Toys R Us recently made headlines with the news that it would close after 70 years in business. What was once an iconic toy store with massive success will soon be a memory.
What went wrong? Greg Portell, lead partner at retail consultant A.T. Kearney, gave some great insight regarding Toys R Us’ lack of funds for investing in store UX:
“‘If you’re going to have that breadth of inventory, you need someone in the store to help you find it, help you experience it. It’s hard to sell toys in a cold, warehouse environment.'”
When we look at the data, we see that Greg’s opinion about customer experience (CX) has legs. The State of the Connected Customer report by Salesforce polled over 7,000 consumer and business buyers and found that 71% of consumers say that customer service provided on any day, at any time influences their loyalty.
You might be thinking “Okay, so that is a statistic that focuses on customers – what about prospects? I’m a marketer, after all!”
Well, if you’re a marketer who is looking to garner more information from your prospects to help your sales reps sell more quickly, personalization is key. Salesforce found that 57% of consumers agree they’re willing to share data with companies that send personalized offers and discounts.
This is why tools like Dynamic Content from Pardot are game-changers for B2B marketers; if a prospect tells you that they have a high interest in solely Product A, you best not send them an email trying to sell them Product C! And don’t forget; you can use Dynamic Content on your websites as well as your emails; in fact, I recommend using dynamic content on the landing pages or website pages that your dynamic email content links to, creating a seamless experience for your prospects.
Oh, and sending an email with the introduction or subject line of “Hello, Friend” or no personalization at all? That’s going to hurt you: Salesforce found that 66% percent of consumers report that they are likely to switch brands if they are treated like a number instead of an individual. This is where you can utilize Pardot’s Variable Tags and tight integration with Salesforce to pull in prospect and customer data.
What about during the sales process, after a prospect fills out a form or speaks with and is qualified by your AI-powered chatbot, like Drift? According to Salesforce, 79% percent of business buyers say it’s absolutely critical or very important to have a sales rep that serves as a trusted advisor.
What does this mean from a marketer’s standpoint? It means that we need to use tools like Pardot and Drift to encourage conversation with the prospect, collecting relevant data to sync to Salesforce so our sales reps can be well-informed before speaking with a qualified lead, rather than calling a lead and having to re-ask questions or waste prospect time.
If a sales rep can’t speak to your prospect’s needs for their specific company without the prospect spelling them out, statistics show that you are more likely to lose the deal; in fact, Salesforce found that by 2020, 75% of business buyers expect companies to anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions! If you think you can ignore this necessity, you’ll be alarmed to find out that 64% of business buyers say they are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t anticipate their needs. It is truly crucial that you use tools like Pardot’s Progressive Profiling to learn as much about your prospects as you can before they speak with your sales representatives.
With the abundance of information online, your prospects know more than ever, so smoke and mirrors aren’t likely to work very well moving forward; 83% percent of business buyers say that tech has kept their company more informed about product choices than ever before. If your sales reps are trying to sell products that your prospects don’t need, are focused on quick sales rather than focusing on prospect-specific needs, don’t treat prospects like valued customers, or don’t understand their preferences or needs, they are turned off by your company. This means that marketing and sales teams need to work more closely than ever to rally around the prospect or customer.
If you’re marketing in the B2B world, it couldn’t be clearer that you need tight integration between all of your systems, especially systems like Pardot (marketing automation) and Salesforce (CRM), as well as your customer service portals/services. Check out what the survey respondents had to say about demanding more intuitive experiences:
Whether you’re B2B or B2C, it’s time to rally around your customers and their CX…or die!
Don’t suffer a similar demise to Toys R Us. Think I’m kidding? Salesforce says that 70% of the respondents agreed that technology has made it easier than ever to take their business elsewhere, just like it would have allowed you to easily navigate away from this article if it didn’t speak to your interests. ?
Sara McNamara is a Marketing Automation Manager and former top-tier Salesforce Pardot Partner senior consultant. She has a special place in her heart for marketing automation, Kanye West, huskies, and people who don’t call her about something that could have been a text/don’t request a meeting about something that could have been an email.