What is Sales Engagement & How Can You Improve it?

It’s no surprise: engaged customers are paying customers. But to create engaged customers, you must first create engaged sales reps, and that’s not always easy to do.

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To be fair, it’s not that your employees are turning a deaf ear to sales engagement. Studies show that the average sales rep spends only about a third of their time actually selling. The rest of the time is spent on a variety of non-revenue-generating activities, such as navigating clunky CRMs, performing administrative tasks, creating content, and wasting time on Facebook or chatting to colleagues.

Learning how to improve sales engagement is a top priority among many organizations, namely because they know how powerful it can be in creating engaged customers. But first, let us understand sales engagement in detail.

What is Sales Engagement?

Simply put, sales engagement is monitoring the interactions between the buyer and your company. For instance, if you sent them an e-mail with an introductory offer or discount coupon, you would observe the click-through rate, open or bounce rate, etc. Similarly, if your interaction is in the form of a blog post, you would evaluate how much time did the buyer spent on reading your blog. 

Cumulatively, sales engagement is all about tracking activities of your salespeople done to engage the buyers and monitoring their responses.

Sales engagement gains its profound importance in the lead’s journey through the sales funnel. Tracking and monitoring the lead’s interactions allows you to craft your engagement campaigns that complement their expectations and takes them faster towards conversion. 

It is widely suggested to have marketing automation software (to move leads into the system), sales engagement software (for converting lead into a customer), and CRM (to ensure customer retention) to take care of the complete customer journey. But managing three different software at the same time can create a hassle. Acknowledging this, LeadSquared clubbed all three tools together into a complete sales automation software, making it easier for managers to track and monitor every interaction.

4 Ways to Improve Sales Engagement

Let’s look at some ways that companies can start improving sales engagement to achieve better business results:

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1. Make Professional Development a Priority

Have you ever had a sales rep start their new job and ask what you wanted them to do? It’s a common question, and even logical. But such a surface level question sets the tone for a surface level experience that will most certainly lack sales engagement.

There’s no deep quest for knowledge, no thirst to learn what really makes a salesperson successful. Instead, they’re simply doing what they’re told with no reasoning or understanding supporting their actions. And when sales leaders allow reps like this to be hired into the organization, there can be no reasonable expectation for high-level sales engagement.

However, companies can combat this issue by prioritizing ongoing professional development and training. Even top performers can benefit from honing their skills and staying in touch with the industry.

Don’t be so quick to figure out a system and then hand over a step-by-step playbook and expect good results. If that system ever becomes broken, your team will need to be able to overcome new boundaries and obstacles that crop up to continue pushing forward.

2. Be Clear on Sales Terminology

Terminology can play a big role in sales engagement for the simple fact that salespeople may think they’re doing one thing but are actually doing another. Namely, words like prospecting, marketing, selling, and order taking tend to create disengagement. Salespeople need to be able to differentiate between their various activities to know what’s working and what they’re spending the most time on. For example, a salesperson may think they spend an 8-hour day selling, but really they’re spending more time on prospecting than they are connecting with leads. An order taker who is “selling” a highly successful product may actually be a lackluster salesperson but appears to be successful because they have good numbers.

Break down the communication barriers and clarify any confusing sales terminology to ensure consistency across the board.

3. Focus on the Customer’s End Goal

Too often, sales engagement suffers because the reps have the wrong idea about their role. They’re focused on making quotas, improving performance, and increasing their personal gains, but the reality is that catering to the customer’s end goal will drive better results.

When sales reps start playing the right game (i.e. the customer’s game), the increased results they see will usually be enough on its own to create better sales engagement.

4. Embrace Sales and Marketing Technology

The majority of sales reps complain that technology (namely CRM) eats up too much of their time and prevents them from being more engaged. And this is largely true if you haven’t implemented the right technology and tools. The wrong ones will most certainly be more trouble than they are worth, but the right ones can make the entire sales process more effective and profitable.

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Sales and marketing technology should simplify the role of the sales rep while providing a better experience to the prospect or customer. If your current technology isn’t doing one or both of these, then it’s time to rethink your strategy.

Choose tools that automate as much of the process as possible while still allowing you to provide a personalized, human touch. Your technology should not replace the human element, but rather lend a helping hand for lower-level tasks so your salespeople can focus on revenue-generating tasks.

Sales Engagement Vs. Sales Enablement

In simple terms, sales enablement is the complete process of training your sales agents, equipping them with the right tools, measuring their performance, and analyzing what sales methods are yielding the best results. Let me explain in detail. 

Sales enablement starts with hiring sales agents. Once the hiring is completed, these agents are trained by the experts. Training includes a detailed study of the product or the service, followed by teaching different sales methodologies and mock drills (depends on the company). After going through the training, the salespeople are equipped with proper tools to implement sales methods, and their performance is evaluated thereafter. 

Now here, sales engagement comes into the picture. The interaction between the potential buyer and the sales agent is analyzed in terms of quality, response, and various other metrics. Based on that, sales tasks and activities are restructured and modified to gain maximum conversion rates.

Why Should You Focus on Improving Sales Engagement?

Improving sales engagement does not only helps you to measure your client’s expectations, but it also enables you to position all your efforts in-line with your client’s mindset. Simply put, improving sales engagement empowers you to create a narrative where your client is the hero of the story. It’s a gradual process, but in the long-term, it’s beneficial. 

Enhance Content Quality

When you monitor sales engagement closely, it will give you insights into what content worked for clients and what did not. It will help you to understand their mindset. Suppose you are creating product-centric content, but it is not generating leads, you may want to restructure it and focus more on your client’s goal, their business use case, the strength of commercial value that it can deliver, etc.

It is a process.

  1. List down all web-pages, articles, e-books, case studies that you have prepared, and check their engagement. 
  2. Select those content pieces that are not aiding in getting conversions. 
  3. Check the quality of content on these pieces. Add more research to it, or rephrase it so that it resonates with your clients’ expectations. 
  4. Ensure that your content is positioned positively, i.e., it should add value. 
  5. Repeat the process for all selected content pieces. 

Enable Salespeople to Sell Intelligently

Salespeople should always talk in the language of leaders, especially when you are in touch with the decision-makers. To ensure conversion, your efforts should not be focused on just selling; instead, you should help people personally and professionally. 

By monitoring sales engagement, you can do this efficiently. You can understand your client’s interests and expectations by closely monitoring their interactions with your company. 

Then, you can craft your sales pitch or follow-up such that it resonates with your client’s vision or the initiative that they are driving. Conclusively, it results in closing more deals.  

Create Engaging E-mail Campaigns.

Interpreting sales engagement can help you innovate your e-mail campaigns constantly and create substantial engagement. Based on your previous e-mail campaigns (CTR, Bounce, and open) and tracking the buyer’s journey, you can pen down their expectations. 

Now when you weave your e-mail around buyer’s interest and their goals, they would be more responsive to them. Make sure that you are addressing your buyer’s mindset while anticipating what is essential to them. For example, in medical crises such as this (COVID-19 pandemic), you can run e-mail campaigns that focus on how your product or service can help them in improving cash-flow. 

Forge Long-term Customer Relationship

When you structure all your interaction according to your client’s business case, goals, and expectations, you gain their trust. It does not only enables you to sell them your solution, but it also helps you to establish customer relationships. 

This relationship keeps on strengthening with you supplying relevant inputs periodically. Ultimately, it leads to gaining profound customer loyalty and long-term business relationships with numerous more opportunities to sell. 

Create an Easier Path to Sales Engagement with LeadSquared

Knowing how to improve sales engagement isn’t always intuitive, nor will it happen on its own. Companies should be willing and able to proactively explore solutions that will help them solve sales engagement challenges at their core

LeadSquared is improving sales engagement for many companies through our comprehensive suite of sales and marketing tools. We’ve removed much of the manual labor that bogs down the sales process so that reps can spend more time working with prospects and less time on administrative tasks and CRM issues.

Try it for yourself with a free 15-day trial and experience how better sales engagement leads to better customers!

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