Customers Are Expecting You to Know Them Better


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Customers and prospects are demanding more relevancy and personalization with their campaigns. If they don’t recognize messaging or offers that are pertinent to their job function, your marketing goes directly to their trash bin. Email response rates have been on the decline, according to the DMA 2005 Statistical Fact Book, and it is much harder to get the attention of your customers. Unless you prove you’re relevant to them, they won’t care to hear your message or take action upon it.

At the same time, it has become more imperative to tie your company’s messaging across marketing and sales.

The response in 2006 and beyond are intelligent tools that allow you to show your customer and prospects that you recognize them and those that allow your sales and marketing teams to work together more seamlessly for targeted, relevant offers and information.

Progressive profiling is one method that allows you to treat your customers like individuals. Web sites recognize repeat visitors. You don’t need to repeatedly ask the same 20 questions to get the information you desire. Through previous responses, certain fields are pre-populated, showing the customer or prospect you’ve been paying attention to who they are and what kind of products or solutions they may need. Also, more advanced systems are giving you the ability to validate addresses, both physical and email.

All of this improves prospect and customer interaction, creating more relevancy and higher quality leads for your company.

Figure 1

Tight integration between your marketing and sales systems will empower your sales force with current marketing information and provide feedback to marketing. The same principles you use to deal with your customers, applying relevancy and saving time through repeat visit recognition, can also apply to your sales organization. They, too, need the right information at the right time so they can close more deals. Your marketing organization will also benefit because they won’t be asking sales to provide information back to them through manual processes, which can take too much time and often does not happen at all.

Quality over quantity
My article, Are Too Many Leads Hurting Your Business? touches on one obvious demand of today’s sales force: quality over quantity when it comes to the leads agents receive. Gone are the days of flooding agents with as many leads as possible. Now they’re asking for fewer, more qualified leads that will turn into closed sales in a shorter amount of time.

Your sales team would rather have an abundance of information on 10 qualified responders than a little information on 100 responders. The key to this is automated demand generation, coupled with a sales-driven lead marketing methodology that has helped many of our customers weed through the large volume of low-yield leads that had been wasting their sales force’s valuable time.

Gone are the days of flooding agents with as many leads as possible.

Not only does your messaging need to be more relevant to prospects and customers, but also their information needs to be more relevant and targeted for your sales team.

One of our customers, a web application security company, created a marketing intelligence profile area with its SFA system. Specifically, this enhanced profile section was created from earlier qualification criteria both sales and marketing had agreed on. It receives rules-based, time-sensitive profile data captured over the web or in the call center. As a result, sales has a more improved follow-up, now that agents can see timely, quality information they can immediately act on.

Additionally, these profiles define the important prospect data points the company needs, and they’re phrased in such a way that they give sales a process for providing marketing with its sales insights and prospect needs directly back through the SFA system, to the demand-generation system. The sales insights also trigger rules-based marketing programs, taking the next step in moving the prospect along the company’s sales funnel.

Relevancy was the name of the game in 2006—for both your prospects and customers and your sales force. Your marketing and sales will be much more effective, and you’ll enjoy higher quality leads that turn into more revenue for your company.

Gil Ben-Dov
GBD Enterprises
Gil Ben-Dov, is president of GBD Enterprises, a firm dedicated to helping clients by optimizing the combination of sales, marketing and technology to drive growth and profitability. Ben-Dov has more than two decades of sales and marketing leadership, including positions at Market2Lead, Cisco Systems and Air Liquide.


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