The backbone of any high performing sales organization is having the right data. But, how do you truly utilize this data to better your sales
Time is money. It is a fact that everyone is familiar with and many wholeheartedly agree with. And the implications of this is not that evident in other aspects as it is in business. Especially when you have to rely heavily on engaging with customers, relying on every second and efficiently using time can be considered crucial in turning leads into successful sales.
It is here where the role of sales engagement comes in to save the day. Nowadays, a phone call, email, text, LinkedIn message, physical mail, video message, etc., are all part of this. Modern selling involves a wider range of variables than ever before. So, how does a salesperson go about getting customers to get involved? It’s getting more difficult to close sales these days.
Today’s methods don’t work as well as they did in the past – prospects aren’t returning your calls or responding to your emails, and you don’t have any scheduled meetings. We must alter our approach to sales.
You can improve your company’s customer relationships and sales by actively encouraging your sales staff and potential customers to collaborate. What you need to do is adapt to the different ways customers respond.
What is sales engagement?
Every interaction between the sales team and the buyers, from phone calls and emails to face-to-face meetings, falls under the umbrella of sales engagement. It’s important to note that the sales engagement meaning encompasses more than just traditional outreach.
These interactions include everything that can be measured by touchpoint or time, from meetings and sales calls to e-book downloads and email click-through. In other words, the sales engagement process can be defined as prospect research, connection, nurturing, relationship building, and closing deals.
As a result of sales engagement, sales teams can better understand the buyer’s journey and how messaging, content, and timing play a role. You can improve the quality and efficiency of the sales process by utilizing engagement insights. The sales engagement process begins with developing the engagement plan, determining the pain points, obtaining quality leads, influencing them, and providing a valuable solution.
Prospect management is a small but crucial piece of the larger sales engagement puzzle as it targets the very beginning of the customer’s journey. At this stage of the sales funnel, the overabundance of competition and increased buyer expectations are two significant challenges that sellers face.
However, sales engagement does not have to be limited to one-on-one communication. The same principles apply to platforms for account-based selling (ABS) and account-based marketing (ABM). After researching a larger company, as a part of your sales engagement strategy, you can direct your outreach to that company’s employees.
The goal is the same regardless of the channel or platform you use: to establish a fruitful relationship with the buyer. When developing your sales engagement strategy, compare each tool, channel, and strategy to those criteria.
Related: How to Deal with Unhappy Customers
Why is sales engagement important?
Customers and prospects are at the heart of every successful business, and a sales engagement strategy helps salespeople build lasting relationships with them throughout the entire revenue lifecycle. Let’s take a look at why sales engagement is important for businesses:
- Better Understanding of Sales Reps: The sales engagement process facilitates the smooth onboarding of the new sales rep. As soon as a new salesperson is brought on board, they can check out the sales engagement process and get started immediately.
- Better Lead Nurturing: As the saying goes, preparation is the key to achievement. Sales representatives have an easier time doing their jobs when they have an organized central sales engagement process, and they can use proper lead generation and nurturing techniques.
- Personalized and proactive communication: A successful sales campaign relies heavily on clear and frequent lines of communication between all parties involved. A sales representative must incorporate all of the personalization gleaned from the research into the communication to achieve the best results. Having a sales engagement plan simplifies and expedites these processes.
- Improved performance: Maintaining objectivity enables sales managers to replicate the behaviors of their best-performing salespeople across the entire sales force. For better onboarding and coaching, sales engagement platforms can identify the best practices and activities that lead to successful customer interactions. Identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) at each stage of the sales talent lifecycle. Setting performance goals and tracking progress, comparing individual and team results, identifying star performers and underperformers.
- Automation advantages: By integrating sales engagement into sales processes and technology, you can streamline and simplify both. Streamlining and automating administrative tasks frees up salespeople’s time to work on their core competencies and expand their businesses. Using this tool, customers will see their growth, adoption, and renewals accelerated by the Customer Success and Account Management teams.
- Provide valuable analytics: Dashboards for sales and marketing teams provide granular analytics, insight for managing pipelines, focusing resources on deals at risk, and improving forecasting.
- Generate Revenue: You can speed up the sales process by using a sales engagement process. Using this method, salespeople can more effectively pitch, nurture, and close leads while maintaining customer satisfaction. As a result, your sales cycle will become smoother, and your business will automatically grow in size.
Also Read: Top Habits of Successful Salespeople
What is a sales engagement platform?
Marketing automation and customer relationship management (CRM) systems used to be commonplace among sales teams. These tools are useful for some aspects of the sales process, but businesses have discovered that they fall short of a successful sales engagement.
To meet the challenges of end-to-end sales engagement, new technology was created – Sales Engagement Platform (SEP). By consolidating workflows, streamlining communications, increasing productivity, and more, SEP helps sales teams avoid the problems that arise from using disparate, one-size-fits-all tools.
SEPs have time-saving features that help sales reps stay organized, prepared, and ready to meet (or exceed) their targets. Some of the features are:
- CRM Integration
- Compatibility with email platforms
- Email tracking metrics
- Compatibility with email platforms
- Sales email engagement tracking
- Sales cadence
- Sales campaign management
- Sales email scheduling
- Sales email automation
- Click to call
- Follow up reminders
- Sales Intelligence
- Email and content templates
SEP helps optimize the selling process by providing an easy-to-use interface for sales teams to plan, execute, monitor, and measure customer interactions across multiple channels. Overlaying your existing CRM system with a layer of sales engagement platforms allows you to leverage its full potential by syncing surface data, automating manual tasks, and tracking the results that matter.
Every step of the buyer’s journey should be customer-centric, which is the primary goal of a sales engagement platform. An effective platform accomplishes this by automating menial tasks, bringing valuable CRM data into the email inbox, and enabling personalized communication at a large scale. It allows your customer-facing employees to spend more time generating revenue in a highly efficient manner when used correctly.
Some of the benefits of a sales engagement platform are:
- It provides a single user interface to sales reps to update activities, access up-to-date information, adds prospects into multi-step communication flows, and more. By automating manual processes like activity capture, email sequencing, outbound prospecting, and administrative tasks, sales engagement platforms help teams save time. Manual tasks free up sellers at all levels, from SDR to sales manager, so they can concentrate on the high-value activities that drive revenue. they can save time
- By automatically logging activities, tracking communication history, and referencing shared notes all in one place, a strong platform will eliminate miscommunications and ensure that your team is on the same page.
- Sales engagement platforms use AI to process massive amounts of data, allowing sellers to focus on their most engaged customers while making smarter business decisions.
- Not just sales but all revenue team members can use these platforms to coordinate, execute, track, measure, and optimize their interactions with customers and prospects. Automated and streamlined workflows can benefit all customer-facing teams, from Marketing and Finance to Account Management and Support.
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Sales engagement vs. sales enablement
The terms “sales engagement” and “sales enablement” are often used interchangeably. While both sales engagement and sales enablement assist sales teams in developing relationships with buyers, nurturing prospects through the sales process, and streamlining selling activities, they have several critical distinctions.
|Enabling your sales reps to do their jobs better and sell more is sales enablement. Enablement focuses on providing sales reps with the proper training, technology, and communication tools to close deals as quickly as possible.||Sales engagement is customer-centric, not sales-centric. It aims to improve salespeople’s ability to connect with customers by tracking, measuring, and quantifying interactions at every point of contact.|
|The strategy aims to provide sales teams with the necessary training, content, tools, and sales collateral to engage with buyers.||A sales engagement strategy enables sellers to provide a highly personalized and valuable customer experience at each stage of the buyer’s journey through frequent communication, actionable data, and regular feedback.|
|Sales enablement is designed to help sales reps and companies increase revenue by providing them with the tools they need to do their jobs better.||The goal of sales engagement is to assist organizations in developing a better framework for connecting with buyers, converting leads into prospects, and integrating existing systems to ensure a positive customer experience.|
|Internal communications, sales content management, document automation, and sales coaching and training are the components of sales enablement.||Opportunity management, sales email, messages and calls automation, reporting & analytics are some of the components of sales engagement.|
Read More: How To Start A Sales Pitch (Best Ways)
How does sales engagement affect the sales funnel?
Prospects move through various stages of your sales funnel from the moment they learn about your product or service until they make (or do not make) a purchase. A sales funnel can help you understand what your potential buyers are doing and thinking at each stage of the sales cycle.
You can use these insights to invest in the right marketing activities and channels, create the most relevant messaging at each stage, and increase the number of prospects who become actual customers.
Customers’ buying decisions are heavily influenced by the way sellers interact with, present themselves to, and follow up with them, which is enhanced through the combination of sales engagement and sales enablement.
Getting in touch with a potential or current customer can challenge sellers. It takes an average of 18 phone calls, and only 24% of sales emails are opened to connect with a buyer.
Sales engagement platforms help reduce the amount of friction experienced during the sales process by streamlining and automating how salespeople interact with prospects and customers at each sales funnel stage. Here’s how:
- Prospecting: A sales manager can import contacts and leads from their CRM or a spreadsheet into the engagement platform, where they are automatically routed to the right salespeople for outreach.
- Connecting/Nurturing: Automated workflows, known as “cadences,” can be created using sales engagement platforms. These include a series of calls, voicemails, and emails over a set period. The sellers enroll prospects in these cadences, and each one continues until a connection is made or the cycle ends. The seller can place the lead on a nurturing track if no connection is made.
- Relationship management: Sales engagement platforms give sellers an understanding of their outreach and engagements in the past. As a result, sellers can better plan and re-engage with their current customers by accessing information such as email open rates, previous call data, and meeting notes. Thanks to sales engagement and enablement software, the seller can see when their contacts open their emails, how long they spend looking at them, and who they share the email with within their organization, allowing the seller to follow up with their contacts more quickly.
Top sales engagement tools in 2022
Review the features and capabilities of the various sales engagement platforms available today to find one that best suits your team and your objectives. Let’s take a look at a few effective sales engagement tools:
Mailshake is a tool for increasing customer engagement and streamlining sales. It’s designed specifically for cold email outreach in sales and marketing. A single sales cadence and dashboard allow you to send personalized emails to a large number of prospects, as well as engage with them over the phone or through social media. You can also easily connect to your CRM, contact database, and other email marketing tools using the tool’s various third-party and native integrations, such as HubSpot.
Hippo is a sales engagement platform that helps personalize and distribute video content. It helps large corporations with their sales and marketing efforts by enabling the creation of videos and video workflows. For account-based selling, use the platform to help you create customized videos. Your videos are also a great way to provide after-sales support and customer product education. Hippo Video can also be integrated with HubSpot so that you can send video emails to your customers.
Hubspot Sales Hub:
HubSpot’s Sales Hub is an extremely powerful sales CRM, in addition to best-in-class analytics, engagement, and CPQ tools. The software is designed to work with any sized sales team, from 2 to 500 people. Since this sales CRM has four different editions, it grows and adapts to your needs (Sales Hub Free, Sales Hub Professional, Sales Hub Starter, and Sales Hub Enterprise). Friction occurs due to growth, and Sales Hub addresses it head-on. Sales Hub addresses this issue in the following ways:
- Streamlining the sales process to free up sales representatives’ time to work on other projects.
- You can gain insights into your sales team’s performance through analytics (which also helps you offer a consistent customer experience).
- It’s all about keeping customers at the heart of every decision you make.
- With CPQ support, you’ll close more deals faster.
For both your sales and marketing teams, Clearbit is a powerful platform that focuses on lead enrichment, qualification, and scoring. Helps sales reps identify qualified prospects and discover new sources of potential customers. It then provides real-time alerts to sales reps, so they know when to reach out to those prospects. Alerts can be generated when a target account searches for your products on your website. You can also use Clearbit Enrichment’s integration with HubSpot to add contact information to your CRM.
Salesloft is a business-to-business (B2B) sales engagement platform for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and large corporations. There is a wide range of capabilities for all members of your team, from sales leaders and managers to operations and SDRs. You can automate, personalize, and sync rep-to-prospect communication via email, phone, social media, video, and more with SalesLoft and a CRM like HubSpot (which integrates with the platform).
PipelineDeals is a sales productivity and engagement management platform, as well as a CRM, for small businesses. With this tool, all of your sales pipeline components are conveniently organized in one place for quick and easy access. A daily agenda is created to save time and ensure that sales reps know which prospects or accounts to engage with that day. All customer follow-up communication is made simple with this tool, which also streamlines the creation and distribution of sales and marketing emails and allows you to segment your clients. Additionally, it’s optimized for mobile devices, so your remote team can get the information they need from any location at any time with ease.
Outreach is a provider of a sales intelligence and engagement platform that aids companies in increasing productivity and fostering more intelligent and insightful interactions with their customers. In Outreach, sales engagement, revenue intelligence, and conversation intelligence are integrated into a single platform. It helps sales teams gain actionable insights, manage their workflows, and navigate the increasingly complex buying process in real-time.
Salesforce customers can use Groove, a sales engagement platform, to better connect with their customers. Groove is designed to help relationship-based salespeople increase productivity, drive Salesforce adoption, and provide revenue leaders with critical information about what’s driving their business. Using Groove, revenue teams can rely on accurate reporting and forecasting, lowered compliance risk, and simplified administration because it is Salesforce native. In the vendor’s words, Groove frees up 20% of a salesperson’s week to focus on high-value activities like generating pipelines and closing more deals.
Cloud-based sales management solution VanillaSoft combines features for CRM, telemarketing, lead management, and telemarketing to help sales teams manage their daily operations. Lead generation and nurturing tools are included in VanillaSoft’s queue-based sorting system, making it easier for users to keep track of their sales pipeline and land new clients. Automated dialing and email marketing are just some features available through VanillaSoft. To keep tabs on sales campaigns, the real-time management dashboard is used. You can use lead scoring to track different sales funnels by incorporating multiple factors or input fields.
This platform helps sales teams with outreach, email personalization, and automated follow-ups. Using the tool, it is easy to personalize emails for each customer. Additionally, it considers factors such as the last time you sent an email to a prospect or the working hours of that prospect. With Klenty, you can rest assured that your emails will land in the inboxes of your potential customers and not in the spam folder. Incorporate the use of data-driven selling tactics, such as team reports and performance metrics, into your sales engagement strategy. It’s possible to sync your HubSpot CRM data with Klenty’s email and related actions taken by customers and prospects (e.g., email opens, email responses, CTA clicks, conversations).
All departments involved in generating revenue, including marketing, sales, and customer service, can gain by increasing sales engagement. The performance of dynamic sales plays can be tracked and monitored using dashboards and insights. Managers and sales representatives can thus concentrate on selling, while executives and operational teams can concentrate on coaching and leadership.
The possibilities for sales engagement tools are virtually limitless. You don’t have to be a sales whiz to get started with these tools. All of the activities involved in selling can be automated using these tools. These sales engagement tools not only remind you to stay in touch with your prospects but also help you nurture them.