In my time here and at my previous companies, I have seen a few attempts to launch Engage to the sales teams, only to have usage tail off after the second month each time. Speaking to fellow Eloquans, this is a common problem.
It is a tough sell to present yet another new sales tool or system to the sales team. At my company there are over 40(!) different sales tools and systems in various forms, all designed to make a sales person’s job easier and more efficient. So Eloqua Engage has a lot of competition for front of mind in the already hectic day of a sales rep.
This blog post attempts to draw some learnings from my experience of what worked/didn’t work on past Engage re/launches. I hope this will give some actionable tips for anyone wanting to increase user adoption on Engage.
NB: This blog post assumes that you have access to Engage as part of your Eloqua contract, and that your CRM is/can be synched with Eloqua.
14 tips on increasing adoption:
Continued success of Engage relies on building up that ‘muscle memory’ in the sales reps, so that using Engage becomes habit to them. The following points are tips that may help you with this…
- Send an update to Engage users whenever new content is made available. Keep a regular stream of new content coming out – even if it is just one per month. This keeps it front of mind and re-enforces that this is an active tool.
- Aim to have an Eloqua Email associated with every Lead Generating Marketing campaign. When a Lead hits a Sales Rep’s queue, they’ll know that they have something pertinent to send if they don’t get through on the phone.
- Via line managers, praise those who use Engage well. Everyone likes a bit of encouragement.
- Don’t be afraid to use dynamic content in Engage. If planned well, it can add a lot of value.
- Gamify Engage: Sales people can be very competitive!
- Celebrate the success stories, highlighting to management where Engage usage results in a sales Opportunity. Document these successes - so you can refer to them in future training.
- Choose an influential local Engage Champion (power-user), to help fight for the cause.
- Get senior management buy-in. Sales managers set the tone for their teams. If the sales managers believe in the value Engage brings, their teams will too.
- Highlight the fact that the email appears to the recipient to be From you AND the reply will go straight into their inbox. This is a surprisingly common mis-conception from Reps. Another common compliant I hear from Sales Reps is that they think they have to manage 2 Inboxes if they use Engage. Also not true.
- Get the team leader/training resource to make some bite-sized training video’s for your team, or make use of the ones Eloqua provides. We found this made a big difference… and saved us some time on the one-to-one assistance.
- New Sales employees: Talk to HR and get Engage featured in the Sales onboarding training/pack if you have one.
- For new (or resistant) users, sit down with them and go through the process of sending themselves an Engage Email. Once they see it in in their inbox, their apprehensions disappear. Take some time to understand how each sales reps “sells”, then provide recommendations to them on how Engage can fit into or enhance their selling process.
- Monitor usage closely. Report back to management and to the community of users. If you see the Total Send stats dropping off, drop a gentle reminder to individual reps, or ask if they are having problems with it.
- As you are here reading this on TopLiners, it goes without saying, but test, test and test again to improve your Engage emails.
5 tips on making it easier for the sales reps:
The easier you make it for the Rep, the more likely continued adoption is. There are some notable low hanging fruit here...
- Embed Engage in your CRM: Having the Profiler/Engage window appear inside your CRM is the biggest win as it makes it so much easier for the Rep if they don’t need to go to leave the CRM to access Eloqua Engage. On this point, we originally had Engage/Profiler only on the Contact and Lead page layouts. However, after consulting with the sales reps we realised that it would be better positioned on the Opportunity page layout, so we added it there too. Key takeaway: If you understand how your sales reps use your CRM, then you can find the “best” ways to surface Eloqua within the CRM.
- Create a feedback loop for Sales with scheduled Insight reports by Email (opens, clicks, etc.). When they realise that Engage Emails get roughly 6 times better interaction rates compared to a flat marketing ‘batch and blast’ email, they sit up and take notice.
- Set up an Engage template library on an Eloqua Landing page, so that sales users can easily discover what Engage emails are available and browse to find the Email names they want.
- Get Sales management involved with the roadmap and in defining the content for new Engage Emails. They know what they need (and I never met a Sales person who did not like to give their opinion), so lean on them. Regularly request suggestions for new Engage Email content.
- Get the email naming convention right…
What’s in a name? Perhaps surprisingly, the names used for Engage Emails and for Email Groups is important for adoption.
If a rep cannot easily find the email they need within seconds, then they won’t go looking for it.
By naming the emails well, reps can easily find the emails they need. Also, using Email Groups like they are folders can massively reduce the noise and make things easier to find.
It pays to spend some time thinking about these 3 tips:
- Name your Engage Emails using keywords from the language the reps use. Also, keep the name short for Engage Emails, or they will not see the full Email name. Maybe controversially, I would suggest that Engage emails should NOT follow your regular naming convention as you may end up with names either too long to read in Engage, or not understandable to the sales rep:
2. Email Groups can act as folders and are important in reducing ‘noise’ (ie. irrelevant templates) and helping reps find the right email painlessly. Try to stick to having no more than 16 emails in a Group. Structure your Email Group names around your business. It could be structured based on the products you sell, timing (intro emails, closing emails, etc…) or situational (“Send me something” emails, “How-To” emails, “Sign-up or Buy” emails, etc… :
3. To further reduce noise of irrelevant emails, be clear about who needs to access to each Engage Email (content) as part of their job, then set the permissions to restrict access accordingly. This can be the hardest thing to get right as it relies on setting both the asset permissions and the User Groups permissions correctly:
a) Think carefully about what user Security Groups make sense for your Sales org structure. This will result in the reps seeing only the Engage templates relevant to them:
b) On each user’s profile, give them only the Security Groups they need:
c) Restrict each Email asset to only those groups that really need the asset, to further avoid the clutter of irrelevant templates:
The above will reduce the ‘noise’ (ie. lots irrelevant emails for the Reps to choose from), but it will take some planning.
Last piece of advice: Talk to the reps that are not using Engage. Find out their issues with it. You might learn something!
There will always be sales reps who resist Engage because they “prefer using Outlook”. Explain to them that Outlook and Engage are complementary email platforms, not competing email platforms. There are situations where Outlook is the perfect email platform to use (setting appointments, developing the relationship, perhaps more bottom of funnel conversations, etc) and there are situations where Engage is the perfect email platform to use (prospecting, identifying decision makers, providing content, etc.).
Results to date
It takes time and effort and to be honest, for us it us still very much a work in progress. However, in terms of the number of user who have now used Engage more than once, Engage adoption is up 40% compared to where we were before the re-launch. When you consider that we get 5-6 times higher interaction rate on Engage Emails compared to normal emails, this has so far resulted in many more people being ‘known’ to Eloqua already…. And the more known visitors we have, the more use Eloqua becomes overall.
Next step in my plan is to tie in closed loop reporting on these Engage Emails, which will be the real proof. A subject for another blog post maybe.
The Future of Engage?
The long awaited new release of the ‘Eloqua for Outlook’ plugin (which can only be better than ‘ELMO’ from a few years ago) presents an exciting development in the evolution of Engage. I have a feeling it will be a lot easier to encourage adoption in the future; however, the above tips may still help give your Engage adoption a kick start.
If you have any tips for me, I’d love to hear them.
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