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As more stores become digitized, B2B companies are adopting B2C-style personalization strategies, and more business buyers are expecting consumer-centric shopping experiences. However, the requirements and strategies for B2B personalization are different from B2C personalization.
B2B personalization requires less personal information and more data about the customer’s role, business goals, and industry. B2B personalization also involves more refined segmentation than a typical B2C program, which is why many B2B marketers use account-based marketing (ABM) strategies to aid their personalization programs.
- Gartner describes ABM, which targets specific groups of business contacts with personalized marketing and sales messages, as a way for B2B sellers to “do personalization on a large scale”.
- Almost half (47%) of marketers surveyed by DemandGen said they use ABM to ensure they are targeting the right stakeholders at companies they want to do business with.
However, to be truly effective, B2B personalization and ABM programs need customer feedback – also known as. designated Voice-of-the-customer data– to create a human-centered customer experience (CX).
Human-Centered CX can deliver the kind of data B2B companies need to achieve their ABM goals as it goes beyond site analytics and behavioral data to take into account customer opinions and feedback.
How can a human-centered CX strategy help your business?
Taking a human-centered approach can help your company stand out and stay competitive.
In B2B marketing, more and more importance is attached to ABM strategies: A full 61% of those questioned in the previously cited DemandGen survey stated that they would spend more on ABM in the coming year. B2B companies need to keep up with the improved CX that ABM can offer when coupled with voice-of-the-customer data.
Voice-of-the-customer data can also help bridge the gap between customer expectations for personalization and the reality of what companies offer.
A whopping 85% of B2B customers said they expect sales reps to show that they understand their customers’ business, and almost the same percentage (84%) said they are more likely to buy from companies that meet the business goals Understand their customers, found Salesforce 2020 status of connected customer report. However, 57% of these B2B buyers said that sales reps often don’t understand their customers’ business.
Where can you get voice-of-the-customer data?
One of the most popular methods of collecting customer voice data is by conducting surveys that collect the Net Promoter Score and other information via email, SMS or website form. You can also conduct focus groups with customers to find out what they think of your CX, your products, and your service delivery, and what they need or want that you don’t already offer.
Social listening tools can aggregate mentions of your brand and products by customers and prospects on platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook, Reddit forums, blog posts, and review websites. This type of feedback can help you understand your customers’ weaknesses and get a feel for your brand’s reputation on social media.
You can also collect and analyze the feedback customers share with your customer service and sales representatives.
At the individual level, it is important that employees have a process in place to let them know what customers are telling them. At the departmental or organizational level, language analysis software can check the wording, tone of voice, and emotions in a customer’s language when they call your service center, uncovering customer satisfaction trends, problem areas, and potential solutions.
After all, any personal conversation your sales team has with customers can give you valuable insight not only into customers’ business needs and goals, but also about their individual preferences, how they would like to be contacted and how they would most like to make purchasing decisions, along with other details that Can help you build a successful, very targeted and empathetic ABM program.
How can you create people-centric B2B campaigns?
With ABM, your marketing and sales teams can develop an ideal customer profile and identify potential prospects from it. From there, you can use voice-of-customer data to understand what these prospects are doing, what their goals are, and what they need from vendors.
Then you can create enhanced individual experiences:
- More effective email messages: When contacting new B2B prospects, for example, industry-specific personalization is more effective than company-specific personalization. B2B buyers expect vendors to be familiar with their industry.
- Smarter retargeting through social media and display ads: Knowing your prospect’s industry and specific goals can help you tailor your ads to the context of their needs and online activity.
- Personalized website experiences: Customize landing pages for your ABM goals and display the most relevant products or services when those goals visit your sales portal.
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Although personalization can give B2B buyers the B2C experience they want, and ABM can help vendors deploy personalized strategies at a scale that makes sense for their sales goals, listening to customers and acting on the information they share results in a human-centered experience.
By integrating voice-of-the-customer data into your ABM, you start the conversations and build the relationships that lead to sales and growth.
More resources on voice-of-the-customer data
How to use the customer’s voice in B2B to improve customer satisfaction and increase engagement
Data Problems: What If You Try But Still Don’t Know Much About Your Customers?
Qualitative research: even more important in the age of big data