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Engaging with prospects and standing out among your competitors is a difficult task, regardless of the industry in which your company operates. In addition to external variables, most organizations struggle with internal operations in their efforts to effectively attract potential buyers.
Communication breakdowns, data silos, and a lack of access to technology can all prohibit sales professionals from engaging prospects in meaningful ways, limiting revenue production and leaving sales reps frustrated. As a result of these challenges, the sales engagement playbook was born. By giving your sales team easy and quick access to rich intelligence information on their sales prospects’ companies and industries, you can empower them to connect with leads in a manner that resonates.
Driving efficiency and improving results at every stage of the sales cycle, companies can use these data points to streamline workflows, improve productivity throughout the organization, and achieve better outcomes.
What is sales engagement?
Sales engagement is an umbrella term that refers to optimizing all interactions between sales representatives and prospective buyers. These interactions include (but are not limited to) phone calls, emails, video chats, face-to-face meetings, and social media conversations.
Given that companies which know how to drive engagement in their nurture processes generate 50% more sales leads with 33% lower costs per lead compared to laggards, boosting engagement is quickly becoming a major focus for B2B and B2C businesses.
So, how exactly does it work? Well, rather than imposing on staff in customer-facing roles to rely on gut instincts when it comes to contact with potential buyers, business leaders use data analytics to create a formalized framework that instructs salespeople on how to prioritize and improve interactions. The primary goal is to lift the performance of all sales engagements by reaching prospects at the right time, with the right message, and through the right channel.
However, sales engagement becomes more of a pipedream without access to the appropriate tools, since it is practically impossible for business leaders to deliver accurate insights without leveraging big data through a software solution, especially at scale. This is where sales engagement technology comes into play.
Sales engagement platforms
According to a recent Gartner report, more than 90% of sales directors expect to invest in technologies to help their salespeople engage prospects and customers more successfully. Thus, it’s not surprising to see a slew of high-quality sales engagement data providers rising to meet this demand.
In a nutshell, a sales engagement platform (SEP) is a software solution that assists businesses in addressing the issues of end-to-end sales engagement by streamlining communications, enhancing efficiency, and providing valuable insights throughout the customer journey.
Furthermore, SEPs automate many administrative tasks that salespeople are traditionally responsible for. As a result, reps are more organized, prepared, and ready to meet (or exceed) their quotas. Overall, sales engagement tools can help companies to:
- Identify the trends that matter in buyers’ industries, based on share of voice, web traffic channels and the competitive landscape
- Quickly uncover customers’ needs and display them to sales reps throughout the customer journey
- Alert reps on the perfect time to reach out to prospects in order to maximize the chance of purchase
- Help to build stronger relationships with customers by highlighting how your solution helps with their particular pain points
The benefits of sale engagement
Now that you understand what sales engagement is and the core function of SEPs and other digital solutions, let’s consider the advantages of maximizing sales engagement throughout your organization.
- Improved revenue generation. First and foremost, sales engagement is all about boosting revenue, which is what sales is all about. Since reps no longer rely on guesswork, they can use the insights they are given to contact buyers at the perfect time with a message tailored specifically to their needs, drastically increasing their success rates.
- Greater efficiency. Without using sales engagement technology, sales leaders are left to source customer information by themselves. Thus, one of two things happen. Either these employees spend large amounts of time researching and uncovering insights on each customer before they engage with them, or, the more likely scenario is that they go into each interaction cold – without any real insights that will help them secure the sale. Sales engagement tools overcome this issue and let reps get back to doing what they do best while empowering them with the information they need to hit their quotas.
- Sell at scale. By now, it’s widely accepted that personalization is one of the most important factors throughout the sales process. However, personalization becomes increasingly difficult to achieve when a business scales and reps are tasked with dealing with higher volumes of prospects. Rather than hiring more staff, sales engagement tools allow you to scale your sales efforts without sacrificing quality or needing to invest intensively into additional human resources.
Sales engagement vs. sales enablement
To close, let’s quickly discuss the differences between sales engagement and sales enablement, since many people get the two terms confused.
Sales enablement is the process of supporting a sales force by providing them with the adequate training, technology, and tools they need to close deals effectively. In other words, sales enablement strives to improve rep performance and company revenue by providing them with everything they need to do their job.
On the other hand, as a subset of sales enablement, sales engagement focuses on building the buyer-seller relationship through strategic communication and data, thus improving every client connection. As a result, a sales engagement strategy helps sellers give a valued, highly personalized customer experience at each stage of the buyer’s journey through systematic communication, actionable data, and regular feedback.
To get the most out of your sales efforts, you need both of these systems to work in harmony, since one will not work particularly well without the other.