By the end of 2023, a whopping 80% of the sales cycle will be digital. As buyers move towards social media shopping, and smart startups leverage the benefits of AI, the demand for cold calling will be well, and truly extinct. Therefore the need for turning Cold Calls into Content Marketing!
The modern consumer is savvy. With the average person now spending over three hours on their smartphone a day, you can bet that they are familiar with TikTok Shop, sales chatbots, and immersive advertising.
Is it time to go digital?
If you want to keep your sales team up to scratch, it’s time to go digital.
“The new reality is that sales, and marketing are continuously, and increasingly integrated,” claims Sales Force’s Jill Rowley.
“Marketing needs to know more about sales, sales needs to know more about marketing, and we all need to know more about our customers.”
As we step into an era of marketing that is defined by social influencers, the metaverse, and ChatGPT, a modern-day sales team can no longer survive on traditional practices.
Digital native buyers are increasingly turning towards innovative shopping methods, therefore, your sales strategy must move in the same direction.
Framing your company as a digital brand will not only boost your reputation across a number of channels but switching up your selling tactics will rake in a new line of digitally savvy leads.
Read on as we swap cold calls for content marketing, and list the top digital selling tools you should be using in 2023.
Introducing digital selling tools
The landscape for B2C, and B2B selling is rapidly growing. On the back of an ecommerce boom, and a push for digitally enhanced shopping, you can now sell your products, and services globally with ease.
However, with a wider pool of consumers comes more sales team pressure. Battling with an abundance of different time zones, languages, and abilities quickly renders traditional selling methods like cold calling redundant.
In order to manage high levels of consumer traffic, a modern sales team must invest in a number of digital aids.
Whether this is an online customer relationship management system (CRM) or a digital communication tool such as a chatbot or an automatic messaging service, each digital aid you introduce should improve sales team efficiency.
Take a CRM system as an example. CRM systems are essential for larger-scale sales teams as they can organise, and track leads, allowing representatives to speed up their selling process.
Whether you opt for industry leaders like Hubspot, and SalesForce or create your own digital system, a CRM platform can aid the outreach process, and keep all of your selling data in one neat hub.
If you’ve invested in a high-end system, these insights can automatically be sorted into graphs, and charts that detail consumer patterns, and buyer behaviour.
Digital aids such as OnSpot, and TextReader are also well-known digital tools in the sales world.
If you’ve got a smaller sales team but still want to reach a wide audience, these tools are great at capturing your voice recording, and turning them into sendable text messages that can be forwarded to your entire list of prospect contacts.
45% of consumers reply to SMS marketing messages, which is a whopping open rate in comparison to call, and email alternatives. If you can streamline this process using digital tools, you’ll see your conversions begin to climb.
Turning calls into content
According to LinkedIn’s social selling expert Rob Bols, “smart sellers understand that social channels are ideal outlets for building credibility in their industries.”
With over 4.26 billion people on social media, the selling arena has shifted. No longer are cold calls, and welcome emails the key to grabbing consumer attention. Instead, social content creation has become the number one player in the fight to score leads.
“Sales teams should share articles relevant to their solution, join special interest groups, and attract followers, and connections through that process,” claims Bols.
“In the old days, sellers would bring their Rollerdex from company to company – now they bring their LinkedIn network.”
This is where social selling comes into play. As the act of using your social media channel to sell your brand name, and its products, this digital tactic can identify a number of new leads.
In fact, according to LinkedIn Sales Solutions, businesses that invest in social selling strategies attract up to 45% more sales opportunities than companies that don’t.
As you can see here, social selling is popular on apps such as Facebook, Instagram, and, recently, TikTok.
The key is to start creating conversational content across a wide range of channels. Become a thought leader in your niche, and generate posts that your target audience will want to share. If you engage with social media with the goal of creating strong relationships with your audience, your sales will quickly follow.
Take Starbucks as an example. Using their Instagram page, they introduced the #RedCupCompetition that encouraged consumers to go out, and buy a Starbucks just to share a photo of the cup. This content campaign obviously boosted sales, and, in turn, skyrocketed brand awareness.
This proves that starting a conversation with your consumer, and prioritising sharable content creation is the key to smashing your social selling quota.
Leveraging AI aids
Another more recent digital innovation that is transforming the sales sector is artificial intelligence.
Estimated to save 33% of a sale rep’s time, AI-driven platforms such as Clari, and RocketDocs have been known to improve data handling, and collection, and can aid sales cycle prediction for a more efficient strategy approach.
Using machine learning, AI-generated sales platforms are smart. They can predict buyer personalities, and gather information from multiple platforms in seconds.
With more consumer data to work with, sales representatives can personalise their selling strategy, and approach potential leads with a pitch that’ll stick.
“You have to generate revenue as efficiently as possible,” says Dave Elkington, Co-founder of Silicon Scopes.”And, to do that, you must create a data-driven sales culture. Data trumps intuition.”
AI does just that. Building a data-driven sales culture is essential, especially when interacting with thousands of consumers daily.
AI-driven chatbots have also taken the sales world by storm. With over 40% of Millennials now interacting with a chatbot daily, it’s no surprise that sales reps are investing in them to help answer consumer questions 24/7.
For eCommerce shops on a strong web hosting platform, chatbots should slot into your site structure effortlessly, and serve large influxes of web traffic at once. Not only does this take the pressure off of cold callers, but can mean that a company can serve a global audience with ease.
“Wherever you are in your journey as a business owner, using chatbots can help you improve customer engagement, expand your customer base, qualify leads at the outset, and expand to global markets easily.”
Forbes contributor, and chatbot expert Kelly Main also adds “with so many advantages, it makes sense to start using chatbots for your business growth right now.”
A digital tomorrow
In 2023, 89% of global sales teams have already adopted a digital-first sales strategy.
As we step into a new era of AI-generated consumer experience, and navigate a future of social media shopping, modern-day sales teams must constantly adapt to new digital trends if they want to remain ahead of the curve.
“Marketers need to build digital relationships, and reputation before closing a sale,” says Chris Brogan, CEO of Chris Borgan Media.
Capturing the consumers of tomorrow may require more effort, but the brands that remain closest to their customers in a digital landscape will remain the most prosperous in the fight for conversion.