B2B Sales Engagement: Ways to Enhance it

November 27, 2023

Should you engage with your B2B prospects, especially when they haven't converted into your customers? Whether your focus is short-term or long-term sales, the answer is yes.

Gone are the days when you just relied on cold calling and cold emailing to reach the prospects and start the initial conversation. It doesn’t work anymore. In today’s sales landscape, you need multi-touch points—emails, calling, and social media—and you need a balanced combination to convert your prospects. You’re likely to fall back when you don’t have a streamlined sales engagement process in place.  Let's dive into this article to understand everything you ought to know about sales engagement.

What is B2B Sales Engagement?

B2B sales engagement focuses on interacting with other businesses, fostering relationships, and providing personalized solutions to prospects based on their needs. To achieve this, you need to understand your ideal customers and address their pain points or problems.

To understand your ideal customer, start with an in-depth analysis of your current customer base (if you have any) and market research. Are you focusing on a single customer's persona or multiple personas? To successfully identify these personas, determine the following elements:

  • Job titles
  • Responsibilities
  • Collaterals to get buy-in
  • Why should they care about your product
  • Challenges and pain points
  • Desires or needs

Then, you can offer a personalized solution relevant to the customer’s pain points.  

💡Pro tip: If you’re having a hard time creating the persona, use Hubspot’s Make My Persona tool.

Stages of a B2B Sales Engagement Cycle

A B2B sales engagement cycle is divided into seven stages:

1. Prospecting

Sales reps identify potential customers by researching and identifying target markets that require your products and services. Reps use prospecting techniques such as cold emailing, cold calling, networking, and social media outreach. 

A few ways to do prospecting are:

  • Connect with prospective customers on LinkedIn. Observe their recent activity—the content they have published, people they have interacted with, their achievements, and so on. These insights will help you build rapport with the prospect over cold emails and cold calls. 
  • Go through their company's website and understand more about their product and services. Also, read the testimonials and case studies on their websites to understand the impact they have made through their product.
  • Read the product reviews on trusted review sites like G2, Capterra, and TrustRadius. What are the good and the bad things about the product that their customers have highlighted?

Now, look at the company website’s About and Contact Us page. Or, go to the company’s LinkedIn page and look for their employees under the People section. If you find a list of employees on LinkedIn, go through the list and check for employees whose job function, education, duration, and other attributes match the defined customer persona.

Next, closely follow the employees and understand what their company is doing to address their problems. To do this, you need to look at the prospect’s personal channels where they’re most active like LinkedIn and Twitter. Observe what they are tweeting or posting on their social media profile, and what kind of conversations they are engaging in.

💡Pro tip: Use tools like Sellular to add leads to your database with all the relevant information to streamline your sales engagement process. This way, when you execute cold email and cold calling campaigns, you'll have access to all the data in one place.

2. Discovery & Qualification

After you’ve conducted in-depth research about the prospects and identified their pain points, it’s time to communicate with them. Here are a few ways you can reach out to prospects and communicate with them:

Cold Calling

Once you have pulled out a prospect's contact information, prepare your cold calling script — and call the prospects to initiate the conversation. But how to execute a cold call successfully? Here are a few tips:

  • Have a strong introduction: Give it a gentle start and introduce yourself. For example, you can say something like this: I appreciate your time on the call. I’m Steve, Sales Executive at {company name} helping companies like yours solve {pain points}.
  • Showcase your company’s credibility: Share customer stories, numbers, and statistics with the prospect.
  • Find the right time to call: Analyze the previous call records to find out what days and times people mostly answer the calls, and schedule your cold calls accordingly.
💡Pro tip: Use Sellular’s voice functionality that enables domestic and international calling.

Personalized LinkedIn DMs

Use the LinkedIn search bar and find your prospect’s LinkedIn profile. Next, go to their profile and send them a personalized connection request. Personalized connection request is slightly different from just hitting the ‘Connect’ button on the prospect’s profile. When you send a personalized connection request, you’ll need to add a personal note along with the request and tell the prospect why you are sending them a connection request. 

To increase the acceptance rate for your connection requests, use this approach and start your conversations with prospects much faster. However, you’ll need to do a bit of research on the prospect’s profile to craft the personalized note to send the personal note with the connection request. Here are a few tips to craft personalized connection messages:

  • Engage with the prospect's LinkedIn posts, in case they actively create content on the platform.
  • Read their LinkedIn About section, their recent LinkedIn posts, their company products and success story

Once you send the personalized connection request and the prospect accepts the request, you’ll land directly into their inbox, and can lead the conversation. 

Personalized Twitter DMs

Find your prospects on Twitter and go to their Twitter profile. Check if their messages are opened. This is important, otherwise you won’t be able to DM the prospect. Next, send a brief message and with a nudge towards meeting them on acall. Since Twitter is a casual platform unlike LinkedIn — keep your message informal, brief, and to the point.

Automated Outreach 

Leverage email marketing and automation and create a drip email campaign based on your ideal target persona. Ideally, a drip campaign with three emails is a good start: the first email includes the pitch, the second email is the follow-up email, and the third email includes the final follow-up.

For example, Toplyne created a 3-series drip campaign to communicate with their prospects. Once they captured the prospect’s email address (given by the prospect to them), Toplyne sent them a series of emails.

The first email included a brief introduction about the company and their intention with the discovery call.

In the second email, they followed up with the prospect by sharing a few case studies to build credibility with the prospect.

In the third email, they ended the communication with the last follow up.

Side note: To create drip campaigns like these, use Sellular’s Omnichannel Sequences feature - schedule and automate sales engagement across different channels like emails, SMS, calling, and social media. 

A few questions you can ask the prospects during the discovery call include:

  • What led you to explore our product?
  • What are you looking to improve in your process or current workflow?
  • Have you tried any solutions in the past?
  • What results did you see by using the specific solution?
  • How did the resolution help in doubling down on revenue?

These questions will help you learn more about the leads, address their challenges, and offer a customized solution. For example, when you know another solution didn’t work out for the prospect, share a few case studies of how your product achieved results for your clients. Discuss the relevant pricing package that fits their needs. The goal is to qualify the lead and the questions above are a good starting point to identify whether they are the right fit for your product.

Note: Doing this helps build goodwill and shows that the rep is not just out to meet targets but is looking to form genuine relationships. The prospect may refer the rep to another prospect because the sales call left a good impression on them. 

3. Pitching

Show the prospects the real value of your product and address how it will solve their problems. Highlight those features of your product that address the exact challenges the prospects talked about. This way, you’ll be able to emphasize the benefits those specific features of your product offer.

💡Pro tip: Record a product walkthrough using product tour software like Chameleon and Navattic to showcase the value of your product by addressing prospects's specific pain points.

4. Objection Handling

Once you have pitched your product and shared the pricing with the prospects, it’s natural for them to raise objections. Some of the most common objections reps may come across include:

  • Lack of budget: Prospects have budget restraints or feel the product is too expensive.
  • Lack of trust: You’re new in the market or prospects haven’t heard about you, so prospects may not be sure of your brand.
  • Lack of need: It is not clear how your product can be integrated into the workflow of the prospects and they don’t see its usefulness.
  • Lack of urgency: Prospects don’t feel they need to address their problems at that moment.

Here are a few tips on how you can overcome these sales objections:

  • Justify your claims: Empathize with them and share their point of view. For example, if you sell a martech product and the prospect feels that the price of your product is higher than what your competitor is offering, you can show that person the gaps in the competitor’s product and how your product is filling those gaps.
  • Share social proof: Show case studies and customer stories of how you successfully helped your clients. Highlight the numbers and the results your existing and past customers have accomplished by using your product.
  • Set a reminder for follow-up: Often, prospects want more time to take the final call because of the multiple levels of decision-makers involved in the process. Set a specific day and time so they know you are waiting to hear their final decision and close the deal. 

5. Closing 

Once you have addressed the sales objections over a series of calls with multiple decision-makers, the next step is to close the deal. To finalize the contract, here are a few closing techniques you can try:

  • Offer a free trial with no strings attached to the prospect. By doing so, you're encouraging them to try out your product for a given timeframe and see the value the product offers.
  • Offer a discount or an added benefit to the prospect to create FOMo and get them to take action. This works well only in those scenarios when the prospect is already interested in purchasing the product and needs a soft nudge to finally convert.

6. Regular Check-Ins

You've converted the prospects to customers, but that's not the end. You need to constantly nurture them and develop a better post-purchase experience for them.  Focus on improving customer personas and addressing their pain points, improving your cold email and cold call scripts, optimizing your lead qualification questions and pitching values, and handling objections. This will help you improve the rate of acquiring and converting prospects. Also, record the calls with prospects that have been converted to customers and share them with the marketing and product teams to collaborate better to achieve the right positioning, and build the right features. 

💡Pro tip: Use Sellular to record sales calls and share them with prospects or stakeholders. You also get transcriptions for each call, which helps you save time to refer back to the sales call.

How to Improve Sales Engagement

Here are three ways you can improve the engagement and build an efficient sales process:

1. Leverage Solution Selling

First, ask the prospects relevant questions to understand their pain point:

  • What goals do you have for your business in general?
  • What’s holding you back from reaching your goals?
  • What solution are you currently using to address your problem?
  • Is the solution you’re currently, using actually solving your pain points?

Actively listen to their challenges. Once you are aware of the solution, provide them with a personalized solution. Remember you are not selling the product, but having a consultation with the prospect about whether or not it will solve their problems.

2. Use Personalization

Imagine a visitor spending more time on the pricing page compared to other pages. Clearly, they are exploring the pricing page, which indicates they may be interested in purchasing the product or might be thinking about it. To convert these visitors into hot leads, you need to personalize your sales outreach specific to individual prospects. Here’s how you can personalize your sales approach: 

  • Create CRM as the single source of information for sales teams, which streamlines collecting the leads data and track the lead’s behavior and understand how to interact with the website, what kind of content they are viewing and how long they have been spending on your website. For example, Hubspot and Salesforce. This way, the salesperson has visibility into the lead’s score based on the actions they have performed.
  • Personalize the outreach with cold calls, cold emails, and LinkedIn for users who have shown the highest intent. With Sellular, you can send multi-touch sales email sequences, send text messages, and do domestic and international calls.
  • Track the visitor’s behavior on your website
  • Use live chats to welcome visitors, address immediate objections, and focus on customer satisfaction.

3. Focus on Sales Engagement Analytics

Understand data-driven insights to track the performance of your email outreach campaigns, optimize your sales process, and close more deals. Some of the sales engagement metrics you need to focus on are Email open rate, Lead conversion rate, Average deal size, Sales cycle length, Cost of sales, Customer lifetime value, Win/loss rate and Sales per rep. To extract these data-driven insights, you can either use a separate sales analytics platform integrated with your CRM, or an inbuilt analytics feature in your CRM. The best way is to opt for sales engagement software with in-built analytics.

To track analytics for multi-touch campaigns (across emails, SMS, calling, and LinkedIn), use Sellular's Omnichannel Sales Sequence.

Sales Engagement Platforms to Use

Sellular’s State of B2B Sales Engagement Software reveals that 61% of sales leaders indicate that their sales team does not have enough of the right tools to build the strongest possible sales pipeline. Here are three of the best sales engagement platforms you should consider:

Mixmax - Sales Engagement Platform for Small Businesses

Mixmax is a powerful sales engagement tool that integrates with Salesforce and Gmail, creates personalized email sequences, manages scheduling and calendar invites to initiate discovery calls, and tracks the recipient’s activity on all the emails you send.

Top Features
  • Lets you initiate calls from inbox or Salesforce with the Mixmax Dialer
  • Offers email enhancement elements such as polls and surveys to increase engagement and improve reply rates
  • Sends emails based on when the recipient is most active using Mixmax’s Recommended Send Time feature 
  • Offers email outreach with Gmail
  • Offers omnichannel sequences, tasks, and automation
  • Provides comprehensive reporting information to make smarter decisions
  • Needs an external CRM to work on
  • Doesn’t offer SMS/ MMS texting 
  • Doesn’t offer smart views to update contacts & opportunities in your CRM
  • Offers Salesforce integration & outbound calling only in the highest pricing plan

Mixmax offers five pricing plans: Free plan, SMB, Growth, Growth + Salesforce, and Enterprise.

  • Free Plan: This plan offers calendar scheduling and basic email productivity features for 5 users, and is free to use.
  • SMB: This plan offers email campaigns and calendar scheduling features for 10 users, and is priced at $29 per user per month.
  • Growth: This plan offers sales automation for growing teams, and is priced at $49 per user per month.
  • Growth + Salesforce: This platform offers all the sales engagement tools along with Salesforce integration, and is priced at $69 per user per month
  • Enterprise: This plan offers customized features based on your team’s preferences for larger teams.

Sellular - Sales Engagement Platform for High Growth Teams

Sellular is a sales engagement platform that lets you send cold outreach emails, make phone calls, send texts, build outbound sequences, manage contacts, accounts and deals - without an external CRM, keep track of activities & tasks, and manage Salesforce updates in real-time - when integrated. 

Top Features
  • Lets you schedule and automate multi-touch sales cadences (or sequences) across multiple sales channels — email, SMS, calling, and social media.
  • Manage your Contacts, Accounts, and Opportunities without using an external CRM
  • Provides a unified view for all your due and overdue sales tasks to plan, organize, customize, and track productivity.
  • Lets you create, save, and reuse email templates for repetitive tasks, especially when sending the same email to multiple prospects (or leads)
  • Provides advanced call features to Voicemail Drop & add multiple participants on outbound calls, transcriptions call & voicemails
  • Captures SMS conversations in the CRM for a specific lead
  • Has a clean and easy-to-navigate interface
  • Allows CRM updates in real-time
  • Provides the ability to call, email, text, and manage sequences, multiple inboxes, and all outreach tasks in one place 
  • Lets you execute cold email outreach and outbound calls
  • Offers MMS and SMS texting powered by Plivo 
  • Doesn’t have extra features, beyond sales engagement, to manage sales forecasts bring revenue intelligence, manage customer success
  • Doesn’t offer deep platform customization to cater to complex enterprise sales workflows

Sellular offers two pricing plans: 

  • Growth: $39 per user per month
  • Business: $69 per user per month

Outreach - Sales Engagement Platform for Enterprises

Outreach offers everything from prospecting to deal management and forecasting to close more pipelines and increase revenue. 

Top Features
  • Lets you auto-dial the call to your contact, bridge the call to your phone, and forward the call with the Voice Suite
  • Enables joining and recording live meetings and capturing real-time transcription with Kaia, Outreach’s virtual assistant
  • Identifies winnable opportunities and gets intelligent insights from the software increasing the chances of closing the deal with the Deal Insights feature
  • Helps you adjust assumptions and analyze trends with the Forecast feature
  • Provides an environment for sellers, buyers and stakeholders to collaborate on the deal progress  
  • Offers responsive customer support that’s optimized for enterprise teams
  • Provides solid sales engagement capabilities to call, email, text, and manage sequences, and all outreach tasks from one place  
  • Offers additional capabilities like Deal intelligence, Rep Coaching, Sales forecasting that help large sales teams perform better
  • Requires long-term contracts and a minimum of 1-year commitment
  • Has slower customer support for non-enterprise teams
  • Offers paid implementation and setup with slow onboarding
  • Has complex features that require dedicated training and learning
  • Requires users to pay for unused features upfront
  • Experiences technical errors in email sequences at times
  • Has complexities in exporting lists from Outreach

Outreach offers two pricing plans: Standard and Professional:

  • Standard: Priced at $100 per user per month, this plan includes basic sales engagement functionalities used to engage with customers.
  • Professional: This plan includes deeper insights to understand buyer interactions, reps coaching, and helps create & close the pipeline at scale.
Note: You can find the pricing for each of these plans upon request from Outreach  

Speed Up Sales Engagement With Sellular

Constantly engaging prospects, collecting lead information in the database, and executing engagement campaigns are not straightforward tasks. As a sales leader, it gets challenging to manage your sales tech stack when you're using different tools. Your sales process will be scattered. 

Enter Sellular, a sales engagement software. With the help of Sellular, you can:

  • Schedule multi-touch sales campaigns across channels like email, calls, SMS, and LinkedIn.
  • Integrate your database with Salesforce
  • Leverage powerful voice and messaging functionality.

If you're ready to speed up your sales engagement process, book a demo with us!

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