Explore the importance of vital signs in B2B sales at Forrester’s B2B Summit North America.

Vitals Signs Are Core To Modern Healthcare

Patient vital-sign monitoring is at the heart of modern healthcare. These insights have transformed patient treatment and care by providing a range of real-time measurements of various physiological parameters. These include heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, temperature, and others. These data and insights about the patient feed a range of decision-making and care strategies designed to maximize patient outcomes.

But previous generations were not as fortunate. Modern healthcare and surgery started very differently. Nineteenth-century operating rooms were no place for the squeamish. Drugs? Sedation? If you were lucky. Half of those who underwent surgery in the 19th century didn’t survive. Operating theater galleries were filled with medical students as well as others who’d paid for tickets to attend the gruesome spectacle. Core to the challenge faced by pioneers of this era was the lack of insight into the patients’ vital signs, which meant that they couldn’t assess the real-time impact of the treatment or predict the outcome: Either the patient made it, or they didn’t.

Vital Signs Are Also Core To B2B Sales

Like healthcare patients in our analogy here, in the world of B2B sales, buyers and sellers also emit “vital signs,” or signals, throughout the buying journey that serve as crucial leading indicators of account and deal health, as well as ability to meet buyer needs.

But like those early pioneers of modern surgery, many B2B sales organizations struggle to collect and understand these vital signs, and there’s a range of reasons why — from a lack of investment or poor adoption of technology to process inefficiencies, among others — but regardless of the specific reason, this results in organizations being unable to assess the impact of their “treatments” — in this case, their various go-to-market tactics, whether positive or negative.

Three Types Of B2B Vital Signs

Vital signs in B2B sales can be categorized into three types. The first type is directed signals. These are interactions that are designed and controlled by the selling organization — in other words, directing the buyer toward a particular experience or piece of content. These can be self-guided, such as interactions with a website, a landing page, or a webinar, or they can be personal, such as an email outreach, a phone call, or an in-person meeting. Directed signals are relatively easy to capture using a combination of automation and manual data entry.

The next type of signal is detected. These are not under the seller’s control. We often get these from an outside source, or they’re captured by third-party tools. Examples include intent data providers, social media monitoring tools, and channel partners. Detected signals can be a little harder to isolate and collect than directed signals.

The point of collecting both directed and detected signals is to understand buyer behavior and respond appropriately. This leads to the insights that can be derived by looking at the first two signal types (directed and detected). In the not-too-distant past, these insights were largely dependent on a human. For surgeons, it was all about what they could see or hear at that moment. Sales often depend on a human resource — such as a BDR or sales rep — to combine directed and detected signals and qualify a lead or score an opportunity. But a range of automation and technology options now recognize signals and derive insights much faster than a human ever can.

The Benefits Of Vital-Sign Insights

These insights are augmenting and complimenting seller and manager views of account and deal health. They’re reducing reliance on opinion alone while providing greater transparency into the effectiveness of engagement and driving accountability.

Learn More At B2B Summit North America

At this year’s B2B Summit North America, my colleague Steve Silver and I will be exploring this topic in greater detail, exploring the range of B2B vital signs and the technology that surfaces these insights. We’ll also explore how such insights can be leveraged to improve your performance and deliver greater value for buyers. Join us in person in Austin or online — looking forward to connecting with you all!