The evolution of Sales in this Digital World


Let us be honest at the dawn of a new decade, moving at a faster pace every year…

We face Hyper-Competition daily, in an economy that is tight especially in South Africa. We have new competitors popping up around every corner. Are you ready and fully prepared with a sound business, digital and sales strategy to dominate your market and win key ideal clients in 2020?

Let’s look at the competition, a decade ago it was a completely different set of competitors. Let’s call them the traditional competition. This is who they are: Competitors you are aware of, they pose a real threat to your organisation because they are established, they offer a good service and have good quality products, they have market-related pricing and are positioned in a similar market as your business. In addition to your traditional competitors, you now have a new set of digital competitors. What do I mean by those?

These are competitors that compete with you for the same digital space and attention. They promote the same keywords as you and have visual ads, tracking social and website visitors in the same space as you do. A completely new set of rules apply. I often have this conversation with businesses; they do not always consider them as competition or see these competitors as a threat. They might argue that these competitors do not offer the same quality service or product, they are ‘too big/ or too small’. They might have a list of reasons why these companies are not considered a threat because they measure competition traditionally.

The game has changed and the definition of what competition is have changed. We are living in a world where everything has a digital presence. Your business also has a digital presence (or not) and you vying for attention, share a digital footprint and compete with these new competitors for the same space and rankings. To say it simply, if you type in the service or product your company offers into your search engine, does your company’s name make it in the top three?

How do you think does a new prospective client does market research these days? Just as you just did…by searching on-line. What will that new prospective client see? And what are the impressions the digital appearance of a company has on a prospective client? This prospect might call them, present a tender request to your digital competitor and not even consider you because they present themselves better online. A one-man operating out of a garage can look better, bigger and more experienced than you do, unfortunately.

Still, think the new kid on the block with no experience is “not your competitor”? Think again.

Its time to wake up to the digital age and realise that you might find yourself in a position where you have to submit a tender, go through a procurement process and screening without once having the opportunity to meet face-to-face. Candidates are chosen for the next round of screening without any personal introduction. Are you convinced that your team has what it takes to submit the best solution for the prospect?

Rewording my question: Are you ready for the new decade where the world is rapidly moving with more digital and less human interaction? People find what they want and need online. If you selling, as we did five years ago, you are left behind. We interact, communicate and consume differently than we did five years ago. Are you aware of your digital presence? Do you have a digital strategy? How are you presented online? Have you looked at your digital presence through the eyes of your new prospective client, with a world of options at their fingertips? Is your strategy to win new ideal clients and prospects truly successful? Are you even online? Having a website means nothing if your ideal clients don’t find and enquire about your services…you might be losing out on potential business!

If you have all of the above in place, how do you engage with your clients? Is your sales team empowered and geared with a winning strategy and brand-true communication? Instead of a static strategy, you must have an agile play-book with scenarios and templates, empowering your team to be a well-rounded sales force ready to win as many opportunities as possible. Being strategically ready for the new decade means perfecting your digital footprint, having a dynamic strategy to back that up and a well-trained and empowered sales force to complement your footprint and your brand. Being successful in the digital age implies understanding where your clients are, the detail process of client engagement and brand-supportive communication (words and images). Empower your sales team to be able to understand and execute this and you will get more leads and close more deals. One of the most important elements in sales is understanding the clients’ burning need. What is the problem they need to solve? How can you solve their problem? The digital world makes this more complicated. Communication as we knew it is changing. In a fast-paced digital world, there is no time for direct human interaction. Your sales force not only needs to understand the need of the client but how they make decisions and how to influence those decisions without any verbal contact. And, then they have to present the best possible proposal to win the ideal client.

Do you know your clients’ digital habits and behaviour? Do you know where they shop and browse? What they read and are interested in? We can help you to decode the digital sales process and help you create the best authentic presence for your brand. Let us know if you found value in this article, would love to connect and hear if this helps you in the process of winning as many ideal clients as possible in a hyper-competitive digital world… Look out for the other articles in the series of The Evolution of Sales in this Digital World.