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sales process steps
October 4, 2022

How to Personalize Your Sales Process in 7 Steps

sales process steps

If you’re like me, you use LinkedIn primarily when you’re looking for a job. When not in job search mode, though, my LinkedIn visits are quick hits: share a link to an article, like a few posts, and maybe post a comment. I’m in and out in 15 minutes tops.

Something caused that to change a few weeks ago.

LinkedIn’s algorithm discovered I’m a Gen-Xer, and in the News section of my home page I saw an article about my generation. How could this be? Gen-Xers are rarely the subject of articles. We are the generation that rarely receives attention. We got used to it (whatever) and kept on going, pretending like we didn’t want any recognition.

But LinkedIn served up this personalized content, and suddenly I felt seen. I also felt valued and like I mattered. Not only did I read the article, but I joined the Gen X Nation LinkedIn group and connected with other Gen-Xers. You’ve never seen a group happier to find and talk with one another.

The Power of Personalization in Sales

That’s the power of personalization. If you can customize your buyer engagement, content, and messaging people will respond much more positively than if you take a one-size-fits-all approach.

This applies to sales, too. If sales reps can personalize their sales calls, emails, and conversations, they will see much greater success. In fact, 84% of consumers say being treated like a person, not a number or a sales target, is critical to winning them over, according to Salesforce Research.

In addition, McKinsey research shows personalization increases revenue 10%-15%. “The more skillful a company becomes in applying data to grow customer knowledge and intimacy, the greater the returns,” the company reports.

Sales reps have the power to personalize each phase of the sales process. With a little help from your sales managers and marketing team, you can easily turn a generic one-size-fits-all process into a dynamic one customized for each buyer you approach. These steps will lead you there.

7 Steps to Personalize Your Sales Process

1. Sales Calls and Emails: Include Personal Details

Research the people you will be talking with and the companies where they work, and customize your call script or email template using the information you gather.

When researching people, try to uncover their role, responsibilities, education, languages spoken, interests, and accomplishments. For companies, gather information about their products and services and size. Also try to find company earnings reports, recent press releases, and analyst articles for interesting details.

Some personalized cold call examples:

  • “I read an article you recently wrote about common mistakes made by sales reps on sales calls, and it really resonated with some of my own thoughts on the topic.”
  • “I noticed online that you are hiring aggressively for SDRs in your London office. …”

Within seconds, you make the cold call about the prospect, demonstrate you’ve done your homework, and in most cases, earn the right for more time.

2. Pre-Meeting Communications: Use Customized Content to Personalize the Experience

Use the time before your meeting with the buyer to further personalize the experience and make them feel understood and important. Digital sales rooms are particularly effective, as they allow you to provide a human touch by putting a face to the experience along with the option to add easily customizable widgets and text blocks to guide the buyer.

To personalize pre-meeting communications:

  • Create an agenda for the meeting that includes specific topics uncovered during research or discovery calls.
  • Share supplemental assets with the buyer to help them understand your solution and how it can solve the buyer’s problems.
  • Record a video, expressing how you are looking forward to the meeting, reviewing the agenda, and explaining the assets gathered and why they are valuable.
  • Create a digital sales room and upload the video, agenda, and assets to it.
  • Send an email to the buyer confirming the meeting and explaining the digital sales room and how it works; include the video and the link to the digital sales room.

3. The Meeting: Focus on the Buyer’s Concerns

As much as you’d like to tell the buyer everything about your product, don’t. Instead, give a personalized presentation based on the buyer’s situation, then explain how your solution fits into the narrative.

You also want to ask compelling questions and listen. Sales reps should not talk more than the buyer. Leave openings in the conversation for the buyer to offer more information and share additional details.

When you do speak, empathize with the person, share your experiences, and probe deeper to gain insights. Then, offer concrete solutions to the buyer’s problem and provide a compelling roadmap.

4. Meeting Follow-Up: Include a Personal Video

Take your follow-up email up a notch and include a personal video, along with a recap of your meeting. In the video, thank them for their time, discuss anything you may have overlooked during the meeting, and embed supplemental content in the video, along with an explanation of why you chose it for them.

You should also add that video to the digital sales room you created for the buyer and monitor their engagement with the content. If the buyer engages with it, consider providing more of the same. If they don’t, replace it with something else and follow up with them.

5. Final Meeting and Negotiation: Hyper-Personalize Your Presentation

Use the data and insights gathered from the first meeting and hyper-personalize your presentation. What problems is the buyer trying to solve? What hesitancy do they have? What features best solve their challenges?

Remember to practice and refine your final pitch on video prior to the meeting, focusing on the specific questions and concerns the buyer raised. Share your video with your manager, coach, or peers to get their feedback.

6. Closing the Sale: Humanize the Transaction

You may feel a sense of urgency to get the buyer to sign a contract quickly. It’s still important, though, that your buyer feels like a person and not just a win. Video is again your friend here. Along with the contract, send a personalized video thanking them for their time and their business.

7. After the Sale: Share Data and Nurture the Relationship

The information you gathered during the sales process is valuable to other sellers. Use it to inform other deals in progress so those reps can personalize communications and presentations with their buyers.

You should also share the insights with marketing, product strategy, and other teams so they can update messaging, offerings, and positioning. And to ensure a smooth handoff to the customer success team, provide the link to the digital sales room so the team can access communications and assets you shared with the buyer. Be sure to also share recorded video calls with the team to help them understand the buyer’s challenges and ensure a smoother implementation.

This isn’t your final goodbye, though. You want to maintain the relationship with the buyer and even grow it. This will help you sell more products and services to them and ensure they renew their contract. So, periodically check in with the buyer. Ask if things are going well, send them content you think they would like, and congratulate them on milestones or accomplishments. Again, doing so via a personalized video will make your outreach even more impactful.

Win Buyers with Personalized Experiences

Personalizing the buyer experience means tailoring your communications to accurately address the needs, pain points, and challenges of a customer, all while making them feel valued. Personalization helps you engage buyers, build trust, improve conversations, and convince qualified leads that your product or service is the best option for their needs.

Here’s the thing, though, only 13% of businesses personalize the sales experience, research by SuperOffice found—making it the weakest area of personalization compared to marketing and customer service.

But that also creates an opportunity for you. With so few sellers personalizing their interactions with buyers, this is your chance to stand out and give your prospects—like the Gen-Xers—the attention they quietly seek. Help them feel seen and valued, and they will reward you with their time and dollars.

Learn More:

Download the checklist 9 Steps to Personalization: Create a Customized Sales Process and learn how to create engaging, personalized buying experiences that win more deals.

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