A sales engagement platform is one of the most powerful tools in your selling arsenal.
However, it’s also something that many teams can overlook, or misunderstand.
A sales engagement platform isn’t a feature of your CRM, or a collaboration tool. These services 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.
Sales teams that need to save time achieving agile goals can remain organized and focused.
According to CSO Insights, 93% of companies close fewer sales than they intend to. What’s more, 65% forget to use content created for their campaigns, and overlook crucial parts of the sales process.
A sales engagement platform is how you bridge the gap between planning and results.
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 technology 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.
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.
Best Sales Engagement Platforms
Now that we’ve explained the value that sales engagement platforms offer, let’s take a look at four platforms and their features.
Best for: Field sales teams
SPOTIO’s cloud-based sales engagement software lets field sales reps update client logs and access real-time information from their mobile device. The platform automatically pushes information to your CRM, so there’s no need for manual data entry.
- Real-time monitoring: Always know where your reps are and what they’re doing while they’re in the field during work hours.
- Territory mapping: Easily cut territories by drawing on a digital map or inputting zip codes. Then assign them to the most qualified rep.
- Digital business cards: Stop handing out physical business cards that end up in the trash. Distribute digital ones instead via text, email, or QR code, and track who views them in your SPOTIO account.
- Customer mapping: Where are your customers physically located? See them on a digital map, which can be color-coded to represent just about any data point you want: pipeline stage, result of last visit, etc.
- Sales prospecting: Step up your lead generation game by connecting your SPOTIO account to Google Places. Once you do, filter through potential customers using 200+ data attributes to focus on quality leads.
- Task automation: Automatically log prospect interactions and reduce data entry tasks. The result? A 46% bump in productivity!
- Canvassing tools: If your sales team employs canvassers and closers, you’ll love this feature. Canvassers can easily capture prospect information and set appointments, then pass these details to closers.
- Sales activity management: Who have your reps contacted today? And what were the results of each visit, call, and email? All of this information is automatically logged into your SPOTIO account.
- Document management: Store important documents, send contracts, and accept e-signatures to make life easier for reps and prospects.
- Multi-channel sales communications: Modern-day field reps use a variety of channels to engage prospects. Multi-channel communication functionality in SPOTIO puts all of them at your rep’s fingertips. Quickly send emails and texts to leads to move them deeper into the funnel.
- Automated sales follow-up sequences: Automation is a sales rep’s best friend. Use SPOTIO’s Autoplays feature to build and automate sales sequences. That way, your leads never fall through the cracks.
- Detailed analytics: How is your sales team performing? Are your reps on track? How can you optimize your sales strategy? Build custom reports that only include the KPIs you care about inside SPOTIO. That way, you can answer these kinds of questions for your department.
- 2,000+ integrations: You need more than a sales engagement platform to reach your goals. Connect SPOTIO to thousands of other apps, including Gmail, Outlook, Salesforce, HubSpot, and Google Calendar.
Best for: Sales rep onboarding
Outreach is a sales engagement platform that helps with the quick onboarding of new reps. The mobile app allows reps to access “content cards” that contain talking points they might need when answering a prospect’s questions. The app also alerts reps when they’re talking too much in a client meeting.
- Live transcription
- Automated tracking of post-meeting action items
- Automated post-meeting summary emails
- Simple search function for finding prospect and client information
Best for: Multichannel engagement
Klenty helps sales reps pivot from emails, to calls, to LinkedIn messaging in an instant, without losing track of previous interactions. It also simplifies emails, letting reps send highly relevant messages at the right time, with just a few clicks.
- Cadence playbooks
- Reports and dashboards
- LinkedIn automation
- Personalized emails
Best for: Prospect tracking
Klenty helps sales reps and marketers monitor prospect actions, such as email opens, website visits, and email replies. This real-time intelligence helps reps act quickly to keep conversations going and reach out to warm prospects.
- Outbound chats
- Multichannel monitoring
- Sales sequences
- Trigger-based actions
- Chrome extension
Best for: Stellar email deliverability rates
Tired of landing in your prospects’ spam folders? QuickMail is an email platform that helps reps start more conversations. Its deliverability rates are stellar. Its automation features are on point. And its customer support team is top-notch.
- High deliverability rates + a free Auto-Warmer plan
- Automate your QuickMail account in as little as five minutes
- Amazing customer support team that can help you solve any problem
- Scale your cold email efforts by using multiple inboxes per campaign
HubSpot Sales Hub
Best for: Large inside sales teams
HubSpot is an incredibly popular CRM and sales engagement platform. Use this tool to communicate with leads, schedule meetings, analyze sales pipelines, accept payments, and more. Just make sure you have the money to pay for it!
- Streamline your communication efforts with email templates, automated sales sequences, call tracking, and document management features.
- Schedule meetings with your target audience. Just choose when you’re available, then let your prospects book appointments when they want.
- Take control of your sales pipeline. Use the detailed analytics inside this platform to track and optimize your sales process for better results.
- Easily accept payments inside HubSpot, too. Both one-off purchases and recurring subscriptions can be accepted using this tool.
Best for: Salesforce users
Groove is a sales engagement platform for Salesforce users. Sign up to enjoy the tool’s productivity, conversation intelligence, and analytics features.
- Automatically capture all rep activity, from emails sent to meetings booked and LinkedIn posts published. Then log it into your Salesforce account.
- Create automated multichannel, multi-step workflows that allow your reps to engage with their prospects more personalized ways.
- Record, transcribe, and analyze your reps’ sales calls. You can improve your team’s sales conversations and close more deals.
Best for: Automated email outreach
Mailshakes turns tedious outreach tasks into set-it-and-forget-it workflows. Build complex email campaigns; track who opens clicks, and replies to each of your messages; automatically send lead data to your CRM of choice; and more.
- Simplify your communication tasks with automated email campaigns, cold calling features, and even social media outreach sequences.
- Analyze your email campaigns to see who’s opening, clicking, and replying to your messages. Then A/B test your communications to improve them.
- Get a bird’s eye view of your leads by quickly analyzing the emails, social messages, and calls you made to them. Then push this data to your CRM.
Best for: Sales and customer success alignment
Finally, Zendesk Sell, another CRM that can also be used as a sales engagement platform. One of the best things about this tool is how seamlessly it integrates with Zendesk’s customer support solution, which makes it easy to align sales and support teams.
- Use Zendesk Sell’s CRM functionality to access lead generation, contact and deal management, and activity tracking features—all from one app.
- Reach new prospects and existing customers with a wealth of communication tools, like a power dialer and automated email sequences.
- Generate custom reports that reflect the metrics and KPIs your team cares about. Then use them to help forecast future sales for your department.
- Integrate Zendesk Sell with hundreds of other tools, including Zendesk’s customer support app, which helps align sales and support teams.
11 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 2023.
A Sales Engagement Platform Reduces Administrative Workload
Sales reps lose too much time to administrative tasks. And when they’re busy, they might not get around to updating important records or logging their sales calls. A sales engagement platform automates administrative tasks and lets reps make quick updates from their mobile devices when they’re in the field.
Image: SPOTIO automates many sales tasks, including the use of geofencing technology that auto-captures rep check-ins and check-outs.
A Sales Engagement Platform Automates Sales Workflows
Sales reps must be able to effectively manage multiple relationships and develop the right cadence for interacting with each contact. Without a process in place, sales reps may lose track of prospects (or annoy them by over communicating).
SPOTIO’s AutoPlays feature alerts reps when it’s time to touch base with a contact, and reps can quickly access a complete profile for every contact that helps them advance each conversation.
Image: SPOTIO Autoplays sequences rep activities for each lead and customer interaction across multiple channels.
A Sales Engagement Platform Improves Activity Management
Do you know which sales activities are driving the most conversions? Without detailed data, the best you can do is guess which strategies are most effective, but a sales engagement platform gives you the insights you need.
You can view the timing of calls, emails, texts, and visits and analyze the results of those actions. With that information, you can help sales reps be more effective in their roles.
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.
Image: SPOTIO’s Lead Machine enables reps to filter prospects by 200+ data attributes.
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.
Which Sales Engagement Platform is Right for Your Business?
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.