Making Explicit Buyer Data Actionable for Sales: Examples of an Interactive Journey

Sell-Side is a game-changing concept that surfaces valuable insights from the buyer's interactive journey to the sales team. Learn how Ion uses Sell-Side to align marketing and sales with real-world examples. Discover how you can leverage Sell-Side to provide your sales team with the highest value data, and gain a competitive advantage.

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The days of reactive selling are over. Today, you can personalize your sales pitch by understanding the buyer’s behavior and journey better.

The better you know your lead, the more personal you can make your sales approach.

Ion’s Sell-Side Experience gathers information about a potential buyer. It takes data from interactive content and creates a visual representation that tells a story.

Quizzes, calculators, and assessments give you details about the buyer. You can use the interactive journey data to personalize a sales pitch.

Ion collects data from pages of interactive content before bringing that information together in a visual format. It is a service that enables you to be proactive about your sales process using actionable buyer data.

Unlike analytics, Sell-Side creates an actual timeline of the buyer’s interactive touchpoints and enables the salesperson to instantly see what the buyer did.

It provides explicit data about the buyer’s needs, priorities, budgets, and capabilities. It is unprecedented for the sales team to have such high-quality data that can be acted upon.

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    Real-World Examples of Buyer Timelines

    Since this is an entirely new concept, I thought I’d share real-world examples of how Ion uses Sell-Side to align marketing and sales.

    Hopefully, this will give you an idea of how Ion can generate high-value insights for your sales team. Keep in mind that the whole idea of Sell-Side is that it surfaces whatever data is of the highest value to you and your sales team.

    These examples show what’s important for me to communicate to sales as Ion’s CMO.

    For privacy reasons, I’m using my own buyer data as an example here. Each buyer’s timeline is automatically generated for them, a personal and specific reflection of their interactions. Buyer timelines are private and secure.

    Sales Insight: Content Consumption

    How a buyer consumes content over the course of their interactive journey can say a lot about their engagement and maturity.

    Our sales team really gobbles up our white paper and e-book content consumption visualizations (like the one below).

    Here you can see my personal buyer’s Sell-Side Timeline (on the left).

    I am the ‘buyer’ (that’s my Gravatar automagically pulled into my user profile), and everything I’ve done across my interactive journey is illustrated in my timeline.

    This screenshot shows what a salesperson would see when they looked at my timeline and clicked into my most recent touchpoint — a ‘consumption’ Sell-Side that shows how much of an interactive asset I consumed.

    Some touchpoints in the buyer’s interactive journey may not be worth diving deep into. Sell-Side makes it easy to visually identify which ones are important.

    Sell-Side makes it easy to visually disregard those by rendering them differently (without a rectangular screenshot). The idea is that it’s fast and efficient for salespeople to scan a Sell-Side Timeline and know what’s important.

    Sales Insight: Quantitative Readiness

    Calculators can provide some pretty incredible sales insights into fit and quality.

    Budget, pricing, and solution calculators have obvious value, but our sales team also uses other calculators (like our value calculator, shown below) to help them understand fit.

    Earlier in my buyer’s journey, I interacted with a value calculator. How and what I calculated helps sales understand my scale and needs as a potential customer.

    Ion has several calculators in its interactive journey. Here’s a Sell-Side that shows how the buyer configured their solution and calculated their budget.

    Knowing where buyers stand in terms of readiness and qualification helps sales engage with more relevance and specificity.

    Sales Insight: Qualitative Readiness

    Ion uses a lot of interactive self-assessments in our buyer’s journey. If you’re in a nascent market that requires education or nurturing a new concept, assessments are a great way to understand common needs, maturity, and readiness across your universe.

    Our ‘program builder’ helps buyers set their priorities, and the Sell-Side of that experience helps our sales team understand which buyers have priorities that align with our solution.

    Assessments generally provide a treasure trove of potentially valuable data. As you can see in our Sell-Side for our program builder, sales are provided with a clear roadmap of the buyer’s priorities.

    Sales Coaching: What It All Means

    Often, just visualizing how a buyer responded isn’t enough.

    In those cases, our Sell-Sides are augmented with highly specific sales coaching that helps the salesperson better understand the context and meaning behind responses.

    Everything you see below is personalized, answer-specific sales coaching.

    This Sell-Side shows how the buyer answered our Content Marketing Assessment, but it also provides answer-specific sales coaching to help the sales team add value to the answers as they converse with the buyer.

    Here, marketing is giving sales supporting facts and tips that are dynamically shown based on the specific answers the buyer provided.

    How Your Sales Team Can Use Sell-Side

    In case the examples above haven’t been enough to clarify how to use Sell-Side, here is a compilation of useful tips based on our own experience at Rock Content.

    Turn the results page into a Sell-Side page

    If you look at the results page from an interactive experience, you can turn it into a Sell-Side page to better understand the data. The Sell-Side page lets our team quickly view the assessment’s answers.

    The page also allows us to break down the data and make sense of it. For example, it provides scoring suggestions based on rules.

    Customize your Sell-Side pages

    You can customize Sell-Side pages in a way that makes the most sense for the experience and our process. That might mean breaking it down into a single page or seeing all the pages from one single experience at the same time. This allows us to review users’ results in a new, more condensed way.

    Do a review while the live interactive experience is still happening

    You can look at the results even if a live experience is ongoing. It allows us to get a more comprehensive view of the experience while it is in progress.

    Make adjustments as needed during the live interactive experience

    Being able to review the results even when the live experience is still active allows us to make changes if necessary. The changes you make to the Sell-Side will not affect the interactive experience for the user.

    Tweaking the user’s experiences can further target our view when the time comes to collect and understand results. That might mean:

    • Changing content and its position
    • Adding new replacement tokens to get more information
    • Removing content that isn’t serving a purpose in the Sell-Side experience

    These tweaks can save us time later.

    Manage your replacement tokens

    Replacement tokens are what show the data. For example, first and last names or email addresses are examples of replacement tokens.

    Reviewing the results pages during the interaction enables us to add or remove replacement tokens to get a better overall view of the results. It doesn’t change the user’s side of the interaction, just the data collection.

    Perhaps you decide it would help to know the location of the user. You can add that replacement token while the interactions are still live. The Sell-Side platform will populate this information when displaying results.

    Changing replacement tokens doesn’t affect the experience for the user. It simply changes the data you see on the Sell-Side page. It allows us to streamline our review process and better understand the interaction.

    Share your Sell-Side pages

    You can easily export our Sell-Side pages to other sales team members. Not everyone on the team will use the platform. However, they can still benefit from the information it provides. By setting up an outbound field, you create a link that they can click to see the data.

    The link will allow them to view a timeline showing the experiences that users have within Ion. They also have the option to look at the data displayed along the timeline with just one click.

    Develop a personalized approach for each lead

    The real beauty of Ion’s Sell-Side process is the ability to leverage data taken from interactive content. You use that data to clearly understand the buyer’s journey for each lead. This helps us enrich our sales pitch and develop a personalized approach to creating the conversion.

    You don’t have to rely solely on marketing tools like buyer personas. There is data right in front of us, delivered in a visual representation. You use it to pinpoint the specifics of each lead.

    By knowing individual leads a little better, you get a sense of the journey they take when making a purchase. That helps turn customers into brand loyalists.

    Sync with your marketing team

    You understand the unique relationship between marketing and sales teams. By using Ion’s Sell-Side, you pick up the conversion process right where the marketing team left it. They create the interactive content that generates the data.

    Sales take that data and use it to understand our clients. Then, you leverage the data to generate personalized sales pitches and drive conversions.

    At Rock, our sales team takes what they learn from using the Sell-Side platform and provides feedback to marketing. That helps them fine-tune their content and understand the ideal buyer. We build a symbiotic relationship around Sell-Side.

    Ion’s Sell-Side creates an interactive journey that starts with the marketing team, shifts to the user, and then circles back to sales. The program supplies data using interactive content that was created to better understand the buyer’s journey.

    From that interactive content, sales personnel receive actionable data that can be used to understand leads and personalize sales pitches.

    Wrap Up

    Sell-Side provides resources that allow us to adjust the population of data even while the interactive process is still active.

    We can see the information that we need and tweak the results to better understand what each lead desires and how to drive their individual conversion.

    With Ion Sell-Side, we can learn key facts about the buyer, including their journey, timeline, and the content they consume along the way. We develop a sense of their maturity and readiness to purchase.

    I hope these examples and explanations help stimulate your own ideas of how you could leverage the interactive journey for your sales team.

    See how Sell-Side works for yourself by requesting an Ion demo today!


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    Start creating interactive content with Ion and increase your marketing results!

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