With exhibitions and conferences now cancelled, traditional sales practices are moving online at an ever increasing rate. Previously those traditional touch points had been supplemented by online channels. Now they are being completely replaced by digital marketing.
How is digital transformation changing business?
If you’re selling, the most important person is your customer. Digital marketing provides an opportunity for businesses of all sizes to not just fully understand their customer, but also their marketplace. And we believe digital transformation starts with the customer and works backwards.
It’s about solving problems.
Depending on the customer, your digital transformation journey could be very different. We often focus on the paying customer, but we can’t forget about the various customers who will be impacted by the change process. These could be your own staff working on the manufacturing line. However, the communications process should be the same for each of your customers i.e. how does it solve their problem?
How does digital transformation fit within your business plan?
It must serve a purpose. If you invest in technology that makes your business more competitive, you are really protecting the future of your business. But does your team understand that? Do they understand how it actually benefits them? To successfully deliver a programme of digital transformation, you need the support of your employees.
When you invest in new machinery, you do so for specific reasons. Is your factory safer? Is your production line faster? Are you more precise? Is there less wastage? These are important benefits and powerful messages when used in any of your marketing material.
If you undertake digital transformation, you must include a communications plan. It’s not just your business that is undergoing digital transformation, your sales funnel is also being transformed.
Digital transformation is the natural evolution of your business.
Businesses that change have a higher survival rate and tend to be very successful. James Robertshaw has been going for 160 years. According to managing director Nigel Sharrock “[their]…survival lies in constant innovation, new machinery, family values and business sense. Always look at new ways to innovate. You can’t afford to stand still – the market and your customers’ needs will change, and you need to be able adapt and evolve with them.”
What we’re seeing today, with a global pandemic, could become more frequent in future. Therefore it is more important than ever to be agile in business.
Investing in people
When you invest in a new technology or a new machine, you are also investing in people and business processes. By investing in your staff you will motivate them. This will in turn make your company a great place to work.
B2B is actually Business to People.
As an innovative company, you are always looking to build the best solution for your customer. But, are you thinking about marketing and sales when you’re thinking about change? Digital transformation is a powerful message, but who are you selling it to? B2B sales is transforming into storytelling by using every online channel available.
Social networks like LinkedIn are misunderstood. Businesses have approached them in the same fashion as traditional advertising channels: they broadcast to their customers. However, while the brand publishes content, it’s the sales people who amplify it. They are the ones that engage with people. Think about it. How likely are you to strike up a conversation with a brand? Wouldn’t you prefer to talk to a real person? This is how the sales process is being transformed and moved online.
Digital Marketing and Digital Transformation compliment each other.
While digital transformation is process driven and quite often a behind the scenes change, it’s important to talk about it.
You can’t complete the transformation process if you don’t embark on digital marketing. This transforms your website and social channels into sales funnels that talk about ‘benefits’ and how your business or product is solving customer pain points.
Covid trauma – how can you transform your B2B sales?
If we’ve learnt anything from Covid-19 it’s that now is the right time for digital transformation. If you hold off, you might never get the opportunity. Traditional sales tactics are still valid. You’ll still need meetings. You’ll still be building and developing your network. But what’s different is how you do that. Don’t just assume that all business will move to LinkedIn either. Know your customer – where do they hang out and how can you grab their attention?
Your brand becomes an essential part of the sales process, where you use those values most important to you, to sell the benefits of your product through storytelling.