Take one of my clients as an example. This Fortune 500 company, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, is now entering what I called the translational sweet spot of sales - where the digital meets the analogue - the Digilogue. Pharmaceutical salesforces have been one of the traditional key drivers of pharmaceutical block buster drugs’ success over the years, but lack of access to doctors, tougher regulations on sales methodology, and an increasing demand for digital as opposed to analogue visits by medical professionals has meant that Big Pharma needs to rethink the way their drugs are sold. So, I was recently spending time with the IT leadership team of this pharmaceutical client in Chicago to plan their strategic rollout of iPads and replacement of laptops for their mobile sales force.
This digilogue move is spot-on. Why? Because it requires sales people to keep bringing their analogue, human, face2face sales skills, while merging them with digital, touch screen, visualised information. This ensures that the brand and its brand ambassadors:
- deliver value to the clients’ digital minds, and
- connect with their analogue minds
This approach recognises a fundamental truth in sales - we can't throw the analogue baby out with the digital bath water. When we're not selling as much as before too many of us decide to throw all our dice on digital duplication and forget about the unique analogue experience we used to provide to our clients. We've always had the 'wow' face to face factor, but if we don't remember our analogue stories, we'll become ancient history. We have to remember that a computer interface can never really replace a human face. My client understands this, and the question for your salesforce is how are you currently using Digilogue to boost brand loyalty, and improve sales efficiency?
Brands and their sales represenatives must remember to provide value to digital minds, while also connecting with analogue hearts. The digital mind craves convenience, immediacy, comparisons and information that runs continuously 24/7/365. Yet the analogue heart wants emotion, inspiration, interaction and meaning. The analogue heart wants to be taken to another world, where old is new again.
My client is doing this by providing value to digital minds by showing comparative effectiveness studies vis-a-vis competitor and generic brands, by highlighting efficacy visually, and graphically tuning the client doctors into an understanding of the impact / potential side-effects of the drugs to stay compliant with strict regulatory guidelines via iPads. But at the same time, using the iPad allows the sales rep to ensure the analogue is not lost. The sales rep is able to build analogue rapport, to establish eye contact, and create on-going trust and service with their client or prospect.
How are you currently enabling your salesforce to be digilogue? If you’re a sales person, in what ways are you currently:
- stuck in the analogue world? or,
- overcommitting to the digital world?
In the future, anything that can be digitised will be digitised. This includes sales agents. Unless you and your organisation upgrade the way you think about the tension between the digital and the analogue, you risk becoming defunct.
Already, book pages that used to be turned by hand, are now turned with a swipe. Newspapers delivered to a doorstep are now delivered to a browser. Entertainment has gone digital and while we used to pay with analogue cash from our wallets we now pay with a digital wallet. Relationships that used to be face to face are increasingly becoming screen to screen and Generation Z are born digital. In these digitally disrupted times, how do you as a brand representative ensure that you don’t start trading analogue dollars for digital pennies? How do you keep growing your sales skills?
Your business as a sales professional is either growing, maturing, reviving or dying and Digital Darwinism is speeding up your fate. If your sales skills can be digitised, they will be digitised, and you run the risk of being digitally disintermediated. If you’re a a sales professional - a broker, an agent, a connector, a middleman or woman - you must start providing world class value to digital minds, and connecting deeply and meaningfully with analogue hearts.
Write down 3 things you are going to do to better to:
- provide value to digital minds
- connect with analogue hearts
The strategic response to digital disruption is neither to go purely digital nor purely analogue - instead we must become digilogue. Digilogue is the translational, convergent, amplifying sweet spot between the digital and the analogue. It is the future of profound, and deeply lasting sales success.
It's clicks and bricks. It’s digital minds and analogue hearts. It’s your digitised self on Nike+, it’s eBay’s concept store in NYC, it’s Apple’s online educational platforms and offline concierge, it’s Umpqua’s retail banking, it’s Google’s analogue vouchers promoting digital advertising, it’s Xerox’ variable data and digital print, and it’s TED’s digital distribution of analogue 'Ideas Worth Spreading’. And it’s my Big Pharma client’s rollout of iPads to replace old school laptops. So why wait, it’s time to get Digilogue!
Digilogue strategies will enable you to reclaim market share that’s been lost to the disruptors, to amplify your analogue brand equity digitally, and to remain relevant and resilient beyond this digital sales paradigm shift.
Enquire about Anders’ availability to speak at your next conference on the Digilogue Sales Future.