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The Importance of Digital Body Language in Complex Sales Cycles

Magnifying glass examining the earth

Understanding body language is a wonderful tool when it comes to selling. Sales professionals can quickly determine the type of buyer a prospect is by observing their body language, the way they defer questions or ask them, who shows an interest in what topics and so much more subtle evidence is provided unsuspectingly by the potential customer.

In boardrooms, face-to-face meetings, business lunches and conferences that’s easy to assess!
But what about today’s largest channel to market? The internet has completely transformed the way people buy. The arrival of inbound marketing means the sales team face the tough challenge of trying to determine the type of buyer mind-sets they are dealing with as they can no longer rely on non-verbal signals. The giant void between prospects and engagement with your sales team is growing larger and larger and they are choosing to self-educate themselves instead by conducting research online. But there’s good news! Digital marketing tools and sales enablement tools can provide some clues as to the ‘body language’ of buyers.Generally speaking, there are 4 major buyer roles in any complex sales cycle:

The Economic Buyer who focuses on evaluating ROI. They are interested in seeing case studies, client portfolios, and financial models that present the ROI of the solution your business is offering. They are the gatekeeper to the budget and will potentially be interested in other long term commitments which will be evaluated by their risk association.

The User Buyer who evaluates user experience and operational impact. They pay attention to the hands-on aspects and content on your website such as free trials, demos, user documents and downloads. How your solution will be used on a daily basis and who it will affect is the sought-after understanding they aim to find. Usually, this type of buyer consults with peers in user groups or community based forums and websites in order to discover what others who have implemented your company’s solution have to say about it. Due to the fact their investigations can be widespread and granular, their digital body language can be very hard to read.

The Technical Buyer wants to evaluate feasibility through free trials and demonstrations. I guess you could classify this buyer as your ‘typical techie’ who brings specialised expertise to the evaluation team. So, they are looking at specs, the technical detail, physical implementation and integration implications, and the expected project challenges their business could face by transitioning to your solution.

The Coach wants to see your solution implemented and is therefore exploring your content and marketing material that’s targeted at facilitating types of internal promotion. When faced with this type of buyer in a meeting situation, it will quickly become apparent who plays this role within the evaluation team. They are enthusiastic, have strong personal relationships with both their colleagues and the vendor and their typical digital body language reflects an internal circulation of your campaigns like forwarding emails among colleagues and other relevant key decision makers.

How do you observe digital body language?

Content marketing strategy and marketing automation tools have a huge role to play here – getting the right content in front of the right people at the right time and being able to record and analyse who’s reading what. 

Most experienced marketers are familiar with creating buyer personas and a content marketing plan for each of those personas.

Marketing automation tools are used to deliver content to the right people at the right time and to monitor reads and clicks.  Good marketers will measure the success of each piece of content and optimise it accordingly.  Furthermore, marketing automation systems like HubSpot enable marketers to monitor digital body language and spot when a contact is "sales-ready".

From that point on, a good sales person will know what content will help the sale along, but want to make it very personal to each deal.

Therein lies the issue.  

Whilst marketing tracked every digital move that contacts have been making, that traceability can be lost once sales take over......unless they too have appropriate tools to monitor and measure success.

Sales enablement tools provide even more detailed information for sales people to learn the digital body language of their prospects.  Here are a few examples of the information that sales enablement tools (like HubSpot SalesPro) will enable you to see:

  • who read your email (not a marketing email, but a personal email)....and when (with instant notifications)
  • who clicked on links in your emails
  • which PDF pages, PPT slides or sections of video etc your prospect viewed...and for how long
  • on which pages, slides or sections of video your prospect stopped looking
  • all email responses in a single timeline
  • all people associated with a deal in one place
  • and more

To find out more about sales enablement, call us on 01789 262656 or send one of the team an email on

Alternatively, join us at one of our Sales Enablement Workshops - you don't have to be a HubSpot user to attend this workshop, but we will demonstrate HubSpot SalesPro at the end of the course.


Topics: Sales Enablement Inbound Marketing B2B Lead Generation