How is the sales profession evolving in the face of digitalization?

Digital Business Development Track - Bachelor's program
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The salesperson is responsible for promoting the products of the company where he or she works. He comes into direct contact with customers and potential customers. However, in the face of digitalization, the procedures change slightly. An update is thus necessary with regard to this particular trade.

How does the phenomenon of digitalization affect the sales profession?

Digitalization has had the impact of connecting customers on a massive scale. As a result, the salesperson must adapt to this new lifestyle. These customers are more demanding, for example, they require answers within a short period of time. They also need constant follow-up and advice. The salesperson must therefore adapt to this new environment.

In the digital age, customers need proximity. The sales profession is thus adapting to this need to continue to exist. Whether to discuss, advise, answer questions or build customer loyalty, the salesperson must master the Internet.

Previously, a glance was enough to detect whether a person was interested in the campaign or not, but now it is not enough. The salesperson must master emotional intelligence to be able to detect the needs of customers. At the same time, it should be noted that it is limited in time. He must promote the company while ensuring that answers to questions from prospects and customers arrive in a timely manner.

In the face of digitalization, the salesperson becomes a salesperson in his or her own right. Only, he interacts with a customer behind a screen and through several channels. The channels in question allow anyone to interact with the company via a smartphone, or any other medium with internet access. Thus, social networks, e-commerce sites and websites in general are widely used.

What are the main digital tools used by salespeople to exchange with their customers and prospects?

Prospecting tools

To carry out its prospecting, the creation of campaigns is a systematic task for the commercial. However, this practice is now insufficient. In the face of digitalization, the hunt for e-mail addresses requires more efficient tools. Professional social networks like LinkedIn are an example.

Simple tools can also be of great help, such as browser extensions. Generally, a salesman uses extensions to retrieve the e-mail addresses of visited sites. Prospecting is then done without a prior campaign. The salesperson can simply collect all the addresses before contacting them one by one.

Software for sending emails

Depending on the size of a company, an emailing software can be interesting. The salesperson needs it, whether to send automatic responses or to schedule personalized responses. Indeed, it is important to know that customers are more reassured by receiving an automatic response than by remaining with an unanswered email.

Also, it may happen that the right time to send your emails is scheduled for later. As a result, you can program them with several types of online tools as a salesperson. There are many choices, but you should stick to two email scheduling tools for more efficiency.

Customer management platforms

Several areas require the intervention of the commercial within a company. It must:

  • follow the prospecting procedure;
  • share data;
  • follow up with clients;
  • detect interesting markets.

His chances of success are less if he avoids using online applications like Hubspot or Zoho. It will also optimize the quality of its services, because a simple click is enough to remind him of the details of the previously exchanged emails if there are any.

Why use social networks and online platforms to promote your products and services when you are a salesperson?

Before digitalization, advertising campaigns are difficult to run. You have to be very creative and invest a lot of time to achieve this. Once the internet is involved, social networks and online platforms limit the work of the salesperson. For the promotion, he can find everything online: the images, the messages to be transmitted, and the supports.

Social networks and platforms also offer a quality follow-up. Whether it’s locating customers or trading, online tools make it easy to store and process information. For each email or message that the salesperson obtains, a sorting is systematically made. The latter then receives his emails by theme and priority category.

What challenges might salespeople face when using digital tools to sell?

Business disruption is one of the impacts of introducing digital tools into the sales environment. Previously, salespeople had time to step back and come up with a compelling campaign.
Right now, he has to be very creative in a record time. Otherwise, he lacks the time to respond to his acquired customers. He has to adapt to a relentless pace, but also master customer management tools.

Updated 14 September 2023