Let’s be honest - buyer engagement
today is more challenging than ever before. But before we get into what's contributing to this situation and how to fix it, let Us take a closer look at what buyer engagement is, and how it is critically different from customer engagement
Buyer engagement is not about completing sales. Therefore, tracking buyer engagement is not the same as tracking your sales performance. It is a more holistic view of a buyer’s response to your organization’s offerings and actions. Engagement starts before the buyer even gets added to your prospect list, and continues well beyond the purchase.
Customer engagement typically happens in a B2B environment, and the customer is typically an individual. In the case of buyer engagement, the customer is an organization, and the seller is not selling to an individual, but rather to the buyer’s team. While things like social media and a brand’s public perception play a major role in customer engagement, when it comes to buyer engagement, personal relationships go a lot further.
Buyer engagement is critical because there is an extremely direct and positive correlation between buyer engagement and revenue. This is because engagement is the first step to building trust, and trust is how you get loyalty and advocacy. When buyers are fully engaged, not only do they feel knowledgeable about the product, they are a lot more invested and are able to make decisions much more quickly.
So why are sellers panicking about how hard it is to engage with buyers? According to research by Gartner, 3 out of 4 buyers prefer a rep-free buying experience, so much so that they won’t even pick up a cold sales call. This means buyers proactively try to have fewer conversations with sales, making it extremely challenging for sellers to keep them engaged.
To make matters worse, the number of potential stakeholders that need to stay engaged continues to grow, as does the amount of touch points of these engagements. The confluence of these two factors results in a long, arduous, and often unsuccessful sales cycle.
Here are some tested strategies sales teams can implement to keep this problem at bay.
Understanding your Customers Deeply
First and foremost, you have to become a buyer-centric organization. You have to understand the wants and needs of your customers deeply and make those the backbone of your overarching sales strategy. At Redington, everything starts with our customers, and we spend the majority of our time and effort understanding their needs so we can serve them better. Relevant, timely, and targeted messaging on the right channel is the name of the game.
When you understand your customer deeply, you can empathize and communicate effectively and become their trusted advisor. At that point, the two most important things in any buyer's mind - cost, and risk - go out of the window.
No effective sales campaign today can be achieved without the use of technology. CSOs must stay abreast of the frontier software applications available on the market, and think strategically about where technology can be used in the workflows.
Some good places to start could be automating parts of the buyer discovery process, gathering and Analyzing data on buyer engagement and other KPIs throughout the sales cycle, creating personalized messaging to keep stakeholders deeply engaged, and feeding analytics and learnings back into sales content to ensure comprehensive improvement across all functions.
Practicing Sales Enablement
Sometimes, you have to look within. Sales enablement, when executed properly, brings together a myriad of resources that can tremendously improve the knowledge base and productivity levels of your sales team. Sales enablement can increase seller motivation and decrease churn, automate redundant tasks, free up some much-needed time that can be spent with buyers, and increase revenue through increased adoption of sales technology and content.
To conclude, boosting buyer engagement should be a top priority for any sales organization if they want to succeed in today’s hypercompetitive business landscape. Deploying these practices into your overall sales strategy will bear fruit in the short and long term.