Sales and marketing operations have progressed to a point where we can readily access the contact information of those who we are trying to target with our sales pitch or offer. In best-in-class scenarios, there is an active mapping of buyer personas to the buying journey so that an intelligent mapping of who is going to be involved in any decision process is understood.
We even have the ability to “score” these leads based on implied interest such as website visits, email campaign activity such as opens or clicks, and downloads of collateral pieces. There are even advanced scenarios where predictive analytics can be used to intelligently lead score prospects based on their potential interest and match to your target customer. This is all done in an effort to improve targeting — who should be contacted first and who has the greatest probability of converting into an opportunity and ultimately becoming a customer.
This is fantastic technology for getting the customer to engage and become a sales opportunity. The signals, activities and demographics that these technologies leverage are great pieces of information to be maintained as the lead is passed to sales.
How can we better leverage this information in the sales and sales enablement processes to help close deals?
Enter context. Context is “the set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular event or situation.” Great salespeople know how critical context is for a first touch and subsequent sales interactions. Timing is crucial, and knowing when the right time to follow up or engage makes the difference between exceeding quota and struggling to keep up.
As leads are passed from marketing to sales, a clear set of qualification criteria makes all the difference in the world and provides needed context to something moving from a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) to a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). This could be a threshold reached on a lead score or some attribute that makes it immediately actionable.
Once the prospect enters sales pursuit, understanding the buyer’s journey and what content is most effective at what sales stage continues to add needed context to the discussion. If a prospect is in a certain region and interested in a certain product line, having the data to confirm what piece of content is most effective to move the prospect to the next stage provides crucial context to the sales representative.
Once a sales pitch is delivered, be it live via webcast or sent along in an email as a link, understanding when that presentation is viewed, shared, or forwarded also provides important to context that arms the sales representative with the knowledge to act and engage.
Knitting all this context together can be a challenge, so leveraging a “context-aware” sales enablement platform such as Highspot makes aligning sales with the right content easy. Context-aware solutions constantly learn what content is most effective in each given sales situation and apply contextual data points as criteria for their recommendations, such that content for the industry, company size, sales process stage, integrating platforms, etc. is presented to the sales professional for prospect engagement.