Few teams face the level of competition that salespeople do. In an era of globalized business and instant digital connection, every potential customer has untold options at their fingertips.
For salespeople, that means delivering a standout customer experience is essential. And, one of the most powerful ways of doing this is by creating a personalized sales approach.
Here’s why personalization is so important to sales, and how you can go about it, including some advice from our very own sales specialists here at Aircall.
Why Is a Personalized Sales Approach Important?
Securing a sale isn’t about shouting the loudest or pestering your prospect into an agreement. In fact, 50% of customers already find salespeople too pushy. Instead of upping the volume, personalization can be transformative to your sales strategy by:
Creating meaningful connections with customers which you can learn from
Differentiating you from your competitors
Building lasting partnerships that offer ongoing revenue streams
Personalization itself takes many different forms and levels of personalization will change depending on where a prospect is in the sales funnel. For example, you might begin by simply learning a customer’s name and end with a completely bespoke product demo (more on that below).
The common thread, though, is showing the customer you care. Personalization is all about demonstrating you’ve taken the time to understand who the prospect is as an individual and the challenges they face.
“It’s more important than ever to make sure that people feel heard and seen in the conversations we’re having. By recognizing who the person is, the position they sit in, and even the information they have available on their LinkedIn, we can tap into how Aircall can improve their day-to-day. When you go the extra mile to acknowledge a person’s hard work, it shows how dedicated you are to earning their business.” — Miranda Fisher, SDR/BDR Manager, North America
4 Ways to Personalize Your Sales Approach
If you’re ready to begin your journey to a winning personalized sales strategy, here are our top tips for getting started.
Focus on Preparation
As Alexander Graham Bell once said, in words that still ring true for salespeople, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” (Great advice and inventing the telephone, the most important tool salespeople have—Alexander, we owe you one!)
With this in mind, before you start a call, build a picture of your prospect. Sketch out some questions to help shape your research, for example:
How do they spend their time?
What are their interests?
What challenges are they likely to face and how can you address them?
What’s their organization like?
Can you learn anything about their demeanor?
A Gen Z prospect working for a start-up will have different needs and will respond to a different approach than a long-serving member of a centuries-old institution. In short, your prospects won’t be one-size-fits-all, so your initial approach shouldn’t be either.
“My approach is simple: I spend two to three minutes researching the prospect via LinkedIn/Google and use that to tailor my intro so it demonstrates my professional interest. I also visit their LinkedIn page before reaching out; that way, they’ll get familiar with my name. Then, based on the persona, I go over pain points and solutions, conclude with a question, or tell them I look forward to chatting about their individual challenges or pain points.” — Stephanie Diaz, Sales Development Representative
Invest in the right business tools
Over 40% of all salespeople agree that the phone is the best sales tool at their disposal. For that reason, every personalized sales approach should start with a cloud-based calling center.
Think of this as your virtual HQ. It’s home to all the tools you need, contains insights on prospects that can drive personalization, and is accessible from anywhere in just a few clicks (critical in our increasingly hybrid world of work).
Cloud-based calling is particularly suited to a personalized sales strategy when integrated with other key business tools. Connecting your voice system with your CRM, for example, can allow you to surface caller data instantly during a call.
That means it’s goodbye to frantic Google searches while stalling for time and hello to instant personalized insights.
Find your “why”
A little direction goes a long way in a sales call. Think carefully about the purpose of your conversation. You should know why you’re calling and be ready to explain it to your prospect. For example, you might be calling to:
Learn more about their individual challenges
Find out which solution they’re currently using
Schedule a demo or to walk them through an update
Offer them a particular deal
Understanding the “why” of the call will help you tailor the conversation toward the customer, as well as toward your overall objective. And, once the call is over, you can use the information gained to further personalize your next step.
Refining your “why” as you go will mean you’re always moving the customer along the sales funnel without losing time to unnecessary steps or repetitive (and frustrating) conversations.
Bonus tip: streamline those call notes with AI-powered transcription and pattern recognition to help find your “why” faster.
Perfect your demo through the art of storytelling
So, you’ve spent a few weeks chatting with a prospect and they’re ready to see what your solution can do. Now it’s time for a demo. This is the moment you want your product to shine. Thankfully, personalization is the perfect polish.
That’s because a demo isn’t simply a chance to reel off every feature. Instead, see your demo as an opportunity to tell a story with that potential customer at the heart of it.
If you’re unsure how to turn your demo into a compelling narrative, it’s worth thinking about some basic elements of every story:
Every story needs a hero. Think of yours as your customer, so start by highlighting their goals and objectives.
Think of this as your story’s context. This is where you can bring in more background on your customer’s workplace and the sector it sits in.
Here’s where you set up the challenges that are stopping the character/customer you outlined from thriving. These should be very specific and based on what you’ve already learned about the prospect.
Conflict demands resolution. In steps 1-3 you’re building tension and in the final step, you need to resolve it. This is where you and your solution enter the story, the main character’s trusty partner, ready to help them overcome any challenge they face.
And, once that demo is over, remember to use the response you get to personalize the next step along the buying journey.
“I always try to start with something light. From there, I highlight two to three key features from the demo call that the prospect liked and would benefit their productivity if they were to start with us.” — Rory Macpherson, Account Executive
Ultimately, personalization in sales is about putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. The more effort you put into thinking about their challenges, learning about their experiences, and studying their sector, the better placed you’ll be to deliver a fantastic sales pitch for them.
As we’ve seen, calling is a vital part of this personalized journey because there’s no better way to really get to know someone than by having a conversation. If you’re ready to see how cloud-based calling can transform your sales strategy, give Aircall a try for free.
Published on March 1, 2023.