Sales engagement platforms are no longer “nice to have;” they are a requirement for mature sales organizations that provide personal experiences for their buyers. With new sales engagement platforms designed to streamline sales processes being constantly introduced into the market, it can be overwhelming for sales enablement teams to decipher one from the other to determine which sales productivity tool to select for their organization.
When it comes to sales engagement platforms, it’s important to consider how well different offerings promote collaboration between sales and marketing teams. After all, the goal for both of these teams is to attract buyers and provide them with an exceptional customer experience.
In this next piece from our “Sales Enablement Defined” series, we explain how sales engagement tools support sales and marketing alignment and what to look for in a solution.
What is a sales engagement platform?
A sales engagement platform offers capabilities that allow sales teams to execute and track all daily activities, as well as enhance workflows across all sales enablement tools, including CRM, email, phone, and content management. The use of these systems make sales professionals more effective by keeping information organized, saving time, and making it easier for sales people to maintain consistent, ongoing, and relevant engagement with customers and buyers.
How do engagement platforms align sales and marketing efforts?
Sales engagement tools offer a number of benefits for sales and marketing teams:
- Improves internal and external communication
With sales and marketing teams working within the same tool, it is far easier for the two to collaborate and join forces to engage buyers in meaningful sales conversations through guided selling. Salespeople provide customer insights for marketers, who then create content with specific context for the sales team to use, who then can provide qualitative feedback to sales operations on what works and what doesn’t. It’s an ongoing process, but with an engagement tool the sales process will be far easier and far more effective.
By leveraging technology to bring together information from multiple sources, having all communication tools in one platform, it’s easier for sellers to interact with buyers through every channel and keep track of each one of those interactions while establishing a sales cadence.
- Boosts efficiency
When a sales organization uses multiple, disparate tools to accomplish daily work, it takes a lot of time for sales teams to move between the programs to find specific emails, pieces of content, workflows, or other information. This administrative work eats up a lot of a salesperson’s time, which with a helpful platform doing the heavy lifting can be allocated to actual selling activities for maximizing sales productivity.
- Leads to better buyer experiences
When sales reps work smarter, they have better conversations with buyers. With relevant, up-to-date content on-hand for buyers across stages of the sales cycle, as well as more efficient and insightful sellers, the experience existing and prospective customers have with your sales team will be personal and more memorable.
What to consider when looking for a sales engagement platform
When vetting your options for an engagement platform, make sure they include the following:
Process automation. Today’s sales environment is too complicated to do everything manually, which is why whatever engagement solution you choose should create an automated sales process. Through sales automation, sales teams can create communication sequences and workflows for different buyer segments, so nothing falls through the sales development cracks. Also automated should be the collection and storage of customer data and analytics, so all teams－sales, marketing, account executives, leadership－have consistent information.
Communication channels. Much of a sales representative’s job is maintaining ongoing sales outreach with buyers through various channels like phone, email, direct mail, social media, video, and mobile communication. An effective engagement tool tracks all these touchpoints using cutting-edge technology to give a clear picture of where a sales lead is in the sales cycle.
Content. Customer-focused content created by marketing needs to be two things: accessible and contextual. White papers, product sheets, case studies, and other collateral should live exclusively in your engagement platform, so everyone has access to the same materials and is using them in the same way.
Data, reporting, and analytics. With sales tools in one platform, engagement data should be aggregated from all sources and campaigns to give you one clear picture of customer data in an actionable workflow. Additionally, you want this data to be accurate and actionable; sellers and sales leaders should be able to look at the data and understand the most sensible next step to continue engaging a customer to optimize the customer experience.
Integrations. All sales apps, data, and content should be integrated into one singular solution, allowing you to consolidate your tech stack for sales representatives to use in one place.
Sales engagement is far less complicated when you have a solution that supports all sales activities and makes your sales team’s lives easier. Sales people are who drive the success of your organization, and investing in engagement tools to help them sell better, faster, and smarter is a win for your entire organization.