The Secret To Successful Online Sales Is No Secret At All
Are you tired of countless recommendations from a million sources about the ways to increase your sales revenue? Have you tried various ‘tested’ solutions and various ‘secrets’ without seeing any measurable improvement in your sales? Perhaps the solution you are looking for is not as far-fetched as you think; perhaps it’s right at the very beginning.
It is true that the digital marketing industry is changing at a meteoric pace. Many believe that this makes it difficult for businesses to keep up with the latest industry standards. In fact, the Adobe Digital Trends Report stated that 76% of people think marketing has changed more in the past 2 years than it has over the previous fifty – that’s a lot of change to keep up with. For many, it seems like the rules are being redefined right before our very eyes; and while one rule book is being written, it is obsolete before most authors can even publish it.
But how much of this change is real? And if the rules keep changing then how can anyone ever play the game successfully? How do corporate giants stay ahead of the game consistently and even increase brand recognition and customer loyalty amidst the changing waters of marketing trends?
The answer is simple: selling has not changed fundamentally. It is quite like the old French saying goes, the more it changes the more it remains the same.
What is Selling?
We are not talking about the dictionary or Sales 101 definition (even though that may be helpful); rather the everyday use of the word that even the most uneducated person can understand. Selling is essentially the act of presenting a product to a customer who may need it or find it useful, in exchange for revenue – that is what it is all about and all it will ever be about. From door to door sales calls from the old days to the cold calls and yellow pages era; the act and art of selling has been, and always will be, about meeting customer needs through the process of persuasion. Persuasion is a psychological tool aimed to affect the mind, and the human mind has largely remained unchanged in nature for centuries.
Social Media Made Selling Easier
While this may seem like an obvious point, in truth it is easy to forget that social media has not redefined the sales process. It has only made it easier; it has increased our reach to a global audience and has enabled us to automate the sales process, adopt various platforms and adapt our tactics to various audiences through smart tools, but these ‘hacks’ and disruptions only emphasise the fundamentals of the sales process.
Avoid Reinventing the New Alloy-Rimmed Wheel
Sending mail was the good old -fashioned, traditional way of target marketing that carried many companies and businesses through the years. Today, that technique has remained the same, with only one difference – there’s now an ‘e’ in front of mail.
Email still remains one of the best means of marketing. Despite new strategies like content and social media marketing getting a lot of the current buzz and attention, ‘old-fashioned’ emails still work – and work very well. The direct nature of its communication and the personalised nature of its content still connects to the receiver in a way that just cannot be replaced.
Email marketing remains the bedrock of online marketing and target selling. Remember, no matter how many new social media and online platforms come up, only a fraction of internet users will patronise them. Emails are the opinions of the internet…everybody has one (or more than one).
It Has Always Been and Always Will Be a Numbers Game
Business is about numbers and marketing & sales is simply a part of business.
Your customer acquisition costs (CAC) and other measures of ROI must be constantly kept in view. In respect to the sales activity itself, the funnel numbers and lead-to-close ratio remain sacrosanct.
Meeting your Customer Where Their Eyes are
Social media, while ubiquitous, still seems to be the ever-elusive promised land for most businesses. While some brands have had a huge impact and gotten great results on social media, a lot of others have struggled to get it right. Today, there is a lot of clutter on social media which could easily drown out your company’s voice, but there are still basic strategies that could help you get results.
In Douglas Holt’s article, Branding in the Age of Social Media, Harvard Business Review, 2016 March Edition, he discussed the need for companies to sound less like companies when online and sound more like people.
The most important point here, however, is ensuring that your content is where your customer’s eyes are. But this must be done in a qualitative manner that appeals to your audience enough to not opt out of your ad or content. Remember, out of sight, out of mind.
Crafting a Compelling Message
The greatest salesmen have always been great story tellers. Stories are an integral part of the selling process. You can get an article rewriter to recreate a compelling story from what people know in order to quickly build trust with your audience; that is a key part of selling.
People are no longer just interested in the product, they are also interested in the story behind the products and the company. The sales pitch must draw them in.
The Old Rule of AIDA Still Applies
AIDA simply means Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. These are the steps or stages that occur from the time when a consumer first becomes aware of your product or brand through to when the consumer tries a product or makes a purchase decision.
AIDA now operates within a much shorter time frame due to the low attention span of most internet users, so the ability to grab their attention instantly and get them interested is key. Once you can take care of those 2 primary objectives, then the clock moves a little slower on building desire, because that is a psychological element which will depend entirely on if you are targeting the right audience in the first place.
Use Your Database Effectively
An up-to-date database of your customers, prospects, and entire customer relationship management framework is key to the success of your marketing and sales process. But data should not be collected just as a formality, but should be the basis of decision making, every step along the way.
Fortunately, with cloud services, it is much easier to store and mine larger data than ever before and even have teams in remote places utilising the same large data bank.
The key things to keep in mind, however, are that databases must be grown through an efficient system of compilation, kept up to date and leveraged in order to communicate with your customers and potential leads.
So, despite the changing trends in marketing and sales, the rules remain intact and more efficient today than they have ever been. Great sales results are no big secret; it is merely a commitment to the fundamental principles that guide the persuasion process and get your customers to say yes to you, no matter what new platform you are using to tell your story.
Finally, if you’re still having problems with getting your online business off the ground, don’t let it negatively affect your life. Invest in online counseling if you feel the stress of running a business start to become a problem and seek professional help.