Have you ever had a sales conversation that just didn’t click?
A few months ago, I started to think about selling my house and enquired with some estate agents …
The key word here is “think”!
I was exploring my options, and suddenly I had sales calls non-stop trying to get me to get valuations and put my house on the market.
I wasn’t ready!
No one stopped me to ask me anything about my timeline or reason for moving… or bothered to get to know me in any way. So, I started dodging their calls, and when it came time to sell, I didn’t go with any of them.
Why - because, like 70% of B2B customers, I expect in-depth personalisation throughout the sales process, which requires communication between sales and marketing.
Marketing and sales are often seen as two disparate departments in business, but they are two sides of one revenue coin. And you need to understand how to use marketing automation to drive sales and create sales-qualified leads.
Luckily, automation software makes effective personalisation strategies feasible for companies of all sizes. Marketing can help create a strategy that supports sales to contact leads at the right time in a personalised way.
This blog explores how marketing automation can help your sales team close more leads by creating personalised and contextualised sales conversations.
What is a contextual sales conversation?
We love to kick things off with a definition, so let’s start by figuring out what we mean by contextual sales conversations (before we get into how they help sales teams close leads).
Contextual sales conversations - it does what it says on the tin. It puts the conversations your sales teams have with prospects into context (i.e. talking about your product/service in a way that makes sense to them.
Many businesses think it’s the sales team’s responsibility to nurture leads and build trust, moving them through the sales journey.
But, contrary to popular belief, we think that the role of sales is to make offers and close deals. And this creates a challenge.
If the business doesn’t integrate its sales team into the early stages of the buyer’s journey, a disconnect with potential customers can occur. Specifically, there are challenges when it comes to personalised communication - which is essential.Over 70% of B2B customers expect in-depth personalisation throughout the sales process. Despite this, only 31% of people feel that businesses are getting personalisation right.
As we enter a recession, this personalisation becomes even more critical as a way to connect with your future customers.
Therefore, sales teams mustn’t be just having general conversations but conversations in context - in a way that makes sense and matters to your potential customers.
Reaching out at the right time when you know your leads are ready—and arming your sales teams with personal information that allows them to tailor the conversation!
This is the future of sales conversations, made possible by utilising your marketing automation.
Why are contextual sales conversations more effective at closing sales?
Let's look at why having personalised sales conversations more successfully closes sales than generalised ones.
1. It lets prospects know you understand their needs & situation.
Let’s look back at our original example.
I wanted someone to contact me when I was ready, not when they wanted to. But like many companies, they jumped the gun and went straight to selling rather than understanding, ultimately leading to losing business.
Research shows 81% of consumers want brands to get to know them, so they know when to (and not to) approach them. Having conversations at the right time is crucial to having meaningful conversations with potential customers and ultimately building trust.
Because not every prospect or lead needs the same thing simultaneously. Different pain points mean they need different things at different times - and it’s your job to figure out what that is.
From a sales conversation perspective, this means understanding the specific problems your prospects have to customise the conversation to them.
And on a business level, this means you have to implement processes that allow you to dive into the psyche of your consumer.
2. Increase your revenue and profitability.
The goal of all marketing should ultimately be to see a return on investment in revenue and profitability.
Again, personalisation is key as 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalised experience. And as we’ve mentioned, having the right conversations at the right time is one way to personalise the buying experience.
It’s a way to show your potential customers that you care for them and understand them. And this will allow you to close more sales and increase your revenue and profitability.
Using marketing automation to personalise sales conversations.
We know that personalisation is required—but how do you do this?
According to Gartner, around 33% of all buyers would prefer to have a sellar free sale. However, we know that in many cases, sales conversations are necessary - and in this case, personalisation is vital.
Prospects don’t want to speak to a salesperson until 67% of the way through their buying journey.
So, you must build processes to have contextual sales conversations with prospects ready to speak to your sales team.
Marketing automation is one way to solve the challenge that faces sales and marketing teams - and it allows you to gain accurate insight quickly. Moreover, it helps contextualise data and sales productivity to co-exist.
We can implement behavioural progressive profiling and automate content at each stage.
Behavioural progressive profiling is learning more about prospects and leads based on their progressive interactions with you.
This form of profiling is an intuitive way of evaluating where in the process your prospects are - and what information they might need to gain via a conversation with sales.
Behavioural progressive profiling allows you to learn about your leads' behaviour, and marketing automation allows you to implement this, saving time and supporting sales.
Ultimately it enables you to understand your customer better, have more personalised conversations, and close more sales.
Related content: Behavioural progressive profiling: drive demand generation
Ready to improve sales conversations with marketing automation?
Despite what the make might suggest, marketing automation isn’t just about marketing.
Marketing and sales are two sides of the same revenue-driving coin, and they both need to work together to have personalised conversations and close more sales. And marketing has the power to drive demand generation and support sales to have relevant, contextualised conversations at the right time.
If you need help utilising marketing automation to help your sales teams have better conversations, then get in touch - we can help.