In today’s content-crazed, data-driven and search engine optimized world of sales and marketing, there is one thing that often gets overlooked: the human element.
But as impressive as that all is, it’s not enough to close the deal. Why?
Because you’re not selling widgets here; you’re selling premium professional services to fellow C-level execs. Which means you’re selling the kinds of changes that keep procurement managers up at night, consume entire annual budgets and affect teams of people.
And turning that transformative proposal into a sale requires building customer trust—the kind of trust that can only come from human interaction.
Humans connecting with humans
That perfectly crafted sales email you sent out probably doesn’t ask how your prospect’s day went or provide an opportunity to exchange a non-work-related anecdote. Certain things like empathy, passion and amusement simply can’t be conveyed in the digital medium. However, that friendly sales rep who has called your prospect for the last several months—getting to know their business and their struggles one step at a time—provides a real, tangible spark that only connecting with another live human can provide. Now you’re probably thinking, “Excuse me Mr. B2B Blogger Guy, but if someone is digitally interested enough and hits the lead scoring threshold in my immaculately configured instance of [insert marketing automation tool], my reps will reach out right away.”
And you’re right. But is it your goal to passively reach out to your prospects with a half-hearted phone call mandated by a system, from a rep who knows nothing of your prospect’s real challenges? Or do you want to wow and engage your prospects with an insightful conversation after the first gentle digital touches?
Many say inside sales is dead, or at best, is on the operating table waiting for the nurse to yell “Clear!” Well, yeah—if you’re cold calling from a phone book, you’re probably not going to blow the doors off your boss’s office.
But if your dialers are personable, quick-thinking, well-versed on complex subject matters and can dive right into the details of solving your prospect’s pain points—it’s an entirely different conversation. (See what I did there?)
Lead generation is relationship generation
At Symbiont, we incorporate the human element into all of our lead generation campaigns; it’s what differentiates us from those strictly digital B2B marketing agencies out there. It also enables us to take the generally automated shotgun approach to lead generation, where you blast the same generic message to all your prospects, and transform it into active lead farming (patent pending).
From there, we rework the intel from the call into the schedule of marketing content that the prospect receives going forward.
To truly “align” sales and marketing, you have to introduce an element of sales – i.e. the human element – as early as possible into your company’s interactions with your prospect. This allows you to tailor all of your interactions going forward to the prospect’s needs.
And I don’t just mean needs based on their behavior while clicking around your website, but needs based on their tone, their energy and their goals as gauged by a real person.
Build your business by building customer trust
Any B2B company trying to proactively grow and evolve should go beyond cold, lifeless digital interactions. When both human and digital interactions work in sync to address your prospect’s needs, trust develops. The sooner you build onto that trust, the sooner you can convert those prospects into leads and leads into customers.