The sole reason for a companies existence are the products and services that they sell. Companies might have a unique sales structure, but the common thread is that the company’s offerings are sold through a series of interactions, known as the sales cycle. The most effective sales engagement has time and again proven to be the direct, in-person meetings.
It sounds simple enough when we say meetings, but when taking a look at number of different channels (online and offline), the people involved from the company’s and the prospect’s side, the different venues and meeting formats, the level of complexity can become quite a handful.
The sales process of any company is a great place to look at to improve the efficiency of an organization, which will have a direct impact on their bottom-line. Optimizing any sales process begins with examining the sales engagements, because it’s a crucial point of contact for the pipeline, and is a single quantum of the sales pipeline.
Most (if not all) companies run their sales team with a CRM as the lynchpin, and a marketing automation tool that feeds the pipeline. But both these solutions lack in actually helping sales teams manage their interactions. Interactions that are absolutely vital to the health of the sales pipeline. But it already sounds like there are enough sales platforms to go around, right? So what does a direct engagement platform bring to the table?
Scheduling the engagements
This is step 1, the factor on which the entire success of the sales deals hinges on. A direct engagement platform is not yet another obligatory calendar for sales executive to fill in, but a central resource that helps them manage their time, and gain visibility into SMEs, their security teams, high-level attendees calendar. Still sounds like another calendar? Here’s what makes it so valuable: Each interaction is directly connected to the sales pipeline. The utility of a direct engagement platform’s calendar is not just on how well, or how easy it makes it to schedule meetings, but about how that information is used to make sales engagements context-driven and setting them up for success.
Strategically managing resources
The primary resource of a sales executives is a stellar product. There can be no proxy for that, no doubt. But after that the thing that helps them win deals is their persuasiveness. In a B2B setting, persuasiveness is not just dependent on having a sharp tongue and an easy-going charm. It requires active participation from product teams, engineering teams for product integrations, security teams for security compliance, and preferably a CxO or a VP level attendee to show that they care about their customers. All these teams may have wildly differing objectives and goals, but all of them need to come together to make the deal. An engagement platform gives power to the sales executive to get the right kind of people to advance the deal. What’s more, it also helps the internal teams to prioritize (and sometimes decline) meetings based on the size of the deal, or the LTV of the customer. All of this points to the same thing as above – a robust pipeline.
Analytics, Reports and Intelligence
After using the platform for a short while, companies will find that they are sitting on a treasure trove of data, that can be used to further improve future sales success. Sales teams love having star-performers and heroes, but each deal is the culmination of so many different people with different strengths coming together to see the deal to completion. This is what analytics can offer, and answer some questions that companies have always been asking, but just didn’t know where to look. Here are a few:
- How many meetings does it take to close a deal?
- Which channel mix is the optimum for closing a deal?
- What is the impact of a specific attendee (or a coterie of attendees) on the sales pipeline?
- How can we optimize engagements further to decrease costs and increase success rates?
- What’s the ROI for each of these engagements?
Does it sound like sales teams would be interested to get these answers in neat report? You bet. Direct engagement platforms are built with the sole intention of helping sales succeed through thoughtful measurement which leads to actionable insights.