Digital Landscape Overview: How Does It Affect Sales?
The digital landscape is the term used to refer to the virtual world, where many of us spend the majority of our lives these days. The digital landscape is comprised of every social media channel, video streaming service, online store and website on the net, and it has a direct impact on consumers.
How Does the Digital Landscape Change Selling?
The digital landscape has given rise to the new age of digital marketing, techniques used to capture the attention of consumers in the environment where they already spend most of their time- online.
The digital marketing landscape focuses on developing relationships through multiple virtual touchpoints in the online world. You might connect with your intended lead through everything from social media, to blog posts and guest posts on other websites, or even through email marketing.
For sales to thrive in a digital landscape, the focus needs to be on building emotional connections. In a digital world, consumers don’t have the opportunity to interact with a human being and develop a sensation of trust. This means that they need companies to go above and beyond to make them feel special when they’re online.
To survive, sales teams in the digital space need to emphasize personalized, emotional content experiences, built on the channels customers use most often. Remember, 74% of customers say they feel frustrated when website content isn’t personalized. Not only does engaging content help to improve the amount of time a customer spends on your website, improving your SEO and increasing domain authority, but it can help to encourage a more important action too: a purchase.
The Shift to Customer Obsession
As salespeople continue to recognize the value of creating “meaningful moments” for customers online, new trends are beginning to emerge. Market analysts like Forrester predict the next era of sales won’t be focused on simply “customer-centric” behavior, but “customer obsession.
In the future of the digital landscape, companies will need to commit to understanding the customer, and being buyer responsive. This will both increase sales, and potentially protect the business from churn as customers abandon companies giving poor experiences.
So, how do companies shift to “customer obsession”?
One of the first steps involves taking a “help first” and “sell later” mindset. Rather than focusing on the traditional idea of “closing at any cost”, professional salespeople must think about how they can prove their value to the customer before trying to sell anything.
Today’s customers are looking aggressively for solutions to their problems. If a salesperson can show they understand that issue and know how to fix it, they’re more likely to capture consumer attention.
Aligning Sales to the Customer Journey
In the age of the digital landscape, sales must align with the buyer’s journey.
Unfortunately, this requires significant planning and preparation, as the modern “buyer journey” is growing increasingly complex. Today’s consumers don’t just search for a product online and click the “buy” button. They do their research, looking for videos where they can see the product in action, and reading reviews from other customers.
To ensure a sale, sales teams therefore need to understand the steps that customers take when making a purchase and produce strategies for each part of the transaction. For instance, sales teams might use:
- Case studies to demonstrate the abilities of a product
- Testimonials, reviews, and quotes as social proof
- Demonstrations and video demos to show the product in action
- Advice on how the product can address specific needs
This new trend of creating sales experiences to match the customer journey will also require a closer connection between sales and marketing teams. In the past, marketing and sales used to be two highly disconnected concepts. Now, the digital environment requires marketing professionals and sales experts to work in tandem to create the personalized experiences 90% of consumers want.
Companies with tightly aligned sales and marketing teams can develop deeper inside knowledge of the target customer, allowing for more personalized and successful campaigns. Sales teams can inform marketing staff on what generates sales most effectively, while marketing teams can offer content for sales teams to use in their pitches.
Adding other groups from the business to the discussion, such as product development teams, and customer service groups, can help to create a more aligned strategy for end-to-end personalized experiences.
Creating a Digital Sales Strategy
In the digital marketing landscape, and the wider digital landscape overall, the right strategy will be essential to a company’s ongoing success. There are countless avenues available where salespeople can now reach the customers they most need to connect with. This means significant experimentation will initially be necessary to determine which strategies work best.
Once sales plans are implemented based on the customer journey, constant evaluation and analysis will be necessary to ensure companies can keep up with the changes in buying trends. The digital world allows for the transformation of customer expectations at a much faster rate.
Fortunately, if companies invest in the right tools, internal connections between teams, and planning, they should have what it takes to survive in the digital landscape.