In 2021, there will be three major changes in lead engagement strategies.




In 2021, there will be three major changes in lead engagement strategies.

The year 2020 is drawing to a close (phew), and 2021 is rapidly approaching. While it may feel like a victory just to make it through this year, there is no rest for the weary – and 2021 will undoubtedly be difficult in its own way. Isn’t change the only constant?

Engagement is the name of the game for companies with growth goals (or any goals, for that matter) in the coming year. More engagement leads to more sales conversations, resulting in increased revenue. The noise and distractions in digital buyer’s journeys are only going to get louder and more distracting, making generating engagement from your audience more competitive than ever.

To cut through the clutter and increase your chances of great lead engagement in 2021, we recommend focusing on three key lead engagement strategies: personalization, Sales and Marketing alignment, and omnichannel communication.

 

Personalization reigns supreme and will continue to do so.

 

Personalization comes in a variety of forms. Personalizing messaging with a prospect’s or customer’s demographic information is an example of a quick, easy win. Personalization that requires a little more effort includes serving content related to the most recent engagement, crafting messaging specific to a stage in the buyer’s journey, and providing content on a channel where a lead is most likely to engage based on recent behaviour.

Personalization is powerful in any context, and it isn’t going away anytime soon. Customers will demand it even more in the future, and will choose to do business with brands that excel at it. According to a 2020 Forrester study commissioned by Adobe, customer expectations for more personalized and digital experiences are higher than ever before, according to 76 percent of surveyed B2B practitioners and 83 percent of surveyed B2C practitioners.

However, implementing a personalization-centric strategy is time-consuming and difficult to scale. There’s no getting around it in 2021: businesses must invest in analytics, intent, and intelligent automation tools that allow them to increase the level of personalization in their campaigns and communications without putting additional strain on sales and marketing teams.

 

Earlier Sales Involvement in the Buyer’s Journey

 

It’s common knowledge that nurturing leads produces better results, and even a semblance of nurture is preferable to none at all. Despite this, a 2019 Demand Gen Report survey found that 60% of respondents gave their nurture programs a failing grade. With 67 percent of the buying journey taking place online, it’s critical that Sales gets involved as soon as possible. If we wait for a lead to become “qualified,” we’re more than likely to find that they’ve already gone down at least part of some decision path before speaking with Sales – and it may already be too late.

This is an opportunity for Marketing and Sales to collaborate on a cohesive, consistent, and engaging nurture and follow-up strategy. Rather than drawing hard lines in the sand between when Marketing is “allowed to touch” a lead and when Sales says “hands off my leads,” the two teams should collaborate to create a nurture program that includes both Marketing-supplied content and Sales outreach, mixed throughout the buying journey.

Divide and conquer your leads with a mix of traditional nurture, sales outreach, and follow-up from an Intelligent Virtual Assistant is one practical way to do this (IVA).

Develop scoring thresholds for when a new lead is passed to an IVA versus when it is passed to a live Salesperson.

If you have A, B, and C quality leads, for example, give the A leads to your Sales team while having an IVA follow-up with the B and C leads to further qualify them before they reach your Sales team. And if those B and C leads don’t convert, it’s no big deal for either team: the leads can go back into the remarketing pool and be resurrected at a later date, with no resources wasted.

 

Creating a Platform for Omnichannel Conversations

 

TCommunication with prospects and customers has traditionally been one-way. Drip email nurtures, digital retargeting campaigns, and direct mail outreach are all good ways to introduce your brand to your audience, but they rarely result in productive, conversational responses.

Furthermore, now, more than ever, when your customers are ready to talk, they expect immediate, consistent communication. Despite this, the channels through which you do allow a lead to respond to you are frequently disjointed. According to Martech Series, 87 percent of today’s consumers wish businesses would provide consistent experiences across channels, and another 35 percent wish they could communicate with the same person across channels.

Conversations that begin via chat, for example, frequently do not continue via other channels such as email or text message, resulting in a disjointed and frustrating experience for the customer. Businesses must enable omnichannel communication experiences for their customers, especially in a digital-first world, or risk losing out to competitors who do. After all, a good experience is important to 73 percent of consumers when it comes to influencing their brand loyalty.

It’s no easy task, but mastering all three of these strategies by 2021 will ensure you’re providing delightful experiences for your customers and increasing brand engagement. In addition, we could all benefit from some enjoyable experiences in our lives.

Are you curious about how SimpSocial can help you boost engagement in 2021? To schedule a demo or to view our most recent webinar, please contact us.






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