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Most of us have jumped on the digital bandwagon, but not all of us know how to really use this change to our advantage. Either way, we are definitely going through a digital revolution, also known as the “third industrial revolution”. This revolution has seen a slash in sales people, by replacing those same people with digital tools. However, while digital is taking over time consuming tasks such as information sharing and order-taking, sales people are still needed. Let’s be honest, there’s nothing like that human touch.

Most salespeople are used to human interaction on a daily basis, but it’s time to accept our new reality and learn how to overcome roadblocks that are changing our performance when completing familiar tasks through digital channels. So you may be asking yourself what skills are crucial for you and your team to have in order to not only survive this era, but to get the most out of it.

Digital sales skills

1. Agility

First and foremost, you’re going to need agility. The ability to adapt to and overcome roadblocks. Agility is crucial in an ever-changing digital sales environment. An agile learner will dive into new programs, learn them inside and out, and implement them to ensure success in sales.

2. Online research skills

Online research skills are underrated. It’s one thing to know how to use a search engine, but it’s another to know how and what to search. The idea is to dig deep using platforms most of us already have — our treasure chests filled with personal information.(Facebook, Linkedin, Google). With strong online research skills, you can add that personal touch and break through the noise surrounding your prospects.

Online research digital sales

3. Customer-specific marketing channel knowledge

Certainly you didn’t expect to see customer – specific marketing channel knowledge on this list! Here’s the thing. There is a need for sales professionals to know which marketing channels—social media, email, white papers, case studies, audio, or video — work best with their specific customer base. In fact, Diode Digital recently found that online video is a 600% more effective marketing tool than print and direct mail combined.

Furthermore, when talking about how social selling has changed the sales process, the Digital Marketing Institute says it pays to narrow down your digital marketing efforts to only the social media your particular customer base frequents, for B2B this is almost always Linkedin. Having a customer persona can help sales teams identify their customers’ preferred way to receive information.

4. Good Listening Skills

Good listening never goes out of style. Unfortunately, many sales teams become “crocodile salespeople”—all mouth and no ears. In the digital age, though, good listening goes way beyond in-person conversations.

Striking up conversations with current and potential customers online—whether in social media, video, texts, or emails—is a huge plus for a sales team. Consider creating personalised videos, instead of the standard sales spiel. Address their concerns, their pain points. Make yourself an authority in your field by providing useful information, before even trying your sales pitch. Start taking the time to interact with your prospects when they post or comment on social media. The better you interact with them, and understand their pains in order to solve them, the more inclined they will be to work with you.

5. Effective Communication

So much gets lost in text. From tone to body language to the emphasis of specific words, the written word is left to interpretation more than video or face-to-face communication. With video, you’re able to communicate your exact point in the precise manner you intend. This can lead to less back and forth, better understanding, and a higher level of confidence- all of which can translate into sales.

Even for the most digitally competent, this is not an easy time to be a sales person. These tips, and the desire to succeed, are sure to get you through it all. Stronger, and more prepared. Keep in mind that it’s also a challenge being on the receiving end of others’ digital outreach. Humans’ attention spans are surprisingly shorter than goldfishes.. so make eye contact, introduce yourself and your company, keep it brief, consider your environment and clothing, and be authentic!

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The skill set you need to survive this digital era