We’ve had many debates within our team about tracking buyer activity: when they open emails, access portals, view documents, view specific pages for X amount of time. We track all of that with our solutions, but for years now, we’ve been reluctant to expose the information—to make it part of our products—for fear that it was going too far. To many it just seemed creepy. We hear internal comments like “Hi Bill, I noticed you were viewing the case study I shared with you—especially the outcomes page. By the way, nice shirt.” Okay, the shirt joke is creepy, but we thought buyers might find it invasive to know sellers are tracking their activity.
We were wrong. Buyers love it. Maybe it’s that times are changing and buyers are ready, but they love it. Every test we’ve run—every single one—has been positive. It turns out that buyers are much more elated about the incredible service real time tracking and response provides more than any invasion of privacy concerns.
B2B decision makers are so incredibly busy. We know that, and it won’t get any better. First, like us, they’re inundated with information, and then with downsizing, staff cuts, profits re-reaching all-time highs—buying teams are facing more work with less people to do it.
Super-busy buyers don’t have lots of time to focus. When they do have a few minutes to review some materials about a solution project they’re pursuing, their mind is in gear, thinking about how the solution can bring improvements—and help their situation. Naturally, they’ll have questions. How great would it be if the sales rep called within minutes to discuss any questions they might have, catching them in their “moment of interest?” It’s powerful. And it works.
Buyers are not resistant. They love it. They feel incredibly happy about the attention and the discussion it provides. They need to know when they need to know. Not later, not on the sales rep’s schedule—on their schedule. It’s a great step in seller and buyer alignment.
A quick example.
Jill is sitting in an airport terminal waiting to board her flight home after a customer meeting. She receives an email on her phone letting her know Lisa, the head of marketing at a big account she’s been pursuing, was viewing a business case document she shared several days earlier. Jill calls her contact.
Her buyer contact takes the call right away—she’s impressed with the responsiveness.
Jill: “Hi Lisa, I noticed you were viewing the business case I sent. Did you think it was on target? Can I answer any questions for you?”
A great dialogue ensues, helping Jill gain insight and understanding she didn’t have before. Lisa becomes more convinced Jill and her company are the people that can make the difference. Jill’s competitors are in the dark, hoping for a call or a meeting in the coming weeks. They have no idea Jill was reviewing their stuff too.
So… this is what real time tracking and response can do. Help you focus on the most important opportunities, follow-up quickly and move the deal forward.
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