As a B2B sales leader or professional, you might question the need to get involved with digital selling, especially on a social media platform like LinkedIn. You might believe the marketing team should handle that aspect of the business while you make calls and nurture customer relationships.
The B2B sales landscape has changed, and this line of thinking is outdated. McKinsey and Co. found that 70 to 80 per cent of B2B buyers preferred remote, digital experiences in the sales cycle. While some of this digital approach means more virtual face-to-face meetings, digital selling is another method I recommend incorporating into your strategy.
Personalisation is the key to making digital selling work. Among automated messages and company posts, a genuine one-on-one approach ensures your brand reaches and resonates with prospects.
What is the process of digital selling?
The digital selling process relies on four parts:
A market map is the first step to targeted and effective outreach, connecting you with the most relevant and qualified leads for engagement and conversion. B2B decision-makers largely have an online presence that details their connections and interests. They share this information because they want people to read and use it. Marketing mapping leverages this data to identify and analyse relevant buyers. It gathers real-time information on interests, connections and roles to create a comprehensive map of prospects. All information is collected ethically using publicly-available data.
Initial outreach introduces your brand or solution. It leverages insights from market mapping to strategically reach out to a curated list of decision-makers. Proper initial outreach prioritises quality over quantity, seeking to establish genuine, value-driven relationships rather than just making cold contacts.
Lead enrichment enhances and deepens the initial connection established with a potential buyer. It leverages the data available to better understand the person’s preferences, challenges, and needs. This process facilitates more meaningful and personalised communication. The objective is to evolve cold or warm leads into fully informed and engaged prospects primed for conversion.
Ongoing nurture defines the process of systematically and consistently engaging with leads over time to foster a deeper connection. Rather than pushing a direct sale, the process focuses on providing valuable content, insights, and resources that align with the prospect’s needs and interests. Marketing automation tools support this process by making it easier to keep the lead engaged, positioning your business as a trusted partner, ready to assist when the prospect is ready for conversion.
Bringing a personal touch to digital selling
Personalisation ensures your introduction is relevant to the prospect’s needs and sets the stage for deeper engagement. Bringing a personalised approach to digital selling is more than putting someone’s first name in your initial outreach message. The following tactics will personalise your digital selling efforts.
Genuinely connect with contacts: Platforms like LinkedIn allow people to share new jobs, work anniversaries, awards, and birthdays. For proactive sales professionals, these posts and notifications are excellent opportunities to ensure a prospect remembers you. These give you opportunities to reignite a conversation without a sales agenda.
Value-driven interactions: You should begin by offering value rather than pushing a hard sale. Tag the person in insightful company posts or resources that aid their decision-making process. This approach positions your brand as a helpful partner rather than another pushy vendor.
Using marketing automation the right way: When used properly, marketing automation is an excellent tool to facilitate digital selling. Rather than using automation to send out generic mass messaging, use it to deliver personalised information to varying target personas so your prospects remain aware of your brand and solutions.
The problem with generic approaches
When digital selling, it can be too easy to take a generic approach without investing time in understanding your prospects’ interests. Failing to incorporate personalisation into your messaging can make it harder for you to see success. Here are a few key issues with overlooking personalisation:
It feels like spam: Mass messaging and aggressive selling techniques annoy prospects and harm your brand’s image. It is always better to establish connections that offer mutual, long-term value.
Cold messaging fatigue: Decision-makers do not want to receive cold messages that lack substance or value. With cold outreach so easy to do on LinkedIn, it is also easy for the recipient to overlook. Send just one personalised message to connect, rather than bombarding people with generic pitches.
One-size-fits-all: A generic strategy often overlooks the nuances of individual buyers and markets, leading to missed opportunities. Failure to recognise and cater to potential buyers’ unique needs and preferences can lead to lost sales and weakened relationships.
Lower engagement: Generic outreach can result in low engagement, high bounce rates, and declining brand trustworthiness. Tailoring your message to the audience garners better responses and strengthens your brand’s credibility.
Digital selling for B2B organisations requires a comprehensive understanding of your prospects, followed by tailored outreach and consistent relationship nurturing. The success of this process hinges on personalisation. You must move away from generic messages to address the specific needs of each potential buyer. A generic approach damages brand credibility, whereas personalisation fosters trust and positions your business as a valuable partner.
Resonate can guide your digital selling strategy
Our digital selling team can help you kickstart the digital selling process, and then our leadership team can guide your sales reps through personalising their digital selling approach. We collaborate with you to build your sales strategy and support execution so that your business generates predictable revenue over the coming quarters and years. Please visit our Sales Services page for more information on our capabilities.