Where doe the sales process begin? The answer depends on who you ask. If you ask marketers, it begins with advertising campaigns, PR initiatives, and social media marketing. Salespeople might say prospecting, gathering referrals, and building customer relationships to establish repeat business. Neither answer is incorrect, but they’re incomplete. If you ask customers where the sales process begins, it starts online. According to multiple studies, nearly 75% of customers, including those in B2B, use Google search to find businesses. This should come as no surprise because that’s what most of us do.

Where Does the Sales Process Begin?

Where Should Your Sales Efforts Begin?

Your sales efforts begin with your online presence. The day is long past when a sedentary website could be left alone for months or even years and be expected to funnel leads effectively. That’s not going to happen. Today, marketing begins with dynamic and evolving online participation.

Website

Your website needs to be interactive, easy to use, and customer focused while at the same time offering concrete calls to action. Examples of your work, including testimonials and portfolios, should be upfront and eye-catching.

Social media

Sharing your content on social media is critical to your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) standings. Social media marketing isn’t only using X (Twitter), Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube to help prospects discover you; social media usage also affects your SEO ranking. Keep in mind the majority of online searches never go past the first page.

Content creation

Blogs, FAQs, checklists, videos, photos, eBooks, white papers, and case studies should be added weekly, if not daily. Search engines look for and recognize the quality and quantity of new content and rank sites accordingly.

Online reviews

According to this Marketing land survey, “Research shows that 93% of consumers say online reviews will affect shopping choices, indicating that most consumers have the habit of reading online reviews regularly and rely on the comments for their purchasing decisions.” — National Library of Medicine  

Providing superior products and services is the first step in developing advocates who will offer positive online reviews. If you’ve developed loyal customers through hard work and diligence, there’s nothing wrong with asking for an online review.

As important as traditional marketing and sales strategies are, they aren’t the place where most sales begin. Today, whether B2B or B2C, sales start on a search. Most of your customers begin the vetting process online. If they like what they see, if the information they need is readily available, and if others share a favorable opinion of your work, they’ll contact you.

New Age Consulting

When I was younger, I used every sales trick in the book and even invented a few. I used these tactics to sell and taught others how to dupe a customer into buying the product I wanted to sell, which was only sometimes what the consumer needed. I’m not proud of my early years in sales. I was “that” Salesperson.

Eventually, I learned that helping customers rather than “selling” them built lasting relationships. It not only made good business sense, but it also felt good. It was the right thing to do. Are you ready to do the right thing? Do you want to learn how not to be a compassionate sales consultant and increase sales while building your customer base? If so, read this book. How to Sell Without Becoming “that” Salesperson

If you like this post, you might also appreciate, 5 Things Top Consultants Do. 

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