Buyers, Not Binary: Making Sales Human Again
2018’s almost over.
In between pushing those last-minute deals over the finish line and consuming all the extra holiday calories, we often forget about a crucial end-of-year priority: your Q1 pipeline.
After rushing to get your last-minute deals in Q4, your pipeline probably looks a little empty come January, which means you’ll need to fill it up as fast as you can…right?
Hold on a second. Before you go blasting contact lists with automated emails, ask yourself: what would convince me to buy if I were in their shoes?
Now reflect on all the emails currently cluttering your inbox, full of impersonal product offerings or cheesy door openers that failed to get your attention.
Or the voicemails from salespeople on your phone you never returned, despite the pleading notes of desperation in their voice.
You know from experience that kind of sales outreach doesn’t work on you, so why would you expect it to work on your buyers?
If you’re going to have any hope of reaching your buyers and accelerating the deals in your pipeline in Q1, you have to make your sales outreach engaging, relevant, and most of all, personal.
According to one study from Google and CEB, 53% of purchasing decisions are driven by the buyer’s experience. That means more than half the deals in your pipe won’t be decided by cost or even how cool your product or service is. They’ll be decided by how you made them feel when selling your product or service. And if your buyers feel like numbers instead of people, they won’t buy from you.
No, sending an email template out to hundreds of prospects and inserting first names into subject lines is not personalization. It’s lazy and ineffective, and your buyers can see right through it. If it’s easily faked, it’s easily ignored.
Real personalization takes some effort on your team’s part. It’s informed by the conversations they have with buyers as well as the research they’ve hopefully done with LinkedIn and other digital tools.
This is the part of the sales process that just can’t be automated (not fully anyway): getting to know the buyer as a person.
A real personal sales message resonates with buyers. It breaks through the noise and gets your buyer’s attention by speaking to the things that matter to them. What’s more, it communicates to buyers that you value them as people, not just as names on a list that you’re rushing to check off before the end of the year.
Remembering a birthday, asking about a recent family vacation, sending congratulations on a promotion, these are all more than just niceties between a buyer and a seller. They’re the building blocks of a relationship. The more time you spend building a relationship with your buyer, the more they feel emotionally invested in you and the solution you provide. This keeps you top of mind with your buyer, even when they’re busy with their own Q1 priorities. And that helps you close deals.
If you don’t think your team can afford to personalize their sales outreach so intently, especially in the midst of everything you have to worry about in the middle of Q4, then ask yourself if your team can afford to not to close their outstanding deals this year. Because that’s what’s on the line. That’s how important personalization is. It’s not a nice-to-have gimmick. It’s an absolute necessity when selling to busy B2B decision-makers.
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Posted on November 26, 2018