I had the opportunity to discuss the benefits of using Sales Engagement Platforms (SEPs) for work from home (WFH) staff with Sunshine Levin of SalesLoft. Levin emphasized that many Sales Engagement tools assist remote sales reps and managers. SEPs help with sales productivity, activity and account prioritization, sales messaging, activity capture, pipeline analytics, and rep coaching.
Levin was recently promoted to Director of Customer and Analyst Relations and had expected to be discussing SalesLoft’s new product positioning and product packaging at their March REV2020 conference. Instead of greeting 2000 customers and prospects in San Francisco, the firm conducted its keynote session virtually and is now communicating their value proposition in a new work environment.
At the heart of Sales Engagement Platforms are multi-channel cadences that provide a multi-step approach to establishing an initial relationship with prospects. Reps are not only working from home but so are most of their likely targets. Thus, cadences and messaging should be adjusted in the near-term. Reaching out to prospects via standard channels is likely to be low yield due to WFH, so diversifying communications across multiple channels such as phone, email, social, SMS, and tactile (swag and e-gifting) make sense.
Also, with prospects at home feeling isolated, personalized one-to-one videos are likely to be even more effective. Reps can insert personal videos into emails or social links. SalesLoft research indicates that videos from Vidyard, Videolicious, and VidGrid generate two to three times the email open rates versus general emails.
While Sales Engagement Platforms offer templated emails, they are more effective if personalized. SalesLoft’s research found that 20% personalization is optimal. Personalization helps refine the message for each client and conveys authenticity. It also allows reps to modify their messaging around the current work, health, and economic environment.
SalesLoft, along with many of its peers, offers LinkedIn SNAP connectors, which are integrated into cadences. Reps can send InMails, request connections, submit introduction requests, and conduct research from within SEPs and CRMs.
“LinkedIn-specific steps help salespeople stay focused, do less application switching, and deliver a better sales experience.”Sunshine Levin, SalesLoft Director of Customer and Analyst Relations
SalesLoft now supports LinkedIn’s Data Validation Flag, which warns users that a contact is no longer at a company listed in the CRM. If the company differs between LinkedIn and the CRM, a “Not at Company Flag” is written to the CRM. The flag is displayed to the rep and available as a trigger for contact clean-ups and removal from marketing campaigns. SalesLoft automation rules can then trigger workflows based on whether a buying committee member has left or whether an admin or champion at a customer has changed jobs. These insights help reps evaluate whether an opportunity may be in jeopardy, the likelihood of closing this quarter pushed out, or they need to move quickly to identify new buying committee members or champions.
“Customers leveraging LinkedIn Sales Navigator Data Validation are now able to use real-time insights to influence critical workflows when their prospects and customers change jobs,” said SalesLoft CMO Sydney Sloan. “Ultimately, this saves time spent reviewing customer data manually, and it will increase the quality of all opportunities as salespeople progress through the buying cycle.”
Continue to Part II of this discussion.