“Digital sales transformation” is one of the hottest buzzwords around– but how will modernize the way your sales team works impact your bottom line as a company?
Digital sales transformation (DST) is the process of integrating digital technologies into all aspects of your company’s sales operations to achieve purposeful, predictable organizational and financial growth.
Investing in DST can have an enormous impact. Research from Oliver Wyman indicates that companies can improve their sales contribution by 15-25%.
In this article, you’ll learn what digital sales transformation is, how it fits into larger, worldwide tech trends, and some of the biggest benefits of integrating technology into your sales operations.
What is digital sales?
Digital sales is a catch-all term that encompasses any aspect of a sales process that a company conducts through virtual channels. In digital sales, companies use technology to connect with prospects, provide education about products and services and offer solutions that meet prospects’ most pressing needs.
What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation uses technology to create, modify, and upgrade business processes to meet customers' changing needs. The digital transformation trend requires a complete reimagining of business in the age of online and virtual sales.
When undergoing digital transformation, companies are rethinking how they engage with customers. For example, by moving from technology like manual spreadsheets and siloed applications to a smart, integrated tech stack, companies can deliver a unified, consistent buying experience.
Companies that embrace digital transformation provide frictionless experiences across all engagement channels. As B2B buying decisions involve more stakeholders and information-gathering steps than ever before, digital simplicity offers a clear edge.
The 6 biggest benefits of digital sales transformation
When teams undergo a digital sales transformation, they make an intentional effort to align their technology, processes, and people. This means everything from using data analytics to gain insight into customer problems to automating sales reps’ repetitive tasks.
The goals of DST are twofold:
- Better experiences for buyers, leading to higher win rates and increased revenue
- Higher profits for your company due to gains in productivity and effective use of data
Here are the biggest benefits of digital sales transformation.
1. Boost your sales team’s productivity
According to a 2018 Salesforce survey, sales professionals only spend a third of their time building relationships with prospects and selling. The rest of their time is spent on repetitive administrative work.
This can include tasks like:
- Logging sales interactions and customer notes into your CRM system
- Identifying and locating the right content to use
- Creating and personalizing sales presentations
- Converting sales content into the proper format
If this sounds familiar, it’s an opportunity to make your sales processes more efficient, so your reps can focus on selling. Digital sales transformation can automate and streamline much of the administrative work your sales team does. Integrating tools like conversational intelligence, AI, and automated recommendations can free up more time for your reps to connect with customers.
2. Meet customer demands
Today’s B2B buyers want a different sales experience.
Research shows that most buyers get 70% of the way through their decision-making process before they engage with a salesperson – which means you can’t leave your prospects hanging out to dry. You must give potential customers the information they need to research your solution and decide if they want to talk with one of your sales reps to learn more.
Provide customers with the critical content they need to make informed purchasing decisions. This may include recommendations, side-by-side product comparisons, peer reviews, and case studies.
As part of your DST, you also need to give your reps the up-to-date information and assets to sell effectively – preferably in an integrated, centralized tool they can access in real time, no matter when and where they’re selling.
Sales enablement solutions can help you provide your sales team with access to not only your marketing assets but also the tools and best practices that will ensure they are prepared for any customer interaction, no matter where people are in the buying process.
3. Get the data you need
Gathering data can be the key to unlocking insights into how your customers are thinking, feeling, and behaving. Digital transformation gives you a system for gathering that data and integrating it into your business intelligence at a higher level.
By gathering insight from structured data (like personal customer information) and unstructured data (like social media metrics), you can:
- Gain insight into the customer journey
- Provide more personalized, relevant content to prospects
- Create a customer-centric business strategy
- Spot opportunities for new products and services
- Find ways to improve sales processes
For example, collecting better data as part of your digital sales transformation can give you transparency into your sales pipeline.
Visibility on the volume and quality of leads you’re generating requires clear, actionable metrics like sales rep forecasts, engagement activity, and deal size. Investing in digital transformation allows you to track these metrics to make accurate forecasts that lead to predictable revenue.
With proper pipeline visibility, you can also change sales tactics if something isn’t working, and make adjustments quickly if you see your team isn't reaching its goals.
And while data is the key to unlocking customer insights – and digital transformation gives you access to that data – you must ensure that your customer information is safe and secure. Buyers are increasingly concerned about how their data is being collected and used, so implement strong privacy practices and give your customers autonomy over their data as much as possible.
4. Spot patterns to build profitability
By choosing and leveraging the right technology for your digital sales transformation, you gain insight into the messaging, activities, and channels that are working – and which ones are falling flat.
This can lead to higher growth and increased profitability.
Sales engagement platforms like Pitcher allow you to see which pieces of sales content are getting the most engagement from customers during the buying process so you can build more of that type of content. Analytics from sales enablement solutions help you spot patterns so managers can create plans of action based on key customer touchpoints in the sales cycle.
5. Achieve higher revenue growth
A study from SAP and Oxford Economics revealed that investment in digital transformation brings significant revenue gains for companies. Of the businesses reporting the highest levels of digital transformation, 80% said their efforts led to increased profitability, and they expected to see continued revenue growth for the next two years.
In fact, 84% of executives believe digital transformation is critical to their company’s survival in the next five years.
Despite the best of intentions, many execs admitted they hadn’t followed through on their plans to reimagine their sales teams. Less than 3% of respondents said they had completed company-wide digital transformations.
6. Create an outstanding customer experience
Gartner research indicates that two-thirds of companies now compete primarily on customer experience (CX). Done well, digital sales transformation can help you provide superior experiences for customers.
Consider how your digital transformation can deliver seamless, personalized, intuitive experiences throughout the entire buying journey. Examine your email communications, user portal, social media channels, sales content, and digital asset management platforms to ensure you deliver a holistic customer experience.
Embracing digital sales transformation
The role of your sales team has been forever changed by technology and digitization, and the days of closing deals via high-pressure phone calls and meetings are long gone. To stay competitive, you must embrace technology and be ready to transform your sales team’s tactics to meet customers’ changing needs and preferences.
The digital transformation in sales includes everything from data analytics to automating repetitive tasks to simplify the customer experience.
Overall, the goal of your company’s DST is to make the sales process more effective and efficient, which in turn can increase your revenues and profits.
Learn more about how Pitcher can help with your digital sales transformation and how deploying sales enablement technology can modernize your sales process.
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