A sales engagement platform is often the epicentre of a successful sales operation.
It helps improve planning, process and performance.
Despite this, many sales teams still overlook or misunderstand it’s value.
A sales engagement platform isn’t a feature of your CRM, or a collaboration tool.
Instead, these platforms are dedicated solutions, created to enhance your workflow across all sales tools, from CRM technology, to your inbox, phone, content management system, and so much more.
According to CSO Insights, 93% of companies close fewer sales than they intend to. And, 65% forget to use content created for their campaigns, and overlook crucial parts of the sales process.
A sales engagement platform is built to bridge the gap between planning, process and results.
In this guide, we’re going to look at the ins and outs of a sales engagement platform, discuss the challenges that prevent adoption, and look at 8 reasons why your organization should consider investing in this technology.
What is a Sales Engagement Platform?
A sales engagement platform is a tool created to combine your sales operations across multiple platforms, into a single, dedicated environment.
Sales engagement platforms centralize existing workflows, and link disparate tools so that teams can have access to all of the information they need to improve the quality of customer interactions, streamline sales activities, accelerate the sales cycle and increase revenue.
Today, around 87% of sales development organizations have adopted a sales engagement platform.
What’s more, 92% of sales development teams say that having an engagement platform in the sales stack is critical to their team’s success.
Further, Aragon Research predicts that Sales Engagement Platforms (SEPs) will grow into a $5 billion industry over the next five years.
With a sales engagement platform, you can accelerate performance, empower your team, and access more complete and accurate data.
Sales Engagement Platform vs. CRM
Customer Relationship (CRM) and Sales Engagement Platform (SEP) solutions may have a common goal of improving efficiency and sales performance, but they serve entirely different functions within a business.
Most companies already use a CRM to help track multiple points of contacts with customers. CRMs are seen as baseline tech for all customer-facing roles such as sales, marketing and customer support. The CRM collects and delivers customer data throughout the sales cycle.
On the other hand, a sales engagement platform is used to bridge the common void that exists between sales and marketing teams. SEPs integrate with your CRM to provide a central hub for sales planning and execution across all channels.
The CRM will compliment the function of your SEP. But, it is not a replacement.
What Challenges Drive Sales Engagement Adoption
So, how do you know if your team actually needs a Sales Engagement platform?
Anyone who wants to improve the performance and efficiency of their sales team, while delivering better customer service, can benefit from a sales engagement tool.
Some of the biggest reasons companies invest in SEPs include:
1. Reps aren’t spending enough time selling:
A shockingly large amount of your reps’ day goes wasted on tasks that don’t contribute to closing sales. Administrative tasks such as updating the CRM can be very time consuming.
A study by Salesforce revealed that most reps spend around 64% of their time on admin tasks:
If you want to get the best results out of your sales team, you need to make sure that they’re able to do what they do best. Sales engagement tools allow you to automate monotonous tasks, so that your reps have more time to concentrate on building relationships and closing deals.
2. An explosion of sales tools has created silos:
There’s an overwhelming number of tools available on the market today, from marketing services, to CRM technology. Most organizations give their sales teams a lot of different tools to use, aiming to improve productivity.
In fact, a Sales Hacker Technology Landscape report showed that there were 800+ sales tools in over 38 categories.
However, rather than complementing each other, these solutions often operate independently, creating silos of information, and complicated workplace processes.
Your sales engagement platform will bring multiple systems together, supporting more streamlined activities for the entire team.
3. CRMs adding administrative burden
CRMs are an incredibly useful tool. However, they also add extra pressure to your sales rep’s shoulders. A CRM solution is essentially a system of record for operational tasks and customer data. It stores all the information that your sales team is going to need to make sales, offering a logbook of customer interactions.
However, CRMs alone can’t drive customer or lead engagement.
The automation and communication layer that a Sales Engagement platform provides can streamline your team’s day.
4. Lack of Personalization
The sales journey is evolving at a rapid place, with new platforms and trends emerging all the time. If you want to delight your audience, you need to make sure you’re creating experiences that accommodate them.
Modern Sales Engagement platforms come with technology that allow you to engage prospects on a range of platforms, from emails and phone calls, to direct mail and text.
A sales engagement platform makes it easier to instantly update lead intelligence and get the latest information on any customer, including where they’re from, and which channels they prefer to use.
8 Reasons to Invest in a Sales Engagement Platform
Here are some of the top reasons you should consider investing in a sales engagement platform in 2020.
A Sales Engagement Platform Supports Better Team Communication
Sales engagement platforms streamline the way teams communicate with prospects.
Whether you’re connecting over the phone, on social media, or through email, you have a more cohesive way to reach out to your clients. However, it’s not just communication with leads that benefits, but links to your internal team too.
When your sales team can connect with each other and share crucial information in real-time, they can solve problems faster, and come up with creative ways to serve your prospects.
A sales engagement tool like Spotio comes with tools like Team chat, custom statuses, and even document management and storage for better collaboration.
A Sales Engagement Platform Drives Efficiency
Having all communications, data and other essential components in the same place improves rep efficiency.
Employees can reduce the amount of time that they waste on non-sales focused tasks, like toggling between different pieces of software or working on administrative tasks.
Instead of having to jump between multiple tools to find useful information, your Sales Engagement platform will give employees a full Sales Intelligence hub, where they can manage and learn about leads, create customer profiles and sort leads into different segments.
This ensures you get more touches per rep each day, more meetings and opportunities, shorter sales cycles and a larger number of quotas met.
A Sales Engagement Platform Streamlines Processes
The wide selection of tools now available for sales reps in the market means that experts are often trying to keep track of multiple (often disparate) channels.
Eventually, your team members might give up on your software stack entirely and resort back to paper and pen, which means that your documentation begins to suffer.
A sales engagement platform with its own sales activity tracker acts as your reps’ personal assistant. With this tool, your employees can plan and track meetings, demos, and calls for every lead. Once your rep’s activities are planned, their schedule is immediately pushed to their Outlook or Google calendar.
A Sales Engagement Platform Helps Teams Sell Smarter
A crucial part of sales engagement is the intelligence that your employees can tap into. The right platform can track and monitor all of the interactions between team members and customers. This helps you to make more informed decisions based on what works and what doesn’t.
When do you call? How many times do you follow up? What script performs best? Should you email before calling? What demographics convert better?
It’s crucial that you have a system that is able to look at this data, answer those important questions, and help you formulate a high-converting sales process.
A sales engagement platform does all this heavy lifting for you.
A Sales Engagement Platform Personalizes Outreach
Customers don’t want to be treated like another number on a list.
Sales engagement platforms enable teams to scale outreach campaigns while maintaining a meaningful level of personalization.
You can set up engaging follow up sequences and event-triggered automations to ensure prospects and opportunities are served the right information at the right time in the sales cycle.
This level of personalized automation ensures prospects continue to move along the pipeline, and that reps can spend more time out in the field or engaging opportunities in demos or sales pitch environments.
A Sales Engagement Platform Closes Deals Faster
The faster reps can close sales, the quicker they can get to nurturing the next lead.
Although speed shouldn’t come at the expense of personalization or accuracy, it’s always a good idea to look for ways to make your processes more efficient.
An SEP will provide tools that make it easier for reps to close deals faster. For example, all reps should have access to a central repository of sales collateral – product spec sheets, templates and sales presentations – that they can use to answer questions, handle objections and close the sale while on site.
Similarly, reps shouldn’t have to email contracts back and forth for counter signing. A solid SEP will give teams e-Contract functionality to get virtual ink on the dotted line.
Every second from when reps walk out the door is a moment closer to losing the deal. A sales engagement platform will empower reps to close more deals on the spot.
A Sales Engagement Platform Helps to Pinpoint Bottlenecks
Companies need to be constantly improving and updating their sales processes. The only way to make sure that you’re moving in the right direction is to measure your outcomes.
Sales Engagement platforms don’t just connect all of your tools together, they also give you an environment where you can see what’s really working for your team. This is excellent if you want to track down any performance bottlenecks.
Bottlenecks in your sales process could look like high unqualified lead counts, or low opportunity-to-close rates. These numbers can highlight inefficienes in the prospecting process where reps are not engaging the right audience, or it could mean there is an issue in the demo or sales pitch process.
A solid SEP will give sales managers a view of the entire sales pipeline:
And enable managers to view performance at the team and individual rep levels:
If you can look at a point in your sales processes and pinpoint a place where you’re clearly losing sales, then it will be much easier to address that problem before it hurts your business.
A Sales Engagement Platform Helps Streamline Your Stack
Finally, one of the biggest benefits of using a sales engagement platform, is that your sales teams don’t have to spend as much of their time moving between different apps and tools.
Even if the sales engagement service that you’re using doesn’t have all of the tools that you need built-in, it will generally expand to accommodate other solutions.
For instance, if you want to make sure that you can access all of your Salesforce data on Spotio, all you need to do is implement the native Salesforce integration.
In this case, outside sales teams are able to bolt-on specific functionality such as territory mapping.
With APIs and integrations, you can build the stack that’s perfect for your team.
Using Your Sales Engagement Platform
If you’re looking to take advantage of all the benefits that a sales engagement platform can offer, you’re in the right place. For teams in search of shorter sales cycles, better customer engagement and improved employee efficiency, tools like Spotio can transform the sales journey.
With Spotio to align and enhance your sales journey, your team can accomplish anything. Come and check out the features of Spotio today.