Sales Engagement 101: The Complete Guide
If you’re reading this, it’s likely because you’re ready to build a sales engagement process to scale your outbound sales team and ultimately, close more deals.
If you haven’t set up a sales engagement process before, it can feel overwhelming. Something as simple as selecting the wrong software can set you back months so it’s important you do it right from the start.
In this guide, I’m going to be covering everything you’ll need to know from the process you should follow to the software stack you should implement, and hopefully by the end, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running. Let’s dive in!
So, for starters…
What is sales engagement software?
Sales engagement software enables a sales team to plan, execute, and track important aspects of sales outreach more effectively.
In many cases, sales engagement software accelerates the number of actions (emails, calls, social messages, etc.) a salesperson can execute on a given day, leading to a more efficient and effective sales team.
Some of the biggest users of sales engagement software are BDR and SDR teams, as they rely on efficient outreach to set more appointments.
Why is sales engagement important?
You’d think most sales teams are highly efficient with all of today’s sales software, but that’s far from the truth. Most operate with clunky software applications that are all duct-taped together.
A great sales engagement process means your sales team can execute 3-10x more actions daily than your outdated competitors. When you think about the impact of a sales team of 3 that operates like a team of 30, the benefits of sales engagement software become very clear.
Even better, sales engagement platforms are designed to A/B test different outreach processes so that you can double down on what’s yielding the best results and forget about everything that’s holding you back. Over time, this results in a money printing machine that your company can rely on to bring in consistent revenue.
What is the best sales engagement platform?
There are a variety of sales engagement tools that have popped up over the years. Some are end-to-end solutions and others are highly focused on one aspect of the sales engagement process. Below, I went ahead and ranked the sales engagement platforms we like the most sorted by popularity and quality of software.
We recommend LeadLoft. Yes, I'm the founder, but I’ve also spent years managing and consulting on CRM setups for teams so you can be sure LeadLoft will not only provide everything you need but will also make the setup pain-free and fast. After all, the average LeadLoft customer goes live the same week they sign up.
LeadLoft is great because it offers an end-to-end solution. This means you can prospect leads, engage leads, and track them all from a single dashboard. Beyond the obvious benefit of saving money on one subscription, you also have all of your data under one roof in a CRM designed for outbound sales. This ensures your sales process is clean and you don’t have to hop between tabs to get a full picture of your team's progress and pipeline.
If you’d like to learn more, feel free to skip our website form and contact me directly (zack at leadloft.com).
- Pricing: $100/User/Month
- Get Started: Sign Up Here
Outreach.io is an obvious #2. It’s extremely powerful but also very advanced. If you have a sophisticated sales onboarding operation, Outreach can be great. The only downside is that it requires Salesforce to work, meaning you’ll be paying double per head in the best-case scenario.
Similar to LeadLoft, Outreach allows you to not only engage leads but also to track deal flow, which set’s it apart as many sales engagement tools are designed purely for outreach and offer limited or no deal tracking at all.
- Pricing: Minimum $1200/User/Year (No monthly plans) & >$10,000 implementation fee
- Get Started: Contact Sales Here
- Compare to LeadLoft: Outreach.io Alternative
Reply is amazingly simple. You simply create outreach campaigns and execute actions. It does not offer deal tracking, but for teams using Pipedrive, this can be a great add-on as all deals will be tracked in Pipedrive and you can let Reply handle outreach automation.
- Pricing: $70/User/Month Starts with 3 Users ($210)
- Get Started: Sign Up Here
- Compare to Leadloft: https://www.leadloft.com/vs/reply-io
How to Set Up a Sales Engagement Process
Sales Engagement probably sounds great but how do you set it up? Below we’ll be going through every step needed to build a world-class sales engagement process.
Step 1) Select Your Sales Engagement Platform
You must do your research here. Selecting the wrong platform can extend your onboarding timeline months and can lead to massive limitations once you go live. Most teams have 3-4 different tools that make up their sales engagement process, however, I’d recommend going with LeadLoft so you just have one. If you're already using Salesforce, I'd recommend migrating to LeadLoft entirely or using Outreach.io, which has a great Salesforce integration.
Selecting a great sales engagement platform will ensure you have a simple sales engagement process and that you can onboard your BDRs in 1-2 days, instead of weeks.
Step 2) Outline the Sales Process
This is far simpler than it may seem at first glance because there’s a standard process most companies should follow.
The most successful sales teams operate with BDRs who set appointments for AEs. In many cases, this starts with BDRs engaging accounts with outreach playbooks that automate or walk them through steps of outreach (e.g. 1st: Email, 2nd: Call, 3rd, Connect on LinkedIn, etc.).
These playbooks can be 20, 30, or even 50 steps long and are designed to turn cold leads into conversations.
To put it simply, as soon as a BDR/SDR has an interested lead, it’s their job to book an appointment on an AE's calendar. From there, it’s the AE's job to follow up and close the deal.
Step 3) Build a List of Target Accounts
As mentioned in the previous step, building a list of target accounts is extremely important and its core to sales engagement.
A good rule of thumb is to provide each BDR with a list of 1,000 target accounts. If every contact at that target account has been engaged or said “not interested”, then you can update the lead to “No Response” or “Not Interested.”
Whenever an account on a BDR’s hit list is churned, it’s the BDR’s job to go prospect a new one to ensure they’re always working at least 1,000 target accounts.
If they’re using LeadLoft, they can use LeadLoft’s LinkedIn Prospector to find and save contact information and to build your target account list.
Step 4) Educate Your Team & Go Live
Now it’s time to onboard your BDR team and go live. This includes:
- Familiarizing them with the Sales Engagement Software
- Reviewing the sales process
- Reviewing cold call scripts
- Teaching them tonality & objection handling when cold calling
- & finally tossing them in head first. There’s no better way to learn than by doing!
This should only take a few days. If you find yourself spending weeks onboarding new BDRs, it’s time to change up your sales engagement process or to upgrade to a lighter and more effective sales engagement solution, like LeadLoft 😉.
A sales engagement process can make or break your company’s bottom line, so make sure you have a clean set up and the right software behind it.
If you’re looking for a powerful sales engagement software, check out LeadLoft. It was designed because we saw so many companies struggling to build streamlined sales processes. If you’d like to see a demo, feel free to reach out to me directly (zack at leadloft.com), or to book a time with our team here.