Sales and Marketing is all about knowing your prospects – what they care about, how they like to consume content, what their buying process is. Psychology can help us understand consumer behavior, and adjust our processes to accommodate for that behavior.
However, as salespeople and marketers we also have psychological biases. Too often, we don’t recognize our own subconscious biases, and these biases can affect how well we work with our prospects and customers.
The most surefire ways to combat our own psychological biases in Sales and Marketing are through data analysis, AI, and automation. Luckily, Sales Enablement Automation platforms can provide all of those capabilities in an easy to use and interpret way. Here are 8 psychological biases that Sales Enablement Platforms like Bigtincan can help you combat.
- Confirmation Bias: The tendency to search for, interpret, focus on and remember information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions.
As marketers and as salespeople, we tend to look for proof that our own perceptions are correct, whether that be that our marketing content is valuable to a prospect, or that our sales presentation was spot on. Sales Enablement platforms can associate data to outcomes, and artificial intelligence can interpret that data and create recommendations based on true patterns, not our own biases.
- Default Effect: When given a choice between several options, the tendency to favor the default one.
We are all creatures of habit. Without options, in a selling situation, a salesperson will typically choose easiest, most available content options. Searching and surfing isn’t usually a viable option for an on the fly presentation or a quick email. Luckily, SalesAI will recommend content based on your specific sales situation, making the best content the default choice.
- Exaggerated Expectation: The tendency to expect or predict more extreme outcomes than those outcomes that actually happen.
Marketers spent a lot of money on content. With a big content spend, marketers expect a big ROI. It’s easy to assume that the new presentation you spent $10,000 to make is going to help close that big deal sales has been working on. However, more often than not, a new piece of content may not make that big of a splash. Having a solution with reporting allows marketers to determine the actual value of content, so that you can attribute an accurate, non-exaggerated ROI to the content piece.
- Illusory Correlation: Inaccurately perceiving a relationship between two unrelated events.
One of the biggest issues plaguing marketers is a lack of visibility into what content truly moves the needle in a sales situation. Without a Sales Enablement platform, marketers are forced to rely on anecdotal evidence of what content worked, and can therefore draw incorrect conclusions from small, insignificant “data sets”. For example, if three sales people closed a deal after using a certain whitepaper, it’d be easy to assume that the content and outcome are connected.
However, without a significant data set, it’s impossible to draw that outcome. Sales Enablement platforms like Bigtincan record and track the actions of salespeople and prospects, creating a higher quality and quantity of data, and therefore allowing marketers to draw statistically significant conclusions about the value of their content.
- Law of the instrument: An over-reliance on a familiar tool or methods, ignoring or under-valuing alternative approaches. "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."
If the only content that a salesperson is aware of is a PDF, they’re only going to use that one PDF. However, content recommendations from Sales Enablement platforms provide additional content options that you may not have thought to use initially, be that a video, an infographic, a SlideShare, or a podcast.
- Ostrich Effect: Ignoring an obvious (negative) situation.
No marketer wants to find out that the content they’re creating isn’t being used, or is being used, but isn’t valuable to prospects and isn’t helping sales close deals. It’s all too easy to stick your head in the sand and ignore the obvious. A Sales Enablement platform’s reporting capabilities will allow you to prevent the Ostrich Effect and provide you data that will help you optimize your content creation efforts so there’s no need to hide from the obvious.
- Planning Fallacy: The tendency to underestimate task-completion times.
Salespeople only spend about 1/3 of their work day actually selling. The remaining 2/3 of their hours are spent on administrative tasks, planning, and content creation, along with many other non-selling activities. The seemingly “small” tasks like logging emails or meetings into CRM add up quickly, eating up a big chunk of the day that salespeople would love to have back. A Sales Enablement Automation platform can automate the administrative tasks that take salespeople away from selling.
- Stereotyping: Expecting a member of a group to have certain characteristics without having actual information about that individual
Personas are an essential tool in marketing – they help us focus on our prospects’ priorities, challenges, and goals. However, it’s easy to forget that when salespeople are selling, they’re selling to actual people, not personas. So, the content that was created for a specific persona may or may not actually be helpful to them. The only way to know is by talking to the client, and analyzing the utilization data. You may think “CMOs love long-form PDFs,” but platforms like Bigtincan can show you data on whether or not those CMOs are opening, reading, and sharing them or not. Don’t rely on stereotypes – rely on data and AI.
Did we miss any other psychological biases? Let us know in the comments!