Have you ever had a sales conversation that just didn't click?

Imagine getting a call from a sales rep about a new CRM system. He doesn't really know much about your business or why you need to implement a CRM system. He just tells you the system is fantastic and all the great things it can do; he assumes it would be a great fit.

Now imagine this instead...

The sales rep calls you and already knows what specific problems you are facing, where you are in your buying journey, and how his company's product will help your business. The entire conversation is centered on you, specifically; there is nothing generic about it.

Which caller are you more likely to trust?

If your answer is Scenario 2, you're not alone: 79% of businesses that exceeded their revenue goals had implemented a personalization strategy.

Luckily, automation software makes personalization strategies feasible for companies of all sizes. Marketing teams can create a strategy that supports Sales in contacting leads at the right time while knowing nearly everything about those leads' product preferences, budget, pain points, and so on.

This article explores how marketing automation can assist your sales team in creating contextual sales conversations and customizing your buyers' experience.

Defining Contextual Sales Conversations

So, first things first: what is a contextual sales conversation?

Though many people think it's Sales' job to build rapport with and nurture leads, the sales team's actual responsibility is to make offers and close deals. That said, the lack of insider information about leads—because of the lack of a nurture process—can result in a disconnect between Sales and the potential customer.

Nowadays, 70+% of B2B customers expect in-depth personalization during the sales process, so it's a critical part of rapport- and relationship-building.

That is why contextual sales conversations are so important...

Contextual sales conversations simply means putting the conversations that sales teams have with prospects into context—i.e., when talking to a prospect, they knowing (1) what the prospect is interested in and (2) how your product/service will benefit the prospect personally.

Instead of reaching out to leads at the wrong time, armed with very little personal information, contextual sales conversations focus on customization. Sales reps can reach out when they know leads are ready, knowing precisely what they want and need.

Ultimately, context allows sales teams to have more engaging and targeted conversations with prospects.

And, as we'll explore, contextual conversations are crucial for nurturing relationships and closing sales.

Why Are Contextual Sales Conversations More Meaningful?

Let's put all this into context (see what we did there?).

1. Show the prospect you understand their needs and situation

The goal of contextualizing sales conversations is personalization.


Because not all prospects or leads need the same thing at the same time. They have different pain points, they are at different stages of the buying process, and ultimately they need different things.

People don't want to feel like one of the crowd; they want to feel understood and valued. You might have hundreds of leads on the go, but you want the customer you are speaking with to feel like the only one that matters.

Research shows that 81% of consumers want brands to get to know them and be clear on when to approach them and, more meaningfully, when not to.

On a sales conversation level, that means understanding the prospect and his or her specific problems so you can customize the conversation.

On a business level, this means you have to implement processes that allow you to dive into the psyche of your potential customers to personalize the buyer's journey.

2. Increase business revenue and profitability

The overarching goal of contextualized sales conversations, as with all sales and marketing objectives, is to drive revenue and profitability.

Customers expect a high level of customization, and the data shows that they respond well to it: 77% of people have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized experience. And having the right conversations at the right time with potential customers is an excellent way to personalize the buying experience.

In an increasingly crowded business marketplace, it's a way to stand out and show your potential customers that you care and understand them.

Using Behaviors to Have Appropriate Conversations at the Right Time

So how exactly do sales teams do that?

Most B2B consumers don't want to contact a salesperson till they're 67% of the way through their buyer's journey. Talking sales to leads before they are ready is not conducive to contextual conversations.

However, one of the biggest personalization challenges facing sales teams is how to gain accurate enough insight quickly. And that's where the role of marketing and sales teams crucially intersect.

Marketing automation can help use contextualized data while still enabling sales team productivity. As marketers, we can support the sales team by implementing behavioral progressive profiling and automating content at each stage.

Behavioral progressive profiling is the process of learning more about prospects and leads based on their interactions with you.

Implementing behavioral progressive profiling allows businesses to evaluate where in the buying journey the prospects are and what information they need from sales.

It's not just about progressively collecting data but about using data to learn about lead behavior.

Marketing automation seamlessly implements that process, saving time and supporting sales in the process.

Ready to Improve Sales Conversations With Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation isn't just about marketing, despite the name. It's there to support the revenue-driving activities in a business, including sales.

Marketing has the power to not only drive demand generation but also support Sales in having relevant and contextualized conversations with qualified leads. And marketing automation can help drive demand generation and scale contextual data, allowing leads to feel like the journey is customized for them.

Need help with marketing automation to scale contextualized sales conversations? MarketingProfs can help. Reach out!

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How to Use Marketing Automation to Create Contextual Sales Conversations

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image of Kenda Macdonald

Kenda Macdonald is a forensic psychology major, the Demand Generation Consulting Practice Lead at MarketingProfs, and the founder of Automation Ninjas, the UK's leading behavioral automation agency. She's an international public speaker, a multi-award-winning businesswoman, a doting cat mom, and the author of the best-selling Hack the Buyer Brain.