Have you been producing quality digital content for your B2B company, attempting to increase conversions, but you just can’t seem to reach your goals? What if your target audience preferences or buyers’ needs aren’t as clear as you thought, or you’re just not getting through to them? Where do you go from here?
Whether you’re ramping up your online marketing efforts or in-person prospecting, all measurable revenue outcomes require your prospects and customers to take action – ideally, a click. To influence action, it helps to go beyond what you think your buyers want and understand their buying behaviors. Understanding and using DISC will help your company create a positive online experience that speaks to ALL of your buyers’ needs and how they want to be engaged.
DISC Communication & Conversion: Quality Vs. Quantity
Do your buyers like lots of information before they purchase? Do they like a straightforward or more subtle sales approach? Do they respond better to online communication or in-person meetings? Are they fast-acting decision-makers? Or do they make decisions relationally, gathering opinions from others before they can commit?
Each buyer persona is going to buy in a slightly different way. Of course, you can’t know everything about each buyer, but depending on your industry and product offerings, you can get a solid understanding of the overarching behaviors of your audience by using the DiSC method to determine:
- More detailed behavior tendencies
- Driving forces of audience behavior
- Integration of behaviors and driving forces
- Competencies and major strengths
Why is it important to be familiar with the DISC behavioral analysis for measurable conversion management? So you can focus on the quality of communication and conversions over the quantity. The bottom line is this- if you create opportunities for engagement at the time each buyer persona is ready to engage, based on their determination of what is needed to take action, your conversion rates will improve.
DISC Behavioral Analysis in Sales & Your CRM
Each DISC persona interacts with their environment differently, including how they interact with your content and the nature of your product and service offering. To create action and optimize your outcomes, initial key information must be DISCed to support your target audience’s primary needs and goals.
Sales reps are often trained in DISC and adjust their approach to selling based on the behavioral profile of the prospect/lead. If your inbound lead generation and lead scoring can capture the behavioral types of prospective buyers, you can trigger sales responses that are better received, as well as achieve better sales conversion rates.
Additionally, if your inbound process can feed DISC insights into the contact record of your customer relationship management tool (CRM), you should theoretically be able to measure improvements to sales timelines and sales conversion rates.
Not only that, but properly placed calls to action (CTAs) using DISC profiling on your website can allow you to capture the interest and action of ALL buyer profiles, both influencers and decision-makers.
For example, when using DISC, your sales reps would know how they should approach each opportunity based on which CTA conversion worked for each inbound, online lead conversion. Maybe you tried four different CTAs on different landing pages based on the DISC behavioral tendencies of your most successful customers, and one person responded to each of those CTAs. You now have a nearly foolproof way to relate to each of those potential customers that will put him or her in a buying mood.
Ways to Communicate with D.I.S.C. Behavioral Types
Dominant (D): Dominant behavior types require instant, concrete results desiring a control over the future in a clear succinct manner. They are very decisive.
Ways to communicate with (D)s:
- Send a very short, direct message providing no more than two good options for next steps (e.g., Would you prefer to schedule a meeting using my calendar link or reply with a few days/times that work well for you to discuss the website inquiry?).
- Don’t forget to put a follow-up-by-email task in your CRM for two days later should they not book/reply. Make the content jovial and acknowledge their productivity and that being the reason they haven’t connected.
- This group will fight with you to control the sales process so don’t fight too hard and don’t be too pushy or wordy — they have no patience for your long meetings, conversations, or emails.
- Get to the point, ask how they want to proceed, and follow their instructions as to date and time to a T — they will respect you and continue the sales journey with you.
- Don’t hound this group too hard and don’t become a digital stalker. Being concise with their time and in their way is the best way to engage this behavioral type; it is the key to advancing sales.
Inspiring/Influential Behavioral Types (I): Influentials are creative and excited by the future they see. They desire new experiences and achieve their goals most often working in relationships.
Ways to communicate with (I)s:
- All communication must play on the wonder of the possible collaboration with few details needed.
- Compliments and flattery go a long way with this group.
- Connect with them on Instagram (they love a story and experience) /LinkedIn and follow-up with a phone call.
- Be excited to meet them and be sure to note something interesting that you learned about them from their LinkedIn profile or their webform submission.
- Just like a D, they don’t have a lot of patience, so ask if they have time to talk now or prefer another day/time.
- Volunteer to do all the work, they really can’t be bothered…details fall through the cracks and follow-up is all on you.
- If you catch voicemail, be excited about the prospect of talking to them and let them know that you are following up by email (then actually follow-up by email immediately).
- They will respect and appreciate all the attention you are bestowing on them at their request. Expect this to continue for the whole sales process.
Supportive/Steady Behavioral Types (S): Steady types seek security, reliability and trust. They are highly concerned about the needs of others and communication should be geared towards reducing a conflict or a stress point of discomfort, framed in a way that indicates a problem can be resolved together. This is a majority of the population.
Ways to communicate with (S)s:
- They are very concerned about others, whether they can trust you and whether others will trust them if they bring you as a solution to the table.
- They want you to understand who else is involved in the decision making (they are relational decision makers and will ask quite a few people what to do, and for their opinion) and make sure you spend enough time with them for them to trust you.
- Take your time, more meetings, longer calls (about six times longer than a D or an I), more support materials to create genuine trust and to transfer that trust of you, to the other decision makers.
- This is a very emotional sales process and sales decision so while logic and impact declarations are good to drop in their arsenal, your ability to solve the emotional pains that result from their problems, and the same for each of the co-decision makers, will be critical.
- Connect on LinkedIn, call, email, follow-through on your commitments. This helps them trust you more as you do what you said you would. The points of contact, the more comfortable they feel.
- Referrals/references are huge with this group and critical to support the networked approach they have to making decisions.
Conscientious/Cautious Behavioral Types (C): Conscientious/cautious types respond well to logic and solving a well defined and specific problem. They are stimulated by facts and work independently bringing quality information back to the group. When selling to this personality type, you must appeal to the logical side of their decision-making process.
Ways to communicate with (C)s:
- Impact declarations, value propositions for multiple buying reasons, proof in case studies that represent the same challenges they face will be hugely important.
- With this group, you will have to pull out all the stops. They will likely follow up with you if you don’t stay in touch because they are dotting their Is and crossing their Ts to make the most informed decisions.
- As you suspected, they are absolutely doing head-to-head comparisons with your competitors and most likely have built a spreadsheet or matrix to note the details and compare to get the best value and superior choice.
- After every conversation, they will add or remove Xs from your row relative to those of your competitors.
- This group will not only want to know the measurable impact or value of using your service, but they will also want to know how you mathematically determined that number to validate that they agree with your methodology.
- Make sure your numbers add up as it is not out of line for the thinking of a Conscientious/cautious buyer in your pipeline.
This is an overview of general communication with DISC types, whether it be in-person, through social media, or via email. So how do you take these behavioral tendencies and communication preferences, “speak” to your audience online, and get them to convert without ever physically speaking with them? Keep reading!
An Example of How to Communicate Online Using DISC
Recently, in a landing page design meeting, our client’s team was disagreeing about what content should be on a landing page. Using DISC, I was able to resolve the difference of perspectives because no one was wrong about what content needed to be included on the page. However, when we analyzed and predicted the buyer’s behavior based on DISC research, it helped everyone narrow the focus of the landing page’s design and layout and understand the goal of the content, which was to create engagement and subsequent action based on behavioral tendencies.
Utilizing DISC also helped everyone involved in the project. It helped me communicate with the group better, it helped our graphic artist and website designer organize the appropriate level of detail based on the audience’s needs and when they were most likely to engage or take action. It helped the copywriter and social media specialist understand what language to use and how to time the delivery.
Basically, by understanding which of the four DISC behavioral factors are dominant in your buyers (there will always be a blend of behaviors, but there is also always going to be a single dominant one), you can create a buying opportunity specific for each behavioral type built into the landing page, web page, or blog content.
Example of Web Page or Landing Page Flow Based on DISC Buyer Types
For ALL Visitors: The goal is to capture interest in roughly eight seconds so readers want to take action (no videos here). Different personalities will take different actions based on a few, simple, interest-capturing words to which they can relate. Be customer-focused, concise and inviting, and solve a pain point right away so all buyer types become interested.
Dominant Buyer Types (D): Have the call to action below the headline. It speaks to this audience profile. The “take action” button is for this group (i.e.; “take control” speaks to this group). They know what they want, no patience to read more, action bias to learn more by getting started right now and clicking that button.
Inspiring/Influential Buyer Types (I): This group also has little patience and little interest in reading more. Keep that “contact us” or “order now” button at or near the top or very visible in the sidebar. They want to buy into the vision of how they would appear if this solution were added to their business or life. If they like the vision of what is stated or shown in graphics, they will click the button — they are impulse buyers, you get them or you don’t based on whether they buy into the vision and are inspired to take action quickly based on feelings, not logic.
Supportive/Steady Buyer Types (S): This type comprises approx. 54% of society, but they’re not usually business leaders. These are your managers researching solutions to take back to others who are the actual decision-makers. This group likes to gather information about potential solutions but most likely not decision-makers unless they are second- or third-generation business owners.
Keep your content informational, factual, bullet points, numbers, percentages, etc. They need to be educated enough to convey what they learn to others, but will not take action unless a specific CTA is written for them because they likely do not have the authority to act on a big decision without the buy-in from others. Often they will “download a white paper” or click a “learn more” button.
Conscientious/Cautious Buyer Types (C): These personalities will not take action based on anything you say in the first or probably even the second sections of the landing page because they need more detail. For this group, the headline is written to be reasonable, which encourages them to scroll to dig and learn more.
They are researching to add knowledge, validate what they’ve learned, and research in great detail before taking action. They will take a more cautious action with a CTA to “learn more” because they are not going to be ready to get started based on research alone. They need to learn more from an educated conversation, which is where a sales person can come into the mix to help convert.
Ready to Talk About DISC in Relation to Revenue?
As the online sales cycle continues to open up a world-wide market, we have to get better at pinpointing how to engage our targets and customers, how to keep them engaged, and how to generate referrals from our existing customers. We need to learn how to communicate in their language, solve their problems on their terms, and create content that gets them in the door so our sales team can nurture them through the sale and beyond. Understanding clients’ DISC behaviors, driving forces, and competencies in relation to your revenue, will accomplish this.
Full credit to Dr. Michela Henke-Cilenti, CTPD for contributing to this content and teaching me most of what I know about DISC despite having been assessed half a dozen times. She really makes DISC practical and understandable for everyone to change their habits on human interaction. When we built Healthcare Hospitality Training using DISC for the Our Urgent Care reception and medical teams it became crystal clear that DISC behaviors in communication can and should be taught across all service industries. At the end of the day, everything we do in corporate communications, digital or otherwise, should be “of service” to our audience therefore DISC principles can apply.
If your company is stuck in a rut of lagging conversions and you would like to understand your target audience’s DISC behavioral traits and what motivates them to engage with your company, please reach out to me for more information.