Personalizing the Experience for the B2B Customer

Posted by Lucrativ on 10/26/19, 9:30 AM

 

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Personalization is such an important aspect in sales today—both in B2B and B2C. Personalizing your customers’ experiences creates more positive, more memorable experiences for them. They feel heard and understood. They feel valued. They feel happier, over all. And as we all know: happy customers mean more conversions.

Consider the statistics on personalization in sales:

  • Over 78% of consumers will only engage offers if they have been personalized to their previous engagements with the brand.
  • 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases, OR knows their purchase history.
  • 87% of consumers surveyed say that personally relevant branded content positively influences how they feel about a brand.
  • 63% of consumers said they’d think more positively of a brand if it gave them content that was more valuable, interesting or relevant.
  • 59% of customers say that personalization influences their shopping decision.
  • 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience.

 

Not only does personalizing customer experience positively impact your bottom line, it also helps drive brand loyalty, which helps create brand advocates.

As a sales organization, how do you personalize the customer experience? Including their first names in your emails and messages won’t cut it. You have to go beyond that. You have to provide content relevant to where they are in their buyer’s journey. You have to engage with them on a more personalized level, displaying your keen interest and understanding of their needs or wants. Here are some tried-and-tested strategies.

8 Ways to Personalize the B2B Customer Experience

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1. Create customer profiles
You can only truly understand your customers if you create profiles for each of them. Standard profile data points include name, job title/role, company and company size, industry, and other demographical data. But you also need other information that will help you personalize for a specific customer.

There are many ways to collect the information you need. Demographics and psychographics data from surveys, opt-in forms; customer service records; tracking consumer behavior online (with cookies); real-time website activity; and social media engagement are just some sources. Use all the data gathered to build your customer profiles. And use these profiles as guides when engaging at a personal level with each customer.

Just be ethical when gathering data. Always ask for permission. Have clear terms and privacy policies. And try to limit the amount of mandatory information that you ask for—don’t ask for more than you need.

2. Use historical data and past conversations to inform future engagements
Past conversations, purchase histories, past brand engagements—those can help inform your future endeavors. This is why it’s important to track and record all sales activities with customer (email, calls, social media connection, meeting, etc.) and all customer engagements with the brand (website visit, lead magnet download, etc.).

Apart from profiling customers (#1), taking note of past interactions can help you better understand your customer and have real and relevant conversations with them. You may have actually met and conversed with customer before, so use the information gathered from those conversations to help personalize the customer experience more. Active listening is a key sales skill: when you truly listen to what customers are saying (and sometimes, not saying), you will learn a lot about them.

3. Humanize your product or service
Due to the advent of high technology, inside sales is popular right now. But for B2B, try not to limit client interactions to just phone calls and emails. In-person meetings not only personalize the customer experience, they help build more trust in the sales rep and confidence in the product. 

It’s a more personalized experience for clients to have a person, a name, or a face associated with the company they are dealing with.

4. Speak/write in a relatable language and tone
Do not aim to impress the client with your vocabulary and grammar. Aim to be understood and appreciated. So when conversing with clients, sending them messages and emails, or writing content for them through blog posts, case studies, white papers, etc., use language, tone, and style that they can relate to and easily grasp. This way, it feels like you are talking to them, not at them.

When writing, aim to always use a conversational, effortless tone. And always keep it concise. When speaking to clients, keep it professional always but also try to match your client’s personality. If your customer is being chatty, you should be just as open and friendly.

5. Align content and offerings with their buyer’s journey
Where is the prospect in his buyer’s journey? Create and send content relevant to where he is. For example:

• Awareness Stage: send your company profile, links to relevant blog posts and website pages

• Interest Stage: schedule a demo or presentation

• Consideration or Evaluation Stage: share social proof (testimonials, product reviews, case studies)

Monitor his activities too. Using algorithms, you can customize emails with products or services that prospect has been browsing on your website. Or send content about a prospect’s pain point (e.g. his workplace productivity is down) or a personalized offer that meets an objective of his (e.g. wants to increase revenue by 40%). Send content based on a potential customer’s behavioral triggers too: when he clicks on links you send in an email; visits your site and then downloads a lead magnet; engages in a post on social media; and so on.

6. Reach out to them through the channels they use
Is your prospect always on social media? Then try to reach out to him through his preferred social media platform. People are also mostly mobile these days, so maybe phone calls are better for your client. (Also, you want to make sure that your website and your emails are optimized to be mobile-friendly.)

Make it easy for your customer to reach you or to access what you send them by using the channels, platforms, and devices they prefer. Accessibility and ease are key features of personalization.

7. Talk to client and ask for feedback
Personalizing a customer experience also means making the customer feel valued. And one thing that makes clients feel valued is asking for their feedback—especially if you are asking for feedback to improve the services you deliver to them.

Ask for feedback, reviews, or any comment to improve their current experience with your product or customer service. Ask them for their preferences and needs (e.g. Do they prefer in-person meetings overs emails?). Asking customers for feedback also makes them feel empowered—and customers always like to feel in control when making a purchase.

8. Impress with thoughtful, personalized gestures
Selling is almost like courtship, and in courtship you aim to sweep the person off their feet with elaborate, unexpected moves. Sending tokens and small gifts especially during work anniversaries or birthdays is thoughtful yet still professional. Or invite them to a free lunch in a restaurant you know they like. You don’t have to make them as grand as the usual courtship moves, but these little gestures help build relationships with customers. And, ultimately, that is what personalization is really all about: building relationships.

Tools and technology can help you craft this personalized experience for your customers. So make sure to invest in the right ones. A CRM like Lucrativ, for example, can be used to engage with customers through an extensive multi-channel customer engagement hub. You can also very easily customize workflows and manage your pipelines based on your preferred personalization practices. Why not try it today?     

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Photos from Pexels. Main image by mentatdgt

Topics: Sales Lead Management

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