Online selling has become vital to sales success. Global online retail sales rose 23.7 percent in 2016 to reach an estimated $1.915 trillion, and will continue to grow to reach $4.058 trillion in 2020 and account for 14.6 percent of all retail sales, eMarketer predicts. As online sales increase, online sales are consuming a larger proportion of marketing budgets. In 2016, the top marketing spend categories were web, digital commerce and digital advertising and technology now accounts for 27 percent of marketing spending, a Gartner survey of chief marketing officers found. When you’re investing this percentage of your marketing budget in online marketing, it’s vital to see a return on investment. Here are four strategies and tools you can use to sell more effectively online.
Using business intelligence tools is one of the most powerful new sales strategies available to companies. BI dashboards can let your team analyze sales data at a glance and deploy it in multiple ways. You can see which of your marketing campaigns are pulling the best results so you can better leverage your efforts. You can identify which of your customers and products are yielding the most revenue so you can maximize your profits. You can also make more accurate sales forecasts so you can improve your inventory management, order fill rates and profit margins. Docurated provides a review of 54 of today’s top BI tools so you can select the tool that’s best for your needs.
Where BI tools can help you analyze and apply your own internal sales data, marketing analytics tools can empower you to apply external data about your target market’s behavior. Google Analytics helps you analyze data related to your SEO performance, such as how many visitors your site is getting, which keywords your visitors are searching, what sites they’re coming from, what pages they’re spending time on and how long they’re staying. Facebook Insights lets you research the behavior of your Facebook page’s visitors and followers so you can see how many people are following your page, how many people like your posts, who’s talking about your posts and how much reach your content is getting. Twitter Analytics lets you see how many people are following you, who’s liking and sharing your tweets, where your followers are from and what kind of interests your followers have. Other tools such as Hootsuite provide you an integrated platform for viewing all your social media profiles so you can more easily manage your social marketing and sales activity.
Using customer relationship management software is another essential strategy for today’s sales team. CRM tools such as Infor CRM help you manage your customer relationships and optimize your sales activity. You can see who your hottest prospects are, where they are in the sales cycle, what their buying history is and what your sales representative talked about with them during their last contact. Having this type of information handy can help you better deploy your sales team so you can steer your best representatives toward the hottest opportunities, while equipping them with a customized understanding of their prospect in order to deliver a more persuasive sales presentation.
A/B split testing tools enable you to optimize the performance of your online sales copy and content. You can test different versions of elements on your ads and web pages, such as which images generate the most clicks, which headlines attract the most visitors and which offers generate the most sales. Making adjustments based on this type of information can help you attract more visitors, reduce your bounce rate and increase your conversion rate. Mashable provides an overview of some of today’s top split-testing tools.