In our zeal to maximize the advantages of the latest marketing technologies, we sometimes do so at the expense of the human element. It’s people, with all of their definition-defying emotions, personalities, and quirks that we need to make connections with. So a key goal of B2B online marketing for the more complex sales should be to foster person-to-person contact i.e. personal engagement.
Of course, adopting a content marketing approach with a diverse digital strategy is indispensable for generating awareness, interest, and initial engagement – the Internet (including social media and email) is simply where most prospects want to begin their buyer’s journey and it would be folly not to respect this. Rather, the point is, having intrigued prospects with insightful online content, followed by them “opting-in” via digital CTAs, creates the perfect opportunity for you to now engage them with the human element: a personalized warm call.
That said, not just any call – or caller – will do. To maximize conversion rates, your sales team needs to have the capacity to speak knowledgeably and intelligently on industry issues and challenges and beyond that, on the specific issues of concern to each buyer. Account-based surveys are one way to gather such information. Surveys provide an overview of the key issues facing buyers from different accounts who perform the same roles. They also provide information on each individual buyer’s needs. Armed with both types of information sales is ready to help buyer’s find solutions that match their needs while sharing aggregate information about their peers. Such capabilities ensure that you can tailor your conversation and adjust on-the-fly, responding to the specific needs of the individual. Conversations of this nature will be of mutual value and flow naturally, imparting authenticity and credibility – the building blocks of trust, the basis of any worthwhile relationship.
While online media has its place to pique initial prospect interest and engagement, only a person can shape such valuable dialogue. Yet the value of the human touch goes well beyond intelligently designed conversations. The human touch also brings an intangible value, a personal and emotional element, elevating what is otherwise a simple transaction in a digital medium, to a foundation for building and strengthening relationships. Fundamentally, everyone wants to feel safe and confident in their buying decision. While automation and online media are great for both imparting and gaining information, getting a prospective buyer to feel good about the people associated with your company provides a level of assurance that simply cannot be had or conveyed via technology.
At the end of the day, none of us wants to be stuck in a proverbial automated phone loop experience. We want and need the human connection – the understanding of our personal and specific needs, and the reassurance and trust that we are making the right buying decision. It’s part of our human condition, and as much as it’s true for us as individuals, it also holds true for us in business. After all, behind these computer screens, we’re all of us, to varying degrees, emotionally-driven people. Technology might often be the preferred medium, but the human element will always be a fundamental driver and influencer. Mastering this aspect of your marketing strategy by creating personal, individualized moments of authenticity, and thus trust- and relationship-building, will help you maximize both impact and conversion.
SimplyDIRECT’s account-based survey services provide the means to engage directly with C-level executives and to better understand their needs and challenges. Armed with this customer intelligence sales is able better able to foster a personal relationship by helping prospects meet their needs.
To find out more about SimplyDIRECT’s approach please download our account-based survey process infographic.