If you search “sales engagement”, Google automatically prioritizes and suggests the most common search which is “sales engagement software”. Founders and sales leaders are using this search daily to hunt for tools that will make their sales teams more effective. Upon searching “sales engagement tools”, you discover a wide array of results ranging from tools like Hubspot Sales Hub to data augmentation software like Clearbit. All of these tools assist in some way with sales engagement.
The catch is that none of these tools operate without human interaction. After working with hundreds of sales organizations, I have witnessed that a majority of companies buy tools that end up underutilized or, even worse, never used. Why does this happen? Sales engagement isn’t just a tool. It doesn’t magically change sales forever once you purchase it. Rather, it is a philosophy and a culture that has to be maintained, managed, and curated all along the way.
Sales engagement is a philosophy and a culture that has to be maintained, managed, and curated all along the way.
Sales Engagement Philosophy
Philosophy: a particular system of philosophical thought.
The founder, sales, and marketing leadership must have a sales philosophy; a way of thinking that requires their teams to stay engaged on an ongoing basis.
Let me share an example. At FounderScale, our sales philosophy is that all people in our Hubspot CRM that fit our ideal customer profile must be contacted every 21-30 days by a human with helpful content. This philosophy drives many other aspects of the business, like our content strategy. In order to deliver value, we have to have fresh content like webinars, playbooks, and guides to offer our prospects.
This philosophy also drives how we use the Hubspot tool and it ensures that it gets used. We have to contact everyone every 21-30 days and therefore Hubspot CRM has to be configured to support that initiative. The philosophy drives the use of the tool, not the other way around.
The sales philosophy and beliefs from leadership then drive the culture.
Sales Engagement Culture
Culture: the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social groups.
Now that you have a philosophy and belief system in place, you have to build it into your culture. In order to reinforce our outreach philosophy of every 21-30 days, we have to build it into everything that we do.
For example, we run weekly reports showing the percentage of people contacted in the last 30 days. Then, we ask why we haven’t contacted the people who were left out. The same report is run on a per sales rep basis to see if one person is falling behind. The marketing team constantly goes through the buyer’s journey to identify which sales outreach ideas need to be created to support our philosophy.
As the sales leader, I am constantly training people in more efficient ways to hit their numbers.
The goal is to build it into the culture at such depth that it will not go away. All reports, training, sales updates, and meetings support the philosophy through the sales engagement culture. The final litmus test for cultural change is to see if activity continues without management oversight. When a leader can go on vacation for 2 weeks, come back and see that sales engagement continues in the way that was designed, it is now part of the culture.
When a leader goes on vacation and the sales engagement continues the way it was designed, it is now part of the culture.
Here is my final, parting question for you. Is sales engagement a tool that collects dust, or is it a philosophy and culture that is built into your organization?