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According to research, 90% of sales leaders state that sales engagement is a top priority for business success. So much so that they plan to invest in technologies and methodologies to help their agents engage more effectively with potential buyers. But what is sales engagement? And how do you build a sales engagement strategy for your business?
Today's post will answer these questions and more. Continue to read to find out what sales engagement tips you should take with you in 2023.
Sales engagement is the interaction process between sellers and potential buyers throughout the sales cycle. It aims to turn prospects into customers and can consist of anything from cold emailing to e-meetings.
Note: Sales engagement can also be used for upselling and cross-selling purposes. However, in today's post, we'll only cover the general prospect-to-customer pipeline.
Sales engagement is a KPI of economic success and brand reputation. With it, brands can create new customer relations and increase the chances of more sales.
Build your engagement strategy around the following four steps:
Begin your strategy by planning your target and communication channels. Defining your buyer's personas and the mediums you wish to conduct prospect interactions.
Afterward, begin listing potential customers that fit the target established in a database. Include as much information as possible to facilitate message creation.
Nextly, establish an open message to begin outreach. Use previous research to create a message that relates and brings value to prospects.
After the first contact, continue to nurture leads throughout a sequence of follow-up messages. The plan is to warm leads and establish a trustworthy relationship. If done successfully, this will help you close more deals, which is always the ultimate goal.
Due to the ramifications of today's world, we spend more time online than offline. Both professionally and personally, we are more accessible than ever, and interacting with others is as easy as clicking a button.
Although this means it's easier to outreach prospects, it doesn't mean you should. Prospects already receive thousands of direct and indirect sales messages every day. They don't need another salesy signal on top of that. So how do you communicate with potential buyers?
Instead of pulling a spray-and-pray kind of method, listen to your target audience and only reach out to them when you have something with value to offer. Take the lead with something that will relate to them. After all, you only get one chance to make that first impression.
Invest in smaller and more personalized campaigns. Reach out to all spectrums of your target by dividing your prospects by job, management level, company size, company growth rate, location, career goals, accomplishments, challenges, and more. Group prospects with common elements in small campaigns and personalize messages accordingly.
Leverage social listening to discover more about your prospects and connect with them on points of their interest first. Follow up with a sequence of touchpoints where you empathize with the problem they are trying to solve and offer resources to educate them on new perspectives and solutions. This will allow you to make your messages more valuable and develop stronger customer relationships that can lead to sales.
Although email is the most common channel for direct outreach, not everyone checks their inboxes every day. To guarantee that your prospects see your message, engage with them through other communication channels.
Social media and skill-based communities are two other mediums that you can include in your sales engagement strategy to boost closing.
For instance, use skill-based communities to learn more about what your prospects are interested in improving. Then, use social media to connect with them. Send personal messages with valuable information, follow them, comment, like, or share their posts to engage and familiarize your prospects with you.
Although personalization is the best way to engage potential buyers, it requires extensive research, which can slow down the rate your reps can outreach and build new relationships with prospects.
If you have a growing sales team, prioritize personalizing messages for top ICPs. This will allow you to deliver quality messages to engage
more desirable buyers without compromising engagement scope.
Select top-priority prospects to dedicate more time to researching and personalizing in-depth sequences. Engage remaining targets by personalizing messages at a small scale or using field automation only (e.g., company name, first name, industry, etc.).
Open rate (OR) is a performance metric that can define the success of your campaign. However, not single-handedly.
The goal of cold outreach is to start a conversation. A high open rate can tell how well your subject line works - but nothing else substantially. As a result, you need to analyze other metrics to measure the success of your campaigns. But which ones? The answer is simple, bounce and reply rates (BR)(RR).
Low bounce rates and high reply rates help measure the performance of your campaign in two ways:
1) Low Bounce Rate = Better Engagement. If less than 5% of your email campaign bounced, your prospect list is verified, and most people received your message. This is important since the more people see your message, the higher the chances of sales engagement.
2) Reply rate, positive or negative, helps you understand what message resonates with prospects the most. It can also tell you which objections, challenges, and competitors you should spend more time researching and adjusting your message.
Combining these three metrics helps you measure campaign performance better and replicate success effectively.
Besides personalizing your messages, keeping them short and straight to the point is something you should consider including in your sales engagement strategy.
According to HubSpot research, cold messages that are 50-125 words long receive reply rates above 50%. The shorter the message, the better. So keep things simple and straight to the point.
Here's a simple structure you can use for cold pitching:
Use the first paragraph to personalize your message the most. The more relatable your message is, the more compelling the prospect will be to continue reading. In the second paragraph, resonate with prospects' challenges and highlight how you can help. Follow with proof of other satisfied customers and their results and promise similar, if not better results.
Interact with prospects successfully. Understand top objections, pain points, and needs with conversational analytics.
Use Thumb to unlock insights about your sales interactions and use it to optimize your engagement messages and strategy.