The transition was rapid.
In a matter of months, B2B sales moved from regarding digital transformation as “forced” to seeing that digitized selling is not only here to stay, but the way to go.
McKinsey found that more than 75% of buyers now prefer digital self-serve and remote human engagement over face-to-face interactions. Moreover, only 20% of B2B buyers say that they hope to return to in-person sales. Why? Because virtual interactions are convenient, cost effective, and conducive to getting information fast.
While digitized selling brings new benefits, it also loses important elements, such as authentic interactions that over time build trusting relationships. Previously, sellers could treat their prospects and customers to a round of golf or sumptuous dinner. Now, building rapport has to happen within the confines of a computer screen. The importance of personalization hasn’t gone away. Buyers still expect a tailored experience — and it’s up to salespeople to find new, unique ways to deliver it.
The best approach is to treat personalized selling as both an art and a science. Bringing intuition and a human touch to every engagement is essential, but empathy alone is not enough to stand out in a noisy digital world. Salespeople need to embrace the scientific side of sales, leveraging data and technology to enhance every interaction.
Here are three ways to create the personalized experiences that win over customers and the technology to help you do so.
Deliver Hyper-Relevant Content
In a time of fierce competition and finite buyer attention, salespeople often have only one chance to get it right. Sending a generic email or static piece of content at the wrong time could send your prospect running into the arms of a competitor. Today, buyers demand deeply relevant, personalized, and dynamic experiences from the first touch onward.
Forget about PDFs and Word documents — customers want content that compels. This is one of the many reasons why companies like Turtl have developed software designed to help teams build better relationships through modern content. Turtl’s interactive and highly visual reading format has shown to increase engagement by 73% compared to PDF. What’s more, modular content has particular applications for sales teams. Sellers can keep up with the increasing demand for personalized content and provide prospects with key pieces they actually want to read — without extra time needed from marketing.
Through Highspot and Turtl’s integration, sellers can easily create richer digital experiences for customers at scale by leveraging Turtl’s capabilities directly within the Highspot platform.
Embrace the Power of AI and Analytics
There is a time and place for maintaining the traditional way of doing things, but sales is not one of them. Sticking to the status quo will quickly render your tactics obsolete. We’ve entered an era where artificial intelligence (AI) is beginning to deliver on its potential for sales, accelerating salespeople’s ability to learn from, engage with, and delight prospects and customers.
Take, for example, a seller who uses the power of her sales enablement platform versus a seller who does not. In a new selling scenario, the first salesperson examines AI-driven content recommendations provided by her platform. From these options, she chooses the asset that is most relevant to her prospect’s unique situation. After sending it, she monitors engagement analytics to see how the prospect engaged with the content so she knows how to appropriately follow up. The latter salesperson is left to his own devices — he guesses which piece of content will work best, and has no way to see if the prospect even opened his email, let alone engaged with the content.
Content recommendations and engagement analytics are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what AI can do for sales. And looking ahead, its ability to boost productivity and effectiveness is only poised to become more powerful.
Practice to Make Your Personalization Perfect
Your prospects aren’t the only ones who need a personal touch. As a salesperson seeking success, one of the most effective things you can do is seek out one-on-one sales coaching.
Coaching plays an instrumental role in day-to-day performance and also long-term career development. An effective coaching program enables reps to take greater ownership of their performance and improve outcomes. It not only provides a safe space to explore deficiencies, but helps reps master personalization skills that are necessary for delivering exceptional buying experiences.
Modern tools can make all the difference in the coaching process. Gong.io highlights individual performance that managers can use to customize coaching, based on data, not guesswork. It also shows exactly what each rep needs to do differently to close more deals. Highspot allows reps to receive coaching within their existing workflow, hosting practice pitches that help reps perfect their craft before the critical customer interaction. These are just a few of the many technologies salespeople rely on to prepare for the moments that matter most.
Bringing Art and Science Together
Personalization in the modern world is both an art and a science. You need human empathy and intuition, informed and supported by data and technology. With the right approach, you can create valuable experiences that stand out from the crowd and win over buyers time and time again.