Today’s top-performing sales reps use data, intelligence, and productivity tools 30% more than average performers. Whether you need to gain visibility into pipeline activity, manage deals, or decrease rep ramp time, Sales Engagement tools can help you improve efficiency, leading to sustained growth and profitability.
Sales engagement streamlines manual tasks, workflows, and data capture. Originally designed to help sales development functions manage high call and email volumes, companies in this segment can now deliver sizable productivity gains to entire revenue teams…
— Forrester Research, Now Tech: Sales Enablement Automation Q2 2020, May 2020
Buying a Sales Engagement solution is uncharted territory for many organizations. As more companies look to adopt these platforms to manage leads and opportunities, they’re quickly realizing there’s a lot to consider. Not all Sales Engagement platforms are created equal.
To make the most of your investment, you must first understand what your sales team needs. Here are five things every organization should consider when deploying a Sales Engagement platform.
1. Your Lead Management Process Flow
Do you have a formal lead management process? Without one, even the top Sales Engagement platforms can’t close the gap.
Many sales teams pay a lot of money for sophisticated technology they barely use. It’s like shelling out for an iPhone, but only using it to make calls. (Do people even make calls on those anymore?)
So you can realize the full value of your investment, whiteboard your CRM lead management process and formally document it for all involved departments to review.
- Develop buyer personas. Identify your ideal customers and their buying questions. In understanding common pain points and areas of interest, you can develop the right talk tracks to effectively address them during the buying process.
- Create cadences for personas. Personas represent individuals. You can tailor communication to meet individual needs using cadences. Start small, then grow your library of cadences.
- Set up lead-scoring criteria. A points-based system helps move leads down the funnel when the timing is right. Leads accumulate points for behavior and demographics such as persona type, engagement, buying stage, and velocity.
Once these process areas are developed, a Sales Engagement platform will be easier to successfully set up. But not having these processes in place before an implementation leaves you with very little to automate.
2. Your Team’s Skills
Be ready for resistance to even the best new technology. To allay your stakeholders’ concerns, you need to think and act strategically. Lining up the right people with the right skills helps the implementation go smoothly.
Here are the resources you can enlist:
- CRM Admin: Invaluable for field configuration and building report/dashboards from platform data
- IT/Security Team: Will configure VoIP network, enable SSO, etc.
- Marketing Team: Deep involvement with creating cadences using persona-specific content. Helps ensure the flow of inbound leads is accurate.
- Sales Manager(s): Responsible for cadence maintenance, updating on a quarterly basis or more frequently if needed. In general, cadence structure should be consistent over time, with the exception of deliberate changes made as a result of testing.
- Sales Enablement: Ensure the ongoing success of a Sales Engagement platform, capturing the information, content, and tools needed to help salespeople sell more effectively.
3. Your Content Strategy
Engaging, relevant content will foster a dialogue at each stage of the buying cycle. Dust off your sales playbook, review your sales process, and get feedback from sales leadership. Gather all existing email templates and examine them with a critical eye. Sit down with your marketing content strategist and review existing materials (eBooks, case studies, blog posts, testimonials, etc).
Your goal? Ensuring your messaging and content are up to date and reflect your go-to-market strategy. Inevitably, you’ll identify some content gaps. Work with the appropriate team to fill those holes so your sales team is properly armed.
Once the legwork is done, start with a simple cadence and set a goal to build more in the coming months. Keep yourself accountable, but don’t over complicate the process or you risk burnout.
4. Your Change Management Rollout
Change requires strategy, communication, and buy-in to be successful. If salespeople sense that a change may be a burden, they’re less likely to adopt it. Getting buy-in on a new technology’s benefits is an important aspect of change management.
Consider creating a small group of advocates from the sales team. This provides an opportunity for leadership to receive feedback and refine future communication before it reaches the rest of the organization. This select group should intimately understand their team and the frustrations associated with change. They can help develop talking points and ask questions that leadership may not have considered, providing insight into potential roadblocks.
Collaborate with your implementation team on the technology training agenda. If you’re using Salesloft, your Onboarding Consultant will do the majority of the education work for you. An interactive training helps reps retain the information as you walk them through using templates, launching cadences, and best practices.
5. The Big Picture
As you consider a Sales Engagement platform, take an honest look at your current state. Examine your sales process, available solutions, their complexity, and the KPIs. The maturity of your sales operation matters. Any sales technology is only as good as the people, communications, and processes you have in place. Otherwise, you’ll be paying for a service that you’re not using but should be!
There are a lot of considerations when it comes to selecting the right Sales Engagement solution. Know your ideal customer, enlist the right people to help strategize, and track the metrics that matter. Once you do these things, you’ll be on the right track to successfully deploying a Sales Engagement platform and to building a killer foundation for sustained growth and profitability.
Looking for more Sales Engagement guidance? Check out The Sales Tech Stack: How to Drive Adoption of Your Sales Engagement Platform.