Detect buyer sentiment with sales engagement technology

Posted March 16, 2021

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By Jordan Greene

Senior Director of Product Marketing at Outreach

Sales engagement is all about the buyer, which means understanding buyer sentiment is a crucial step in an effective sales strategy. Buyer sentiment helps your sales reps understand best next steps and get a sense of a realistic sales timeline.

Ultimately, the sales process can be less impactful without understanding the buyer’s emotional response. It’s time to reinvent how you measure your reps’ sales efforts with real-time buyer feedback. How? Sales Engagement Technology with sentiment analysis.

Sales Engagement Technology enables real-time buyer sentiment analysis that can help your sales teams optimize the current sales approach and maximize each engagement. This kind of optimization helps your selling teams:

  • Move beyond ‘vanity metrics’ such as clicks, opens and reply rates. It is not enough to know if and how often prospective buyers respond. Sales engagement tech should help you understand appropriate next steps, depending on context.
  • Upskill reps to focus on buyer outcomes and attitudes, not output and activities. Even the most personalized email can often lead to unsubscribes. What matters is how it lands with the buyer.
  • Leverage data to predict future sales pipelines and performance. Activity metrics such as response time can falsely imply buyer intent, whereas sentiment analysis can truly identify a prospects’ future objectives—giving you stronger confidence in how your deals will move and close.

Guided selling — no wild guessing

Sentiment analysis can help your sales reps understand how you’re resonating with buyers. It expands beyond ‘booked meetings,’ ‘number of outreaches,’ ‘click,’ ‘open,’ and ‘reply rates’ to offer a whole new level of insights— like whether responses are positive, objections, referrals, or unsubscribes.

Your sales reps can also compare the positive response rate to the objection rate, providing real-time feedback into how prospective buyers respond to particular messages and content— personalized or generic.

On reply rates alone, your sales reps may double down on a particular message and content style. However, if the majority of the responses were objections then the sales reps would be going down the wrong path— potentially negatively impacting the relationship. Outreach beta customers discovered that personalization in one of their automated workflows actually led to objections! Sentiment is not only a more specific reflection on performance, but also helps to identify the next best steps.

Align with team performance

A strong sentiment analysis tool also enables you to measure your sales reps performance against outcomes and KPIs. By evaluating meetings booked, meeting conversion rates and touchpoints per prospect, sales engagement technology can help identify where your sales reps need additional training— whether it’s response time or message personalization. Asking reps to do more is often not the right answer— outcomes, not outputs is what matters.

Today, your sales teams’ positive responses may be low due to ineffective messaging, which can lead to unsubscribes. More specifically, if one particular sales rep’s meeting conversion rate is below the average percentage for all sales reps, then buyer sentiment analysis helps inform specific coaching opportunities--like how to create more effective messaging or expectation-setting around how quickly to reply to buyers.

A clear, data-driven future

Understanding which content and level of personalization garner the most positive responses, coupled with sales rep efficiency and skills means you can start to build a data-driven strategy.

However, creating this data-driven strategy is one piece of digital sales transformation. With sales engagement technology unlocking buyers’ true intentions, sales teams can share key learnings and ensure there is alignment across other departments, such as marketing and customer success. This forms a company-wide coherence, giving the buyer a seamless experience.

Equipped with accurate sentiment analysis, you can create clear roadmaps and more accurately predict future sales pipelines and performance. Not only a key part of any sales strategy, but a game changer for staking a competitive edge in your market— empowering sales reps to deliver a customer experience their competitors can’t copy.

Discover how assessing reply sentiment can lead to 14% more meetings booked — and how you can evaluate it at a glance with Outreach’s new Buyer Sentiment Analysis. Get your free copy of our ebook, “Outcome Over Output: Why reply sentiment delivers better outcomes than reply rate.”


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