Prospecting, lead qualification and nurturing, prospect management and the transaction itself have all changed forever.
The salesman with a bag has been relegated, at best, to the transaction end of the prospect to transaction continuum. In the process, we have lost some of the humanity, some of the eyeball closeness that good sales people brought to the table, the insights and instinct gathered from the context and body language that underpinned all the conversations they had.
All gone, but most would agree that body language holds a significant place in the sales process, so how have we replaced it?
Is there such a thing as “Digital body language”?
Can we score metaphors of the physical reaction from digital interactions?
Logically the answer has to be ‘Yes”, as we now have access to a huge body of data that reflects the sum of behaviour of all who come into contact with whatever platform or tool we have working for us. However, access to data is a very long way from leveraging the insights that are hidden within the data, a fairly advanced level of analytic capability along with a tool with some grunt is required, although simpler tools with manual intervention can be made to work.
Consider the process:
- Somebody reads a blog post and “likes” it, better yet, shares it,
- They subscribe to the blog to make receiving it automatic,
- They respond to an offer, webinar, e-book download, surveys, or combination of these, perhaps several times, and all the while your system is recording and responding to their actions, delivering the next step to them.
- The system is constantly being improved as more data points are collected, and A/B testing provides finer grained insights
The data collected can be sliced and diced, weighted and resliced in all sorts of ways that can provide an almost visceral insight into the behaviour of groups and subgroups to various content stimuli at differing levels of engagement. The relative effectiveness of differing pieces of content at each point in the sales continuum can be calculated with good levels of accuracy.
Surely this is the equivalent of the sum of the body language cues of those in the database, if not necessarily that of any individual within it, and so is a very effective guide when well used. Data will never replace the one on one human responses, but the value of the digital picture built up is a source of enormous value, immeasurably widening the net of prospects beyond what can be achieved with boots on the ground.