Your sales reps may be digitally savvy, but are they digitally motivated? It’s not unusual for people to stick with what they know, and it’s likely that your sales reps know print ads best—even if digital ads have been in their media kit for a decade or two. It’s not that they don’t want to expand into digital, but when one is accustomed to one way of selling, it’s hard to shift the brain and wrap it around another way—the digital way.
Are you taking steps to help your sales team make the shift to digital? If you’re short on ideas, here are four to get you started:
Use testimonials as a bridge. It’s likely that your sales folks are still really good at making that connection with people. And, they’re probably well versed in perennial sales; meaning they make and keep connections that continue to produce revenue. Why not use testimonials to help your team see a path to digital sales? They can connect with current customers, get their feedback, then use those testimonials across multiple digital channels (social media, website, eNewlsetters etc.) to generate and pursue leads. Of course, they are doing this in concert with the marketing team (if the two teams are in fact “separate”).
Pair them with your digital design team. Give your sales team the opportunity to just sit down and brainstorm with your digital designers. Let your designers listen to their pitch and translate it into digital sales pages, with strong images and layout. Sometimes, all it takes is for someone to see his or her work in a different light, and they get really excited and motivated. But, don’t stop there; let this be a continuous partnership that involves frequent tweaking and testing. The sales team will then have the opportunity to see how a digital audience is different from and the same as a print audience.
Offer opportunities to expand partnerships. There is no doubt that a good sales team continuously networks and builds partnerships. Those relationships are only as good as their evolution. They must continue to be mutually beneficial. One way to add a new dimension to existing partnerships is by developing affiliate programs. Why not offer commissions to bloggers and email marketers who promote you? Or, why not scratch each other’s backs and do a little cross promotion? It’s not a new concept, just a new medium that can be a lot more efficient, with automated digital publishing platforms.
Play with the Targeted Funnel. There is no question that the influx of deep data can seem overwhelming to sales teams (or anyone for that matter). The potential is exciting and often paralyzing. Put it in the context of something they can embrace and understand: the sales funnel. Do a team workshop built around constructing a digital sales funnel. Demonstrate how the data comes into play. Encourage a little healthy competition among sales team members—whoever generates the most leads through their funnel design, wins! Encourage testing and small teamwork.
Of course, it always pays to check in with your team and ask them what will help them get highly motivated for digital sales. It’s usually not some monetary incentive—it has to do with things that build confidence and a sense of ownership. What are you learning from your sales team?