The Ins and Outs of Digital Sales Development + Proven Tactics for Success

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There has been a dramatic transition in sales methods over the past decade. Instead of face-to-face meetings and manual processes, online appointments and automated systems are now the norm. As a result, forward-thinking companies increasingly consider investing in digital sales development strategies to meet the demand of today’s consumers. 

What is Digital Sales Development?

Digital sales development refers to the process of creating a pipeline that forwards leads through the buyer’s journey using virtual channels. These can be: 

  • Websites: These are the primary point of contact for most prospects. Websites that are easy to navigate and visually appealing typically have a 200% greater conversion1 rate than poorly made ones. 
  • Social Media: More than 4.5 billion people2 are active on social media. With so many users on these platforms, salespeople that develop effective social media strategies have a greater chance of reaching a wider audience.
  • Emails: Salespeople can use emails to attract prospects’ attention by informing them about new products, exclusive promos, and discounts. By incorporating clickable links and hard-hitting call-to-action, email marketing campaigns can deliver an average return on investment (ROI) of $36 for every $1 spent3
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The Search Engine Journal has recently revealed that 49% of companies find that organic search provides the highest ROI of all marketing channels4. Salespeople can greatly benefit from the increased traffic that SEO brings in, as it allows them to have more leads to work with. 
  • Paid Ads: Salespeople can use paid ads to target specific demographics that fit their company’s buyer profile. This allows them to improve the quality of leads in the pipeline and increase the chances of conversion. 
  • Videos: Videos have a much higher rate of message retention than written content (95% vs. 10%)5 due to the medium’s visual nature. Salespeople can use this format to make positive and lasting impressions on leads. 

Benefits of Digital Sales Development

Businesses benefit from digital sales development by: 

  • Boosting efficiency and productivity: Digital sales development increases the efficiency of the sales pipeline, allowing leads to move faster along the buyer’s journey. 
  • Improving customer engagement: Virtual channels offer a more convenient experience, as they allow prospects to seamlessly interact with salespeople and access solutions to their pain points without needing to go out of the office. 
  • Enhancing resource management: Most digital channels have automation features that allow salespeople to optimize their efforts. 

Tips on Creating an Effective Digital Sales Development Strategy

Developing a digital sales development strategy allows your business to gain a competitive edge and offer a better customer service experience. Here are tips on adapting this strategy to your operations: 

Improve Branding

Establishing a solid brand identity and message helps salespeople gain prospects’ trust quickly. This makes pushing leads to the next stage of the buyer’s journey and closing deals easier and faster. 

Your website is a great place to display your brand’s identity. Conversion rates on web pages can grow by 33% with consistent branding6, as it increases recognition. 

A visually appealing website can attract visitors, but at the same time, too many features can slow down the speed. That is why it is equally important to invest in UX: approximately 40% of visitors7 are likely to abandon a slow and non-functional website.

Increase Social Media Presence

Social media platforms allow salespeople to increase brand awareness and learn about prospects and competitors. 

You can expand your social media visibility by: 

  • Posting engaging and helpful content 
  • Sharing entertaining and informative media
  • Responding to comments

Enhance Content Quality

Leads at the beginning of the buyer’s journey constantly seek information about their pain points and solutions. By leveraging high-quality, relevant content, salespeople can attract more prospects to nurture into paying customers. 

Examples of content salespeople can leverage include: 

  • Case studies
  • Ebooks
  • Whitepapers
  • Blogs
  • How-to articles

Track Numbers

Tracking metrics for sales development is essential for understanding whether or not your digital channels are generating high-quality leads for the pipeline. This allows you to see what’s working and what needs fixing right away.

Sales development metrics are typically divided into three categories: account, financial, and pipeline indicators. 

Account MetricsFinancial MetricsSales Pipeline Metrics
Target account status

New meetings
Average account size

Salespeople quota

Salespeople profitability
Closing percentage

Sales cycle length

Sales pipeline quantity & quality 

Bottom Line

Leveraging virtual channels allows salespeople to effectively move leads along the various stages of the buyer’s journey. It also increases the reach of sales development efforts, which is beneficial in filling the pipeline with overflowing conversion opportunities.

Resources

  1. https://www.forrester.com/blogs/09-10-15-leaving_user_experience_to_chance_hurts_companies/
  2. https://www.statista.com/statistics/278414/number-of-worldwide-social-network-users/
  3. https://www.litmus.com/blog/infographic-the-roi-of-email-marketing/
  4. https://www.searchenginejournal.com/digital-marketing-channel-highest-roi/263757/#close
  5. https://www.forbes.com/sites/yec/2017/07/13/how-to-incorporate-video-into-your-social-media-strategy/?sh=2407e7af7f2e
  6. https://info.marq.com/resources/report/brand-consistency
  7. https://neilpatel.com/blog/loading-time/
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