We all know that acquiring new customers is tough for most sales employees: identifying new leads and building relationships is tedious and time-consuming. Sales employees need extensive knowledge for outstanding customer acquisition since the more they know about different techniques and methods, the better they can arouse the interest of potential customers, and thus generate sales. To make the task even more complex, markets and needs of customers are constantly changing, requiring continuous coaching of the sales team so that they can develop and expand the necessary skills.
This year, the pandemic has radically changed our lives and allowed customer acquisition to be mainly digital. To help you adapt to this change, read the following six strategy tips that might help sales teams to acquire new customers digitally in future:
1. Creation of high-quality content: it is important to provide customers with relevant information throughout the customer journey, as a recent study by Demand Gen Report found. According to the survey conducted, 41% of the respondents claim to consume three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep, which explains why sales and marketing must align their strategies. To be convincing, content must be relevant, informative, and in some cases, interactive; hence, the most important formats include blog posts, case studies, e-books, webinars, videos, white papers, and infographics.
2. Social media activity: while it is helpful to share content via email or in sales meetings, social media is worth a look too. With the right content, interested parties can effectively draw attention to themselves on these platforms. It is important that both the company and the sales staff are active where potential customers are. Depending on the brand and industry, LinkedIn, Xing, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms are good options. Besides that, social selling is an essential tactic for digital acquisition, since social media users want to have a say and discuss things, which helps to find new leads among the people who like, share, and comment on posts.
3. Developing a thought leadership program: According to the Demand Gen Report study mentioned earlier, 96% of respondents said they prefer content with less aggressive sales messages. The good news is, there are numerous ways to detach content and interactions from the actual sale. Thought leadership, for example, is a good means of customer acquisition without putting the sales pitch center stage. The focus of communication is to convey experience, expertise, industry-specific knowledge, innovative thinking, and trust to make the company a serious and trustworthy partner for interested parties. If a company makes frequent comments on topics and problems in a particular industry, the likelihood increases that prospective customers will come across this thought leader in their search for a solution.
4. Use of modern technologies: new technology offers many ways to automate lead generation and frees up working time to concentrate on other tasks. A technical solution should not only automate processes, but also offer added value. When searching for potential new customers, intelligent tools can directly filter out those who do not meet the desired criteria or contact just those who fit the profile or already showed an intention to buy. This gives, for instance, salespeople more time for contacting customer personally.
5. Being open for testing new channels: every business has channels that work best, but those who limit themselves to the tried and tested ones run the risk of missing out on opportunities to expand the channels that will continue to increase demand in the future. In other words, remaining open for new channels is an effective digital acquisition strategy, because it enables potential customers to be reached that companies did not even know existed. Some examples of new channels that need to be tested are partner programs, niche markets, and Value-Added Resellers (VAR).
6. Implementation of digital events: the pandemic has put physical conferences on hold and events are increasingly taking place online. Companies can follow this trend with their own events, too. In the current situation, virtual events prove to be an effective substitute for face-to-face meetings. This does not mean that planning is no longer necessary, but with the same effort, a series of webinars can be held that arouses the same interest as a single physical event. In addition, webinars can be recorded and then provided as gated content in exchange for contact information on the website.
Let’s keep in mind that preferences and expectations of customers are constantly changing – especially in the age of remote work. Successful lead generation only works if sales staff can digitally master customer acquisition. For this, it is necessary that they can fall back on different methods and strategies, and often go new ways. Even if nothing seems certain this year, remote work is definitely here to stay, making it worthwhile to invest in digital strategies for customer acquisition, and having the courage to try something new. It will pay off!
By Daniela La Marca