The key to boosting sales is to understand what customers want. Your goal as a business that sells products should be to convince customers that what they want is what you have.
At best, you can persuade them so thoroughly of the value of your product that they want becomes a need, and they continuously come back to you for more products.
If this is the goal, the sales team needs to exhibit behaviors that reflect those customer preferences to show positive results. The better trained and equipped your sales team is, the better fit they will be to increase business revenue.
However, it doesn’t always seem as easy as that.
It may be a simple idea, but many businesses struggle to increase sales in this way because they lack a sales enablement structure. When the business cannot support the sales staff with the necessary tools and resources a sales team may need to effectively interact with customers, the sales will stay stagnant. If you’re struggling to form a solid connection between your sales team and the customers, it may be time to shift your company’s focus from sales strategizing to customer engagement.
Follow the tips below to learn how to shift your company in the right (profitable) direction. Connect with our Fusebox One marketing agents to understand how our sales enablement tools can boost customer happiness and sales success.
Understand the Main Goal of Customer Engagement
Before implementation comes understanding. If you want to use sales enablement tactics, you must first understand why focusing on customer engagement is crucial. And you must also look into the best way to support your sales efforts. In a recent article by the Miller Heiman Group, they found only 32% of buyers felt that the seller they purchased from actually met or exceeded their expectations during the transaction.
This dissatisfaction exists because there is a general lack of transparency between what the customers want and how the sellers are responding to them.
Customers want to buy things from companies that find them valuable, while also offering a quality product with good service. When you choose to employ tactics that increase customer engagement, you’re attempting to make communication as straightforward as possible between the customers and the sales staff. That’s for in your business, as well as in the sales interactions. It decreases confusion and sets up the customer for a better sales experience.
Each step taken in the sales process must be seen as purposeful, valuable, and unique to the customer. However, most of these systems do follow a kind of template. While you do want a structure for your employees to follow when they interact with a customer, it must be different enough so that the customer does not feel you are copying a competitor.
This doesn’t mean cutting out important principles of the system, however, or it loses its value. Make sure that how you’re engaging your customer feels natural and that conversation is always positively aimed towards the product.
The goal is to make the system valuable and easy to understand. This way, you and the customer are on the same page, have an equally positive experience while exchanging services, and the customer feels well taken care of.
Overall, the power of effective sales enablement is to increase customer engagement and satisfaction, both of which help increase sales.
Tactics to Help You Implement Sales Enablement
When you're already having difficulties making or keeping sales, saying “improve customer engagement” can be a bit overwhelming. It can be complicated knowing where to start or what to improve. And changing things without strong intent or research can create even more problems for the business.
Worry not! There are a lot of strategies you can use to help you better understand the position of your business. With some analysis, you can start better understanding your customer and what your salespeople need to know about them to be more effective sellers.
The first step is collecting data and analyzing it. This can be done in a few steps.
1. Standardized Sales Reporting
The first thing you need to do if you don’t already have a system in place is standardize how your salespeople report their sales. While the procedure you use will be unique to your business needs, there should be a system in place. If you're looking to make a new standardization system, ask these key questions to ensure it will be used effectively in your business.
- Have all sales activities been logged and organized?
- Is there a way to long the ratio of deals made and lost?
- How are leads organized?
- Are leads being effectively found?
When you have these standardized practices, it can be easier to analyze how different salespeople are interacting with customers. If one employee has higher sales the most others, you can see where they're more effective in their workflow. Also, interviewing the person and learning more about their sales tactics can help you share that knowledge with the entire office.
2. Evaluate Sales Processes
Once you’ve started standardizing and keeping tabs on the statistics of your sales teams, it’s easier to find places in your business model or practices that need to change. Sometimes we carry on buying particular programs or keep procedures just because we’ve had them for a while, instead of because they increase effectiveness. It’s good to take a step back and remove practices that add no value to your business, thus to your customer.
Let's explore an example. If you invest a lot of money into making and updating your sales demos to entice customers, but it results in below expected sales, you might want to investigate this process.
If you choose to hire a professional organization to conduct an external sales enablement on your business, they will often audit your sales processes to see where they could become more effective. They will also analyze where you’re wasting capital and where workflows can become more efficient.
3. Qualify (and Quantify) Sales Leads
You can get a high quantity of leads, but many do not result in sales. This is because your sales leads don’t fit the kind of customer that fits your product. If this is the case, it doesn’t really matter how many sales attempts you make. You’ll be getting less return on your time investment. The goal is to find the right customers, rather than just anybody. This process is called qualifying leads.
To find better leads, you need to start quantifying their aspects. Giving the contacts ratings that describe how ideal the lead is, is an excellent way of identifying them. If you’re a B2B company that only works with small businesses, you’ll positively rate a company with 10-20 employees over a business with 100+ employees.
Getting software that can automate this process by rating each customer that reaches out to your business can help you use your time more effectively. This means you’ll be sinking sales that add the most value to the people you’re selling too, while also leaving a good impression with your customer.
If you already have standardization practices, you still may not understand how to start readying your business for sales enablement tactics. The best thing to do before you start any new program is by ensuring that your existing practices aren’t overburdening the company.
Take this time to cut our programs, workflow steps, and unnecessary positions that aren’t adding any benefit to your business's profitability or adding a tangible value to your customers. Optimizing your sales content and organizing your business marketing and sales assets is a great way to cut costs and increase efficiency. Creating templates for basic things like emails to customers can also help free up valuable employee time for other tasks.
On the other hand, engaging your customers can be as easy as finding more ways to automate your communications with them. Have an automatic emailing service that contacts customers when they haven’t reached out to a sales rep for a specific period. You can also make a similar system for prospecting new clients. Email interested parties with a salesperson’s name and a link to their calendar and contact information. This way, the client feels emboldened to schedule an appointment. Tactics like this can help your customers feel remembered and valued, which in turn grants you better sales.
Finding ways to increase productivity and increase consumer confidence with clear and direct communication is a great way to increase customer engagement.
Applying the Right Kind of Sales Enablement
You’re getting your company ready for sales enablement to be as successful as possible. But successful sales enablement is all about clarity.
It requires not just an understanding of how to talk to people but also the ability to place yourself in the customer’s perspective. Only when you understand who your customer is and what they need from the company their buying from can you employ the best sales tactics.
Selling is one of the oldest professions in history. For centuries good salespeople have proved that satisfied customers make the best buys. But when it comes to sales enablement, the scope must look beyond that. CSO Insights published a 2017 study on sales enablement
to show that to drive sales, your main goal must be creating a disciplined staff. This is achieved by providing consistent tools and services for salespeople to add value to their customer interactions.
The keys required to meet this goal include several aspects to consider.
Enablement Services Strategy
Enablement services are meant for the sales staff, and they should be consistent in their delivery. The number one caveat that hurts the sales force tremendously is the constant shift in ideas, goals, plans, and tactics, which only serve to confuse the sales team and make it more difficult for them to form valuable relationships with their customers.
Make a plan and be dedicated to it. Focus on making improvements to a system rather than on constant overhauls. This makes it easier on your sales team, reduces confusion, and reduces redundancies.
Every cog must be in tip-top shape for the machine to continue running smoothly. Sales enablement is, in every sense of the word, a team effort. It takes many departments, your whole business, to make and market the products the salespeople are selling.
Each part helps the other function better. Sales tells marketing more about the customer they should be targeting, as well as helping product development know-how to make improvements on existing wares as well as what new products they can pursue. It’s time to put forth an actual model of collaboration between all of the partners in your company, including the marketing, customer service, operations, IT, R&D, and third-party departments.
Peak efficiency will only come with clear cross-department communication.
You could have a lot of ideas of what should work for your business, but concepts don’t always translate into reality. The best way to check if your new customer engagement tactics are working in the way you intended. With useful customer and stakeholder feedback, you can pinpoint the exact issues you’re having.
Whether that’s in product delivery, product defect, inaccurate product description, or a sales tactic that turns-off customers, getting feedback is essential to understanding your business. Once you can identify issues with feedback, you can work on fixing them without wasting resources.
Employ A Plan
It’s time to put an actual plan into play. Instead of throwing short-term ideas at a sales staff to boost sales during a specific season, sit down with your team leaders and implement a plan that can help the sales efforts stay 100% dedicated to customer satisfaction. This will increase your profitability all year, rather than forcing your team to make a mad sales dash during the “busy season.”
Reaping the Benefits
Once you start establishing a solid enablement model, you will start seeing results that you can rely on. This means consistent customer satisfaction, better sales, and repeat customers. Because, ultimately, you want to have predictable results for your sales team and a plan you can consistently employ.
Not to mention, using these tactics will likely improve how your whole business runs. Enhancing communication and efficiency in all departments makes for a better working environment. This is also done while making sure every employee has their eyes on the goal of your business—a practical cost-efficient workplace focused on customer satisfaction.
Forming Tailor-Made Customer Service Solutions to Support Sales Enablement
Now that you are aware that you need to focus on varying ways to engage with customers, how do you put that into action when there are so many different customers with so many diverse preferences?
How can you improve the customer experience throughout every step of the sales process, and how can you empower your sales staff to create these unique experiences effectively?
The first step is to develop a strategy. If you’re a smaller company just looking to put your feelers out and see what it takes to grow, you can focus on little and affordable engagement tips to get started. Here are some ideas:
- Make each customer interaction a personal relationship between the seller and the buyer.
Part of what can make your interactions with customers feel more personal is by making them unique. Ask questions that increase customer engagement and encourage them. Wish a customer a happy birthday or remember to reach out over the holiday season—just because it’s in the spirit to do so. It can also be as simple as sending follow-ups that offer extended services that can help them make better use of your product. This can be done through email or through a messenger service that you use.
Think about how you can personalize communications with customers, so they feel that you really value them. A happy customer becomes an advocate for your brand, so sinking some resources into outreach can be a valuable marketing and selling tool.
- Discover your company’s brand and stay consistent in its marketing.
An essential part of making your business stand out is understanding your brand. Just having a unique brand can be what makes your business stand out and feel more personal to customers. That's because they feel like you “get them” based on how the business presents itself. Most companies come up with a brand in the early stage of creation, but a brand can extend past a logo.
Making a brand voice.
A brand voice helps you take your brand and personify it. When you write posts, blogs, or emails for the company to customers, do so in a specific tone that highlights the kind of people you’re trying to market to. Does your brand have a peppy personality, trying to reach out to exercise enthusiasts who love improving their bodies while having a positive attitude? Or is your company too cool for school and informational, targeting gamers who want personalized water bottles?
A brand voice doesn’t have to have a crazy backstory but having this image can make it easier for your brand to come off consistently, which is key.
- Share that brand voice with your customers and online followers through the web, social media, and advertising.
Having a clear idea of your brand and brand voice is great but won’t help you reach out to customers if you don’t share and include them in your company culture. By creating a community around your brand and voice, you can gain new customers who might have been unaware of your product before, even though they lie in your target demographic.
Think of innovative ways you can get the brand into the world. With the internet and social media culture, it may be easier than you think. Creating a social media page for your business is the typical practice nowadays but posting engaging things to your account can attract new customers as well. Even if you only post about products, framing every post within the voice of your company will make your business stand out.
Consider investing in sponsoring a niche youtuber or influences for an innovative marketing tactic. While you may want to build a certain customer base, some influences and youtubers have already gathered your desired demographic. A great way to then get them interested in your product, is by sponsoring someone they already enjoy.
If you offer a tangible product or program the influencer can try for themselves, you also get the benefit of their review to add to your business’s value.
- Create new engagement content based on the history of each customer.
Continue to gather feedback, even after you’ve established a better system of customer engagement. A state of perfection is impossible for any single business to achieve, but you need to constantly improve to keep pace with the market. Feedback will keep your business evolving and profitable.
Understanding what other products or “taste” elements your customers prefer can help you make your brand stand out above the competition. You may understand better color options to offer your customers, or you can employ features from other similar products that your customer also enjoys.
Implementing these Tactics
Not sure how to start creating personalized experiences or a brand voice? Try offering a feedback survey, where you can ask customers certain questions about their past experiences and purchases to gather data on what’s working (and what isn’t).
If your company involves a subscription service, work together with your IT department to measure the custom preferences of each person to make their subscription unique to them each and every month. For example, companies that send out monthly gift boxes of assorted goods will usually choose items that the customer is known to love or need.
Making the Most of Your Sales Team
The best way to stay in control of your sales enablement practices is through a marketing management platform that delivers customized all-in-one tools to you and your team. You should always be in the driver’s seat when it comes to driving up that bottom line, and a marketing asset management system can equip your sales team with the right tools they need to stay enabled. Connect with FuseBox One to learn more about getting your Marketing Management Platform!