Personalization is a hot topic in B2B Sales and, with buyers getting farther in their journey before ever talking to a rep — it will continue to be what differentiates your sales team from your competitors. In DemandGen’s B2B Buyer Survey, they found that 64% of buyers want vendors who demonstrate knowledge of their company and offer insights into their problems.
So, if personalization is so important to today’s B2B buyer, why is it so hard to scale...particularly with content in the middle of your sales funnel?
The quick answer is most sales teams are using disparate or unsuitable solutions for customer requests, document creation, and proposals. Simply re-using a Microsoft Word template and doing a bit of copying/pasting won’t cut it in today’s market. To reach true personalization that will win deals and build rapport, you have to consider (and have a solution that can support) three dimensions of your efforts:
- Text snippets for quick customization
- Multiple templates for more in-depth customization
- Categorization for long-term success.
Quick Personalization: Text Snippets
One of the easiest ways to quickly achieve customization is by utilizing text snippets. Similar to what you’ve seen in sales engagement platforms or marketing automation tools, these are placeholders that can input 1-2 words into each document. Examples of fields to use in these snippets are your contact’s name, the team they are on or the persona they fit into, the company’s name, the product you’re selling, etc.
Below is an example of an executive summary in a proposal created in Ombud where snippets are being utilized:
While this functionality is common fodder by now, it’s not used widely in the middle of funnel content such as SOWs, POCs, and sales proposals. Pull your personalization farther down the funnel so prospects have a consistent, personalized feel to each document they receive from your team.
In-Depth Personalization: Multiple Templates
Is there a specific company’s proposal you always go back to because it fits for a certain industry or edge use case where the standard template doesn’t cut it? That’s where multiple templates can speed up and personalize your content creation approach. While text snippets offer a micro, deal-by-deal lens, this is looking at your documents at a more macro level and personalizing across specific dimensions such as industry or product offering. Even though a template may be suitable across multiple prospects - it will still feel more personal because you’re speaking directly to challenges/problems you’re solving for their industry or the challenges/problems you most often solve with that product offering.
Long-Term Success: Categorization
Finally, identify the attributes that are consistent across your sales content efforts and can help to categorize them logically. In Ombud, we call this “tagging” and can pull these fields straight from Salesforce. This functionality comes standard in most response and sales content platforms.
Below, you can see an example of a tag hierarchy within Ombud:
What fields should you tag your documents with? Our best practice is to tag anything that might slightly tweak how you respond to a prospect, but not enough that you’d change an entire document. With a solution like Ombud, you can look at previous responses at will to see how you’ve modified certain sections before, and documents with the same tag will be prioritized. The goal is to make this personalization easier and faster over time by being able to leverage every prospect from the same region, company size, industry, and more.
Are These Suggestions Unavailable in Your Current Solution? It’s Time to Upgrade!
In traditional content management systems or desktop solutions like Microsoft Word or SharePoint, these best practices aren’t readily available or are half baked at best. If you want to truly scale your personalization and meet the needs of today’s B2B buyers, consider investing in a Sales Content Collaboration solution.
Still unsure? Check out our infographic on the other signs it’s time for sales content collaboration!