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Sales Excellence 2.0

Industry Insights

For many companies, trusted marketing channels for lead generation suddenly disappeared at the beginning of the Corona pandemic. In-person trade shows and meetings as well as many on-site field services were no longer possible. It turned out that an online presence is most important for sales departments. But how can they succeed in digital sales?

The progress of digitalization is not only changing society, but also the economy. This change is having a decisive impact on marketing departments. A few years ago, products were sold almost exclusively at the doors to potential customers’ homes or in shops. Now nearly all sales happen on digital channels. In part, this is because of the changes in the needs of the younger target groups, but also because today’s decision makers in companies have been more affected by digitalization than their predecessors. B2C consumers as well as B2B consumers do much more online research before purchasing a product or a service, which has made digital marketing channels and transparent online communication highly important.

Sales excellence with digital channels

For that reason, companies should adapt their marketing strategies to digital channels in a holistic and focused manner. As part of that, companies would be well-advised to not only present certain parts digitally, but rather the entire customer journey. This applies equally to both B2B and B2C companies. Because of Corona, most sales interactions have transitioned to remote methods and home offices, which has made digital sales exactly what customers expect today. To express this in numbers: Between 70 and 80 per cent of all decision makers prefer making sales from remote offices or through digital self-serve systems. Why? Arranging appointments with customers has become very simple, the travel expenses can be saved and, thanks to new technologies, payments and contractual documents can also be completed digitally and securely.

The 4 phases of sales excellence

Since Corona has taken trade shows away as a sales channel, many companies are asking how to sell in a world without direct contact. The answer is to sell via digital sales and marketing channels as well as on relevant online platforms. In general, the value creation process for sales excellence can be divided into the following four phases:

1 Creation of awareness and generation of traffic

The first phase of an ideal online sales strategy is to generate awareness and initial interest in the product or service. Companies should understand their target groups as well as possible and be aware of the media usage behavior of potential customers, which messages are particularly well received and how price-sensitive the customers are. Videos, case studies and webinars are becoming increasingly important for many customer groups. Video formats even allow to demonstrate products. This means that users can have a consistent brand experience through the various channels and points of contact and can be guided in a reasonable manner. In particular, the transition from the manufacturer’s page to the local retailer is a challenge for managing the customer journey during the purchasing process.

2 Converting prospects into leads

Once you gained interested potential customers, they need to be convinced of the product or service and converted into leads. In order to generate high-quality leads from the website and the landing pages for individual products, a seamless user experience is a decisive factor for bringing the user quickly and simply to their objective (the desired product or information being searched for). Personally scheduled video demonstrations with individually assigned sales people can be arranged directly from the scheduling calendar and make direct contact possible through digital channels, even without meeting at a trade show.

3 Converting leads into sales

Once the company has generated leads through the various online channels, the data should be used to make the actual sale and convert the lead into a customer. Companies can prioritize these leads in the initial step using data-driven sales approaches. A CRM tool can help to increase sales-closing rates. 

4 Keeping existing customers

As important as it is to acquire new customers, it is also important to keep existing customers. That is why the fourth phase has the goal of strengthening customer relationships with existing customers and keeping them over the long term. To do so, it is important to directly communicate on an individual basis with the customer over the course of the customer’s lifetime. This can be developed further using up-selling and cross-selling measures. Pre-defined key figures ensure to better understand the customer journey. And a key performance indicator (KPI) tracking system will help to understand a salesperson’s performance.

Sales excellence 2.0 – summary

Only a third of the medium-sized businesses in Germany are well prepared for digital marketing. However, the Corona pandemic has proven how important customer-oriented, holistic digital sales strategies are for companies in any industry or field of business today. For effective digital marketing, companies can develop journeys that are comfortable for potential customers, by using the four phases: generating traffic, acquiring leads, converting leads into customers and developing a long-term relationship with customers. Companies and retailers can position themselves for the future in a more competitive way, while making themselves more resistant to crises.

Learn more about Lead Generation and Digital Marketing by OMMAX

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