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5 Keys to Sales Engagement That Will Increase Sales

The answer to the question “What is sales engagement” is evolving. This blog discusses the innovative approaches and channels modern sellers use to engage with their prospects.

Author: Chaz Van de Motter - Chief Executive Officer

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What is sales engagement?

In its most basic form, sales engagement is the series of sales touchpoints a salesperson completes in order to educate and sell a specific prospect on their offer. 

How did sales engagement start?

The earliest form of sales engagement was door to door selling. Made popular by the Kirby Company, salespeople would engage their customers by knocking on their door whether it be their place of business or home. This model still exists and is most commonly seen in the solar power and home remodel space. 


When doing door to door sales, reps are taught a very specific pitch to recite when given FaceTime with customers.

A good social selling example is when the conversation flows naturally. The sales process turns into a conversation in which you are learning about each others businesses.

sales engagement

What is the Sale Engagement Process?

Finding the Decision Maker

The process usually starts by finding the decision maker or person responsible for approving financial decisions before giving the pitch. In residential door to door sales engagement this decision maker is the head of household where in business door to door the decision maker is usually the business owner or a VP level executive. 

Establishing that you understand their pain

There is no better way to build trust than to show empathy to the pain point your prospect is facing and position yourself as the expert that can alleviate that pain. If prospecting is done properly, sales reps will know exactly what pain the decision maker is facing and present a clear solution to that pain. 

Fielding Objections

No sales engagement process is complete without a few objections. From “I’m not interested” to “I’m really busy”, a good sales rep prepares ways to overturn objections. After all, this is the easy part. The challenging part is finding the right stakeholder to influence and actually have the chance to have a conversation. 

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How is Sales Engagement is Changing?

As technology and communication have evolved, so have buyer preferences when it comes to sales engagement. Traditional door knocking (I.e. showing up unannounced) has gone out of style as it is not an easily trackable or scalable strategy. Rather, sales teams have turned to more modern forms of sales engagement such as cold calling, email and LinkedIn engagement. These forms of sales engagement are much more efficient and oftentimes more effective than door knocking. Furthermore metrics such as email open rate and phone call answer rate allow sellers to leverage data to improve outreach success in a sophisticated way. 

cold Emailing

Email is considered the premier place to sell. It is a required channel in terms of attracting and starting conversations with possible clients. The reason for email’s dominance in the sales engagement area is obvious: It works at scale and everyone has an email address. 


Every step of email can be automated which is why it is so desirable. It is the most scalable way to communicate and oftentimes executives spend the majority of their time outside of meetings in their email inbox. Furthermore  you can run A/B tests, create segmented campaigns and measure effectiveness with ease. 


Of course all good things must come to an end, though. In 2020 a mere 18% of sales emails were opened. It was reported that the average person’s business email inbox had over 651 unread emails at any given moment. Additionally, on .6% of total outreach via email last year lead to scheduled sales appointments. So while email is the most scalable, it is oftentimes the least engaged with the medium of communication. 


Similarly to how door knocking was phased out due to unwanted visitors disrupting the office, email seems to be losing some of its dominance as buyers have been conditioned by sellers who have exploited automation with transaction sales messaging. Despite its downfalls, however, email will forever have a place in any good sales strategy. 

cold calling

Cold calling is cited as salespeople’s least favorite activity on the job. And with good reason. Cold calling is a game of precision and repetition. It is guaranteed that almost all the cold calls you make will lead to the dial tone, however, cold calling has the opportunity to lead to quality conversations with decision makers. 


Cold calling has something that email does not have. Proof that you are not automating a transactional sales attempt, because you are literally on the phone talking to them. Also it is harder to say no or be rude on the phone compared to behind a screen in your email inbox. For these reasons cold calling still holds a valuable place in sales engagement. Cold calling is a relative of door knocking due to its personal nature, however, cold calling is much more scalable than walking from one door to the next. 

social media outreach

Social outreach is the new kid on the block when it comes to sales engagement. LinkedIn has led the way when it comes to social media sales engagement. With over 690 million professionals on the platform, there are plenty of opportunities to build relationships and sell products or services on LinkedIn. 


Many sellers are attempting to automate sales engagement. This has damaged LinkedIn’s reputation as the platform has begun to turn into what some call a “pitch fest”. Due to this fact, LinkedIn has begun cracking down on automated sales engagement as an attempt to preserve the personal touch of LinkedIn… something email is lacking. 


Other platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp have also become viable places to coordinate sales engagement. Although this contrarian approach to sales engagement is frowned upon by some sales leaders, others swear by social selling as a way to generate leads. 


Social media possesses something that email and cold calling do not have. A face to put to the name. Social profiles show everything from job history, to passions to family. These native attributes of social media can function as a website or sales page for your brand unlike a random email address or phone number. Additionally with 4 billion people worldwide active on social media and people in the US spending an average of 2 hours and 11 minutes on social media each day, sales engagement on social media is beginning to be taken more and more seriously. 


Social media engagement takes frequency and personalization. You have to prove to people on social media that you are dedicated to starting a conversation with them through consistent social outreach. Without consistency in engagement on platforms like LinkedIn, it is hard to find success on social platforms.

Sales Engagement Software

Due to the seller’s adoption of these modern methods of selling, Forrester recently coined sales engagement as an official software category last year. Software companies such as Outreach and Salesloft have emerged as a required part of an enterprise sales team’s tech stack. Due to sales engagement technology’s ability to make salespeople more efficient, sellers are unlocking ways to scale their sales outreach past simply going door to door. 

Personalization versus Automation

As sellers have become more accustomed to automation, buyers inboxes have begun to fill with blatantly automated sales messaging. Many sellers have subscribed to a “law of averages” approach meaning the more sales touchpoints sent, the more sales. The problem with automation at scale is that personalization suffers. Your messaging starts to become less tailored to recipients making the sales engagement less compelling. This leads to buyer dissatisfaction.


Personalizing at scale is no easy task. It takes a calculated approach and oftentimes a smaller more concentrated list of prospects. Whoever said that the more people you have to sell to, the more you sell? 


Personalization and frequency of outreach are the keys to getting in touch with in-demand prospects. In order to stand out from the ravenous pack of sellers, your sales engagement must be eye catching and personal or you will end up like the other “law of averages” sellers. Archived and ignored. 

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