Overcoming the Prospect Engagement Challenge

July 20, 2015 | Ann Lambert
Overcoming the Prospect Engagement Challenge

Getting in touch with prospects these days is tough. While the average sales rep makes fifty two phone calls daily, less than 1% of those calls are actually returned. And email? Less than 24% of sales emails are even OPENED, let alone read. The seemingly insurmountable task of getting and KEEPING prospects' attention is further complicated by the overwhelming availability of information online. 

Your competitors are also working REALLY hard to grab your customers’ attention and hold it. Naturally, they want to create a vision for the customer that ensures their solutions the right choice – not yours.

How can sales enablement technology help keep prospects engaged?

This excerpt from the free eBook, Sales Enablement for Dummies, offers some insight.

How do you capture attention for your product with so many other things clamoring for your prospect’s attention? You’re not only competing with other vendors — you’re competing against the very real possibility that the prospect will make no decision at all. So, it’s critical that the sales rep knows what message she needs to deliver, when, and to whom.

So, how does getting your prospect’s attention turn into an actual sales meeting or call? When reaching out to a prospect, a salesperson needs to have an understanding of customer motivations and concerns.

By providing customer insight data, a sales enablement system allows reps to prepare more effectively and deliver the right message to encourage the prospect to take the next step. To continue to move down the sales funnel, the rep is presented with an important choice: He needs to decide what to send the prospect to show that the solution speaks directly to his specific problems. If the rep shows that he understands the buyer’s concerns, it increases the chances that he can move forward. He can’t send the same messages and expect to get a meeting. He needs content that helps him to reframe the problem around the unique needs of the prospect to make his product the only right decision. Perhaps most important, he needs to stand out from the pack.

Executives have become less tolerant of lifeless sales materials. They need engaging content that answers their questions and holds their interest. It’s no wonder then that 59 percent of senior execs prefer watching videos over reading text, and the majority view more online video content now than in years past.

Lots of content at the ready is helpful, but only if it has direct application. The content must also be easily customized so the buyer feels like the content has been created specifically for her.

It’s not a trivial undertaking. To underscore that point, let’s look at examples of the type of content that you need to create and map it to the sales cycle:

  • Awareness: Webinars, tips, blog articles, thought leader posts, eBooks

  • Interest: Events, videos, PowerPoint presentations, podcasts, whitepapers, email templates, how-to’s

  • Consideration: Testimonials, product demos, e?books, on?demand videos

  • Close and follow-up: Proposals, meeting follow?up videos, FAQs

  • Renew: Product updates, annual conferences, executive announcements

By delivering content in context with the sales process, reps can be more confident that they are sharing the right resources and messages in every situation. Content can be mapped to leads, contacts, and opportunities right within the CRM, and organized by persona, industry, state of the sales cycle, or any attribute.

From a prospecting perspective, an effective sales enablement system should also enable timely, impactful follow?up after content has been shared. Automated monitoring tools allow you to determine how prospects are engaging with your on-demand materials.

With a strong sales engagement system, you can determine which content has been opened, when, and by whom. Customer?facing staff must be able to track response and retention rates for specific prospects. Sales reps can be alerted when materials are viewed and contact prospects when they’re most engaged.

For more tips on increasing sales productivity and putting sales reps in the best position to succeed, download the full eBook, Sales Enablement for Dummies.

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