Ninth Life Consulting
The Power of Personalization in B2B Sales
Updated: Oct 10, 2018
Gaining deeper and stronger connections with customers and prospects is at top of mind for many companies as they look for ways to gain share of wallet with B2B consumers. Customers of all kinds have heightened expectations for how they interact with companies along the buyers journey. As with most change drivers, we have digital technology to thank for this new area of focus. These heightened expectations create a valuable opportunity for companies to connect with customers in a meaningful way.
Personalization isn’t a new concept in sales, however the way that we approach it within the context of our business has slightly changed. A rinse and repeat sales and marketing approach falls short with buyers today. To beat out competitors, companies must differentiate experiences for customers to increase satisfaction, build customer loyalty, and attract new customers.
For most SMB’s, adding new and shiny gadgets to your tech stack might not be in your immediate budget. In fact, two of the top-ranking reasons that companies choose not to personalize the experience are because they don’t feel that they have the technology or the resources to dedicate any attention to it. However, companies can begin to implement some easy strategies to gain mindshare with the customers that you desire to attract and retain.
We’re sharing a few quick tips to evolve companies personalization strategy and connect with customers in a more meaningful way:
Start with data – use the data that you have available about your audience segments, consumer behaviors, as well as how they have interacted on your platforms to give you tips about how best message to those audiences. This effort is best approached by looking into various information channels across your organization. Working with sales, marketing, and product teams you can dive into data received during quarterly business reviews, product surveys and even marketing analysis to guide your segmentation approach.
Personalized online experience - Your website is your BEST sales rep. Many customers begin their customer journey online. This happens long before a buyer picks up the phone to call your sales department or even connect via email. A report by the Aberdeen Group suggests that businesses that utilize new technologies to increase personalization experienced a 21 percent stronger lead acceptance rate and 36 percent higher conversion rate than businesses who don’t. Companies that choose not to go the high-tech route can realize some success by anticipating the who might most likely to visit your website in search of information. It’s all about speaking to the right person, at the right time, with the right information. As an example, if you are selling enterprise level products and have data that tells you C-Level executives most often go in search of your products, you will want to make sure that your online content resonates with them. Another option that companies have is to customize their content to focus on a specific vertical or industry (i.e., hospice, automotive, etc.)
Add people to personalization - Technology will never negate the need for people to be part of your sales and engagement process. More success can be realized when companies are agile in response to the needs of customers and prospects. With the push for digital transformation companies assume that the constant push of valuable content is the solution to keep customers engaged or push prospects over the line. Within the buyers journey, it is important that companies weave human interaction at the right time. As an example, If your company has a lead generation campaign going where prospects are directed to a landing page and asked to provide a name, phone number, and email address to download a specific piece of content (i.e., white paper, ebook) -- someone from your sales or engagement team should follow-up with them within hours to say ‘hello’ and provide additional information or inquire about specific questions.
At the most basic level, companies should seek to deliver a more personalized content across multiple channels -- through social campaigns, ads, and email. However, delivering personalized content to your existing email contacts is a great way to keep customers engaged and primed for future cross sale and upsale opportunities.
Like most of your marketing efforts, personalization also requires a strategic effort, there are many tactics that companies use to achieve heightened levels of personalization with customers.
Have questions about how your company can start to take a more personal approach with your marketing and communications. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.