Marketing leaders often face this dilemma – Should we invest more in improving our digital presence or hire more salesmen to get more sales?

The answer couldn’t be more obvious for digital startups and tech-savvy marketers. However, we still have our old-school folks who still don’t see enough merit in improving digital presence and they would rather hire more salespeople to do the job.

While every business is different and so are their unique challenges, this post aims to evaluate the short term and long term impact of hiring other salespeople vs improving digital presence.

Does your business need a solid digital presence? Yes, it does. Here is why:

  1. This is 2018 and your prospects are primarily looking for their information online. This means that just having a website isn’t enough. It needs to:
    • Be found when prospects search for products or services your business offers
    • Appear legit enough and come recommended
    • Fast loading and easy to use
    • Be engaging and compelling enough to build trust and credibility
    • Offer valuable content to foster validation and leadership
  2. Your business needs to present across all digital touchpoints as well as proactively engage with target prospects – Social media, email, mobile apps and more.
  3. Your competitors have most probably covered their digital ground well enough, therefore, the challenge in 2018 and beyond is to not just be present but differentiate.
  4. Given the flux of information available on their fingertips, your prospects are spoilt for choices on digital and your business needs to differentiate and level up constantly in order to even stay relevant.
  5. Digital is transforming how the business is done therefore your business needs to not only adapt digitally but innovate as well in order to survive and flourish.

Can your business still rely only on salespeople to bring in leads and sales? Consider this:

  1. They are buying products and services online: Until not long ago, insurance policies were primarily sold by agents. Not anymore. Insurance companies are now effectively selling insurance policies online.
  2. Cold calling is dead, well almost: It has always been annoying and with an increasingly reduced attention span, your prospects are today less likely to entertain an unsolicited cold call. They would rather ask for details to be sent to their email or ask for your website address.
  3. Your prospects are more aware than ever: With the world of information available at their fingertips, your prospects are more aware than ever, having done their research online. So by the time your salespeople shortlist and reach out to them with a cold call, they have probably already decided who they wish to work with. You just lost not only business but wasted wages on your salespeople as well.
  4. Multiplying salespeople could be expensive: Very expensive to be honest. Let’s just stop for a moment and think – how many salespeople do an Amazon have on their website vs Walmart in their stores? The answer is none. All the products are sold by Amazon.com and digital advertising. This is just as relevant in case of an online insurance or a pure B2B play.

Should you stop hiring salespeople then? No, here is what we suggest:

  1. Build a solid digital presence – a professionally designed, easy to use, fast loading, mobile responsive and content-rich website.
  2. Build your digital presence across all touchpoints – social media channels, emails, mobile apps, blogs, chatbots, Q&As, Videos, Podcasts etc.
  3. Try out targeted PPC advertising to capitalize on your prospects looking for your brand, products, and services.
  4. Create digital footprints with valuable, compelling and rich content.
  5. Analyze user interaction, activity and their journey across digital touchpoints with analytics.
  6. Innovate, experiment, optimize and capitalize.

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