More than likely, your next customer will research and evaluate your products through websites and online networks long before actual salespeople ever get involved. To address this issue, tech-savvy companies have learned how to decode the online behavior of their prospects early on in the buying process to gain competitive advantage and win more business. This online behavior — website visits, downloads, email responses and more — is what many in the sales industry refer to as Digital Body Language.
Digital Body Language is the online equivalent of the facial expressions revealed around the negotiating table. It is comprised of website visits, information downloads, keyword searches and email responses. In many ways, online buyer behavior provides the most accurate picture of prospect interest and intent. By analyzing the frequency and clickstream data of website visits, marketers can zero in on the buyer’s pains, concerns, and motivation.
Eloqua’s white paper Digital Body Language: Reading and Responding to Your Prospects’ Buying Behavior in the Web 2.0 World, advises that “to benefit from Digital Body Language, businesses must make investments in people, process and technology. Simply switching on a business intelligence tool is not enough. Significant process changes are usually required on the part of both marketing and sales organizations.”
Eloqua offers the following six best practices for taking advantage of Digital Body Language:
- Accumulate Digital Body Language by integrating marketing channels on a single marketing platform to build comprehensive prospect profiles.
- Communicate Digital Body Language to the sales organization and other business stakeholders by integrating the marketing system of record with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or Sales Force Automation (SFA) systems.
- Evaluate Digital Body Language using advanced sales lead scoring systems that compare prospects’ explicit information against implicit indicators of buying intent.
- Accelerate the sales process with real time sales alerts and notifications of prospect Web activity and marketing responses.
- Cultivate the Digital Body Language of prospects with personalized lead nurturing campaigns that drive them back to the website.
- Validate marketing spend with closed-loop marketing systems that measure marketing’s impact on revenue and pipeline.