In the early '90s, you could wow prospects with a simple demo, pie chart, and a promise. But, times have changed and prospects expect more from the sales material they receive.
In addition to an outstanding presentation and fast delivery, consumers want personalization. Research shows that you don’t stand a chance of being heard without it.
- Seventy-four percent of customers feel frustrated when website content isn’t personalized.
- Emails with personalized subject lines are 26 percent more likely to be opened.
- Seventy-nine percent of organizations that exceeded revenue goals have a documented personalization strategy.
For your sales reps to succeed, they need to be able to personalize the channel, medium, and message to the prospect. This will help you show prospects what you do and, more importantly, what you can do for them.
Personalization makes your value proposition easier to understand, shortens sales cycles, and improves close rates. To do it right, you need to know what to personalize and how to do it.
What Exactly Is Personalization?
“Instead of one-way interruption, personalized marketing is about delivering value at just the right moment that a user needs it.” – David Meerman Scott
Personalizing sales material isn’t about changing the products you offer to fit your prospects better. Instead, you’re personalizing the message, benefits, and angle of existing products to make them more appealing to your prospects.
Personalized sales materials generally include the prospect’s name, company, and industry. But, that’s just the beginning. Strong personalization also involves:
- Adapting the message to a specific stage in the customer journey and focusing on topics that are most relevant for that stage.
- Including quotes, statistics, testimonials, and case studies specific to the prospect’s industry.
- Creating a custom message or value proposition that aligns with the prospect’s concerns.
Personalizing your materials helps your sales reps to be more effective for a number of reasons.
First, it helps your reps walk in the prospect’s shoes and understand their exact needs. This is essential for consultative selling based on buyer personas and the buyer’s journey.
Second, when prospects feel that a piece was written just for them, they’ll be more engaged with the content and more likely to act on it.
Through personalization, you help the prospect visualize how your product fixes their pain points. Your service may benefit many industries, but prospects don’t have time to analyze how your product can impact them. It’s your job to make the benefits clear.
Why Personalization Is Risky at Scale
It's easy to see that personalization is a powerful tool. So, you might wonder why some companies aren’t using it. Why wouldn't they leverage a technique that reaps benefits? The problem is scale.
If you're working with a distributed sales force, how can you let them personalize their sales tools? How can you be sure that their messaging will be in line and compliant with the nuances of your industry? How can you prevent messaging that makes promises you can't fulfill or that falsely represent your brand? Questions like these create fear that stops businesses from immediately taking advantage of personalization to better serve their sales force.
Other Reasons Companies Aren’t Using Personalization
We've talked a bit about scale. However, there are a few other reasons that companies don't opt for personalization, even when they’ve noted the success it brings.
Brand messaging. Companies are keenly aware that brand messaging needs to be uniform. You want customers to see your brand and think of the same experience or message that they've experienced through every channel and at every touchpoint.
Alignment between sales and marketing. The lack of communication between sales and marketing means that marketing doesn’t know what’s working for sales or what they need in the field.
You don't want your sellers creating content. Your sales team may know what needs to be personalized, but you don't want them creating content for two reasons. First, they don't have the expertise to do it well. Second, it distracts them from their real purpose, which is closing the sale.
Avoiding personalization means missing out on increased sales. Yet, businesses can overcome these limitations by creating sales material that's easy to personalize.
How Can You Create Sales Material That's Easy to Personalize?
To start, you need to clearly define what your offer is and identify the top reasons people would use your products. Limit yourself to three to five reasons to make them more palatable. When you try to include all the benefits of your product, it results in information overload. Overload will turn prospects away instead of converting them into customers.
Don’t think about what you want to say. Think about what your customer wants to hear. By thinking of your customers first, you’ll put prospects’ problems first and avoid talking about yourself too much.
When creating your messaging think about the following variables:
- The buyer’s needs. Engage the customer so that they test whether they are effectively navigating their pain points. Present the current state of the industry and how they could adapt.
- The product or service. Your audience needs the basic information about what your product does.
- Benefits of your service. Prospects want to know how the product or service is beneficial to them. What problem does it solve?
Tools to Help Master the Art of Personalization
Without a tool, personalizing your messaging might take the form of using templates to help with various messaging. This is a messy way for your sales team to personalize their sales tools, especially at scale.
Ultimately, the purpose of marketing is to facilitate sales and build awareness of your brand and products. Using a sales-enablement tool, like Triptych, will help you support your sales force to even greater success.
Guest post courtesy of Jessica Dunn