Website personalization is a hot marketing trend this year. With real-time website personalization, companies can gather information on website visitors (from their behavior on previous visits, any forms they’ve completed, CRM records and other data sources) and deliver ever more targeted, relevant content on subsequent visits. The results of this micro-marketing strategy are impressive, with reports of increased conversion rates as high as 10x.
Business and sales leaders immediately see a parallel between this marketing technique and sales best practices. Evergage’s Andy Zimmerman compares a personalized website to a top salesperson in terms of providing relevant, targeted content to buyers. Peter Ostrow of the Aberdeen Group urges sales professionals to adopt this type of micro marketing in their sales process.
For B2B organizations, this marketing strategy presents a new challenge, requiring a well-designed sales support plan. Imagine that your company invested in micro-marketing technology and started a series of personalized online conversations with buyers. Now imagine that some of those buyers are at the stage where they want to engage with a sales rep. If your reps weren’t adequately trained and aligned on the new micro-marketing process they’ll begin their conversations as if buyers were just starting their buying journey. This can make for an unsettling, frustrating experience for buyers. It would be as if they’ve been talking to someone for weeks and all of a sudden that person started acting as if they’d met for the first time, asking them where they were from and what they like to do in their spare time.
So before you invest in personalizing your website, ask yourself if you’re supporting your reps to continue the targeted conversations that began online. Are you:
- Providing sales training that shows reps how to be a micro marketer
- Delivering buyer information to reps, showing what content the buyer has “consumed”, with indications on level of interest, areas of interest and stage in buyer journey
- Helping to develop the conversation, with targeted email templates and sales scripts
- Supporting the sales team with relevant sales content for each buyer persona at each stage of the buying cycle
- Ensuring that sales content and coaching are delivered at the “point of work”, presenting the reps with the right content and sales training automatically in the CRM record so they don’t need to search for it
A sales performance support system can ensure that these activities are taking place, and that they become part of an ongoing process, with any updates and changes to the website personalization reflected in sales conversations and vice versa. Not only will you maximize the ROI of your website technology and efforts, your buyers will have a much better experience and your sales productivity will reach new heights.