What is sales engagement, and why do I need it in my business? Why do I need to spend time studying it?
If these are your questions, then it could be that your approach is shoving sales pitches down the throats of your customers. If that works for you, then, by all means, continue with such an approach. But you may be losing lots of opportunities to close deals with more potential buyers and fail to get more revenue with repeat customers.
Look for ways to engage with your customers in a way that they will see that you value them. Successful brands do that, and you too should.
Here is why.
What Is Sales Engagement?
As a businessman, you must have already realized that customers are the lifeblood of a business. That is the reason why customer engagement is essential.
The problem with many companies is that they do not know that sales engagement plays a critical role in achieving success for their business. Successful brands understand that their customers want to interact with them to learn valuable ideas that impact their lives.
What is sales engagement?
Sales engagement is about customer interactions. It is a sequence of interactions between two individuals – the salesperson and the prospect – throughout the sales cycle. Nowadays, such interactions take place via email or social media, or on calls.
According to research, these interactions can be emotional or monetary and on a virtual platform or in-person. They could also be in the form of a meeting or a phone call. It could also be an interaction with a chatbot or attendance at a webinar.
Whatever form of engagement you use in your business, it also is the tool that provides the channel for studying customer interactions. Which form is the best one that leads to closing deals? Further, these interactions also provide you insights into the buyer’s journey toward purchase.
With sales engagement, you can track how timing, content, and messaging come together to shape a buyer’s experience. You can then use these insights to make your sale strategies much more efficient.
Brief History of Sales Engagement
Sales engagement started as just a name of a marketing function, but now, it has become a sector of technology.
In 1990, Microsoft released PowerPoint. This tool allowed marketers to create visuals to communicate their brand’s message and deliver it either in-person or virtually.
After five years, marketers coined the term CRM, and four more years after, Salesforce launched its CRM platform, which provides an integrated solution for viewing shared customer data.
In 2007, Salesforce introduced the cloud-based version of their software, and a year after, Forrester defined Sales Enablement. In the same year, its market was established.
In 2016, Aragon research recognized Sales Engagement as a market and also named Sales Engagement Platform (SEP) as a leader.
Benefits of Sales Engagement Software
Here is what your sales team can do by using such software:
Send Personalized Emails
Create, customize, and share with team members numerous email templates. By using placeholders, you can make your emails highly personalized as if they have been handwritten.
Generate warm leads
Create email cadences with a set of timely follow-ups. With this strategy, you can generate warm leads, run multiple cadences, and customize cadences based on prospects’ time zones.
Track email engagement
You can track email engagement with the software’s ability to record and report clicks, opens, replies, etc. With this feature, you can easily identify which among your leads are interested in you.
A/B email test
Track the status of your sent emails. See who has clicked, opened, replied, or unsubscribed your email.
Manage prospect database
Manage your customer database efficiently. Move contacts from one list to another, and notify other team members about a prospect’s disposition.
Sales Engagement Platform
You and your sales team can use a sales engagement platform, and your business must have such a platform to drive more profit.
Whatever form of sales engagement you employ, the strategy works for:
- Relationship building
- Personalized engagement
A sales engagement platform will complement your marketing automation and customer relationship management (CRM) software.
While these other tools are keys to drawing customers to your business, they do not perform the function of bridging the gap between leads and leads finally becoming customers. It is sales engagement software that is the tool that plays that role.
Sales engagement software will help you optimize that part of the buyer’s journey that takes shape after prospecting.
Here are some features to look for when choosing such software.
- Personalized cold email – Personalized cold email works because it is through personalization that you can generate interest and through which you can offer tailored experiences.
- Omni-channel sales sequence – This strategy is about communicating with customers across multiple channels and creating awareness in your audience of where they are in the buyer’s journey. It also provides an integrated shopping experience by combining mobile browsing, brick-and-mortar experience, and everything in between.
- Integrations – Sales engagement is a big part of the sales process that also needs to run parallel with the entire journey. The platform allows integration with all the sales tools you currently use, such as Google Docs and Salesforce. Such a platform should also work seamlessly across all accounts you have.
Sales Engagement Strategies
As you look for the best platform to use for sales engagement, here are some strategies to use for engaging your audience:
- Make Emotional Connections
When you can develop this type of connection with your customers, you will also be able to increase loyalty and charge premium prices as well. One strategy is to make your customers feel that it is an actual person they are dealing with and not just a faceless company.
Some strategies that work include:
- Introducing yourself – Always send new customers a short, personalized message.
- Team images – Post images of team members. Think of a picture of a team member answering a query? Would that not create a strong impact?
- Author bios – Putting these bios in your blog will allow customers to know you better.
- Brand ambassador – Select a team member to your brand’s ambassador. Think of Steve Jobs. He was Apple’s brand ambassador.
- Build a forum/community
This strategy allows direct engagement with customers. With a community or a forum, you can:
- Answer questions
- Keep discussions about matters relevant to your industry going
- Keep customers updated
- Share information that customers care about