4 Ways Engagement Analytics Can Help You Sell Faster—and Smarter

Sales organizations face mounting pressures. They're being tasked to generate more revenue-driven business profit while operating in a 'digitally-enabled B2B sales model' with shrinking access to prospects.

To address these pain points, organizations are turning to engagement analytics. Leveraging real-time data, engagement analytics can increase sales efficiencies and speed conversion rates across multiple stages of the revenue funnel—from prospecting to close.

To move from one sales stage to the next requires an understanding of the buyers' needs and challenges as well as execution of specific sales activities. In a sales model where buyers are further along in the purchasing process before reaching out to sales, traditional sales processes don't work. Here are four ways engagement analytics can help deliver buyer insight, across each sales stage.

1. It leads to smarter sales prospecting. It's estimated that up to half of a sales team's selling time is spent on unproductive prospecting. Engagement analytics help sales organizations reduce that wasted time by streamlining and prioritizing their efforts.

Engagement analytics facilitate more intelligent prospecting by quickly revealing which prospects are most engaged with sales content and emails. With instant insight into buyer engagement, teams can quickly filter the good leads from the bad, so team efforts can be focused where they will have the most success.

When you combine engagement analytics with automation, the value proposition goes up. Volume is critical for sales teams to achieve their revenue goals. With automation, sales organizations can quickly and easily send out hundreds, even thousands, of emails to a group of leads and immediately see engagement, so they can focus their efforts where there's actual interest—engaging smarter and more efficiently.

2. It can provide more meaningful customer interactions. With insight into a prospect's particular area of interest, sales organizations also gain the ability to personalize outreach—sending prospects case studies or other collateral specific to their particular needs. According to Aberdeen Group research, personalized content and follow-up can increase conversion rates up to 36 percent.

Engagement analytics can show a prospect's interactions with content at a very deep level with visibility into links clicked, documents downloaded, and page-by-page views. Engagement analytics can show which email templates have the highest open and response rates to understand what messaging resonates the most for follow-up.

This data is invaluable to sales organizations. Teams can spot in real time what prospects have the most interest in making a change and engage with them at the right time. By monitoring buyer behaviors and what interests them the most, sales teams can also tailor messaging for higher-quality engagement.

Using engagement analytics to qualify opportunities with greater understanding about buyer interests and pain points, organizations are increasing their quality connection rates up to 4x.

3. It can give sales leaders greater pipeline understanding. Engagement analytics arm sales leaders with immediate insight into how their reps interact with prospects. They can see whether rep activity is being performed at the right level to convert prospecst to the next stage.

Leaders can see whether reps are doing all the defined activities for that stage of the funnel, flagging milestones that happened—or didn't happen. With this knowledge in hand, sales leaders can quickly step in to coach reps and course-correct on execution before deals are lost.

Sales leaders can also rely on engagement data to help validate their pipeline and call out any outliers. If a rep is saying that a deal is going to close, but there hasn't been any engagement, sales leaders can use that knowledge to make adjustments

4. It allows faster identification of all stakeholders. Without insight into all the decision makers, sales organizations can face potential bottlenecks—and not even know it. According to Gartner Group, there are an average of seven stakeholders involved in a buying decision.

By showing when proposals have been forwarded and to whom, engagement analytics can show everyone involved in the decision-making process. Knowing that a proposal has been forwarded to the CFO or legal can increase a deal's potential.

According to CSO Insights, only 33 percent of a sales rep's time today is spent actively selling. Engagement analytics deliver unified visibility throughout all stages of the sales cycle. With a data-centric view, sales organizations can make sure that they're doing the right thing at every touch point in the sales process, speeding conversions across the revenue funnel and more quickly driving new business opportunities.

Engagement analytics provide what modern sales organizations need to engage with customers, get a complete picture of the business, and accelerate the sales process.

Suresh Balasubramanian is CEO for LiveHive, Inc.,  whose sales acceleration platform empowers sales leaders with insights into the effectiveness of their team’s sales efforts. Suresh is a seasoned software industry executive with more than 20 years of operations and senior management experience. Before LiveHive, Suresh served as CEO for Armor5, and GM worldwide at Adobe Software. You can reach Suresh at ceo@livehive.com and follow @LiveHive.

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