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For businesses that haven’t hopped on the eCommerce trend yet, 2020 has likely been a struggle when it comes to staying relevant in the average consumer’s mind. If your goal is to beat your customer to an acquisition and use innovative selling models, then it is past time to consider adopting online selling strategies for your business.
While this global pandemic has introduced unforeseen challenges to businesses, it’s also given technology-driven companies an unexpected advantage. For organizations that quickly adapted by prioritizing a shift toward online selling, a wealth of new customers and product/service delivery methods have been discovered.
All of this points to one essential trend: you need to improve your online selling strategy if your goal is to survive in 2021.
eBook Download: Riding the Self-Service Wave: Trends to Track Beyond 2020
So, how do you start to improve your selling strategy after years of doing it one way?
If you haven’t made this move yet – or are struggling to make initial progress – here are three strategy steps to get your team moving in the right direction:
Thanks to a variety of travel restrictions, business shutdowns, and regional lockdowns, outdoor marketing doesn’t deliver the impact it once did. Traditional methods have been turned upside-down as a result of COVID. Moving forward, the most effective method to reach your customers is to dedicate your marketing resources to the online space.
By doing this, you give your sales and marketing teams a lot of advantages. First and foremost, a digital-focused selling strategy is highly trackable. Your business can easily monitor website traffic, social media engagement, email open rates, digital ad ROI, and more – making it possible to see precisely how your customers act and what they’re looking for in real-time.
The biggest benefit is simply reaching a growing number of customers where they prefer to research, compare, and shop today. According to HubSpot, global website traffic increased by 16% from Q1 to Q2 at the start of the pandemic – and by Q3 marketing email open rates were almost 20% higher than their pre-COVID-19 counterparts.
Related Content: 5 Things You Need to Overhaul Your Online Selling Strategy
This deeper level of insight also lets you know what’s working (and what’s not) in terms of bringing in new business – meaning you’ll be able to make more informed decisions across the online sales environment. You’ll be able to pinpoint budget items that are most likely to move the needle and prioritize only the strategies that move your company forward.
As strategies move away from in person selling and service offerings, the sell-from-anywhere world is on the rise. What many companies once believed was a temporary measure has become permanent.
With so many self-service and digital tools available to potential buyers, millions of shoppers are enjoying salesperson-free transaction experiences. Give consumers a transaction experience with fewer steps, no back-and-forth, and minimal delay – effectively maximizing buyer satisfaction. Even more, the sales team will be able to focus on finding new opportunities instead of negotiating current ones.
In an inside sales environment, your decision-making abilities are also dramatically accelerated. Before the pandemic, outside sales initiatives were a nightmare to coordinate. The schedules of multiple sales leaders needed to be juggled so everyone could be brought to the same place at the same time. But by upgrading your online selling strategy and transitioning to an inside sales perspective, these meetings can be done virtually instead.
Tools like Skype, Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams have never been more popular. And going forward, these software solutions will continue to help your sales team work closely together regardless of where they work. While these products aren’t exactly new, COVID-19 shed new light on the value they can provide – as well as how the average enterprise can use them to be more productive than ever.
A Hubspot study found that inside sales teams make approximately 43% more calls and send nine percent more emails than outside sales alternatives. Gong also found that by adding video to a traditional sales call using one of the aforementioned communication tools, your likelihood of closing the deal increases by more than 40%.
Prior to the pandemic, most businesses took a traditional approach to customer service. They employed a variety of sales professionals to interact with potential buyers and establish a presence from which to explore their respective marketplace. And then everything changed.
Equipped with a variety of digital tools and online shopping features, customers took service into their own hands. Faced with time constraints like never before, self-service became a differentiator for businesses in virtually every industry shortly after the pandemic began.
Today’s consumers demand convenience and information that cuts straight to the chase – and they want the power to make purchasing decisions on their own terms. Once lockdowns and work-from-anywhere began to take effect, customer-initiated calls and chats increased by 45%. And companies that failed to offer these self-service capabilities to their shoppers fell behind.
Now, the data has never been more transparent. More than two-thirds of all buyers prefer to push a transaction through self-service mechanisms rather than working with a company salesperson. So to be truly competitive in 2021, transform your go-to-market strategy to embrace online selling and transactions.
This year has introduced a variety of never-before-seen challenges into your contracting processes. But riding the self-service wave is your key to turning everything around. By improving your online agreements, incorporating self-service selling, and increasing the volume of your transactions, you can start building a better future today.
As more and more transactions take place online, a Clickwrap Transaction Platform (CTP) becomes even more crucial to the speed and security of your business. Download the Aragon Report to learn how eCommerce businesses (and companies that do business online) can benefit from CTP, even beyond the pandemic.