Driving Sales Effectiveness Through Personalization
February 25, 2022
When you’ve got a sales quota to fill, you know how important it is to be effective in the sales process. One efficient way to close the deal is to use personalization for sales enablement.
Gone are the days of stagnant sales scripts and generic email blasts. Now more than ever, customers expect their marketing, sales, and even post-sales journey to be unique to them and their specific needs—and you should be personalizing your messaging from day one of the sales process.With modern technology and the right tools, you and your team can personalize your sales messages with all kinds of unique information. We utilize the HubSpot customer relationship management (CRM) platform, but many CRMs will have similar information that you can use to personalize your sales messages.
Here are some ways to personalize your sales process.
Basics of Personalization for Sales
There are several fields of personalization that all salespeople should be using to create unique experiences for their prospects. Here are some basic personalization tokens you should be using:
First Name Personalization
This is the holy grail of personalization tokens. Using someone’s first name in your communications with them tells them you know who they are and you’re not just sending out a mass email. Salespeople can use the first name personalization in subject lines as well as in greetings. For example, “[First Name], how are your plans coming along?”
Last Name Personalization
Last name personalization is less common but still useful for personalizing messages and meetings to your prospects.
Company Name Personalization
Personalizing your sales messaging with the prospect's company is another great way to grab their attention and let them know you’re not sending out mass emails. Our sales team has seen significant increases in open rates when the company name is in the subject line, so give it a try! Here’s a quick subject line example: “How are [Company Name]’s plans coming along?
Upping Your Sales Personalization Game
Depending on your industry, you may be able to further personalize your sales messages with other personalization tokens that will help your sales message stand out among the crowd.
If your product or service can be regionalized, it may be a good idea to use a location personalization to make your message even more personalized. Consider using things like regions, states, or even cities as an opportunity to personalize your message. An example could be, “Using Our Product in [Location]”
Job Title Personalization
Collecting a job title in fields could be helpful to your sales team and allow them to further personalize their sales messages to the types of prospects they are targeting. This is a field especially useful for B2B sales people, but could also be helpful for those in B2C depending on your product. An example of job title personalization could look something like this: “You’re not the only [Job Title] facing [problem your company solves].”
This field can be extremely helpful if your sales team has a message that gets sent to all prospects. You can use the contact owner field to have the message come from the salesperson who owns that contact. This is more helpful internally than externally, but it also makes sure your email communication doesn’t come from “Sales Team” and provides proof that there is an actual person the prospect can work with and can ask questions of.
Getting More Personal Without Being “Creepy”
One of the oppositions to personalizing your sales methods is that it can come off as creepy to your prospects. If you have a good tracing system in place, it’s likely that you have a lot of information about the timing and behaviors of your prospects. In this section we’ll explore how you can get even more personal, without being creepy.
Personalizing with Commonalities
One tactic to make your sales message pop is including some personal connection you may have to the person on the other end of the message. For example, check out their LinkedIn profile. Do you have any commonalities? Mention the commonalities in your email! But be sure not to come off creepy and mention how and where you learned the information. Here’s an example: “Funny you should land in my inbox! As I was learning more about you I checked out your LinkedIn profile and saw that we went to the same college!”
Continue to Personalize Throughout the Sales Process
While you’ve been personalizing your sales message from day one, you should continue to get more personalized as your prospect continues through your sales funnel. As you learn more about your prospect and their business, make sure to personalize your messages with what you learn!
Video is a great way to personalize your sales messages. Create welcome videos to let your prospect know more about you and your business. Utilize video to explain complex ideas or solutions. Or create one-off videos with prospects to congratulate them on a product launch, work anniversary, or birthday. Utilize LinkedIn and Google Alerts to keep an eye out for those special days and make sure you preface your message with something like, “I saw on LinkedIn you’re celebrating a work anniversary!”
Personalization Automation for Sales
In order to utilize personalization effectively, you need to make sure your data is clean and accurate. For example, when using a first name token, is the first letter of your prospect’s name capitalized? If they’ve entered it incorrectly on a website form, it will be incorrect when you use the personalization token.
Similarly, if you have incorrect data in your CRM, when you use a personalization token the personalization in your message will be incorrect. If you decide to use personalization automation in your sales process, which you should, take the extra steps to double-check your information and make sure it’s done right.
While it is most important that you have clean usable data, you should also apply safeguards. If somehow you have someone in your system without a name, company name, or other personalization, then a placeholder will populate generic information. For example, if you use a first name token in your greeting, have your placeholder text read “friend” or “neighbor” so that when the message is sent it will say, “Hi friend” instead of leaving the area blank.
While personalization is considered more important in the B2C world, times are changing. Personalizing your sales process will help you drive sales effectiveness whether you’re selling B2B or B2C. We’re all humans, and we all want to feel special, heard, and understood. Personalization can help!
If you’re interested in learning more about driving sales effectiveness, check out The Power of Psychology in Sales Enablement: Using Your Customer’s Brain to Drive More Revenue.
About the author
Nicole Raymond is an Inbound Marketing Strategist at SmartBug traveling the country in her camper. She's worked in a variety of industries including non-profits, start-ups, and marketing agencies. She has a deep passion for reading and learning and has her Master's Degree in Integrated Marketing Communications. Nicole is compassionate and driven by helping others reach their personal and professional goals. Read more articles by Nicole Raymond.