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It's 2023, and it's a digital-first world. Today's children learn to code before they learn cursive. To add to this, we've come across a myriad of ed-tech companies that indeed, make this dream come true.
We call this expertise digital skills but, for today's children, it's simply skills needed to be learned.
But what exactly are digital skills? And why do sales teams need it to succeed in their career?
75% of B2B leaders claim to regularly use social media in their decision-making. Furthermore, buyers who use social media have 84% bigger budgets as opposed to those who do not.
For several sales professionals and sales managers, digital technologies aid them with a new channel to connect with and influence prospective customers, thus moving them from leads to customers.
In the modern age, speed is everything. This change is happening in response to the buying process that has evolved drastically; buyers have already changed their habits. As sales professionals, you need to catch up and be equipped with the right digital skills to build a lasting relationship with your customers and be ahead of the curve.
Caroline Beaton says, "Even digital-savvy millennials often lack the skills it takes to propel them to sales success in the digital age".
But, with the right training and guidance, sales teams, irrespective of their age, can acquire the key digital skills they need to become successful salespeople in 2023.
We have handpicked some essential skills that will help all the sales reps stay ahead in this digital world.
9 Skills Sales Reps Need to Build to Thrive in the Digital Sales World in 2023
#1 Advanced Research Skills
Sales is a highly competitive industry.
To thrive as a successful salesperson in this age, keeping up ahead of the market trends, new technologies, and relevant factors is what distinguishes between an average sales rep to a highly successful one.
Salespeople must know the art of researching online, and finding relevant information from online sources. Information about competitors can be found from review aggregators like G2, TrustRadius and other sources, and networking can help the reps understand their target customers and their industries better.
Possessing the knowledge to find the data online accurately, you can create ads and nurture your ideal customers with the right messaging and information,
This data can further be utilized to pinpoint personalized sales strategies that can help nurture and engage them in the sales cycle.
#2 Digital Literacy
Digital literacy encompasses the digital sales skills needed to work, learn, and navigate day-to-day life in our sales world.
This means having the ability to use devices, software, apps, and more with confidence to communicate and collaborate better via digital mediums, handling data in a safe and appropriate way, and keeping abreast of new technologies.
#3 Social Selling
With several social platforms out there in the market, it's absolutely vital to know which medium works the best for you with the audience you want to target and learn how to get your audience to notice you.
It is important to understand that there is no point in spending time curating catchy, and beautiful images on Instagram and Pinterest, when the audience you want to target are active on LinkedIn.
With a seemingly infinite number of social platforms out there, knowing which one to use for maximum success can be tricky.
Conduct appropriate market research and know every major platform to start posting regularly with relevant advertisements, promoting webinars and podcasts, and even maintaining an active profile will go a long way.
#4 Analytical Expertise
One of the most important sales skills to learn in this modern-day sales world is to analyze online customer behavior and data.
This sales skill can pose a distinct advantage as it endows them with the ability to be proactive and take a consumer-centric approach to sell their product or service with ease.
Possessing analytical knowledge can help you to unravel and evaluate your customers' habits, willingness to purchase your product or service, opportunities to push a sale, and more.
As a result, sales professionals will definitely be far more successful at meeting their sales goals and quotas regularly than alienating their customers.
Agility is quite the buzzword in today's digital age of selling.
However, agility is crucial in an ever-evolving digital sales environment. New developments in technology often turn today's sales environment quite obsolete. An agile sales rep will dive into new learning programs, get to know them inside out, and implement them to ensure success.
Additionally, agility allows sales reps to look at alternate solutions when the chosen strategy doesn't seem to be working.
Being agile and thinking on one's toes always allows sales teams to come up with various other plans that will clinch the sale.
#6 Content Creation
Although curating and sharing content is essential, creating highly relevant content is vital.
86% of B2B companies leverage content marketing as part of their primary sales strategy. Not just that, 70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than ever.
This is a clear indication of the importance of creating unique, but highly relevant content that will capture the interest of prospective customers.
For instance, by publishing a fresh blog on LinkedIn or your company's blog, a salesperson's ability to showcase the depth of their knowledge and share key insights will build authority and engage prospects on a personal level is a fast-track route to bringing in more sales.
#7 Time Management
Time management is one of the important sales skills that every sales rep should possess.
Around 55% of sales professionals spend their time carrying out administrative tasks in a week and do not actually get the time to focus on making a sale.
Considering the number of sales activities they need to tick off every day, including interacting with multiple potential customers and clients, responding to emails, demonstrating the sales pitch, and more, making wise use of their time can improve things - both cost and productivity-wise.
Leveraging an automation software such as a CRM can greatly benefit your sales reps to handle their tasks more effectively and also, meet their goals effectively.
#8 Problem Solving
Although problem-solving entails soft sales skills, learning how to solve issues in the digital world, virtually, is an important skill.
Social sellers that provide profound, targeted insights and practical solutions to an issue will create a positive attitude and brand image online, thus, helping you to turn prospects into fully paid customers.
Tools such as Buzz Sumo, Feedly, and Social Mention enable sales reps to keep track of their prospects' movements on the internet with relevant keywords. Sales reps can also track conversations happening around your product or service, industry, and competitors.
Regular monitoring will help to identify pain points, issues, and recommendations that allow you to respond with valuable insights that lead to positive solutions.
Sales professionals that place themselves in their customer's shoes to ask the right questions and understand them deeply to analyze their pain points, expectations, and needs will win your trust and respect.
After all, loyal buyers could be valuable up to ten times more than new ones.
#9 Listening Skills
Listening skills are essential for salespeople, no doubt about it.
Conversations with prospects and current customers can be seamless when sales reps make conscious efforts to actually listen and absorb the information given to them.
Communication skills are fundamental in building trust and creating a positive rapport with customers. It's essential that salespeople are confident and knowledgeable when approaching and advising customers, but the value of truly listening can easily be overlooked.
The best way to ensure total coherence is to ask questions to understand their relevant pain points and summarize what you have been told.
A significant part of active listening is to treat others with compassion and respect you'd like to receive during a conversation, so they feel their requirements are well understood to meet mutual expectations.
5 Vital Pillars of Sales Digital Transformation for your Tech Stack
In this day and age where social media and having an online presence is vital, creating a personal brand is vital to long-term career growth.
Branding was first introduced in 1937 in the book Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill. Personal branding was popularized in 1997 by Tom Peters in an article called, "The Brand Called You".
Branding is the only benefit that your competitors can never replace. Branding is your personality. It's true to itself and no one else can replace it. Copied, yes, but never replaced.
When managed correctly, branding is enough for your customers to keep coming back and make repeated purchases. Effective branding makes you more visible, memorable, and easily identifiable.
It attracts attention and accelerates the revenue engine.
Leverage sales technology that helps you stay on top of everyone's minds with impeccable branding and design, your own true unique value.
To continue the conversation and help your prospects and customers to trickle down further in the sales funnel, engagement is a key pillar to leverage to your existing tech stack.
This includes tools and technologies that drive proactive conversations such as social selling, social public speaking, and one-to-one engagement such as email, phone calls, and in-person and virtual meetings.
Having a myriad of engagement options readily available to your sales teams allows them to move forward from channel to channel to connect and interact better with sales prospects.
Regardless of the size of your company, having a vision and strategy is a must for all businesses.
Vision and strategy, when decided correctly, allow businesses to predict, work through, and meet their goals with less complexity, as opposed to businesses that have zero to no vision.
Vision is the most difficult pillar to establish since everyone in the company, right from the top to the bottom, must believe in it.
Digital sales transformation will fail indefinitely unless this foundation is established for everyone to prioritize. A non-existent digital strategy affects more than just the IT department.
It impacts everyone across the board and departments, and because the organization must continuously grow and evolve, it is absolutely critical that all departments, especially the sales teams, are equipped with the right sales tools to plan, predict, and work without any hassle.
Most sales leaders discuss how important digital adoption is to every company, but most of them forget the most critical part - their people!
People may not be the most important digital transformation pillar but, the company will struggle if it does not hire the right people or focus on its staff.
Employees must come first for leaders, and this goes without saying.
This relates to both employee experience and customer experience to nurture, value, and build people's relationships. Businesses that invest in their employees and their well-being, commit to their growth, and value them establish a sense of commitment that makes changes inside the organization a breeze.
Companies ought to remember who they are, with sales technologies entering their workspace, such as AI, VR, machine learning, and more.
Leveraging advanced sales technologies is to implement them in such a way that these technologies will help design memorable experiences that relate to their employees, customers, and others on a deeper level while maintaining human-to-human connections.
To move and become digital first, employees need to be on the same page.
Advanced Security and Privacy
With the recent pandemic forcing businesses to shift from in-person to online, the trends in cyber attacks have been alarming. Here are a few statistics -
Although it's quite a common phrase over the last decade that "every company is a technology company" and, if you're not one, the urge to become a tech-forward company is unparalleled.
To secure technology and practice safe transactions, you want to mitigate the risks of a cyberattack.
To be a highly secure company, be compliant with the most advanced security and privacy certification such as ISO, GDPR, SOC 2, and more, to avoid regular phishing attacks and save not just millions of dollars, but also critical data safe from attackers.
Embrace Technology and Transform your Sales Engine
While these skills listed above will help you kickstart your sales skills to be a successful salesperson, to grow in your current role and efficiently advance, it is vital to be consistent.
It's important to learn and be adept with the latest sales job skills to engage, nurture, and delight new types of buyers and upsell your services to them.
Use the skills listed above to craft a unique selling technique that not just helps you stand out in your team, but also drive the sales engine.
Looking to onboard a sales tool to support your team with the above-listed skills? Book a demo with Salesken today!
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