Email. Text. IM. Social messenger. It seems we go out of our way to substitute face-to-face interaction for less personal interaction. But at its core, sales is about relationships, and no amount of technology can substitute the trust an effective salesperson builds with a prospect.

Still, with the majority of buyers doing their own research before speaking with a company, the bar has risen for salespeople looking to engage potential customers. Loyalty is harder to earn because today’s savvy B2B customers are sometimes bypassing sales entirely and relying on technology to provide a full customer experience.

What does this translate into for sales teams? Ultimately, the sales organization must help craft an experience that allows the customer to be in control.

Here are three critical areas where sales can cultivate better customer relationships in the digital space.

Mobile

Mobile isn’t a different channel; for many customers, it’s becoming the default channel. About 85 percent of respondents to a survey said they require B2B content to be mobile optimized. Creating an experience that makes it easy to engage with content from any mobile device is mandatory, especially for B2B vendors. Think less about campaigns and a focus on an increase in responsive and reactive interactions or ‘moments’ that reflect what the individual user is doing, or has just done, at that moment in time. Make sure your messaging, sales assets and contact channels aren’t just optimized for mobile, but mobile-first.

Content

Content is more than website copy and marketing slicks. Business development phone calls, presentations, proposals and even contracts, represent your company’s brand and approach to technology. Make it easy for prospects to engage independently, but also to entice buyers to reach out with interactive content and tech that allows you to engage with prospects when they interact with your content.

The best way to engage prospects in your content is by covering topics that focus on your main business drivers. Get in the mindset of your target audience–what’s driving them to your solution? Plan to create content around your prospects’:

  • Highest priorities– what’s important to them?
  • Pain points– what’s frustrating them?
  • Obstacles– what’s keeping them from making a decision?
  • Market forces– how are industry trends and changes impacting their businesses?

Context

This is where things might get a little tricky. Because no two buyers are the same, context is relative. Personalization is the solution: using data from CRM and other sources provides the business backbone – the data-driven rationale – for tailored assets that prospects can open, view and share from anywhere, on any device.

A company that can provide prospects with exactly what they need – when they need it – is more likely to attract and keep customers. The future of mobile search involves predicting how the searcher wants to engage with the content presented — whether they’d like to read a review, watch a video or call a business directly to get more information.

Sales is still about people building relationships, but the building blocks of those relationships have changed. To provide a seamless customer experience and start relationships right, follow your prospects’ lead and use digital channels to your advantage.

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