Six Ways to Decode Your Customers’ Digital Body Language

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November 8, 2011

In traditional sales, good salespeople watch body language and monitor if the prospect is warming to the product or drawing away. In the digital world, that same salesperson has the same opportunity to watch for hot or cold signs that the prospect is sending through their digital body language. Here’s a 101 course on how to read the digital body language of your customers in six simple steps.

Watch for Digital Signs of Interest

As your prospects communicate back to you on a variety of marketing channels, you can gauge their interest level.

Emails with a link to more information allow you to monitor the prospect’s interest level through his or her Web activity (or lack of activity). Layering a personal URL (PURL) with your direct mail campaign lets you identify an individual’s Web activity and area of interest. As you observe the digital body language of your prospects, you can give them personalized information to move them through your sales pipeline.

Map out the Buying Process to See Where They Are

To understand where prospects are in the buying process, map out how buyers buy through your company. Although each buyer is different, the phases of the buying process are usually the same like the four-phase map below—research, consider, trial, and buy. Mapping helps you tailor your messages to prospects in each stage. It then empowers you to drop the right marketing message to them through the right marketing channel.

Determine How Interested They Are Before Assigning a Salesperson

Somewhere in our sloppy sales pasts, many businesses used to assign a salesperson to a prospect at the first hint of interest. But by closely observing digital body language we can gauge “how interested they are,” then decide if they need more info sent or a salesperson to step in. Not all leads merit being assigned to the sales department, as lead scoring will help you determine.

Build a contact washing machine

As customer data comes in to you through Web forms, uploads, lists, tradeshows, or your customer relationship management (CRM) system—always have it flow through a “contact washing machine” that cleanses, normalizes, and standardizes your data. For example, what is your company’s standard use of “Vice Pres,” “V.P.,” “VP,” or “Vice President” as a title?

Try Potato Chip Marketing

As you interact with your prospects, you provide them valuable information, like laying a potato chip out one at a time to lure them into taking the final chip from your hand. Doing so gradually allows you to build trust from them for small amounts of information in return for their small steps forward toward you. Use a modular profile, and ask only two or three questions at a time, and you can progressively profile your audience and develop the equivalent of a 20- or 30-field form.

Give Your Sales Team the Same Visibility You Have

Offering marketing metrics to your sales team can have a profound effect. As team members understand more about Marketing’s ability to influence key pipeline deals, and how digital body language helps them understand and guide their deals, and lead scoring, you’ll be able to forge a deeper, better, and more productive relationship with your sales team.

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