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3 Ways Behavioral Marketing Improves Sales and Marketing Alignment

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by: Ellen Valentine (@EllenValentine)
17 December 2012

One of my favorite sayings is, "Your actions speak so loud, I can't hear a word you say." I remind myself of this quote frequently when there seems to be conflict between what the facts are and what someone is actually doing. Virtually every time, actions trump the other information.

Marketers and sales teams should also heed this advice. But how is that possible? Thanks to Web tracking, we have a bunch of behavioral insight within easy reach, right in our marketing databases. Did our client or prospect watch a video? Download a PDF? Open an email? Visit a Web page or website? Having the data in our marketing databases is a great first step, but now we need to do something with it. Here are three ways to use behavioral data to establish and improve sales and marketing alignment:

1) Incorporate behaviors into your scoring model. Behaviors will absolutely improve the accuracy of your scoring model, resulting in a higher quality of leads going to sales. When you have behavioral “facts” embedded in your model in addition to demographics and firmagraphics, sales will be more confident about the leads they’re receiving from marketing.

2) Provide behavioral activities to both inside and outside sales teams. Behavioral data allows that first phone call to a client or prospect to be much “warmer.” It’s a nice conversation starter to say, “I see you’ve downloaded our budgeting and planning workbook. Can I help you put together some planning figures for your budget for next year?” To make this happen easily, the Marketing Operations team should make sure that behavioral data is integrated into the CRM system that salespeople are using to make their initial contact.

3) Use behaviors to enhance nurturing campaigns. Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you already know there’s a bunch of research pointing to the fact that prospects are fairly far along their purchase consideration path (statistics indicate as much as 54 percent to 80 percent of the way through the buying cycle) before they’re comfortable inviting a sales rep into their evaluation process. This means that marketing has to step up and own the early part of the sales process.

Of course, a simple drip nurture (sending something periodically to everyone not yet ready to buy) is a good start, but you can kick things up a notch by incorporating behaviors into your nurture automation processes. If a prospect didn’t open your last nurture email, perhaps you want to resend your content with a different subject line or provide a different offer. Also, your messages can incorporate dynamic content through which the email text and/or images are customized based on the contact’s individual behavior. These techniques will make your messages far more relevant than a standard batch and blast.

Once you start to increase your behavioral marketing sophistication, you’ll realize there are so many possibilities for increasing your chances of handing a great lead to sales. Your sales team will be happy, and so will your company's bottom line.

Related Articles:
1) Blog: “Behavioral Marketing Automation Tips: How to Set Up Behavior-Driven Business Rules and Campaigns
2) Blog: “5 Prospect Behaviors You Should Be Incorporating into Your Lead Scoring Model
3) White Paper: “New Year’s Resolutions Marketers Can Toast To

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