Did you know, right now, a majority of your prospective customers want to learn about you and your products on their own? That is, with no assistance from your sales team.
According to Forrester, 59% of buyers prefer online research to interacting with a sales rep.
The reason cited is that sales reps often push an agenda rather than helping to solve a problem. I think there’s more to it that this. Today, all of us have grown accustomed to finding solutions instantaneously. Answers are at our fingertips. Therefore, interacting with a sales rep prematurely is simply a waste of time.
This is why building product manufacturers must become increasingly savvy with their digital marketing and sales process. It’s also why traditional roles of sales and marketing have changed so dramatically.
No longer does marketing merely play a supporting role for a salesforce. Instead, today’s digital marketing literally leads the way by performing most of what sales used to.
For example, at minimum, your digital marketing should:
- Locate and identify a qualified lead
- Introduce the prospect to your company
- Demonstrate how your product is a solution to their problem
- Show how your product is a better solution than your competitors’
- Answer all important questions, and
- Provide the requisite tools for your prospect to act upon their decision to try your product
Today’s digital marketing/sales paradigm has been compared to a restaurant. For example, it is marketing’s job to attract the customer to your restaurant, greet your customer at the door and make them feel welcome, seat them, present your menu, and inform them of your specials.
Likewise, sales is your waitstaff. Their job is to answer any remaining questions, serve up the product with perfection, attend to the customer’s every need, present the bill, accept payment, and make the experience pleasurable and memorable so they’re sure to return.
It’s a good analogy, but in the building products industry – with multiple influencers and decision-makers in play – it’s even more complicated.
Instead of a party of one, you get a party of four, five, six or more, with each party member arriving at a different time. Yet, it remains the job of marketing to seat each patron with their respective party and the job of sales to ensure that everyone at the table is satisfied.
Effectively shifting your company to this new digital marketing/sales paradigm may be a complex undertaking, but with the right partner, tools, and training, our clients are leveraging its remarkable powers and achieving new levels of efficiency, customer satisfaction, and sales success.