Have you come across a sales pitch that came off as an answer to a problem that you are struggling to solve?
That is what every sales rep aims for and an effective sales engagement would lead to approaches like this. The key to understanding sales engagement is to understand that your prospects are the same people as you are, just without an obligation to sell and a target to hit.
If explained simply, sales engagement is a process of getting into the shoes of your prospect to have a better understanding about their pain points, solving their urgent needs and making their work easy.
Now that you have an idea about sales engagement, let’s know in detail about it.
Let us walk through essential steps that you need to know for an effective sales engagement process. The essence of every process is what makes your understanding of that process more clear and the essence of sales engagement is approaching your prospect and building credibility of your business to create value for your organization.
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What Is Sales Engagement?
Sales engagement refers to all the interaction that takes place between a sales rep and a prospect throughout the sales process. These interactions consist of knowing about your prospect, connecting with them, consistent follow-up with the client, building rapport with the client and closing the deal.
By reading this definition you might think that sales engagement is easy. But, when done at scale these interactions can be tiring and you do not get a positive response every time you approach a prospect. Let me brief you about what are the steps that a sales development representative takes for sales engagement.
Step 1: Identify Your Potential Prospect
There are various ways to do that but some of the best ways are:
- Create an Ideal Customer Profile
- Build a persona of the potential prospect
- Prioritize your lead by lead scoring
Creating an ideal customer profile is creating a hypothetical prospect profile that gives you an idea of who would benefit from your solution or product and generate value for you in the form of revenue.
Now that you have a general idea about your prospect, make your enquire more detailed by building customer persona.
Creating a persona is building an imaginary personality of what your customer is like. This lets your rep understand their prospect or customer and know their trigger points which ultimately enhances their performance.
After you have built a persona of your potential client you would approach them at various channels so they can enter your sales pipeline.
Here it’s important to know which leads are likely to convert in prospect. Assigning a number to your leads according to their probability of conversion will give sales reps an idea about where channelizing their efforts will increase conversion.
According to Financesonline, by having a way to prioritize leads, sales representatives can make 49% more contact attempts and extend their discussion time by 88%.
Lead scoring can be a complex process as evaluating various leads leaves reps with a huge chunk of data.
Automation of lead scoring can make this process swift and let your sales rep know which lead has more potential to generate revenue. With Send Buzz you can automate your lead scoring process.
Step 2: Initial Engagement with the Prospect
In this step you make you approach the prospect, build a rapport with them and build a relationship with them. Way to do so are:
- Cold calling
- Cold emailing
- Connecting on social media
- Attending events
We are not unaware about the fact that cold calling is one of the most cost effective and personalized ways to reach out to your client. But, there is a catch here! The effectiveness of this approach is heavily dependent on the skill set of individual sales reps and their sales pitch.
The key to make your cold calling efficient is to know your prospects’ pain points and draft your pitch around the solution that can solve it.
According to Financesonline the factors that influence a buyers’ ultimate purchase decisions are:
- a) 96% the value that you can deliver to them.
- b) 93% your ability to collaborate with them
- c) 92% the level to which you have educated them with new ideas
- d) 92% consumers also make decisions based on the valuable insights you can provide about their industry
Cold emailing is another excellent tool that sales reps can aid them both in sales as well as to run marketing campaigns.
Your engagement with your prospect should be personalized. Inboxes of your prospect are flooded with mail, it’s like a war fair for their attention.
So, the important factor their is to increase your visibility and what determine that:
- a) Your email landing directly in your prospects inbox
- b) Effectiveness of your subject line
- c) Relevance of your message
- d) Call to action
- e) Responsive design
If you keep these factors in mind, the chances of your email being read increase exponentially.
Connecting on Social Media:
Engagement in modern times is not restricted to calls and emails. Social media is also at power when it comes to engagement . One such platform is LinkedIn where you can directly approach your prospect.
LinkedIn has over 850 million members which makes it an optimum platform for approaching your client. Being a thought leader in your niche helps you build a community of like minded people with common interests, you can get quality leads as well.
Automation can integrate LinkedIn into your sales engagement process to optimize engagement with prospects on a single screen.
In person engagement with prospects can reduce the time of your sales cycle. So, attend trade shows and events to approach your prospects in person. Email them before the event so that you don’t seem intruding, inform them prior to the event.
Step 3: Consistent Follow-Ups
Usually this process tests your patience and persistence because here you have to keep the prospect in loop, be consistent with your engagement, guide your prospect towards making the purchase decision.
Simply sending emails to your prospect your value proposition would not result in closing the deal. Capture the interest of your prospect so that when you put your value proposition it is appealing to them.
Share product related information so that they have a better understanding about the product and services you offer, know their interest and interact with them on the same. You might not get a response from them but with persistent follow your chances of converting them into your client increases.
Step 4: Closing the Deal
Customize your offer to suit your prospects’ needs, this will reduce the resistance. Handle their objection and convince them to make the purchase.
Key Concepts of Sales Engagement
When discussing the sales process and sales engagement we come across some terms that can be misunderstood. Hence below are some terms which would aid you in understanding sales engagement better.
Interactions that take place between customers and businesses during the customer’s journey are referred to as touch points.
These instances have a significant influence on customer experience as well as brand perception. If put simply then these are the interactions with the average customer that take place throughout the customer journey.
If put together they form a road map of incidents when an average customer interacts with the business. Let’s explore various touch points throughout the customer journey.
The Initial Touch Point Is Customer Acquisition: When you want to generate leads for sales engagement you interact with them on platforms like social media, online advertisement, digital marketing content and social events. From these interactions, sales reps collect customer information for further engagement.
Interaction During the Purchase Process: In this phase of customer journey he takes the purchase decision or considers purchasing the product. Here the interaction takes place via product catalog, talking to prospects, ecommerce, product review.
After the Purchase Has Been Done: The last interaction with the customer after the purchase is by sending a letter of thanking the customer for the purchase, asking them for review, upselling or cross selling.
Sales Sequences are automated workflows that optimize the sales engagement process and help sales reps manage their outreach better. These compromises of various sales touch points like email, phone calls, SMS and more.
It helps sales reps measure every sales activity and enable him to focus on selling. Sales sequencing directs sales to know exactly what to do next in advance and eliminates the guesswork.
Sales Engagement Platform
A sales engagement platform is a software that integrates all the existing workflow into one platform with an easy to use interface, allowing sales engagement to manage their sales engagement efficiently.
These platforms automate the administrative work from the sales engagement process so that sales reps can optimize their time. They work in a sink with your CRM makes it easy for sales reps to excess all the information on a single screen.
According to a report, sales engagement is a high priority that 90% of sales leaders plan to invest in technologies and methodologies to help their sellers engage effectively with prospects and customers.
Importance of Sales Engagement Platform
Sales engagement process acts as a road map for the sales reps in their interaction with the prospects and sales engagement platform automates the administrative task of the sales engagement and optimizes the sales engagement process.
Most sales engagement platform generally provides these features:
- Personalizes your outreach, automates your interaction at various touch points across multiple channels which helps reps to be consistent with their engagement.
- Sales reps can make informed decisions based on the data that is provided by the software and improve the sales engagement over time.
- CRM integration works alongside your programs like SendBuzz and integrates this with CRM.
- Manages administrative tasks like drip campaigns, direct mails, schedule meetings and phone calls and more. Sales reps can work on various sales activities on a single screen.
Difference Between Sales Engagement and Sales Enablement
Sales executives can confuse sales enablement with sales engagement, so to avoid this situation let’s know the difference between the two. We can say that sales enablement comes under sales engagement.
Sales enablement is to ensure that sales reps have the skills, knowledge, tool and process to optimize buyer’s interaction. The process includes hiring the right people, training them properly, equipping them with the right tools and finding the efficient way to increase sales. In other words, sales engagement platforms are in a way sales enablement platforms too.
Whereas, the sales engagement platform looks to improve the quality of outreach, prospecting activity and conversion efforts.
Both sales engagement and sales enablement helps a sales rep in the outreach of the prospect.
With added support of technology these processes can be made more easy and effective and that technology is a sales engagement platform that can optimize outreach and personalize engagement with prospects at scale.
Best Practice for Sale Engagement
At the end let me share some awesome tips that you can use to enhance your sales engagement process. There is no one-size-fit solution to make your sales engagement effective but there are some general tips that can guide you through your sales engagement effectively.
Know Your Audience
If you direct your efforts towards those prospects who will not convert due to various reasons then you are not only wasting your time but companies resources as well so this is clearly not the end goal of any sales rep. So, use methods like lead scoring, customer persona, ideal customer profile to improve your knowledge of your prospect.
Make It Hyper-Personalized
Simply put, anything that gets your attention would be addressing either something of your interest or providing some solution to your current problem. It is the same with your prospect if you want to get their attention it’s best you craft your message around solving their problem or share common interest. This will help you move your prospect ahead in the sales pipeline and get their attention.
Use Automation for Administrative Task
If sales reps have sufficient time to focus their attention directly on the prospect this would lead to more conversion. Automation can help you with this, let sales engagement software handle tasks like data entry of prospects, arranging meetings and more so that your sales rep can focus on selling.
Analyze Your Sales Engagement Process
As I mentioned earlier that there is no one-size-fit to make your sales engagement, you have to see what is best working for you and analyzing your sales engagement will help you reach that level of perfection where you know what works for you and what can be improved.
Now that you know in detail about the sales engagement, key terms and importance of the sales engagement platform you can choose amongst various sales engagement platforms to help you with your sales engagement process. One such platform is SendBuzz.
SendBuzz is a sales engagement platform that helps you reach the right people, at the right time and on the right channel with ease and efficiency. Boost your sales engagement with our tool, starting today!