The truth is, most people don't have a great grasp on digital sales as a concept.
They might understand digital advertising, but too many companies lack a thorough understanding of the process behind strategic sales in the digital world.
Mario Martinez is not one of those people.
Mario is the CEO and founder of Vengreso: a leading digital sales training company where he spent 82 consecutive quarters in B2B sales and leadership. He's appeared in the Salesforce documentary film, The Story of Sales, and was named one of 2018's top ten influencers by Modern Sales magazine.
Today, Mario explains his subtle yet thorough ten-step process to launching an effective digital sales program.
10 Steps to Launching a Digital Sales ProgramMario says that too many companies ask what it will cost for a one-hour LinkedIn training program.
This is a problem because, according to Mario, it doesn't work that way.
Improving your digital sales isn't something you can train for as part of a keynote speech or one-hour lesson. Below is the process Mario recommends for anyone interested in improving their digital sales and online B2B presence.
1. Define the Desired Outcome and Establish KPIs
Mario says too many companies focus on their ROI at this stage and that's really not how you should be measuring your results. Instead, Mario recommends concentrating on something more attainable like getting more "hellos" and basically just starting conversations with prospects.
At the same time, you need to establish your KPIs so you can monitor and measure your results. Did you improve your LinkedIn profile and see connections go up? Think about what aspects you want to focus on.
2. Mapping the Buyer Identification Process
You need to gain a thorough understanding of your buyer's process so you can apply your findings to future prospects.
Ask your sales team who they're selling to and what problems they're solving. Next, ask them who they've helped in the past and how they've made their lives better. Mario says this is where a lot of salespeople get stumped.
3. Creating a Distribution Strategy for Content
There's no way around it: your business needs content. After all, nearly 80% of B2B buyers consume at least three pieces of content before making a decision. But you also need a solid distribution strategy to get your content in front of the right prospects.
Mario says this is where a lot of people get frustrated because they don't see the results they want (aka conversions) right away. What they should be focusing on are conversations. Just like dating, you don't jump into bed or a relationship right away -- there's a process before that happens, right?
4. Finding the Right Tools
Mario recommends keeping it simple. Remember, you still want to have a real connection with your prospects so don't leave too much up to automation.
To start, you'll need LinkedIn Sales Navigator (this is a must if you want to measure your KPIs), Twitter, Facebook, and a decent video sales acceleration program. The video program will help you get results as you're distributing content.
5. Develop Customized Play Books
What will your sales team say in those messages? How do you anticipate the prospects to respond and what will sales say back?
Figure out which pieces of content are appropriate for different situations. Marketing can't deliver the whole message on its own -- the sales team really need to carry it with a well-developed playbook for outreach.
6. Creating Buyer-Centric Profiles
This is where your LinkedIn profiles get a makeover. Prospects don't care about what kind of numbers you're crushing -- they want to know how you can help them.
Although Mario says this step is low-hanging fruit, a lot of people get it wrong. Remember to embed lots of relevant multimedia and try to answer all of your prospects' pain points from your profile alone.
7. Learning Video
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world with over 1.5 billion users every month.
The thing is, buyers will decide within the first seven seconds if the video is worth watching so it's crucial to have a team that understands how to make a great video. To top it off, most people in sales aren't the best writers.
So, how do you fill the gap? Mario recommends that everyone check out OneMob. This tool is specifically designed for sellers to create engaging videos.
8. Gamification and Recognition
Mario points out that the only thing salespeople love more than making that money is recognition so this part should come naturally. Still, that doesn't mean you should throw caution to the wind.
Instead, go back to your KPIs and figure out how you're going to initiate behavioral changes with your prospects. How many new mentions have you received? How many new connections have you made?
9. Measure and Adapt for Improvement
Mario recommends conducting weekly KPI reviews to identify areas for improvement. At this point, it's important to admit when something is working so you can try a new strategy.
This step reflects why it's so crucial to have a good KPI tracking tool to easily monitor your progress or lack thereof.
10. Continue Coaching for Continuous Improvement
This is an ongoing process. Mario says you should lead with data so you have a good understanding of what's gotten better and what hasn't changed. This step refers to going back through each of the ten steps to focus on continuous improvement and growth.
Remember the End GoalAt the end of the day, remember why you're there: to add value to the lives of others. You want to help people reach a decision they're happy with.
Spend time reading your prospect's content, getting to know their personality, and understanding how your product or service can make their lives better. Sometimes it takes days but other times it might take months.
After all, that's what Mario says he appreciates when someone is trying to sell a product or service to him.