The world around us is changing. Nowhere is that change more apparent than the way in which we do business. Today’s remote work environment was born out of necessity, however, the adoption and success of virtual selling strategies will continue to shape the way businesses engage customers. As organizations prepare to navigate 2021 and beyond, the ability to deliver exceptional digital customer experiences will be critical for success.

The acceleration of digital transformation in sales will only continue. By 2025, Gartner projects that 80 percent of sales interactions will occur in digital channels. Gartner’s research also shows that, on average, buyers only spend 17 percent of their time meeting with sellers during the buyer journey. As more businesses adopt digital sales strategies, sellers who excel at developing strong relationships through personalization will have a competitive advantage.

The relationship between buyers and sellers is no longer simply transactional. Customers are more likely to do business with sellers and brands that build trusted relationships throughout the buyer’s journey. By using information and analytics to understand a prospect’s business challenges, sellers are better positioned to deliver resonant content experiences throughout the sales cycle.

The importance of personalized buyer experiences

The most effective digital experiences are timely, relevant, and personalized. In the 2020 LinkedIn State of Sales Report, 41 percent of buyers stated that they were more likely to consider brands that deliver personalized communication. Tailored content offers businesses a significant differentiator that allows sellers to establish trust with prospects by addressing their unique needs.

Content analytics and insights are the foundation that make meaningful content experiences possible. With fewer opportunities for in-person communication, forward-looking enterprises are leveraging data to help navigate the sales cycle with predictive content that is timely and relevant. By monitoring which content generates more engagement or leads to conversions, sellers can extract valuable insights that help optimize content experiences. Content analytics has become the new buyer feedback, opening a window into what’s resonating and–perhaps, more importantly–what isn’t.

Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) technology are leading toward a new era in sales, one where sales enablement solutions are using AI to deliver proactive guidance to sellers. Businesses that are prepared to take advantage of these systems will leap ahead of the competition. According to a global AI survey conducted by McKinsey & Company, 63 percent of respondents report revenue increases from AI adoption in the business units where their companies use AI.

Cultivating a data-driven culture

AI-guided selling begins with empowering a data-driven culture. Organizations that embrace data, empower their sellers to increase productivity. By eliminating the guesswork from the sales process, sellers can simplify content discovery and match content to opportunities, quickly and efficiently. Tracking content engagement metrics gives organizations baseline data that can be used to identify which content is most effective at different stages of the buyer’s journey.

Sales enablement platforms like Seismic empower sellers to discover the right content at the right time. When integrated with a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, sales organizations can pull contextual information from multiple sources to create a comprehensive picture of the buyer experience. With insight into the “last mile” of the buyer’s journey, sellers can craft content experiences based on what is known to convert.

Helping businesses prepare for the future of selling

The Seismic platform prepares users to take advantage of AI-guided selling. Seismic’s Content Analytics offers tools and resources for go-to-market (GTM) teams to access a complete view of their content ecosystem. By shedding light on the bottom of the funnel, GTM teams can turn insights into optimized buyer and seller experiences.

As sellers begin to use analytics routinely, they can leverage intelligent insights to make data-driven decisions. Access to granular data gives GTM teams the insights needed to share the right content at the right time. When integrated with data from multiple sources, the Seismic platform offers revenue teams a comprehensive view that enables more intelligent business decisions. Organizations that have reached this stage of data maturity are best positioned to take advantage of artificial intelligence (AI).

Embrace data today to prepare for the future

With limited face-to-face interactions, access to actionable insights has become an increasingly valuable resource that helps sellers discern how best to advance their conversations with customers. As businesses develop strategies for the future of sales, it will be important to foster a data-driven culture and build a roadmap to move from basic data visibility to actionable insights, and ultimately, AI-guided selling.

Read more about AI-guided selling to learn how your organization can build a competitive advantage for years to come.