Today’s B2B buyers are smarter and expect meaningful, personalized experiences when looking for solutions. We’ve talked about meaningful personification for years, and now technology is helping us make it happen. This makes it an exciting time to be a B2B marketer!
Still, the task can seem daunting. When I first spoke to my team about our bold vision to remove forms, spam, and unsolicited calls from our account-based call, they said it was a valid, but impractical investigation.
What if there are a lot of calls from us? What would sales think of that? How are we going to cultivate our perspectives?
I don’t think anyone expected to hang up just on the first day. The objective was to shock the system, to make us think about what we could achieve, and to define a strategic goal focused on the customer experience. And, as in any giant enterprise, many small steps are needed to reach the end.
Here are four small steps you can take before thinking about taking big steps.
- Know who shouldn’t be the target
When we say ‘on account’, most people think that it is whom you are actively targeting in your prospecting strategy. Yes … but we don’t normally think about who shouldn’t be the target.
Each team has a tight budget and the same number of hours per day, so the first step in providing good buyer experiences is figuring out what to focus on and where not to go.
Direct mail, for example, is a popular game. Who doesn’t like having bottles of champagne on hand? But are you looking for the best accounts for this step? Are they in a segment that guarantees this customer acquisition cost (CAC)? Are you looking for what you do?
Before opening the champagne taps, think about the format of your open events and determine which accounts will receive the most attention.
This does not mean that only your high-performance accounts receive personalized attention. The beads are not exactly in that range, but they can take up to a day; Plus, you don’t want to treat potential customers like rubbish! But it is about optimizing your precious resources.
Then, map a low-touch process with low-performance beads still flagged. With automated orchestration, you can deliver this type of relevant content to potential customers without the need for a practical and intensive approach.
- Learn the meaning of the most important segments
Once you have determined what the goal should be, it is not yet time to send the champagne. Focus on the most important segments and choose the details. Can you see which accounts in your key segments really matter?
I like a good personal card like any marketer, but it actually takes time and is static. The needs and wants of your potential customers change so quickly that your map cannot be updated as often as necessary.
A more reliable way to understand your buyers is to use keyword-based intent data. By capturing and interpreting your buyers’ signals, you provide more accurate data that your teams can use when approaching potential customers.
Besides, configuration data is constantly updated as the market changes and the most important information reaches its peak. This will help you find out if no one is using certain content and if the email is wrong, leading to a better buyer experience.
- Know who’s in your home
Third-party information is part of data collection, but a lot of data is still waiting to be captured. In fact, much of the buying journey takes place in what my company calls a “dark funnel” – the mass of anonymous data that most sales and marketing teams have yet to touch. What really stinks for them? What if your prospect is on your site, but you have no idea that this is the case?
Even companies that believe they have corporate identification often find their results inadequate and inaccurate. This leaves a surprising image of who is “at home”. It’s like leaving teenagers in the basement and never coming back to see how they are doing: it’s just irresponsible.
We don’t want to be parents or marketers.
Your small step is to evaluate and compare the technology that makes business identification possible. Choose the one that works best for you and your customer base (and get the accounts that work best).
Collect data about who visits your site so that you can orchestrate a great digital experience that accurately responds to a potential customer’s top priorities. Bonus points if you manage to combine valuable information, such as industry, geography, personality, and purchase stage.
The more data you can see dynamically, the more personalized you can create an experience – chatbots, content centers, and ads become more personalized and meaningful to potential customers.
- Use the information to provide ABX
So far, the small steps in this article will allow your marketing team to orchestrate great experiences. But we must also not forget the sales!
In fact, we will exclude M from ABM as it is also about sales and customer service.
This is more difficult than you expect, as buyers do not always know what they want in advance. It’s like an iceberg: there is what they tell you (about 10% of the story) and the rest, hidden underwater (the other 90%).
To expose the entire iceberg, make sure that your technology stack easily provides valuable frontline account information at the right time. Your team needs to prepare for meetings, do business, be aware of competitive factors and focus on the right things every day.
The information leads to an excellent ABX, which leads to successful prospects and satisfied customers.
Time to send the champagne
The small steps are how you can provide a better customer experience. Once touched, it’s time to send the champagne, because thanks to your data and insights, you know exactly which accounts and personalities need that special touch to increase engagement with you.
Besides, you will find other occasions, perhaps a special customer that is worth celebrating with an extra gift.