Sales Engagement Strategies to Enhance the Customer Experience
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Engaging with buyers throughout their journey through genuine human connection is integral to the success of sales organizations. To create meaningful customer experiences, sales engagement needs to focus on the customer lifecycle in totality, ranging from rep-to-buyer conversations to digital experiences and more. In order to make buyers as comfortable as possible, enablement can work to develop engagement initiatives that adequately prepare reps to enhance customer value and provide personalized customer experiences across their entire journey.
As the past year has demonstrated, organizations have had to prioritize customer centricity to foster long-term and meaningful relationships with customers to combat the inherently turbulent times. By crafting successful engagement practices, both sales reps and customers can embark on a smooth and successful journey throughout the buying process.
As recent research in the Sales Enablement Maturity Report 2021 explains, more professionals have mature sales engagement efforts than any other focus area of sales enablement. With sales engagement as a valued and core function of sales enablement, organizations can keep the following five tips in mind when crafting effective engagement programs.
Track Engagement Metrics
To effectively gauge the success of engagement efforts, it is important for practitioners to utilize engagement data to understand gaps and foster improvement. Engagement data offers valuable insights into the day-to-day interactions taking place between buyers and sellers, allowing organizations to pinpoint where reps might need more support in the buyer journey. By effectively tracking sales engagement data, enablement can design prescriptive programs to bridge the gaps in the selling process.
“We’re fortunate to have a scorecard that gathers [engagement data] all together so that both reps, managers, as well as the enablement team, can look at that and leverage and see what’s going on,” said Julie Greenfield, head of revenue enablement at CentralSquare Technologies.
When sales enablement successfully tracks engagement, the entire organization is clued into the strengths and weaknesses of customer interactions, and in turn, sales enablement teams can use data to foster alignment and collective improvement. In fact, when professionals report being highly effective in the ability to track various sales engagements, they see win rates that are 10 percentage points greater than those who are only effective.
Consistently Manage Engagement Efforts
As sales becomes increasingly complex and customer needs evolve alongside that complexity, it is important for enablement to regularly evaluate its engagement efforts to validate that it is providing reps with insight on how to best interact with customers.
Doing so effectively fosters positive impacts across the entire organization. Organizations that are highly effective in their management and maintenance of sales engagement efforts report win rates that are 6 percentage points higher than those that are only effective. By remaining agile alongside the shifting needs of customers, organizations will be able to meet customers where they are and respond proactively.
“We have to be flexible,” said Gail Behun, senior director of sales enablement at PandaDoc. “We have to make sure we are very in the moment with how we’re responding.”
By identifying gaps in engagement efforts and responding to those gaps promptly, organizations can continue to provide value to customers and reps can solidify themselves as a reliable and trusted source amid changes. As a result, organizations can foster long-term customer retention through trusting relationships.
Leverage Engagement Intelligence
Similar to tracking engagement efforts, organizations can leverage engagement intelligence to not only understand the effects of engagement efforts but improve upon them. Through engagement intelligence, practitioners can gain valuable insights around the customer’s experience during all phases of their journey. By better understanding customer behavior, practitioners can identify tangible solutions to the problems customers might be facing.
One important benefit of engagement intelligence is the ability to hear directly from customers about their challenges, pain points, and successes. This provides necessary insights to inform the design of engagement strategies that will help reps better resonate with customers.
“It’s not about having feedback,” said Zoe Meyer, customer engagement and operations lead at Commvault. “It’s about whether you can act on that feedback and respond back to the customer. It’s taking it further to get to know the customer and then acting on that information.”
By utilizing engagement intelligence to better understand customers, enablement teams can respond proactively to fill gaps and foster improvements. When respondents are highly effective at leveraging sales engagement data to improve the buyer and customer experience, they report win rates that are 8 percentage points higher than those who are effective.
Align Engagement Efforts to Executive Goals
When engagement efforts are supported by buy-in from executive leaders, enablement teams can more seamlessly tie their efforts to overarching business objectives, which in turn, proves value to the organization by reflecting the goals of executive leadership.
Doing so effectively can generate positive business impact, as practitioners who are highly effective in aligning sales engagement efforts to executive goals experience win rates that are 10 percentage points higher than those who are effective. By making an effort to understand what executive leaders prioritize, enablement can use those insights to craft successful engagement initiatives.
“If you work with [leaders] to understand what their challenges are, and you make it clear that their success drives your success and your partnership and your programs, you can stay aligned with those goals better, and you’ll be on your way to building a solid partnership,” said Stacey Justice, vice president of sales enablement and productivity at HashiCorp.
Correlate Engagement to Driving Business Results
By creating engagement initiatives in line with the organization’s strategic initiatives, engagement efforts can foster relevant and large-scale goal achievement. In doing so, enablement can communicate and prove the business impact of engagement efforts as it relates to core business objectives. By utilizing engagement efforts as a mechanism to reach organization-wide goals, customers, reps, and sales leadership alike can benefit.
When sales engagement activities successfully influence tangible business outcomes, customers can derive meaningful value from all of their interactions with an organization. Especially as customer-centricity becomes a priority for organizations, correlating engagement efforts to driving business results can be highly beneficial in reinforcing the importance of exceptional customer experiences as a strategic business goal. By working with cross-functional teams and sales leaders, enablement can help to identify the core business goals that matter most to stakeholders, and from there, craft engagement initiatives to achieve those goals.
When practitioners are highly effective in correlating sales engagement activities to key business results across go-to-market initiatives, they report win rates that are 14 percentage points higher than those who are effective.
Sales engagement can add tremendous value both internally for stakeholders and externally for customers. Prioritizing engagement maturity correlates to positive impacts on important business results. In fact, professionals with highly mature sales engagement efforts report a 6-percentage-point increase in customer retention compared to practitioners with less mature engagement programs.
By emphasizing the value of the customer experience, sales organizations can foster success through effective engagement efforts. Through tracking engagement, effectively managing efforts, utilizing data, aligning to the goals of leaders, and correlating to driving results, organizations can improve engagement maturity, and in turn, improve both customer and rep satisfaction.