Sales engagement is all about connecting with your potential customer or prospects to build a relationship and hopefully move them closer to wanting to buy from you.
These days, a lot of sales engagement happens through social media, as more and more of your target audience is using social platforms in their everyday lives. Sales leaders can improve sales engagement by giving their teams the tools that provide the right analytics and platforms to engage with the customers to grow their sales pipeline.
This article serves as a primer on sales engagement and a guide to the best sales engagement platforms to use.I've learned the importance of #SalesEngagement platforms for the #sales process. Thanks for this fantastic article! These tools are giving me great analytics and tracking results to improve my engagement. Click To Tweet
What is Sales Engagement?
Sales engagement refers to the interactions that take place between a seller and a prospect, how the seller communicates with the prospect, and how effective that engagement is in moving the prospect toward a purchase. In fact, it should be called buyer-seller engagement, because that’s really what it is.
It’s a two-way exchange of information that requires a seller to create engagement with an inbound lead or an outbound lead and take the online conversation to an offline discussion.
The key to sales engagement is getting our buyer to respond and say, “Yes, I’d like to take a meeting. Yes, I want to have a conversation.”
But that’s just step one, because sales and customer engagement happens all throughout the sales process, from the first “hello” with the prospect, through to having the, now customer signing the contract, and through the customer onboarding process.
Showing your sales professionals how to identify and engage with prospects by leveraging social media is the best way to boost sales engagement and build lasting connections with your target audience. Ultimately, when you can engage with buyers, you begin to create a stronger and healthier relationship, which is the foundation of modern sales and social selling.My interactions with my #prospects have been easier after I read this article and applied the tips and #SalesTools for engagement recommended here. My results? More conversations and conversions! Click To Tweet
How Does Sales Engagement Work?
Sales engagement is a crucial element of the prospecting process.
If your sales reps or sales teams are having a hard time connecting with prospects or you are not hitting your sales goals, that’s probably a good indicator that it’s time to try a new sales methodology.
At Vengreso, we have developed a simple but powerful 3-step formula called the PVC Sales Methodology – which stands for: Personalization, Value and Call-to-action.
With this simple formula, a sales rep can have an easy framework to follow to dramatically improve their sales activity and be able to conduct effective sales engagement with potential customers.
Check out this short video, where I show you a real example of a bad prospecting message I received and how it could be improved to create better engagement
First Steps with Sales Engagement
Any time a sales rep is reaching out to a potential prospect, it is important for them to research as much as they can about them. Looking at social media platforms like LinkedIn can be a highly effective way to get insights into what commonalities may exist that can be leveraged in a personalized sales outreach message.
In many cases, this initial point of contact can set the stage for whether your sales rep gets a response back or not. The more personal and value-driven the message, the higher the chance that the potential lead will be open to scheduling a sales call.
Sales Engagement Planning
When it comes to mastering the art of sales engagement, it’s important to have a structured plan of action to ensure that you know how to keep the conversation going with those in your sales pipeline. For example, if you send the initial cold outreach to a prospect, and then forget to follow up, you could be missing out on an opportunity. That’s why, leveraging automation tools that can help send out email nurture sequences, beyond the first message can be helpful.
The most successful sales leaders think through every step of the sales engagement process and make each touchpoint they have with either a prospect or a customer as personalized as possible.
Thinking through the common questions, objections, or pain points of your ideal customer can be helpful in determining how to engage with them, what content to send to them, and what the best approach may be for moving them through the sales cycle.
Sales Engagement vs. Sales Enablement
Sales enablement is about helping your sellers more effectively engage with buyers. There’s usually a sales enablement team (or it could be Marketing or Customer Success) that is enabling the sales team to be more effective and productive and to have more sales conversations, providing them with tools, technology, messaging, marketing content, and distribution. They can also provide methodologies, sales cadences, and playbooks.
Sales enablement is like the piping or internal stuff that prepares sellers to go out and perform well, from software and training to scripts and content.
Now, sales engagement is when sellers take everything they got from the enablement team or through enablement tools and use that to create engagement directly with customers.
Where does one end and the other begin?
While Sales enablement is all of the pre-hello, getting you ready to create more hellos, and is involved in hello to close and helping you with the skill development. Engagement is where you are applying all the skills and tools to engage with the buyer directlyAll platforms are fantastic and helpful in this article. But I especially like the #FlyMSG Chrome extension. My #sales conversations are easier, smarter, and faster now. Click To Tweet
Simple Steps to Improve Sales Engagement
Not all sales outreach is made equal. In fact, there are a host of common sales engagement mistakes to avoid, if you want your interactions to be fruitful. Here are a few things to consider when engaging with prospects and customers alike.
Avoid this Common Sales Engagement Mistake
With the average person seeing up to 5,000 sales messages in a given day, the way that you break through the ‘sales noise’ is with highly personalized messages or content. Whether it is calling out a common interest you share, a specific pain point you know they want to alleviate, or even just incorporating your prospect’s name – can all be helpful ways to stand out.
The problem is most sellers don’t and thus creates one of the largest mistakes a seller can make today… not-hyper personalizing the emails. The name of the game is to be human and this is one common sales engagement mistake reps should avoid.
The latest research done by LawnStarter shows that 90% of customers prefer working with companies that personalize customer service. So, whenever possible, take the time to truly find ways to engage with personalized messages..
Lead with Value
No one likes to feel like they’re constantly being sold to. And, this applies to your prospects as well. When you engage with potential B2B buyers, the key is to lead with value and with content that helps them solve a problem, learn a new perspective, or provides a resource of some sort.
When you plan out your sales engagement strategy, it’s important to build in value-driven touch points that aren’t going for a hard sale, but rather are positioning you as an authority they can trust. When sales professionals weave in value into their B2B sales engagement approach, whether it be through email, a phone call, VoiP phone, or even with social media content, it helps to build a more authentic sales-customer relationship.
Don’t Forget to Follow Up
In B2B sales, it takes, on average, 6-8 touch points before a prospect will book a sales call. So, you can imagine, the success rate of turning a prospect into a customer hinges on the follow up. Too often, sales managers and sales reps take the “spray and pray” approach to sales engagement and send out as many initial emails as they can.
Although you’re casting a very wide net, it makes following up a logistical and time consuming nightmare. If each prospect needs at least five more emails, before they’ve built up enough trust to book a call – you can imagine how much time it will take to follow up with a large amount of prospects.
At Vengreso, we recommend being much more intentional and selective with who and how you reach out. That way you can manage the sales engagement process more effectively and ensure that every prospect gets followed up with a regular cadence
Why Use Sales Engagement Software?
Are your sellers spending a lot of time on non-selling activities such as filling out spreadsheets or logging customer interactions into your CRM? If so, implementing a sales engagement software can help free up their time by building in automation to keep track of every touchpoint that your sellers have with prospects and clients (emails sent and received, phone calls made, etc.). Plus, the software provides engagement analytics such as email open and click-through rates, and gives you and your team the chance to look at the data and analyze it to make tweaks to your approach and improve the process.
Ultimately, using a sales engagement software will make your salespeople more efficient when prospecting. It will make their communications more organized and consistent, and will allow them to discover insights as to what channels each buyer prefers.
Who Uses Sales Engagement Software?
- Anyone in sales can benefit from having access to sales engagement software. The Sales manager as well as the sales rep are all responsible for prospecting and connecting with potential buyers through an omnichannel approach. This means that their sales cadence includes social media engagement, emails, LinkedIn messages, phone calls, video calls, and more. Sales engagement software helps them keep track and measure the effectiveness of their prospecting efforts.
- Account executives (AEs) are in constant communication with potential and existing clients, so they also benefit from a software that automates the process of keeping track of every customer interaction.
- Finally, Customer Success Managers can use sales engagement software to study customer behavior and responses, and to identify the best channels and timing for following up with them.
Some of the Leading Sales Engagement Platforms
Sales engagement software allows users to connect various communication software and sales tools into one streamlined sales platform. A typical sales engagement platform enables users to interconnect email, content management systems, phone conversations, CRMs, and other tools. This allows them to house all customer data and communication in one central location, making prospecting and engagement with customers more efficient, streamlined, and personal.
These are some of the top sales engagement platforms:
- Freshworks CRM
- HubSpot Sales Hub
- Inside Sales
Below is the G2 Grid® for the top Sales Engagement Software products for all categories. G2 scores products and sellers based on reviews gathered from the user community, as well as data aggregated from online sources and social networks. Together, these scores are mapped on the G2 Grid®
These tools allow sellers to create and automate sales cadences to engage with a potential buyer or client. And although the messages are sent to individual buyers (one-to-one), the messages are really one-to-many, because there is no hyper-personalization.
That is why my favorite sales engagement technology or tool is of a completely different kind.
What is the Best Sales Engagement Platform for 2022?
I like the tools mentioned above and actually, we use some of them at Vengreso. But, as mentioned before, they are more like sales cadence automation platforms, and not so much an engagement platform.
That is why we created FlyMSG, where we focus on the speed of the one-to-one communication and using messages that are proven to work.
With FlyMSG, sellers’ productivity goes up, as they can use those messages from marketing or sales enablement, just with a few keystrokes.
FlyMSG is a free Text Expander tool made for B2B sales professionals.
You get access to a library of pre-saved, industry-standard sales messaging templates (FlyPlates) that you can customize and curate for your prospects’ needs.
Let me show you exactly how it works and some particular use cases in this video, where Mario Martinez Jr., CEO and Founder of Vengreso, explains how FlyMSG helps with virtual selling.
FlyMSG is a sales engagement and productivity tool that sellers can use for all customer messages along the sales cycle. Try it for free.
As you can see, the right sales engagement strategy needs to look at all aspects of the sales organization, including sales enablement, as well as data analytics.
By leveraging the right sales enablement tools and remote selling tools, your sales team can achieve success in sales engagement with potential customers in the new remote selling environment. And that leads to sales success!
Make sure that your team is trained in how to use the tools you provide because having a tech sales tool available doesn’t mean sellers will immediately be using them correctly. Listen to this episode of the Modern Selling Podcast, where Mario Martinez Jr. interviews Ed Calnan, the co-founder and CRO of Seismic. Ed highlights the sales tools every sales team needs and warns how incorrect usage can do more harm than good.