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Allbounding: How Sales Teams Create Enthusiastic Buyers

A new era has arrived for B2B prospecting

“Hi, can I help you?” “Anything in particular you’re looking for?” “Have you seen our new collection?” 

You haven’t even gotten more than 10 feet inside the store before various well-meaning faces appear in your path, eager to help. All you wanted to do was find that one item on your list or check out what you saw in the window. But the bombardment turns you off, and you end up leaving. 

If you were to walk into the next store, and the salesperson knew your name and exactly what you were shopping for, it would be a whole different story. You might let them usher you over to the relevant section of the store, and you’d feel comfortable posing questions to them about fit, material, and sizing.

When we get a personal, tailored experience we are more engaged and less likely to leave empty-handed. If we return to that store and they know who we are and what we like, we might even become a loyal customer. 

In the B2B arena, the buying experience has been more like that first store. It can lack attentive personalization. It can feel pushy, like SDRs and AEs just want to take your money and move on. But that’s the way it’s been for everyone across B2B, so we’ve just dealt with it.

Nike Live store with hyperpersonalized shopping experiences
Nike Live store in Los Angeles, California

Many B2C retail brands have been operating like that second store for a while now. Hyperpersonalized shopping experiences are on the rise. One pioneer is Nike, which uses in-store identification to link a shopper’s digital and physical personas. They blend digital intelligence with physical experience, instead of seeing them as separate motions of the business.

Nike Live stores are responsive, hyper locally curated retail spaces, designed to reflect a regional culture hub. They leverage cues and signals from the online shopping being carried out in the surrounding region to create a brick and mortar experience that closes the loop to delight consumers. 

It’s time for B2B to adopt this thinking and provide buyers with unique experiences tailored to each individual’s interests and journey. In turn, vendors will accelerate sales cycles while bringing in enthusiastic buyers. It starts with using Conversational Marketing to blur the line between outbounding and inbounding. We call it “allbounding.”

Time for hybrid inbound/outbound sales reps

Our approach is built on our conversational marketing and sales platform, with the belief that your website can be your #1 selling property. We use Qualified to create and close more new business through a hybrid inbound/outbound sales approach - allbounding, for short.

Traditionally, there’s an inbound team that fields hand raisers coming to your digital storefront. Then the outbound team spends their time prospecting into target accounts & buyers that are supposedly primed for purchase. While these teams are working towards the same goals, the sales motions are disjointed, operating in silos. When a hot lead you’ve researched and have been reaching out to for weeks ends up on the website, shouldn’t you, the outbound sales rep, get to be there to continue the conversation with them in real time as they peruse the site? Instead, the prospect typically gets funneled to a form, where an inbound rep, who doesn’t really know who they are, might connect with them in a few hours, days or weeks. 

So what we do instead is act as a hybrid sales team, moving in both directions with a personal knowledge of the prospect. There’s a reason our customers rave about their pre-sales experiences, and we’re going to let you in on how we make that happen. 

Close the buyer experience loop through allbounding

As one of superstar sales leaders, Blake, puts it:

“Enterprise sales teams today are segmented into either outbound or inbound sales reps. One or the other. Never both. But at Qualified (the company), because of Qualified (the product), there is no decisive in or out-bound teams - the lines are blurred. Qualified provides website data that allows our outbound motion to inform our inbound motion, and vice versa. Thinking about these teams separately is old school - we’re allbound! 

conversational marketing approach to prospecting means personal engagement with prospects
The conversational approach to prospecting vs the traditional

I have a target account list, against which I reach out to specific personas via traditional outbound channels -LinkedIn, emails, calls etc. The goal is to book a sales meeting, of course, but as any sales human knows - that’s easier said than done. With Qualified, my secondary CTA is just as important - driving a prospect to the website. 

So, here’s how it works - I send an email that links to a curated piece of content, relevant to the prospect. When the ask upfront is to learn more vs book a meeting, we’ve found that recipients are more likely to engage . The moment a prospect clicks through, Qualified alerts me that ‘Chris from my target account’ is on the site and routes the conversation directly to me. I also get to see his digital resume - where he came from, previous visits to the site, firmographic details, segment details, and a live view of exactly what he’s doing on the website. Based on this data, I greet Chris with a personalized message to continue the conversation without waiting for an email response. And if I play my cards right, I can book a next meeting in real time via Qualified’s meeting booker. Talk about speed to lead! :) 

conversational marketing dashboard view of a prospect
A view of a prospect's background information when they visit the site

Blake continues:

"I will say, that doesn’t happen every time. While I do receive real-time alerts if my prospects visit the site, I’m not always able to catch them and start a conversation before they leave. I might be in a meeting or having lunch or sleeping. When that happens, Qualified tells me the prospects that visited the site while I was offline. If one of my fellow reps didn’t meet with them, their name is at the top of my outbound list the next morning. I can use website activity to fuel my outbounding efforts. So I’ll shoot them a quick email referencing their website engagement and buying signals, which Qualified packaged up for me, to create a personalized, continuous experience. 

In many cases, prospects are impressed with the seamless and personalized process. It makes them feel understood and treated as an individual with a problem they need to solve, as opposed to just another prospect. 

This allbounding approach enables our sales team, and our customers’ sales teams, to move in tune with the buyer. It’s like a dance where the buyer takes the lead."

allbounding gives a seamless, personalized experience for prospects

Delivering a B2B buying experience this way not only leaves our prospects feeling known, but eager to adopt the system themselves. They see that a great conversational marketing platform drives pipeline while giving buyers the Nike store experience, a true win-win. 

A recent example of allbounding in action that led to to a closed deal

  1. Blake sent a few emails to personas at her target account, FormAssembly. 
  2. She didn’t get a response, but the Director of Marketing clicked through the email to the Qualified website. The Digital Manager clicked through a different link that drove to the Salesforce AppExchange. Neither engaged in a conversation, but Qualified alerted her that two contacts from FormAssembly visited our digital domains. Blake’s outbound prospects became her inbound opportunities.
  3. Then Blake followed up with both of them through email, leveraging the signals informed by Qualified:  “Saw you came to Qualified.com . Here’s how I knew: Qualified recognized you, knew that I was the account owner and routed your name and the conversation to me. I saw you had been checking out our product page. Happy to chat more about that!”
  4. The prospects were wowed and immediately wanted to use the same approach to transform their outbound motion. A meeting was booked within the hour. 
  5. FormAssembly had been using Drift chat at the time. After seeing Blake’s approach to allbound powered by Qualified’s data, they wanted to emulate the human-centric Conversational Marketing process for their own sales team. So they decided to switch over to Qualified and became our newest customer.
FormAssembly now uses Qualified for conversational marketing
FormAssembly now uses Qualified

Earn 1st place with buyers through conversational marketing & sales

It’s said that the difference between winning 1st place in the Olympics and 4th place is just 1%. How can you give that extra boost in your buyer experience and provide those 1% moments so that they earn your trust and your business, and you become their 1st choice?

Outbounding and inbounding as independent motions can’t compete with allbounding enabled by a conversational marketing and sales platform. When you combine those motions in a more fluid and personal way, your buyers will notice, and you will reap the benefits. 

To learn more about engaging website visitors in a personal way with conversational marketing, check out this piece, How to Engage Website Visitors Like a Pro, or have a look at how CMOs and marketing leaders in the Salesforce ecosystem are supercharging their buyer journeys in our book Trailblazers in Conversational Marketing

Posted on
February 22, 2021
by
Corinne Pearce

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