Lead generation can be a roller coaster of a process; it has so many ups and downs. Sometimes, during the ups, you might find yourself celebrating, only to find that your jubilation is premature. One of those up-moments could be when a potential lead submits a form, asks for a quote or performs an action such as downloading a whitepaper. Such actions provide you all the vindication you need that your campaign is headed in the right direction and that indeed, your product or company is getting enough eyeballs.
But wait a minute, should you be celebrating just because a prospect has shown interest in your offering? Does getting a prospect in your funnel mean that there is purchase intent and that your work is done? Hardly. In fact, although getting prospects into your pipeline is an important part of the lead generation process, your work is only fully done when that prospect has converted; when a deal is closed.
One of the most important tools in use today for customer conversion is behavioral insights and such insights are especially impactful during late-stage buying. According to research, it is in the latter stages of buying that brands are likely to lose or close a customer.
How, therefore, do you make use of behavioral insight to achieve maximum conversions? Let’s find out below.
Why Behavioral Data
Behavioral data provides an indication of where leads are in the buying journey and thereby guides your decisions when marketing to those leads. If you don’t know whether prospects are closer or farther away from buying, you cannot respond to them with appropriate messaging.
For instance, how do you respond to leads who are investigating versus those who are evaluating? Or, if a prospect displays purchase intent, how do you respond to that person? Without behavioral data, you are likely to send blanket messaging to everyone in the funnel regardless of their positioning in the buyers’ journey.
Figure 1: Source: Jornaya
Behavioral data is all about getting your messaging to your leads at the right time. whenever you know where your leads are in the funnel, you can tweak your strategy accordingly and prioritize leads. Being this strategic, appropriate and relevant prevents losing leads to competitors especially during late stage buying.
What kind of behavioral insight should you be looking for?
Some common buyer behavior to watch out for include:
According to research carried out by Jornaya, leads have an 80% higher chance of conversion if after lead submission, they visit industry sites. If you can optimize the timing of your messaging, and assign salespeople to such leads, you are likely to get more conversions out of targets that are actively shopping.
Customers in The Active Research Stage
Brands experience 300% more conversions when a prospect visits their website after submitting a lead. Intent data collected from your website can tell you a lead’s attraction for your brand based on how they are interacting with your website.
Interest In Competitor Offerings
There is always a risk that some of the leads you are nurturing could convert with your competition. You could actually be in active engagement with a lead, but behavioral data could show purchase intent on competitor websites.
If behavioral data reveals this type of activity, you should pay extra attention to leads giving off such signals and take steps that will alter your positioning vis a vis your competitors. For instance, offer packages that are likely to sway their decisions, such as discounts, free trials, additional features, etcetera
Some leads will make it to your funnel but then become inactive. While most leads that go dormant will usually remain that way, some re-engage after abandoning their buyer journey. Intent data will give you this kind of information, and you can then make the decision to re-engage the lead or not.
4 Tips to Leverage Behavioral Insight and Increase Conversions Is Late Stage Buying
1. Start Early
Research into buyer behavior, reveals that more and more, buyers continue to do their own research during the first stages of the funnel, and only engage brands in the latter stages of buying.
You have probably encountered such buyers and at times, they probably show signs that they will convert with the competition. Trying to convert such buyers can be quite difficult especially when dealing with products that have a long sales cycle. Consider that for products with long sales cycles, getting to late stage buying could be a process that takes months. How do you then convince a potential customer to change a perception they have shaped about your competition and to go with you instead?
The answer is simple: leverage behavioral insights from way earlier in the buyer’s journey so that you remain top of mind as they do their personal research. There are quite a number of marketing automation tools to do this.
Yes, buyers are conducting more and more of their own research and yes, they want sufficient information to accomplish this. This, nevertheless, does not mean that you should pile on endless quantities of data on your targeted buyers.
According to HBR, it is always better to make things easier for your prospects. The more information you give buyers, the more difficult their decision will be. On the other hand, you can get a lot more accomplished with lesser but more targeted information.
While you may now this for a fact, a paper published by HBR, titled “the new sales imperative”, maintains that, certain actions taken by salespeople do actually complicate matters for prospective buyers, as opposed to making their purchasing decision easier. For instance, in an attempt to be more responsive to customers, sales people can provide an overabundance of content. It was noted by HBR when they surveyed 600 B2B buyers that while an over-abundance of information is deemed by supplier to be customer-centric, it did decrease buying ease by 18%. In other words, lesser options made it easier to make a buying decision.
In the interest of simplification, and given that b2b buyers are busy, it is imperative to offer only the best type of content to your leads, particularly those in late stage buying.
3. Serve the Right Content
Demand Gen’s 2019 Content Preferences Survey Report found that 73% of professionals have time constrains and therefore they prefer to consume audio and visual content as opposed to written content.
Figure 2: B2b professionals prefer video and audio content as opposed to written content (source: DemandGenReport)
4. Content Personalization Is Key:
The same survey by Demand Gen also notes the importance of content personalization, with most preferring content that is organized by the pain point it addresses.
Creating and publishing content that addresses pain points in your industry and that targets your industry vertical, increases the likelihood of your brand being found.
Engaging your target market with the right content begins with understanding personas. When you understand the personas you are marketing to, you will run more effective multi-touch campaigns to steer your customers towards the right buying decision.
More importantly, to close late stage customers, you have to work with a prospect list that is giving off the right signals. Tailor content for them, set the right reps to follow and close these accounts and provide those reps with as much behavioral insights as possible to help them with their closing.