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Unlocking the True Potential of Digital Selling

[We’ve been having a lot of conversations about digital selling, what it is and how companies can do it better. Fundamentally, the problem we see most is an inside-out orientation—acquiring tools and trying to fit them into selling scenarios—that overwhelms (or underwhelms) customers and frustrates sellers. In an article for Sales & Marketing Management, Senior Vice President Steven Lewis shares his expertise on how B2B companies can drive better CX and seller productivity with digital selling.]

In an increasingly technology-enabled B2B selling environment, the value of digital selling has long been a promise to drive success. Companies have invested in technology to support this promise with the belief that “if they buy it the digital sales vision will be realized.”

Yet, while technology has a hugely important role in digital selling, the maniacal focus on technology as the panacea is getting in the way of progress in connecting buyers and sellers effectively.

This paradox is seen across industries, where business processes and practices are being digitized and there’s a glut of new entrants in the sales tech stack supplier space to solve problems companies didn’t even know they had. However, we’re increasingly seeing B2B companies taking a closer look at their technology stack and utilization only to realize negative ROI from a huge percentage of those investments.

Evolving some of the fundamental misconceptions around digital selling is paramount to achieving business goals. Where companies have gone wrong with selling in a digital era, comes down to a somewhat backward approach to the challenge. Typically, businesses have started with execution in mind, built a technology stack around that, enabled their sellers to with training and tools, then worried about data, and finally included considerations for the customer. Reversing engineering this approach, practically step-by-step, would have a lot more benefit in shaping how businesses think about digital selling.

In looking at the facts, buyers are ever more comfortable engaging with sellers digitally. According to McKinsey, 35% of B2B buyers will even spend up to $500,000 through a purely digital channel and over 60% would opt for digital over in-person interactions – and this preference for digital is only going to increase on the buy side. Here is the right approach to grow revenue by optimizing the experience of the buyer (first), while achieving more productivity with sellers…

To read the full article from Sales & Marketing Management, click here.