What Is Sales Engagement?
Sales engagement is the process that defines a direct or indirect interaction between the seller and the prospect with the purpose of closing a deal. It is measured in data points that are gathered throughout a certain period of time. Different companies have different durations of the sales engagement process. As a rule of thumb, it starts when the prospect completes a certain key action—clicks a banner, opens an email, engages with the website content, or accepts the call.
What Is a Sales Engagement Model?
A sales engagement model is a set of certain processes, strategies, and ways of communication between the seller and the prospect that helps to establish strong long-lasting professional relationships. Even though building a sales engagement model isn’t a one-day job, the outcome is worth the investment: It helps to boost brand awareness, shorten sales cycles, improve sales team performance, and increase customer retention.
Unfortunately, there is no one universal type of sales engagement model, that would fit businesses of all industries and sizes. Every company has to create its own unique model that reflects its sales team's abilities and targeted prospects’ needs.
Sales Engagement Process
A sales team gathers together to storm the ideas of how sales engagement should be approached. They discuss their outreach strategies, create an ideal customer profile and buyers persona, and decide which outbound channels to include.
2. Prospecting and research
Once the planning is done, the salespeople try to identify their potential customers and add them to the database. At this stage, sales representatives or data researchers also need to complete research on the prospects to gather more information about their personas, which might be useful in the future.
3. First contact
Depending on the outreach channels used in the first stage and information gathered in the second stage, sales representatives make the first pitch. It can be a phone call, an email, a LinkedIn message, etc., the aim of which is to establish a trustworthy relationship with the prospect. The first contact rarely ends up with a signed deal, so the SDRs should focus on informing the prospect about the company and its product and services, qualifying them, and agreeing on a follow-up conversation.
4. Lead nurturing
Here, SDR’s job is to reinforce good relationships with the prospects and ensure smooth transferring throughout all the stages of the sales funnel. They can achieve this by sending follow-ups, sharing relevant information, providing support and assistance throughout the whole process.
5. Closing the deal
If all the previous stages are successful, the sales engagement ends up with a sale. It is important not to force the deal closure if both sides of this collaboration don't get something of it. Business relationships need to be mutually beneficial.
Of course, these processes are just general pillars upon which any sales engagement model needs to be built. You are free to add, adapt, exclude, include any other processes that are essential for your company during the sales-prospect interaction. For example, some companies include asking for a referral stage in the end or split prospecting and research into two separate processes.
5 Sales Engagement Strategies
To help you build the sales engagement process for your business in the most efficient way, here are some strategies to follow from the start:
1. Use multichannel outbound outreach.
Don’t limit yourself to using cold calling, emails, or social media, or any other channel exclusively. Use them all simultaneously to increase the chances of receiving an answer and boosting your conversions.
2. Be present on social media.
LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are not just ways to find more information about the prospect during the researching stage, but it’s also a great platform for involving the prospect in conversations. It can be a comment under the prospect’s post that raised your interest, a personal message with valuable information, or even a like, follow-up, retweet—these are all perfect ways to keep the prospect engaged.
3. Share your successful cases.
If you are not new in business and already have some collaborations with well-known companies, let others know about it. This will help to increase credibility and attract interest to your business.
4. Ask for feedback.
Always learn from your own mistakes. Ask your former clients which parts of your communication need improvement, and use their feedback to improve your sales engagement process in the future.
5. Always deliver value.
If your prospect receives value from an interaction with you, they’ll want to return over and over again. Don’t make any fake promises, be sure your product is how you present it to prospects, and do your job the best way you can.
Build Your Sales Engagement Model
Regardless of the strategies and processes that you include in your sales engagement model, having one will benefit both your company (in revenue growth), your sales team (in performance), and your prospects (in quality communication). If you still don’t have a clear, structured sales engagement process, build one now, or let us do it for you.