Digital Body Language: Using data to improve customer experience and close sales
Consider the following:
67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally~ SiriusDecisions
Buyers are 60% through their decision process before engaging with a sales person ~ Google & Corporate Executive Board/Gartner
Think about it – as consumers, for almost every major purchase we make these days, we usually start by going online to learn more about our concern/need, asking for recommendations from our Facebook friends, reading reviews and consumer reports, and finding out what the best options are. Then, we either buy online, buy in-store, or speak to a sales representative to get more information and make the purchase.
The same happens in business-to-business buying processes too. Buyers identify a problem, research online how to solve it, find options and then determine the best one based recommendations, quotes and demos from sales reps.
Obviously, that’s a simplification of the buying process, but what it points out is this:
It’s more important than ever to understand our “digital customer”: What they need, when they need it, and how they need it. Because otherwise, they won’t notice us and we won’t be part of their consideration set.
This is where understanding “digital body language” comes in.
What is Digital Body Language?
Steven Woods, former CTO and Group Vice President of Eloqua (now part of the Oracle Marketing Cloud), states:
What we are referring to when we talk about Digital Body Language is the aggregate of all the digital activity you see from an individual. Each email that is opened or clicked, each web visit, each form, each search on Google, each referral from a social media property, and each webinar attended are part of the prospect’s digital body language.
In the same way that body language, as read by a sales person managing a deal, is an amalgamation of facial expressions, body posture, eye motions, and many other small details, digital body language is the amalgamation of all digital touchpoints.
Understanding your customer’s digital body language supports both marketing and sales:
- Marketing can develop a deeper understanding of what content works and what doesn’t. They can then tailor messaging to buyers to support what they need at each stage of their decision-making process.
- Sales can accelerate their sale cycle by providing the right level of support and information to buyers – they have the data they need to know where buyers are in their decision making, what information they’ve already reviewed and be able to provide more targeted solutions to buyers to close the sale.
Tools You Can Use
With buyers doing more research online, the role of sales has changed from being the primary resource in the buying process to now being the solutions expert to support the self-educated buyer. In turn, marketing’s role has expanded with content and digital analytics to support the purchase journey. Two primary tools to support marketing’s efforts include:
- Marketing Automation: Through marketing automation solutions (e.g. SharpSpring), marketers can get a picture of an individual’s online behavior – how they interact with content online, through social media, and via email. By providing content that supports different stages of the buying process, marketing can understand what a buyer may be thinking based on the pages visited, links clicked, videos viewed, or social posts liked. Sales can then use this data to help them tailor their interactions with the customer, thus shortening the sales cycle.
- Google Analytics: Reviewing Google Analytics regularly is also important to understand what content is resonating with buyers. Setting conversion goals and monitoring stats such as top content/pages, exit points and search terms used can support content development and enable marketing to more effectively target buyers through the right channels with the right messaging.
Ultimately, by monitoring the data and understanding the buyer, you can improve the overall buying experience for your customers and make life more productive for your sales team.