Personalization is more than a throwaway sentence at the beginning of an email. In order to deliver a truly personalized customer experience, you need to understand your buyer journey. 
 

In the second half of their session on building a customer-focused revenue team, Jason and Jen discuss how to understand your customer and how to provide value in every interaction.

 
What does your customer want?

Jason Reichl:

What actually happened is that as go-to-market teams became more annoying to people, they said, “Yeah, I like buying stuff. We live in a consumer culture. We live in a culture that wants to be better and do bigger things, but I don’t want it when I don’t want it. I don’t want it when it feels like a sale, I want it when it feels like value to me.”

The customer is past the age of knowledge. Today, in 2020, the customer is demanding a deep personalization of the buying experience because they already know whether they’re going to buy our product or it’s up for debate, well before they ever reach out.

They’ve done their own research, they know what they want, and what they’re looking for is how that company interacts with them.

 

In the B2C space, that’s why we suddenly see everyone wanting to create a lifestyle brand. Why? Because lifestyle brands mean something. Right? It means it’s something personal.

 



What’s the Value of Deep Personalization?


Jason:

Especially in B2B, personalization leads to partnership.

What we’ve seen working with companies, plus a lot of research on the topic, is that the more personalized you can make that experience and the fewer gaps that exist for the customer, the less they feel like they’re dealing with a business. The more your customers feel like they’re dealing with a person, the higher your LTV will be for that customer.

 

If you can implement this unified revenue team, you can pick up 26% more revenue off every single customer because for every gap they feel, they reduce the amount they were going to spend with you by 1-3%. That is the truth about B2B sales in this environment.

 

No matter how you want to segment them into cohorts, people want to be treated like people.

 



Personalization vs. Personal Customer Experience


Jen Igartua:
When we talk about personalization, it’s not just your SDRs saying at the top of their LinkedIn message, “I saw you went to UNC. That’s so cool. Go Tarheels,” and then going into their pitch.

One sentence of personalization in outbound outreach is not a personalized experience. From the moment somebody is a known lead in your database, even at the research stage before that, all the way through to becoming a customer advocate–there are touchpoints all along the way.

Your customer is not expecting to go on your website and have it say, “Hi, Jen,” every time. But if I am a customer of yours and your Drift bot says, “Hey, do you want to learn more about Go Nimbly?” That’s an annoying experience for me.

 

Don’t make me talk to your customer success team after just talking to your sales team for six months and have them ask me what’s going on with my company.

 

Jason:

So many words in the B2B space–revenue operations, personalization, ABM, alignment–all these terms get misused because they’re buzzy and because they increase your SEO and so on and so on and very few people get it right.

 

Now, should you personalize your emails? Absolutely. But what’s the difference between a personalized email and a Personalized email, with a capital ‘P’?

A personalized email is providing information that is not valuable and is not making a connection. The Personalized experience with a capital ‘P’ is human. It means that I’ve done the work because you’re worth selling to because I believe my product will add value to your life.

That’s huge and it starts with having a unified revenue team where the members of that team believe in what you sell and believe in the mission and vision of the company.

 

One thing that I really believe in and that I push with my own revenue team is: Don’t give me your interpretation of what the customer said. Tell me exactly what they said.

Understanding the Customer Journey

Jason:
Understand the buyer journey. If you have to make it up, make it up and then test it. Do a durability test with your customers who have actually gone through this journey. The key thing about a buyer journey that I think marketers get wrong is they don’t think about the exit criteria.
 
So if you looked at our buyer journey, for instance, one of the things that I have is an accountability matrix to it, which says that if they move from one stage to the next in the buyer journey, what behaviors does that customer need to have demonstrated?
So if I were going to start anywhere, I would say, let’s map our buyer journey. Let’s map the exit criteria as far as the customer behavior we want, and then let’s figure out how to build tactics around that.
 
I’ve rarely seen organizations do that successfully for a buyer journey. It’s always been about what the company wants out of the point of contact, not how the point of contact’s perception and behaviors have changed.
 
Jen:
We see a lot of companies drawing the customer journey from an internal perspective. “Oh, the SDR’s owning that. The AE owns that. The lead assignment rules are running there.”
 
That’s clunky from your customer’s perspective. Both perspectives are important but the lens through which you look at it has to be an intentional decision. You have to ask, “What are trying to solve here?”
 

Otherwise, especially if you have a very tool-heavy skillset on your operations team, you’re going to lean towards solutions and tools as opposed to analysis and understanding how your customer is actually experiencing your product. 

 


Adding Value for Your Customer

Jason:
When someone talks about “alignment” in business, what they mean is internal alignment, not alignment to their customer.
 
They want to talk about all the internal issues they have with the sales and marketing teams or with their product.
 
It becomes so ego-focused that people lose sight of the fact that on every revenue team, we work for the customer–not to sell the customer something, but to add value. I know I keep saying that, but it is key. You can tell which organizations believe in what they’re providing to their customers.
 
One good example that I love is Drift.
 
I think most of the people at Drift believe their product is adding so much value for the B2B companies who buy it because they get to interact with their customers in a unique and novel way that the customer is not used to, but that should have been there the whole time.
 
Ultimately, that’s what it looks like to work on behalf of your customer. Recently, I did an interview with Sean Lane who is the Director of Operations at Drift and he talked about how they meet their customers where they are. I love that because that’s not alignment. That’s going above and beyond.
 
That’s saying, “My job is to add value to you. I work for you. You’re my boss. And if you are not buying the way I want you to, it’s because of me.” It’s taking on a service mindset when it comes to our customers.

So, I think the word alignment is great. The problem is that we’ve co-opted it to protect ourselves. 
In B2B, a lot of the things we do are to protect ourselves and our egos and our departments and our colleagues, when we should always be putting our customers first.