Sales Engagement: a Proven Way to Optimize Your Sales Strategy

If you're in sales, you've probably heard about sales engagement or even practiced it with your team. This concept is a trending topic in the business world, almost on par with sales enablement. And only for good reason: it's a powerful tool for driving growth and success through building stronger relationships with customers. Today let's take a closer look at it, find out what it's all about, who it's suitable for, who it's aimed at, and how to plan it properly.

Sales Engagement: a Proven Way to Optimize Your Sales Strategy

Sales engagement essentials: what, why, and how

What is it?

Let's start with the basics. The term “sales engagement” has become popular in recent years as a way to describe the new way deals are conducted. In a traditional model, salespeople would go out and try to engage potential customers in a one-on-one setting. However, as technology has evolved, especially with the rise of remote working and the introduction of video conferencing for sales teams, this model has changed. So what do we have now?

Well, at its core, nothing has changed significantly. It's still the process of interacting with potential customers, used to turn them into paying customers. But now, it can be done through many different communication channels: phone calls, emails, social media platforms, online and in-person meetings, and more.

All in all, this process can take many forms, but fundamentally, it's about creating a dialogue with your prospects and buyers. It's about understanding their needs and wants and then finding ways to help them achieve their goals.

By the way, according to HubSpot research, sales reps spend only 39% directly on selling and customer interaction. Fortunately, if you'll work on sales engagement, those numbers on your team are bound to improve.

Isn't it the same thing as sales enablement?

When it comes to business, there are a lot of moving parts. And if you want your team to be effective, you need to make sure all those parts are working together seamlessly. That's where sales engagement and sales enablement come in. And these are two rather different concepts. Here's why.

The first one is all about strategies and tactics that the sales team can use to engage their prospects and drive sales. The other one, dealing enablement, is all about providing traders with certain equipment, training, and enablement software to help them be more productive.

So are these concepts the same thing? The answer is no. But they are both essential pieces of one puzzle if you want your team to reach their full potential.

Any benefits?

All sales leaders would agree that sales engagement is more than just trying to close a deal. It's about developing a relationship with your potential customer and providing value throughout the entire sales process. And when done right, it can be a win-win for both the company and its clients.

For salespeople, it can lead to higher sales figures and higher commissions. It can also help them better understand their customers, what problems they experience, and what they need to solve them. Moreover, sales engagement can give the sales rep a chance to establish trust and credibility with prospects, provide value and build rapport, and feel a greater sense of accomplishment.

For businesses, this process can help increase revenue, understand their clientele better, and improve customer retention. Additionally, companies can use sales engagement to strengthen their brand and enhance customer loyalty.

Getting started with sales engagement

There are many different ways to get started with sales engagement. You can start by using some of the tools and technologies available. Or by changing your attitude toward selling. Or even by transforming the way you interact with customers.

It doesn't matter exactly how you decide to start, all that matters is that you take action. The sooner you start, the sooner you'll see results. So let our team give you some tips to make this journey easier and smoother for you.

Who should use sales engagement on my team?

Let's imagine you're creating your own sales engagement team. Who should be on it? The answer, of course, depends on your specific business needs. But in general, there are three must-have components.

First, you'll need a salesperson who knows every little detail about your products and services. This person will be responsible for engaging with potential buyers and closing deals.

Next, you'll need someone who's good at managing customer relationships. This person will be responsible for keeping clients happy and satisfied with your products.

Finally, you'll need someone who's in charge of generating leads. This person will be responsible for finding potential customers and getting them interested in your offer.

That said, sales engagement is not specific to any one role and can be used by anyone in the company who wants to enhance their selling skills. Whether you're a salesperson who wishes to increase the number of successfully closed deals or a marketer who wants to generate more qualified leads, sales engagement can help you achieve your goals.

Should I plan sales engagement?

Yes, for sure! Sales engagement planning is one of the most important steps you can take to build your sales strategy, boost sales, and get more wins. By aligning your sales activities with the needs of your audience, you can create a more targeted and effective trading process.

Here are a few tips to help you get started with planning:

1) Define your target market. Who are you selling to? What are their needs and pain points? In case you experience any difficulties, try to organize a survey on social media.

2) Qualify your leads. Not all leads are the same. Do they meet your specific requirements for purchasing your products? After qualifying leads, you can focus your attention on the most promising prospects.

3) Develop your messaging. What are you going to say to your prospect? What is the message of your brand? It should be tailored to your clients' needs and pain points.

4) Create a communication plan. How often are you going to reach out to your prospects? What channels are you going to use? Try to use more than one, as people tend to communicate via multiple channels.

What are engagement models?

Another term crucial to mention to understand the essence of sales engagement is its models. These are the processes and strategies that sales teams use to identify, contact, and engage buyers and prospects. By definition, such a model should drive more efficient and fruitful sales processes that result in higher close rates and a shorter sales cycle.

Unfortunately (or not), there is no universal model for all companies to follow and achieve fantastic results. The best engagement models are tailored to the specific needs of the team and the products or services they sell. However, it's possible to highlight some common elements that all models share. These include:

- A focus on customer needs

- A system for identifying and tracking leads

- A process for following up with potential buyers

Moreover, there are four widely used models that tend to be effective. They are also called customer success models (CSM) and are as follows:

High Touch CSM

At its heart, this customer success model is all about building strong relationships with clientele. This involves providing them with regular, personalized support and always being there to help.

It's a model built on trust and mutual respect, and it can lead to amazing results. Businesses that adopt it often see increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as improved retention rates.

Low Touch CSM

This model introduces a new approach to customer success that is gaining popularity among companies of all sizes. Low touch is designed to be more effective than the traditional one-to-one customer success model, and it has the potential to revolutionize the way companies support their clientele.

So how does it work? The low touch model is based on the principle of ensuring customer success through automation and self-service. This means that you can provide support through email, chatbots, and other automated channels. This can help marketing teams expand their clientele and provide support at a lower cost.

Hybrid CSM

The hybrid model represents a unique approach that blends the best of both high and low customer success methods. This model is designed to help companies provide a tailored, personalized experience to every client.

With the hybrid model, companies can provide the one-on-one attention that consumers crave, while also leveraging technology to automate simple tasks and processes. This allows customer success teams to focus on the more complex and important issues that clients face.

The hybrid customer success model is the future of sales engagement. By blending the best of both worlds, this model provides a personalized, engaging, and intuitive customer experience that will keep buyers coming back for more.

What kind of software do I need?

According to a recent study by Gartner, 9 in 10 business leaders use more than 2 tools to reach new clients. That's why, to keep track of prospects, contact them more efficiently, and automate repetitive tasks, sales managers and their teams should have access to the latest sales engagement technology. Moreover, your team shouldn't use only a CRM and an email client. The best option will be a powerful all-in-one platform that will make the trading process much easier and more convenient both for the sales team and its clients.

Today, the market offers a bunch of different apps, each with its own set of features and benefits. But which one is the right fit for your company?

Top sales engagement platforms in 2022

1) HubSpot Sales Hub - best CRM

HubSpot Sales Hub is a CRM and sales engagement tool that helps sales professionals easily keep track of their leads, opportunities, and buyer interactions. With HubSpot, users can manage their customer relationships with powerful email and calling capabilities, as well as insightful reporting and analytics. Sales Hub integrates with leading marketing automation tools, giving sales specialists a complete view of their customer interactions throughout their customer lifecycle.

Key features:
  • Advanced CRM functionality
  • Powerful sales automation
  • Lead management
  • Dynamic contact database
  • Phone call functionality
  • Email tracking and scheduling
  • Built-in templates and workflows
  • Integration with popular apps like Zapier, Outlook, Facebook Messenger, and Google Drive

2) Groove - best CXA

Sales teams are always looking for new and innovative ways to interact with customers and close more deals. Groove is the perfect tool for those specialists that want to improve and automate their customer experience. With Groove, sales reps can quickly and easily create custom quotes and proposals for consumers, track customer interactions and progress, and even send reminder messages to prospects who haven't made a purchase yet.

Key features:
  • Sales process automation
  • Sync with email clients
  • Campaign automation
  • Email tracking and scheduling
  • Templates, filters, and tasks
  • Calling functionality
  • Meeting scheduling
  • Real-time analytics and insights
  • Salesforce integration

3) Salesloft - best for driving revenue growth

Salesloft is one of the leading sales engagement software. Using the app, sales reps and marketers can manage their pipeline and forecasts, track customer interaction, and send personalized content to their prospects and customers. Salesloft makes it pretty simple for sales reps to find the right information, connect with potential buyers, and track the progress of their deals - all from a single platform.

Key features:
  • Deal management: revenue intelligence, forecasting, pipeline management
  • Messaging and calling: one-click calling through build-in live coaching tools, SMS, emails, transcription, recordings
  • Advanced analytics: team performance analysis, engagement scrolling, outcomes dashboards
  • Huge range of integrations: CRMs, email clients, online meeting software, API platform
  • Automation and cadence: automated pipeline generation, lead nurture, customer renewals

4) Apollo.io - best all-in-one sales engagement platform

Apollo.io is the all-in-one platform for sales engagement. Born from the need to streamline selling processes, this app offers a single solution to manage customer interactions and keep teams organized and on track. With Apollo.io, reps can easily connect with customers across channels, including email, phone, chat, and social media; tracking each interaction in a centralized location. The app provides sales teams with powerful tools they need to find the right prospects, build custom target lists, and personalize messages for each existing and future client.

Key features:
  • Intelligent prospect searcher: accurate database, intelligent segmentation, integration with Agile
  • Automated workflows and strategic sequencing: A/B testing, integration with CRMs, Safeguard detection
  • Valuable analytics and notifications
  • Automated calls and recordings
  • Campaign management and analytics
  • Collaboration tools
  • Sales activity automation

5) Whoosh - best for video conferencing

Whoosh is a revolutionary online meeting app aimed at making virtual communication with partners and clients comfortable, fruitful, and anxiety-free. This app has all the tools for productive collaboration, fruitful deals, and enhanced customer engagement. For this purpose, the developers introduced an AI-powered suite of useful tools that won't let your reps lose that deal.

Key features:
  • Full-HD audio and video conferencing
  • Instant messaging
  • Various screen-sharing modes: classic, picture-in-picture, weatherman-style
  • AI-driven touch-up tools
  • Smart scheduling assistant
  • 3D virtual backgrounds and photorealistic avatars
  • Advanced meeting and performance analytics and reports
  • Mementos - call recordings with transcripts, based on the highlights of a conversation
  • Upscale web security and 24/7 customer support

Bonus from our team: 3 tried-and-tested engagement templates

Attracting potential buyers can be tricky - you want to make sure you pique their interest without being too pushy. You also want to build rapport so that they see you as a valuable source of information, not just a salesperson.

Did you know, that it takes not less than 18 calls to finally connect with a potential client? Luckily, we've got you covered. We've worked on three engagement templates that are sure to help you close more deals. These templates have been tested and proven to be effective, so you can rest assured that you're using the best possible approach.

Template 1: Email sequence

Email number

Action

#1

Provide value

#2

Invite feedback

#3

Provide more value

#4

Sell softly

#5

Sell hard

Template 2: Calls + emails

Step number

Action

#1

Make a call

#2

Send an email

#3

Send a follow-up email

#4

Reach on social media

#5

Make a follow-up call

#6

Final attempt to connect via any channel

#7

Move on to the next lead

Template 3: Hybrid approach

Day number

Action

#1

Send a personalized email, use a social touch

#2

Social touch again

#3

Send a voice message

#6

Send a voice message and an automated email

#11

Send an automated email and make a phone call

#14

Make a final call and send a breakup email

Final thoughts

If you look for a proven way to optimize your sales strategy and increase your chances of success, developing your sales engagement is a great place to start. By interacting with your prospects and customers on a personal level, you can build relationships, understand their needs, and provide them with the information they need to make a decision.

Personalized engagement can take many forms, but some of the most effective methods include one-to-one conversations, phone calls, online video conferences, and emails. By taking some time to engage with your clients, you can create a rapport that will last long after the deal is complete.

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