Content Strategy: The Top Sales Engagement Challenge For 2022

By Lloyd Lofton

The TOPO Sales Engagement Leadership Report released in December 2020 focused on the innovative practice of sales engagement across high-growth sales teams in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report takes a deep dive into the issues of sales enablement and the factors that prevent best-practice results.

It provided my team with the instruction and information we needed to address in 2021 as we develop strategies for our continued journey towards excellent service to our clients, converting all consumer interactions to a continuous flow of relationship building and predictable revenue growth.

Although the report was published in 2020, after re-reading it, here are some lessons we will continue to implement for growth and engagement in 2022.  They are lessons that your practice can implement as well.

The Challenge

Sales engagement platforms are a mission-critical technology investment necessary to implement a sales engagement strategy.

The overwhelming top sales engagement challenge is content strategy – the need for an effective sales engagement playbook and sales process.

Although sellers are responsible for creating the messaging, they lack the infrastructure and experience to scale in an optimizable fashion, which leads to disorganized content libraries, and ineffective and unchecked content. This results in poor buyer experiences.

The goal is the successful alignment of touch patterns, including but not limited to text messaging, LinkedIn and other social media, video, direct mail and chat. These touch patterns must be organized by segment and the minimum content needed to deploy the messaging.

Great seller experiences are paramount to the facilitation of better buying experiences. Sellers can use the technology within the context of their work, such as email inboxes, as well as use it directly on their accounts, contacts and opportunities in their customer relationship management system.

What is an effective sales engagement strategy?

An effective sales engagement strategy includes prescriptive guidance on how to prioritize leads and accounts; how to store relevant research; how to develop a touch pattern decision tree and guided workflows, and how to create an easy-to-search content library tagged by scenario, product and use case.

What is an effective playbook?

An effective sales engagement playbook visualizes the common scenarios and triggers for sellers to enroll prospects into touch patterns, and then simplifies the number of decisions sellers must run through to pull relevant content into those scenarios.

Getting a team of sellers to adopt a new way of working requires an effective playbook process.

That playbook process must be designed to prioritize; to recognize common buying behaviors, and to select appropriate touch patterns, messages or content to engage the buyer with minimal friction.

Automation Capabilities – A Top Factor For Success

Workflows design and automate processes based on pre-defined business rules. Previous out-of-the-box capabilities in automated or augmented known workflows must be revamped. Today, more advanced workflows completely shift the way sellers prioritize their time.

Personalized messaging automation improves reply and meeting rates, creating a high-impact selling activity. This is accomplished by leveraging available data, messaging and content to craft targeted messages using a combination of custom copy and prewritten templates.

Spearheading this is artificial intelligence that creates a “Google-like” translation of every customer interaction. This creates a “story so far” so sellers know exactly what occurred on every call and have coaching opportunities at the point of deviation to develop best-in-class sales teams.

Automation creates triggers to enroll buyers into targeted touch patterns automatically, reprioritize buyers in real-time based on frequent engagement with emails, and use artificial intelligence and machine learning to suggest specific messaging-based scenarios.

2022 Success Strategies

Buyers need sellers to exceed expectations at every interaction. This requires sellers to have the ability to facilitate buying decisions virtually.

Selling teams can create extreme value when they can convert those activities into revenue with state-of-the-art, role-specific, behavior-activated sales enablement tools.

Our new selling environment and 2022 success requires a sales engagement automation strategy, personalized messaging and an effective sales engagement playbook strategy.

We’re fine-tuning our sales enablement sales process. Is it time for you to do the same?