Questions to Ask as You Move Your Sales Journey Online
The last six months have prompted leaders to rethink their customer sales experiences.
Hand-offs and handshakes are sensitive matters, and most touchpoints now have to be a hybrid of virtual/in-person. How can low-touch experiences be comparable to, or better than, what you had offline? In order to reach this balance, you have to know where to start. We recommend first getting curious about all aspects of your sales and marketing experiences in order to learn what makes them great, what could improve, or what you need to rethink as you move efforts online.
The most valuable group you have to connect with are your past and current customers. From awareness to purchase, on their customer journey, what was it like for them to do business with you when everything was in-person? Did they have experiences that were consistent with your marketing messages? (Like, if you said that the sales process was fast and easy, did they experience that?) And did these experiences demonstrate who you are as a business — your purpose and your values?
And while you have their attention, what do customers want from digital sales experiences now that in-person touchpoints are no longer viable? Where are they going to get information and how are they finding out about new partners or vendors? Have they had any recent, impressive sales experiences that you could take inspiration from?
As you begin to ask questions about your sales journey, you may uncover that some of the things you’ve been doing are not even helpful in winning new customers. Asking these questions now can help you focus on what touchpoints in your process should stay and let go of anything that doesn’t serve your sales goals. This information can also be used when making appeals to your teams — if there is pushback to divesting efforts, you can clearly share why you’re choosing to make changes and where they can help you reimagine the customer journey and sales process.
Speaking about your team, it’s important with any change effort to gauge digital readiness. When you consider moving efforts online, you need to ask if your team is digitally savvy. Do they already use digital tools that can be integrated into the sales path? Is your team comfortable with these platforms or with the idea of moving online in general?
Speaking with other members of your team, outside of the sales force, is also critical. How could the changes you’re envisioning affect customer service or the delivery of your products and services? You may find that you need to re-envision the entire customer experience, from sales all the way to follow-up.
It’s also a good idea to get a grip on what collateral supports you have in place for your sales efforts. What materials do you use in each step of the sales process? Are some of them already in a good digital format to share online? You may discover that you need new assets or that you may want to craft a more comprehensives digital marketing strategy that reimagines all aspects of how potential customers get their information.
Leading with curiosity, instead of thinking you know everything about your sales process, creates conditions to generate better ideas, to deepen relationships, and get a more complete picture of your business. This inquiry will benefit the customer sales experience by infusing it with great touchpoints that make sense for your business and your brand. Ask these questions now to evolve your business in this virtual sales and marketing age.
As President at Savage Brands, Bethany is known for forging powerful connections – connecting people to people and connecting companies with the fresh ideas that make their brands purposeful. In her recent book, "Get Your Head Out of Your Bottom Line and Build Your Brand on Purpose," Bethany conveys to business leaders the importance of leading with purpose.