discover people, content and companies. Again, staying aligned with your goals, search for people using keywords and other filters to identify people you want to meet. If you sell to industrial engineers, experiment with this keyword phrase in the search field. If you sell to people in the biotech industry, experiment with this industry filter. Develop lists of people using connection strategies and send personalized invitations to connect.
Once you’ve connected with people it’s important to have an engagement strategy that is based on adding value, not being a pitchy salesperson. Don’t be that salesperson who connects, then immediately requests an appointment to discuss your product or service. Developing an engagement strategy is critical to developing trust and building rapport to earn the opportunity to ask for a call or meeting.
To learn specific engagement strategies, register for our 4 part webinar series to attend live and/or receive the on-demand recording of each webinar.
Building a Digital Sales Cadence
Just like an occasional workout doesn’t yield fitness results, neither do random acts of digital selling. You must have a daily and weekly plan. You must have a prospecting plan that works.
If you’re wondering, “do I have time for daily digital selling?” Yes, you do – because once you have developed your plan using the principles explained above, all it takes is consistency to get results. And, it’s the results that you’re after and that will motivate you to be consistent.
This post explains the four key principles to digital selling success. Our 4-part webinar series explains each one in more detail including time-saving shortcuts.
Register now and you’ll receive the webinar recording for each of the 4 webinars.
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