/ Sales

What's the one thing missing from digital marketing? Digital sales...

Whichever department you're in, you can't help to observe the eternal struggle of power, glory and blame between sales and marketing. If they were in a relationship they'd make interesting bedfellows!

In most organisations (like in most relationships) one will have a dominating position over the other, sometimes rightly and sometimes not. But in traditional channels – those that have lived together for more than a few years - most organisations will have reached some form of steady state or equilibrium. However, online is a whole new world.

Most are familiar with the latest digital marketing techniques to include big data analytics and micro- personalisation, social media breadcrumbs etc. But digital marketing is just that – marketing done digitally. However, if you are sales led in the ‘real world’ are you clear about digital sales – or should I say more accurately digital selling?

Most organisations have yet to grasp the critical importance that can be played by digital sales.

In the latest release from the Office For National Statistics sales made across websites for non-financial products in 2015 was £234bn. Of this £131bn were sales made to consumers, but a still very chunky £103bn was business to business. This excludes a further £320bn of transactional EDI also made B2B.

Business to business (B2B) website sales - £103bn - are growing at a staggering 36pct pa, and bringing digital channels close to 20% of the total economic transactions.

And astonishingly it is the marketers’ territory seemingly unchallenged for all but minor exceptions.

One reason could be that the ease of marketing delivery in visual or written media. Sales is altogether different. A good salesperson has one mouth and two ears, and so the saying goes should use them in those proportions. Sales needs dialogue. And therein is the crux of the problem.

Digital sales has had to make do. Either by switching web contact to telephone (the infamous call back) or perhaps engage through live chat. Digital sales is still in its infancy.

But finally there is some light at the end of the tunnel. To deliver sales effectively across a digital medium, it must be placed in that same medium i.e. be digital itself. By any other definition that makes it software, and most probably the favourite topic of conversation for 2016 cannot be far away- that of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Whatever you think of AI and bots, the evidence is indisputable. £103bn of B2B website sales growing at 36%. If you are not selling in that market, you are probably losing that market. Find out how to start by reading our free guide (link required)