Responding to the pandemic: Are your digital selling skills ready?

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By Steve Bookbinder


No one knows what’s going to happen.


Many sales managers and salespeople are asking “What should I do during this ‘pandemic pause,’ while so many of us are working from home?”


A better question to ask is, “A year from now, what will I wish I had done with this time?” The obvious answer: Prepare.


The next question to ask is, “How long do I have?” Because there is no obvious answer, we should be saying, “Since I don’t know, I need to prepare now.”


It will likely be years before we resume day-to-day life in a manner even remotely similar to our pre-covid days. It seems that no matter what, we won’t be returning to business-as-usual, which means we need to figure out how to move forward in the post-pandemic world.


What does this “new normal” do to the challenge of selling? It will either:


  • Make selling easier

  • Make selling harder

  • Leave selling the same as it was pre-coronavirus


For those who chose the last option, please sit down. We need to talk.


I hate to be the one to break it to you but selling is not ever going back to the way it was.


There will be more WFH, more virtual, and less physical contact, less opportunity to get your prospect’s attention.


As we enter uncharted territory, we need to re-learn how to make a great first impression through digital selling.


For those of you who think digital selling doesn’t matter or doesn’t impact them, please sit down. We also need to talk.


Your customers have changed. And guess what? Those changes are accelerating while people have been working from home.


Your customers (yes, even your non-digitally savvy customers) will be buying digitally. And I don’t just mean e-commerce. I mean they will be shopping online for virtually everything, even cars.


B2B customers were already spending 67% of their buying journey online before talking to a salesperson. (Source: Sirius Decisions) Now, that percentage is sure to grow.


In fact, B2B buyers are typically 57% of the way to a buying decision before actively engaging with sales associates.


This highlights the importance of making a great digital first impression. But what’s that mean for salespeople?


Ask yourself:


  • How are your leads, prospects, and customers looking for and finding you online?

  • Is your online content — including your emails, Inmails, posts, etc. — making the right impression?

  • Is your content good enough to get a few likes?

  • Or good enough to build the sales pipeline you need to reach your sales targets?


To make a great digital first impression requires a mastery of digital selling skills.


Are your digital sales skills ready to face the new normal of selling?


To get good — or better — at digital selling, you first have to improve the essential selling skill of adapting and adopting — learning a new skill and adapting old skills to an ever-changing world.


In a few months, salespeople all over the world will need to do something that isn’t even invented yet. The faster each salesperson can bring optimized skills to the marketplace, the more they can get a competitive advantage.


The only way to increase that speed? Training.


Training not only teaches new skills but improves your ability to learn — and apply what you learn.


A year from now, you will wish you were even better at learning new skills. You will wonder why you didn’t spend this time improving your digital selling skills.


Steve Bookbinder is the CEO and sales expert at DMTraining.