Sales

5 Best Practices for Deploying a Sales Engagement Solution

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As marketers, we know the challenge of ensuring sales reps follow and use best practices processes, sales playbooks, and marketing content we painstakingly created. Without the right technology, sales leaders and marketing teams may face a range of alignment issues, such as lack of visibility into which outbound messages, cadence, and tactics work or don’t work.

That’s where a sales engagement solution comes in. A great sales engagement application enables reps to engage with customers with the right message, at the right time, at every stage of the buyer journey—through digitized playbooks, multi-touch campaigns, a mix of personalization and automation, and rich analytics.

So, if you just got a sales engagement solution, or are considering getting one for your sales organization, how do you begin rolling it out to your reps?

Your sales engagement program is only as strong as your strategy and partnerships behind the implementation. At its core, a successful rollout relies on a tight partnership between sales and marketing.

Here are 5 steps to successfully roll out a sales engagement solution:

1. Engage Your Key Stakeholders

Following Marketo’s recent acquisition of industry-leading sales platform ToutApp, our marketing team recently went through this process ourselves to implement ToutApp in partnership with our SDR team and came out with a myriad of great learnings and best practices. From the start, I made a list of internal stakeholders that might touch the sales engagement program to ensure all needs and perspectives are accounted for. Then I invited everyone for a project kick-off meeting to discuss the timeline, roles, and responsibilities.

For your project kick-off meeting, I’d suggest including the following stakeholders:

  • Sales Director: The Sales Director is your most important stakeholder. Partner together to create and get feedback on playbooks and campaigns. Director buy-in is critical; she will also be your champion to ensure sales adoption.
  • Sales Enablement: Align with sales enablement to incorporate your tool into the overall sales process. With this support, SDRs will be trained and ready to go on your tool from Day 1.
  • Demand Generation/Field Marketing: Outbounding email templates should be a part of every demand gen campaign. Empower your marketing colleagues to create and add email templates in your tool on their own, from roadshow invites to product announcements.
  • Product or Segment Marketing: These teams will ensure sales messaging is aligned with the go-to-market strategy, such as by vertical, persona, or competitor swaps.

2. Map Your Sales Journey and Touchpoints

Whether you’re replacing a sales engagement platform or setting one up for the first time, this is your chance to start anew. Start with an audit—dust off your sales playbook, review your sales process, and get feedback from sales leadership.  Gather all existing email templates and examine them critically. Check that your messaging and content are up to date and reflective of your go-to-market strategy.

With information from your audit, you’re now ready to visualize your playbook. Use a digital sales playbook framework to map out your sales process gates and internal and external content to each sales stage. This provides a clear view on any content gaps or areas that need updating. As always, meet with your stakeholders to review and agree on the framework once it’s laid out.

3. Collaborate on Email Campaigns and Templates

A common mistake marketers make is developing email templates in a silo. Ask your top reps to send you examples of their most successful emails. Then plan a couple rounds of feedback from SDR managers and reps to make sure emails are relevant and useful. This will eliminate typical issues, such as emails that are too long or contain too much “marketing-speak.” Finally, don’t just “set it and forget it.” Using the analytics available in your tool, revisit your templates every few weeks with sales leadership to optimize messaging, subject lines, and content to improve performance over time.

4. Create a Scalable Structure and Taxonomy

Be sure to choose a sales engagement solution that can scale with your team and campaigns. Developing a clear folder structure and taxonomy will keep your instance organized in the long run and make it easy for reps to find and share templates. Create template categories based on key sales plays: inbound, outbound, industry, competitive, persona, events, and more. Here is an example taxonomy:

Outbound—B2B

Outbound—B2C

Outbound—Tech Software

Outbound—Tech Hardware, etc.

5. Jointly Launch Your Sales Engagement Solution in a Sales Training

With your sales leadership, collaborate on the training agenda and delegate equal speaking parts between sales and marketing. Prior to the training, assign pre-work so each rep has access to the tool and the right CRM and email permissions. An interactive training helps reps follow along as you walk them through using templates, launching campaigns, and best practices.

Aligning on a sales engagement tool is an important element in a true sales and marketing partnership. Through consistent and effective engagement with prospects and customers, both marketing and sales organizations can work together to drive more pipeline and hit revenue targets.

If you have any tips on deploying a sales engagement tool, we’d love to hear from you! Share your best practices.

If you’re interested in leveraging ToutApp for your own organization, reach out here to speak with one of our sales experts.