Sales and marketing are in constant flux, and that is truer now than ever. With competitors using real-time analytics to manage their digital sales strategies, it’s imperative that you know right away which tactics are working and which aren’t—and have a backup plan to turn negative results around fast.
The new buzz phrase is “sales execution optimization process,” explains sales and marketing expert Phil Bush. Bush maintains that it’s crucial to combine in-person sales with digital strategies.
Evaluate, Meet, and Repeat
Optimized sales execution is one reason why some companies beat their numbers year after year, says Ryan Tognazzini from Sales Benchmark Index. “The alignment between strategy and tactics creates sustainable growth year after year,” he explains. “The execution of those tactics is where the magic happens.”
The 8 top sales execution tactics Tognazzini has identified include:
- Establishing a hierarchy of objectives
- Conducting frequent reporting to measure progress (i.e., key performance indicators (KPIs)) against objectives
- Holding daily and weekly team meetings
It’s important to execute sales tactics in the right order, he adds. That’s because when you establish objectives, those will inform KPIs, which you will in turn use to reinforce the correct behaviors in daily and weekly meetings.
Go Digital to Get Customers ‘All In’
Digital sales strategies have to supersede traditional tactics, says Marketbridge’s Jason Robinson.
When it comes to selling the traditional way, everyone loses,” he writes. “Why? Because your company invests significant time and resources without an impressive return while your customers are forced to dodge unwanted sales calls and come up with new excuses as to why they’re not ‘all in’ with your product or service. It’s frustrating for both sides, and doesn’t help your company grow in the long run.”
Where to start? Robinson suggests several key strategies you can employ today:
- Understand your customers through enhanced profiling, using the data you have, as well as social media.
- Think like a marketer and sell through digital channels such as social media, email, and marketing automation.
- Educate your customers with personalized digital content.
Show Customers Why—and How—They Should Connect With You
You’ve heard it before: Take customers on a journey. Customer engagement has a life cycle, and you need to design your strategy with that in mind.
“Adopt customer personas as well as buyer journey maps and create engagement strategies to guide you in helping your prospective customers through their digital buyer’s journey,” notes Tatjana Priachin from Noveldo. “Align your marketing/digital sales strategy & channels to the customer personas, buyer journey maps and customer engagement strategy.”
A digital selling strategy goes beyond just the use of tools and technology, adds The Digital Sales Institute. Digital selling is a behavioral change not just with the sales team but also at all your customer touch points.
“The main question to be answered is how companies embed digital selling capabilities into the very DNA of the business,” The Digital Sales Institute notes. “This question is important as B2B buyers are acting just like consumers more and more.”
To drive change in the buyer journey, you must combine access to content and a certain degree of comfort when using it—these factors can have a major transformational effect on every aspect of the B2B sales cycle.
“To meet the needs this new reality, both sales and marketing must retool every aspect of their sales strategies and tactics, from social reach, to social impact to lead generation,” The Digital Sales Institute adds.
There is a lot at stake here, says Phil Bush, host of “Selling in the Digital Age: The Era of Angles of Attack.” Goof up your sales execution optimization process and you’ll find yourself at the back of the pack, but nail it and you’ll open new doors to sales success.
(This post first appeared in a ProfEd blog)
By Jeff S on 27th November 2018