The Sales and Marketing Process in the Digital Age: How a salesperson can excel in the digital world


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Sales and marketing, even in the digital marketing age, must coexist and understand the role each other plays in your business. Whether your business is entirely online and uses eCommerce or your click-and-mortar sales team uses a mix of physical sales and online lead generation, the ubiquitous Sales Manager and Marketing Officer must work hand-in-hand.

In this article, we are going to discuss the challenges that a salesperson faces in the age of the digital website and transparent world of information. We will also touch on the need for marketing help from a strategic and tactical point of view. And finally, we will highlight the need for sales and marketing to understand the psychology of the buyer in a digital world.

The sales process in the digital marketing age has changed but the psychology of the buyer has not. The successful salesperson has upgraded their toolbox.

Female salesperson contemplating buyer psychology and sales process.

The role marketing and advertising plays has changed but the need to generate leads has not. The uniqueness of the digital age is the lead source. Did the prospective customer initiate contact from the physical sales process (walk into the facility, phoned in, met at a live event) and the online sales process (filled out a web form, engaged via social media or called after reviewing your website)?

Understanding Why People Buy

In this section, it is important to understand the role of online sales copy, the tone of the message during the ‘pitch', and the need for any business to understand the reasoning behind it all. Here is what every business needs to understand whether they sell through digital media or not:

What's the problem?

That bullet point list is common sense! Right?

The problem is that most marketers, during the sales process, incessantly talk about the product or service (first point).

Those marketers who are more well-intentioned and experienced hop on the community of coolness bandwagon (third point). Not good!

When in fact the only thing the customer cares about is their needs, their wants, their goals, their objectives and that their problem is being solved!

“Never confuse the reason people buy with the reason people stay.”

~ Dave Ramsey.

This is true with romantic relationships, people in debt, and the sales process.

Man with classes scowling at mobile phone in his hand.

Your sales and marketing agency must know the difference. Unfortunately, most do not. 

Most marketing agencies became such through a strong background in IT (geeks, nerds, coders, developers) or a strong background in design (website builders, graphic artists, people that get into fonts, images, and colors). The best marketing agencies have all those folks in-house (not contracted agents) and are their leadership is rooted in understanding the complexities of a business's financials, heavily experienced in grassroots sales, and have led sizeable organizations from a C-level.

Your sales team must know the difference between the digital sales process and the physical sales process. 

By now most businesses own a CRM and an automated marketing software platform of some kind. Most businesses have mapped the online lead generation process even if that is only with a basic contact webform or lead magnet.

However, very few SMB's have trained their sales team on the huge difference between the digital and physical sales process. In the physical sales process (live events, face-to-face, brick-and-mortar, phone calls) the salesperson has an edge. The salesperson controls the conversation and can evaluate the voice inflections and body language. In the digital sales process the salesperson needs to understand their role is now to answer product and service questions because more than likely the prospective customer has done extensive research and has made up their mind.

“The point is that consumer habits change – and often shift with advancements in technology. ”

~ Digital Marketing Institute. 

Social Selling has changed the sales process landscape just like billboards did, yellow pages did and telemarketing did. Social selling has gained the attention of sales professionals looking to succeed.

There is no shortage of digital technologies to choose from that can help to improve the selling power of any business. However, plug and play is not a strategy! There needs to be a digital selling strategy in place. Entering data into a CRM that blasts emails is not a strategy, that is an illegal marketing tactic! Instead, a well-thought-out marketing strategy and an educated sales team, that is guided by the organization as a whole, will ensure the digital assets are aligned with sales activities that drive traffic and revenue.

Silhouette of several people standing next to each other, shoulder to shoulder.

How a salesperson can excel in the digital world.

Just as the top sales professionals and marketing agencies excelled 50 years ago is much like they do today. The top 20% outwork and outthink the rest! The bottom 80% are still reading a printed newspaper most of the morning just waiting for the leads to ask to buy. I call them order takers!

In the digital world, sales professionals need to learn and perfect certain skills to become a successful digital selling machine.

In summary, very little has changed in three decades of selling. Just the tools and the form they exist. The top sales professional has adapted. The top organizations do not just establish a website and buy an automated marketing platform. They do just as they have done for decades, they teach, train, mentor, lead, and continuously adapt to understand their customers' needs, wants, desires, and methods of making decisions. Software and the associated technology are just tools!



At Viral Solutions we are committed to seeing YOU succeed. It is our goal to grow your business with proven digital marketing strategies that will help your business for the long haul.

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Filed Under: Business Tips, Content Creation