The sales engagement process is a critical element in the organizational sales pipeline. With the advancement in digital technology, the advent of the internet, and the rising popularity of artificial intelligence, the customer purchase pattern has evolved.
With a wide array of resources available on the internet for free, buyers dedicate considerable time to researching how to solve their pain points and what solution will be ideal for them.
It's no miracle or secret that engaged leads easily convert into paying customers. However, to develop and engage customers, you need to have a robust and powerful sales engagement platform, a well-thought engagement process and a dedicated team to act on it. And, frankly, that's not always easy to do!
Fortunately, sales engagement tools can help you streamline and improve your sales engagement process. But before we share the tactics to improve your sales engagement process, let's first understand the basics of sales engagement.
What is sales engagement?
Sales engagement is a process that involves direct or indirect communication between sales representatives and leads with the aim of closing a deal successfully.
- The correct sales engagement process will help your sales representatives to become more efficient and productive and dedicate more time to revenue-generating tasks. Sales engagement tools such as Sales Simplify play a pivotal role in improving the sales engagement process.
- In fact, sales engagement embodies leveraging the correct tools and templates, work for sequence reminders and tasks to automate manual, mundane and repetitive administrative processes.
- With a sales engagement platform, your sales representatives can easily automate multiple workflows and leverage readymade templates to send out personalized communication messages.
What’s a sales engagement model?
The sales engagement model represents a collection of processes, strategies, and communication methods between sales representatives and qualifying leaves that helps to establish a strong, long-lasting professional relationship.
Preparing a sales engagement model isn't a single-day job. However, it's worth investing the time and resources you dedicate to strategize a sales engagement model.
The correct sales engagement model will improve brand awareness, reduce the overall sales cycles, enhance team performance and greatly increase customer retention.
However, just like several other sales and marketing strategies, the one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work in the sales engagement process as well. It is always recommended that you create your own engagement model for optimal outcomes.
But there are certain standard rules and strategies that you can follow and mold to suit your business requirements.
10 Steps to Create and Implement a Stellar Sales Engagement Process That Generates Outcomes
An optimized sales engagement process can assist you to enhance the impact of your sales and judgment process across your sales team and customers.
Step 1: Analyze and audit your existing series engagement process
The first step of improvement is understanding what is working and what isn't.
One of the ideal ways to analyze the effectiveness of your existing sales engagement process is to understand how your sales representatives function.
Retrace back the steps and examine the last 5 or 10 close deals. What were the different elements involved from beginning to end? Which touchpoints influence the leads to convert into a customer?
Also consider, what was the duration of the entire process and between every step. The more example and details you have, the better will be your sales engagement strategy in the future.
With sales engagement software such as Sales Simplify, you can get a comprehensive timeline review highlighting every activity and interaction with the leads.
Here are a few questions you can include during the auditing process.
- Who is your ideal buyer?
- What is the first interaction, and through which medium?
- What is the average sales engagement process?
- What are the top-performing touchpoints?
- How many times does a sales rep follow up with a prospect?
- What is the average time for deal closure?
- What are the common objections faced by inside sales reps?
- How is a deal won?
- What are the common causes of losing a deal?
Step 2: Outline the buyer journey
Segment your sales engagement process and create a map buyer journey. The customer journey involves the following phases:
- Considering: This is the first stage where your prospects are considering a product or service. During this phase, your competition is high because your prospects are evaluating the best possible solution to their pain point.
- Evaluating: In the evaluation phase, your prospects have completed the preliminary research. They now have generic awareness of the options available to them. In this stage, they generally shortlist a few businesses that seem most appealing to them.
- Selecting: In the third stage, your prospects become more confident about their purchase decision and try to select the best options among the various solutions available in the market.
- Closing: This is the final and the most important phase that determines whether you will win or lose a deal. If you win the deal, your leads will now become your customers. You will need to provide them with valuable post-sales to convert them into loyal customers or brand advocates.
Did you know 84% of B2B decision makers start their buying process with a referral?
Your sales engagement activities should align with the buyer's journey. For example, in the consideration stage, your prospect might research your organization's credibility.
Therefore, selecting the best medium and content to spread awareness about your product and brand is the best possible sales engagement approach.
Step 3: Determine the action that moves your prospect to the next phase
You need to determine which sales engagement activities influence prospects to advance from one stage to another.
To determine the action, you can consider the following questions:
- While conducting warm lead engagement, did a rep strike on a certain pain point that influenced or motivated the prospect to schedule a call?"
- During the demo, which points helped the prospect to move forward, or what objections stalled the deal?
- After delivering the sales pitch, did the prospect immediately give a positive answer? If so, consider carefully why and how that happened. What strategies did your sales rep use to craft the sales pitch?"
Step 4: Create accurate content
Developing accurate content to share and engage with your leads can immensely improve brand perception and translate into more conversions.
Delivering personalized and customized engagement messages can help you connect with leads on a deeper level.
For example, you're selling fitness bands. In the consideration phase, you can share informative content such as "Top healthcare habits to incorporate in your lifestyle" or "How fitness bands can complement your new fitness regime?" Informative content sharing relevant awareness of your brand as a thought leader in the market.
Consequently, customers will be more likely to trust your brand over your competitors. Similarly, in the evaluation phase, you can share more product-centric content, such as case studies, brochures, or ebooks about your product. This will make the subject simple to understand.
Step 5: Align with marketing
Your marketing strategy has a huge role to play in the sales engagement process. Most leads move into the sales funnel after interacting with the marketing content.
Therefore it is highly critical that your sales engagement process aligns with your marketing team.
Businesses with firmly oriented sales, marketing, and customer success teams achieved 27% quick profit growth over a three-year period.
The simplest approach to do this is by setting up recurring meetings and sprints with your marketing and sales team to ensure consistent collaboration.
Take note of your upcoming content strategy and editorial calendar. This will ensure your sales teams can make the most of this content when it launches.
Step 6: Personalize everything
While automation provides a huge boost to your sales engagement, it should be used rationally. In the current scenario, the customer expects personalized content and insightful information.
Therefore your sales engagement activities should incorporate personalization. One of the best ways to ensure integration personalization in the sales engagement process is by illustrating the importance of sales enablement.
Step 7: Get creative
A healthy dose of creativity never disappoints your prospects. Hyper-personal outreach combined with intelligent creativity mesmerizes your lead and results in a successful closure.
Creative touches don't need to be entirely product-centric– a fun reference to recent events, pop culture moments, or something the prospect shared on LinkedIn can also be an effective engagement plan.
Step 8: Develop an automated sales engagement cadence
Once you have identified how and when to engage with your prospects, establishing an automated cadence or workflow can streamline and speed up the sales cycle.
With sales engagement platforms, you can quickly create a cadence using predefined templates.
The cadences in sales engagement platforms are scalable and customizable. You can send a huge volume of emails with just a single click, establish several touchpoints or engagement activities in any order you desire, and understand what is truly working.
Step 9: Measure Results
Launching your sales engagement strategy isn't the end of your sales engagement process. You need to consistently monitor your process and optimize it for consistent, fruitful outcomes.
Once your SDRs have started following the defined sequences and leverage the required platform for the engagement process, it's time to shift from "implement" to "optimize."
Good sales engagement platforms such as Sales Simplify come with integrated data dashboards and analytics to help you understand the health of your sales engagement workflows. Delve into both high-level and associated metrics such as cumulative open rates, view times, etc.
The video explains how analytics can be helpful in your sales engagement process
This will help you determine the impact of your sales engagement strategies and identify opportunities to address inefficiencies.
Step 10: Invest in technology
The right tools always make your sales engagement process seamless and easier, not just for you but for your sales team as well.
Select a sales engagement platform that helps you integrate easily with your existing tools, offers complete visibility of the sales engagement process, allows seamless communication, and has a user-friendly interface.
The correct sales engagement platform will enable you to quickly develop, optimize and analyze your sales engagement process.
How to automate the sales engagement process?
A significant portion of the sales engagement process is repetitive and monotonous. Each phase of sales engagement involves certain activities that can be easily automated, such as prospecting leads, sharing cold emails, follow-up messages, tracking engagement metrics, etc.
Once a lead is converted into a customer, the sales engagement activities again follow the clockwork. The best way to automate your sales engagement process is by harboring the benefits of a sales engagement platform.
Whether you're a startup or an established business with a huge volume of leads pouring in regularly, collecting the leads with their relevant information in a single place to begin the sales engagement process is a diabolical affair.
But sales engagement tools can do that for you easily. For example, the Sales Simplify lead bot collects and adds leads within the system without significant human interaction.
Automate daily outreach and follow-up
Sales representatives spent almost 25% of their work hours sending emails to potential customers.
However, saving that time can lead to greater innovation and better efficiency while interacting with customers. Using a predefined template and automation can eliminate similar typing emails repeatedly and also ensures personalization.
Automate performance tracking
Generating performance reports manually can be an integrated and time-consuming task. Instead, with customized dashboards, you can get a systemic visual representation of the key parameters on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis.
Automate daily workflow
The sales engagement process encompasses several repetitive activities. Activities, including follow-up engagement, welcome message, invoice generation, demo scheduling message, and report generation, can be easily automated.
Automating sales engagement processes for each phase of the sales cycle will save both time and money and lead to product sales reps.
What mistakes should you avoid in the SEP?
The sales engagement process is a slippery slope. Therefore, there are certain mistakes that you should certainly avoid:
- Forgetting that the sales process is a consistent work in progress
- Not documenting your engagement experiments and learnings
- Concentrating on one bigger end goal and ignoring the micro-objectives
- Leaving sales process steps open to interpretation
- Expecting one sales engagement technique is the solution for a lifetime.
- Leaving marketing out of the loop
- Centering the process of closing deals and forgetting and ignoring other elements, such as causes of deal loss.
- Forgetting to measure KPIs
Create a sales engagement process that converts with Sales Simplify
Knowing how to create and implement the sales engagement process isn't always intuitive. Businesses should be willing to proactively explore solutions that will enable them to solve core sales engagement challenges.
Sales Simplify is making sales engagement better for many businesses through our extensive suite of sales tools. The platform aims to eliminate and streamline many of the sales engagement process bottlenecks that bog down the sales process. Your reps can dedicate more time working with prospects and less time to repetitive administrative tasks and CRM issues.
Try it for yourself with a free trial, or book a demo to understand how a better sales engagement process leads to better customers!