Delivering “a human touch” to B2B sales interactions in a digital world requires more than just an empathetic email or phone call. In order to truly differentiate on the quality of customer experience, sales teams need to focus their attention and investments on executing high-impact digital transformations.
As the digital marketplace evolves rapidly, here are some ways that sales leaders can advance their positioning in this virtual landscape in order to meet the nuanced and ever-changing demands of modern buyers.
Take Advantage of the Data
A major benefit to a purely digital transformation is the availability of dynamic customer data. Even so, many organizations are inhibited in their ability to be more data-driven due to the scattered storage of data within organizational silos. When sales teams don’t have access to the same data that marketing does, ultimately it’s the customer who suffers.
This data can offer powerful insights about the end-to-end experience of your customers and how they engage with your organization. Whether it’s gathering quality intent data about prospects in order to contextualize an engagement or understanding what elements on your website signal interest from customers, creating this 360-view of your customer enables sellers to refine their experience from top to bottom.
Not only can this data provide sales teams with a tailored understanding of a customer’s needs and desires, but it has the capability to drive the strategy of marketing teams who produce the content that sellers use. In fact, a recent survey reports that 67% of buyers rely on content more this year than the previous as a resource to inform purchasing decisions. Marketers should also include rich, relevant data in customer-facing content, as modern buyers’ having a growing expectation for analytical insights to verify claims about product offerings or services.
By taking the time to process and understand the breadth of data at your fingertips, sellers are positioned to ask the right questions, be prepared with the most informed answers and anticipate the needs of their prospects before prospects even realize them.
Invest in Technology that Enables Interaction
When it comes to the research and consideration of products and services, the topmost preferred method for digital buyers is a “live chat” option that allows them to have more informative interactions with suppliers. This far exceeds the number of prospects who prefer to communicate via email with their sales reps, indicating that buyers expect responses from inquiries to be quick.
Live chat or click-to-chat options are known to provide customers with greater satisfaction of their customer service experience, as well as increase website engagement times and sales conversions.
It’s important to note that these live chat methods should be reliable, consistent and thorough. Whether it’s a creatively designed chatbot with a comprehensive repository of intuitive answers or a 24/7 service line with a human on the other end, prospective customers should feel confident in the method’s ability to answer their questions with both accuracy and timeliness. Otherwise, a poorly designed or minimally-invested piece of technology can deteriorate trust, causing buyers to pursue the next vendor on their list.
Be Thoughtful and Dynamic in Personalization
When engaging with new leads or repeat customers, it’s critical for sellers to personalize their interactions as much as possible and in fresh, new ways. In these virtual times, it’s not enough to have the charisma that some successful sellers possess in face-to-face interactions. Instead, sellers must convey their personality by building trusting relationships with customers in modern, genuine and captivating ways.
One method to individualize a seller in a sea of inbox disarray is to embed personalized videos in emails. These videos don’t have to be long to be effective — a short introduction or greeting will suffice in conveying the personal investment and commitment of sellers. Similarly, many sales enablement tools can offer email personalization tokens through CRM integration, which should be utilized with every email, every time.
Assess, Adapt, Evolve
Making programmatic changes to a company’s sales operations can be daunting and will surely require more than an overnight fix. One important aspect to remember is that these changes should be made gradually over time, with metrics and performance indicators evaluated along every step of the way.
Companies have a greater chance of success when they adopt an iterative approach to their digitization, constantly re-assessing which aspects of their company’s digital experience that customers react with most frequently and making the appropriate adjustments.
A general rule of thumb is that customers prefer simplification, which digitization is well-equipped to offer. Sales leaders should ask themselves these questions throughout their digital transformation:
- What is the goal of our digital selling capabilities?
- Do proposed changes align with these goals?
- How can we measure the success of these changes?
- How do these changes meet or exceed the quality of experience that in-person channels provide?
When redesigning a new customer experience framework for the digital age, it’s critical to keep in mind the changes and developments that are necessary for long-term strategic advantage. These changes should reflect the evolving preferences of modern buyers, who are accustomed to the convenience and elevated experience of high-profile digital native companies.
Through leveraging data, technology, personalization techniques and an iterative adjustment process, marketing and sales teams can solidify the B2B customer relationships that matter most and gain new ones along the way.