Do people still buy people? Even in today’s digital age, where consumers have access to vast amounts of information and can make purchasing decisions without ever speaking to a salesperson, the human element is still a critical factor in many buying decisions.
When it comes to parting with substantial amounts of money, both in-store for individual purchases, and for B2B buying decisions, purchasers demand a deeper buying experience. They like to feel understood, valued, and connected to the brands from which they buy. At this level. And especially with B2B acquisition. trust and personalisation typically play a larger role in the purchase decision.
The Evolution of Buying from People
This psychological aspect of buying is why salespeople, marketers, and customer service representatives are still important in the buying process. Personalised experiences help build relationships with prospects and customers that go beyond just the transaction. This leads to enhanced loyalty and better retention in the long run.
That being said, the way in which people buy from people has certainly evolved with technology. Social media platforms, email, and other digital communication channels have made it easier for consumers to connect with brands, and vice versa, on a more personal level.
Bridging the Gap Between Physical and Digital
Those channels in addition to Video conferencing tools like Zoom, MS Teams, and Google Meet have, to some extent, made it possible for salespeople to conduct face-to-face, voice, and text-based meetings with customers even when they are not in the same location.
The Metaverse is gradually taking that further. Providers of such ‘digital video shopping’ solutions that bridge the gap between in-store, or in showroom, and digital are growing. This allows much greater personalisation, even remotely. Check out this solution from Distance Sales that can be applied both to B2C and B2B.
The Importance of Human Interaction for Certain Buying Scenarios
Software solutions can also facilitate a degree of personalisation. Automation is everywhere, and artificial intelligence increasingly enables marketers to personalise at least some aspects of the seller-buyer process. Yet, thus far, it does not offer the degree of intimacy that comes with face to face and voice-to-voice communication.
Some buying scenarios simply demand face-to-face interaction. Site audits, demos, and more involved or technical sales, usually necessitate an on-site, face to face, visit. However, even before that point, due to the nature of the purchase, a human-to-human interaction is likely to be required before the actual meeting takes place.
Passive Versus Active Sales
If you’re blessed with a large number of enquiries that flood into your business, customer service representatives, or inside sales people, can field the enquiries and, hopefully, move them towards the sale. They can encourage buyers to fix a time to meet or speak to a more experienced sales person. Appointments, demos, and even sales, can be booked or made during the initial call. It goes without saying that those that handle these types of passive inbound calls need to be able to build rapport, and to deliver the results you need.
If leads don’t come to you, there’s usually a requirement for more proactive outreach. Outbound telemarketing allows businesses to directly connect with potential customers and to convey their message effectively. Whilst telemarketing can also be perceived as intrusive and impersonal, to make these kinds of campaigns successful, businesses must understand the power and value of personalisation.
What does Personalisation for Lead Generation Mean?
Personalisation is the act of tailoring marketing messages to the individual needs and preferences of the potential customer. It is the opposite of mass marketing, where the same message is delivered to a broad audience. Personalisation in telemarketing therefore means understanding the customer’s pain points, interests, and needs and using that information to develop the conversation.
Personalisation in telemarketing has become more critical than ever before. With the ubiquitous nature of information, significantly upweighting buyer knowledge, high-value customers expect a personalised experience from every business with which they interact. According to a study by Salesforce, 75% of customers expect a personalised experience, and 76% of customers are willing to share personal information to receive that tailored experience.
So, with that in mind, below are further reasons why personalisation is crucial for lead generation:
Increased Conversion Rates
It may go without saying, but tailoring the conversation and developing buyer rapport, can help businesses increase their conversion rates. When potential customers receive personalised messages, both digitally and personally, they are more likely to engage with the salesperson and listen to what they have to say. This can increase the chances of converting a lead into a sale.
For example, instead of making a generic pitch to a potential customer, a good telemarketer will use examples, stories, specific product knowledge, and understanding of similar client challenges, to create a better intro, and to encourage a more compelling discussion. This will empower them to more readily address the customer’s needs and pain points. In turn, this will make the potential client more engaged in what the salesperson has to offer, and more likely to convert.
Improved Customer Experience
This more refined approach can also help businesses improve the customer experience. When a salesperson takes the time to understand a potential customer’s needs and preferences, they can deliver a more bespoke and relevant message, and proposition. Most customers believe that their particular situation is different. Adapting the approach accordingly helps the potential customer to feel valued, which can create a positive customer experience.
For example, a telemarketer can use effective questions, reference previous interactions with the business, or offer a solution that is specific to their needs. This can help the potential customer feel more connected to the business, and more likely to have a positive experience.
Enhanced Loyalty and Retention – The Holy Grail
A report by Harvard Business Review found that increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95%. And, loyalty starts from the very first impression that a buyer has of your organisation.
When potential customers feel valued, they are more likely to remember the business and develop a connection with the brand. This can create a positive impression that can lead to repeat business and referrals.
For example, a telemarketer can use this deeper customer understanding and personalisation to offer exclusive deals or promotions to customers. And, being able to reference experience of a certain industry issue may convince the client to not look elsewhere. This makes the customer feel special and more likely to choose the business over competitors in the future.
Whilst most industries are crowded with similar purveyors of services, differentiation starts with your people. The individuals that interact with customers and prospects are as much part of your brand as your products and services.
Good callers, and internal customer service representatives, are worth their weight in gold. This allows successful organisations to differentiate themselves from competitors that use a generic approach, and poorly trained executives. This can make potential customers more likely to choose the business over competitors.
In conclusion, personalisation is crucial if you want to attract and retain higher value customers, encourage them to spend more with you, reject competitors, and become advocates. When businesses take the time to understand their potential customers’ needs and preferences and use that information to tailor their campaigns, they can create a more effective campaign.