It can be a hazy line these days between sales and marketing when you talk about digital platforms but digital media can be seen as the ultimate soap box to stand upon so your pitch can be heard by broad and accessible audiences.
Here are five ways to use online effectively as a sales manager:
1. Welcome To The Webinar
The webinar needs an effective push on promotion in the first place from the marketing team to get the registrations to the webinar session high. When viewers then watch your sales person
or team in action on screen, the prior advertising should reflect the messages that are coming from the sales pitch or customers will feel cheated. For the customer signing up to watch, the webinar could come with an incentive (promotional discount, prize draw) or have educational information related to the product e.g. For buying cameras, have information on how to take the best picture with the camera.
“We see more and more companies embracing webinar to involve their customers in their services and inform about product lines,” said David Hunstone, Director of webinar service, bombora.TV. “It is being increasingly realised how powerful a tool webinar can be. For one – you can intelligently analyse your customers’ reactions. You can see where people switched off – you can field questions, you can also data capture at the sign-up stage for the webinar.”
2. All Revealed In The Product Demo Video
Any retail business or product seller now has the opportunity to present and broadcast a film which can explain the product down to the last detail. Film your best sales person unwrapping the product form its box, whilst describing to the customer directly, how it works and why it’s worth buying. This is easier than ever to accomplish now with the versatility of digital filming and uploading to sites like YouTube and Vimeo. Any video can be embedded on a company website near the product description and this effectively gives you a more engaging sales pitch than the words alone.
A company that has tried this approach is Soakology – that sell bathroom suites and accessories online. Director, Peter Hirsch, pitches the products himself for online content.
For example, here’s a video he made.
“We simply want to communicate in a clear way how our products work and why they are good. We want to show the potential customer exactly what they can expect to get and we literally unpack an item from its box, on camera and walk through each component of the item. It dispels any fear of what they get, it shows we know our product and it gives us a platform to reach a much larger audience,” said Hirsch.
For services, the process can be similar but perhaps with graphics, animation or more complex film production, a service can be explained better.
3. Funnel With Social Media
Let’s face it – we all know about social media but using it effectively for sales has bamboozled some of the largest companies.
With social media, a sales funnel needs to be created. It involves engagement with the target customer, devising an easy sign up process with contact details (data capture) and then a sales call or contact email to follow up and describe or close deals. The data capture maybe a link to a dedicated form / page on your website for instance. Facebook ads and boosts are effective at throwing out a net and you can use a post on Facebook to really make your offer attractive to the right region and demographic. Twitter and LinkedIn are also great tools for finding leads. The funnel process is the only way to intelligently analyse your ROI by gauging where the sales came from and how they converted.
4. A Bargaining Chip, In Discount Codes
With online sales – offering a discount code is a great way to give your undecided customers an incentive. Discount codes are good for tracking advertising effectiveness for marketers but they are also a good tool for sales teams if they are trying to encourage or negotiate a sale when price is the sticking point. It can also encourages a customer’s loyalty if you are helping them save money. It’s always worth having a discount code at your disposal if it still has an acceptable margin.
“We sell our ski jackets online exclusively and when it comes near the end of the skiing season we can devise a code that offers a discount on the product. It just gives the line a little push when needed although we already save customers money from being online only,” said Saami Snow Director, Gavin Samwell.
5. In The Moment With Live Chat
Assign one of your sales team to be responsible for monitoring a Live Chat Messaging tool on the website to trouble shoot any worries that your potential customers may have. Place a ‘Live Chat – Want To Talk To Someone?’ button on your homepage or / and the ‘to buy’ page. This can be a very effective beginning to a sale.
“The Live Chat option is essential for those people wanting quick engagement. People don’t always want to pick up a phone and they don’t always want to wait twenty four hours for a response to a query before buying. Live chat – messaging – is a good alternative if you make sure it is monitored well,” said Director of Varn Media, Tom Vaughton.
Engagement with the right tone, informative, pleasant and professional will endear the customer to your brand and if they are looking to buy but simply have a question – response time in messaging as well as the tone and style of response can make the difference.
By Richard Forsyth, Varn Media
With thanks to the following people for their time during the creation of this article:
Tom Vaughton – Director of website design and SEO company, Varn Media.
David Hunstone – Director of webinar production company, bombora.tv.
Peter Hirsch – Director of bathroom and bathroom accessories specialists, Soakology.
Gavin Samwell – Director of ski and snowboard clothing company, Saami Snow.