By Jarrod Mason, Principal Youwho Digital
It is probably not much of a headline to anyone that we live in a digital age today. We have smart phones, smart watches, smart shoes, robots that vacuum our floor, speakers that we can talk to, self driving cars, and so on.
According to a recent article by Telegraph, we now spend nearly 24 hours a week in the digital world. Let that sink in.. That is one entire day spent on our phones, computers, tablets or watching smart tv.
It is becoming evident that we are in a new age of communication and consumption and the way we see the world today is not how we will see the world tomorrow.
How is the world of sales adapting with the changing times?
When we think of sales we mostly think of the cigar smoking, fast talking car salesman of the 80’s and 90’s. The kind that wouldn’t let you get a word in edge wise and had you emptying your pockets before you knew his first name.
“Consumers are now becoming conscience of their own buying journey.”
The truth is the sales world has not changed too much in the 30 years since.
Companies still focus on outside sales roles where they want reps “in the face” of the customers and still teach them “don’t take no for an answer.” These are high pressure sales situations that most consumers are learning they don’t want to deal with. Aside from the recent cultural changes surrounding “no means no” and the “me too” movements these tactics don’t work well with how society operates in the 21st century.
The consumer base, whether that be B2B or B2C based products, have largely become millennials and their purchasing habits are not the same as generations prior. Millennials are more technology savvy and more inclined to utilized the digital world to research products and services prior to any interaction with the company.
What this translates into is that those who are purchasing your products are looking at you before you are looking for them. They are visiting your website, reading your about me section, checking out your social media presence and overall getting a feel for your company to understand what kind of experience they can have by interacting with your company.
Consumers are now becoming conscience of their own buying journey.
What does this mean for my business?
For starters this should mean no matter whether you are a B2B or B2C business you should have some form of digital presence. This can be in the form of a website, a facebook page, an instagram account or at least a directory on Google or Yelp.
Your business needs to be represented in the digital world, period.
With the rise of e-commerce in recent years this has become almost a no brainer for consumer focused products or CPG’s.
What about B2B businesses and service bases companies?
Do I still need a hard nosed closer to get in the face of my customers?
The answer is a hard NO.
To start one should reflect upon where the customers are at. At the beginning of this article I mentioned that on average, we all spend nearly 24 hours online a week, so the answer is that your customers are online. Much like we taught in business school for years; location, location, location — go to where your customers are at.
Driving 500 miles a week to visit clients will be a thing of the past within 15 years. With us knowing that our customers are online and accessible with a push of a button, there is a diminishing need for lengthy and inefficient traveling. It comes down to a matter of connecting with the decision makers online and sharing information digitally to educate and drive sales.
Now that you know your business should have an online presence I encourage you to get that process started. Sign up for a Facebook Business account, log in to Instagram and create a post, encourage customers to create Yelp reviews – start somewhere!
In an upcoming article, we will discuss the details of sales in a digital age and offer some insights on how to best structure your organization to succeed in the 21st century.
If you have any questions about how to get started email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!