Behavioral data has become a huge asset for B2B companies. Encompassing all the information that a business gathers from the buying habits that customers exhibit, their preferences and product usage, behavioural data is critical in informing communication and marketing campaigns.
In very simple terms, behavioral data entails both the online actions that your audience takes on your site and the offline interactions they make with your company. Analysis of these behaviors gives businesses valuable insights on why their prospects take particular actions. It also enables them to generate ideas on how to optimize their campaigns to acquire, convert and retain customers.
Some critical B2B2 data points that marketers pay attention to when gathering behavioral data include:
- Previous purchases
- Help desk interactions
- Content asset downloads
- Browsing history
- Webinar attendance
- Content from apps and social media sites
Why Behavioral Data?
B2B companies that use data to inform marketing efforts are more likely to increase their profits year over year. This is because behavioral data enables them to understand their target audience better, giving them an edge over their competitors.
A 2017 report by Digital Doughnut shows increased spending in data driven marketing with 64% of B2B marketers reporting having spent more during the year. Further, 44% of B2B marketers said they had already developed data management platforms at the time, while 33% were planning to set up one.
The thing that makes behavioral data critical for marketers is the fact that it enables them to determine the exact moment that a marketing message will be most relevant to a target consumer. In this digital era, consumers receive up to three thousand messages per day. However, they can only retain three of those messages.
This means that if a business is not providing relevant and personalized content to their target audience at the time when they are receptive, their marketing efforts go to waste and they miss out on opportunities. A Forbes study found that 66% of marketers use data to focus their messages, offers and content better.
While behavioral data is largely collected and utilized by B2B marketers, sales teams also find it extremely useful. In this article, we explore the various ways that companies can utilize behavioral data to develop strong sales teams.
1. Better Audience Targeting
One of the important things that behavioral data enable B2B marketers to do effectively is detailed audience segmentation. This enables them to achieve results because targeting marketing campaigns becomes extremely easy. Without segmentation, it becomes difficult to reach your target audience effectively. This means you miss out on offer and product placements – which means losing sales.
But audience segmentation does not just help B2B marketers. One of the factors that marketers consider when they’re segmenting their target audience is the customer journey. This enables them to develop relevant messages for customers in every stage of the buyer’s journey. Knowing which stage customers are in the purchase journey enables sales teams to engage the customers with messages that are relevant to them.
A Salesforce survey shows that 62% of consumers are comfortable for companies to send them messages with personalized discounts and offers on products or services that they have bought previously. The micro-segmentation facilitated by behavioral data enables the sales teams to target customers with the right messages, which enhances sales success.
2. Providing Sales Teams with Buyer Centric Content
A survey conducted by Sirius shows that the majority of marketing content that B2B marketers generate are product-centric, meaning they focus on product features, as opposed to buyer-centric, meaning communicating the value that matches customer needs. The use of behavioral data by marketing teams allows B2B companies to make this shift.
When this happens, sales teams are strengthened significantly because the buyer-centric content enables them to solve pragmatic business problems as well as empower them to exploit opportunities.
3. Empowering Sales Teams to Personalize Engagements
Traditionally, selling is both a science and an art. As such, sales teams are always looking for ways to personalize interactions with their target audiences in order to strengthen their relationships with them.
B2B marketers that utilize behavioral data are able to empower their sales teams to personalize the engagements they have with customers and build trust. As a matter of fact, Aberdeen Group found that companies that perform well are those that provide sales reps with content that’s easy to personalize for their customers. While it’s virtually impossible for marketers to generate content that supports the broad range of needs and scenarios of customers, content can be customized based on:
- Product features
- Customer Pain-points
Marketers can also develop strong sales teams by applying behavioral data in creating email templates that provide room for personalization. The templates carry key marketing messages in the body to ensure consistency in communication.
4. Stronger Collaboration in Content Development
When marketers and sales reps collaborate in content development, the business realizes more value. The best way to foster collaboration between sales and marketing teams is to hold face to face meetings regularly. While the marketing team may have the behavioral data from online sources and would be the ones to develop the key messages, it is the sales teams that have immediate offline data and knowledge of how customer needs and pain points are changing.
Bringing the two perspectives together during content creation ensures that companies empower sales teams with the most relevant content to support their sales efforts. Research shows that companies that align marketing and sales functions closely around development and deployment of buyer-oriented content gain 21% more lead acceptance and register 36% higher conversion rates compared to those that don’t.
With behavioral data, B2B marketers are able to support sales teams through the later stages of the purchase journey. The marketing function does this by:
- Creating content that’s focused on addressing specific buyer needs
- Putting in place a process of informing sales teams that this content is available and how to access it
Another form of collaboration that enables B2B markers to develop strong sales teams through behavioral data is sharing access to sales and marketing software. By allowing sales teams to access marketing dashboards and view the campaigns that are underway, marketers empower sales to align their messages with those campaigns and leverage them to sell more.
4. Identifying High Value Leads
Behavioral data enables marketers to apply predictive analytics in lead scoring in order to determine which prospects are more likely to buy – which enables them to focus their efforts on high value prospects.
Ordinarily, conventional lead scoring involves assigning points based on the actions that prospects have completed. Predictive lead scoring works differently but better by enabling marketers to assign scores based on the actions that prospects are likely to complete. Predictive analytics are largely based on the historical behaviour of a prospect.
Marketers study a significant amount of historical data about a prospect and identify a pattern on their behavior. A good example of past customer behavior is the purchases made in the past. In such cases, marketers and sales teams identify similar products and send them to such leads. This enables B2B sales and marketing teams to segment their audience effectively and even prioritize leads.
Most importantly, predictive lead scoring enables marketers to identify leads that are closer to buying through the use of historical behavior data. This information is critical in helping sales teams find the best leads to nurture and push down the sales funnel and close deals.
At a time when customers are bombarded with numerous marketing messages, B2B marketers need to find an effective way to convey their marketing messages. Sales teams are also faced by the challenge of having to sell to customers who only prefer to engage them way after they have conducted research and are well aware of the solutions that are available in the market.
Behavioural data plays the critical role of enabling B2B marketing and sales teams overcome these challenges. It enables them to understand their customers and craft effective strategies for attracting, converting and retaining them. While behavioural data enables marketers to develop marketing messages that resonate with customers and address their needs, it also serves as a powerful tool for strengthening sales teams so that they can sell more successfully.
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