What is Outreach? Sales Engagement Explained


Connecting with leads is essential to growing your business. It can be difficult to figure out how to connect and stand out from the crowd, but there is one tool that can help you more than the rest: your sales engagement strategy. When you do it well, your sales team will know how to reach the right prospects at the right time, ensuring that no opportunity is left on the table. 

Let’s take a closer look at what sales engagement entails and how you can put it to work to make your sales funnel more efficient, productive, and prospect-focused for maximum results. 

What is outreach?

Outreach simply refers to the process used to connect with your prospects and encourage them to do business with your company. It’s an ongoing effort that includes several strategies to find the best prospects, and it’s something that you can do in-house or you can outsource. If you’re an SMB or just have a limited budget and time, outsourcing to a team like Smith.ai can ensure that your outreach campaigns are perfectly executed every time. 

What is sales engagement?

Sales engagement is pretty much what it sounds like: the series of interactions between prospects and sales reps that occur throughout the sales funnel. Most interactions take place online or over the phone, but all engagement needs to be optimized in order to accelerate growth. 

With sales engagement, reps aren’t just randomly returning calls, following up with leads, or reaching out with cold outreach. They are following a strategy that you’ve built based on data you’ve gathered. This will tell them exactly when and how to engage with leads, which ensures they get the right interaction at the right stage in the sales funnel and that your sales team can keep the deals moving.

Engagement vs. enablement

Sales engagement refers to the efficiency of the process involved in getting buyers engaged in what you have to offer. Sales enablement, another important strategy for your business, is focused on the effectiveness of each interaction. The goal is to ensure that every engagement makes an impact. 

Rather than being separate entities, these two work together to help your business scale the sales process and ensure that every single person on your team knows how to maximize every customer interaction for better outcomes and a more connected experience. 

Pre-engagement sales activities 

Sales engagement doesn’t start with qualified leads. It starts at the very beginning of the buyer’s journey. Therefore, activities that can help you create a better sales engagement strategy include:

  • Lead prospecting and qualification
  • Product research
  • Market research
  • Customer and data analysis 
  • Proposal qualifications 
  • Sales propositions

If you figure out how to master these activities, your sales engagement strategy will be off to a much better start. 

Tips for creating a successful sales engagement strategy 

There are several ways that you can improve your sales engagement, but it starts with awareness. Once you understand how engagement differs from enablement (and the other efforts that you put into place), you’ll be much more effective at creating strategies that produce winning results. To help you, here are some tips. 

Align engagement and marketing 

In order for engagement to be effective, you need to make sure that it’s properly aligned with your marketing efforts. This alignment creates visibility and transparency, while also supporting the needs of your teams. You can have regular meetings with marketing and sales to ensure that your engagement is on point. 

Personalize communications 

Today’s prospects want personalized, connected communications from the companies they do business with. Generic contacts are out and customization is in—how can you personalize emails, social media connections, and other communications so that your prospects feel valued and important?

Ongoing optimization 

The work doesn’t stop once you’ve created and set your sales engagement strategy to task. You have to continue to measure the results and optimize your efforts based on changes that happen over time. Continuous improvement is critical to sales engagement and the future of your business. Make sure that reps know how to look for opportunities for development. 

Invest in the technology 

Having the right tools will make all the difference. As with most of your marketing strategy, it’s time to invest in a tech stack that can help you execute your plans seamlessly. A sales enablement platform is the first piece of the puzzle, and you’ll want to find one that fits into your existing tech stack without issue. 

Using sales engagement platforms 

Speaking of tech investments, the best way to manage sales engagement is to invest in a solid platform that can help you see everything from a single place. This will make it easy to map out strategies for effective engagement and create plans and goals across all channels. When you use a platform like this, you can:

  • Track activity
  • Track leads and engagement levels
  • Identify opportunities for growth
  • Identify new leads 
  • Find better ways to engage leads 

Sales engagement tools usually have four main areas of focus:

  1. Workflows
  2. Analytics and reporting
  3. Calling 
  4. Contacts (account-based selling)

Using this platform, your team can make much more informed decisions about engagement. Just be sure not to get too overzealous and bombard people with inquiries that are going to scare them off. 

Outsource for support, success, and more 

As mentioned, one of the best ways to handle sales engagement (and other outreach efforts) is to enlist the help of a dedicated third party. The virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can serve as your team for outreach campaigns to ensure that your strategies are executed flawlessly. And when those leads start coming in, we can assist with that, too. 

Our team can support your needs with a 24/7 answering service so you never miss an opportunity. We can also support your lead intake and appointment scheduling, further freeing up your sales team to focus on the things that matter. To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to hello@smith.ai.


Business Education
Sales Tips
Written by Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing Manager with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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