In a MarketingCharts article, B2B marketers noted that there are a variety of hurdles to setting up scalable B2B personalization in their organization. But many of these concerns are simply irrelevant for the “next normal,” when so much that used to be face to face is now offline. For example, B2B companies often cite a lack of data about clients and prospects. But, with transactions moving to digital channels (many for good), businesses can gather more data than ever before.
B2B organizations also note that they worry they don’t have enough scale. Since personalization can be targeted to individuals, it can be incredibly valuable even when the scale of customers is lower than in B2C retail. Creating a highly tailored experience even for tens or hundreds of high-value customers online helps recreate the highly tailored face-to-face experience that they used to have.
Implementing a Successful and Scalable B2B Personalization Program
With the above fears greatly reduced, the most important thing to do when implementing personalization is to commit to its success. For personalization to have an impact, companies need to allocate resources to collecting data and to testing, even testing critical touch points along the journey, such as the first visit to the home page. Personalization won’t make a difference if teams are not empowered to try it out at a large enough scale and a long enough time to not only measure its effects, but also learn from the results and improve them over time.
The goal isn’t instant improvement (although that’s certainly likely) but long-term client ROI. To be set up for B2b personalization success, be sure to:
Make a Plan
Keep initiatives tied to business objectives and track progress transparently so all stakeholders see what’s happening. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, having a program plan keeps your efforts on track.
With B2B being such a high-touch sales process, sellers themselves should be included as stakeholders in the process. When they see that personalization efforts are designed to benefit them, they’ll be eager to add insights to improve it.
Manage Pricing Tiers
Do the work of mapping out different scenarios to understand how product recommendations and pricing affects the ultimate sale (and commission).
Look After VIPs
Top customers are even more valuable in B2B. Consider using personalization to deliver white glove service to retain and grow this segment.