Sales engagement helps build customer relationships by providing critical insights into the customer journey. This helps the sales organization learn which messages, content, channels, and strategies are most effective at each touchpoint.
If you were to ask a sales rep if they spend enough time with prospects and customers, if they’re honest, they’d more than likely say no.
Sales engagement platforms have emerged as the most effective way to optimize the selling process, providing a single interface that helps teams plan, execute, track, measure, and optimize interactions with customers across multiple touches and channels.
Sales engagement refers to the sequence of interactions between a salesperson and a prospect throughout the sales cycle.
Sales engagement platforms are an engagement layer that sits on top of your existing CRM system and multiplies its impact – syncing and surfacing data, automating manual tasks, and measuring and tracking the results.
Sales engagement is a high priority for 90% of sales leaders plan to invest in technologies and methodologies to help their sellers engage effectively with prospects and customers.
This blog serves as a guide to the best sales engagement platforms to use.
How Does Sales Engagement Work?
A sales engagement platform (SEP) helps sales teams avoid the issues that arise from disjointed, one-size-fits-all tools by improving existing workflows, streamlining communications, increasing efficiency, and more—all in one centralized place.
SEPs offer time-saving functionalities that keep reps organized, prepared, and ready to meet (or exceed) their quotas.
Sales engagement is the process that defines a direct or indirect interaction between the seller and the prospect to close a deal.
This technology enables sales departments to efficiently deliver high-quality interactions with prospects and customers at scale.
It is measured in data points that are gathered throughout a certain period. Different companies have different durations of the sales engagement process.
As a rule of thumb, it starts when the prospect completes a key action — clicks a banner, opens an email, engages with the website content, or accepts the call.
Components of Sales Engagement Platforms
Components of sales engagement platforms include:
Reporting & analytics
How Does Sales Engagement Help Buyers?
Buyers are informed, research-driven, and have higher expectations for sellers and sales experiences.
To meet new challenges, sellers need all the help they can get — time-saving automation, on-demand insights, and a holistic view of customers’ specific pain points, goals, and decision-making processes.
When combined with sales or revenue enablement tools and CRM technology, sales engagement provides sellers with an accurate view of buyer engagement across all channels and touchpoints, allowing them to engage buyers with the content.
How Does Sales Engagement Align Teams?
Sales engagement platforms don’t just make the lives of sellers easier.
When fully utilized, these platforms serve as a unified space for the entire revenue team to align, execute, track, measure, and optimize their engagement with customers and prospects.
All customer-facing teams can benefit from automation and streamlined workflows from marketing and finance to account management and support.
Sales engagement platforms bridge your CRM system with the places sellers spend most of their time – their email inbox and LinkedIn.
A strong platform will eliminate miscommunications and ensure that your team is on the same page by automatically logging activities, tracking communication history, and referencing shared notes in one place.
The Impact of Sales Engagement On Business Outcomes
Regardless of the strategies and processes that you include in your sales engagement model, having one will benefit both your company (in revenue growth), your sales team (in performance), and your prospects (in quality communication).
Organizations that implement a solid sales engagement strategy — backed by a powerful SEP — gain various key benefits.
Ninety-two percent of sales development organizations say their sales engagement platform is critical to their team’s success.
Teams can have better coaching and onboarding, easily created, accessed, and measured content, and the entire process is optimizable thanks to engagement analytics.
When you equip reps with a single platform from which they can execute their daily activities, you remove the barriers that often impede efficiency.
SEPs don’t have to shuffle between multiple tools to complete their work, and can instead access and manage all activities — across phone, direct mail, email, text, social media, and more — in one streamlined place.
Modern sales engagement platforms can also automate repetitive, administrative tasks that eat into reps’ time.
We know that teams are hungry for good data.
Forrester reports that over 90% of sales leaders lack confidence in their activity data and that 77% of marketers rate a lack of analytics to guide their marketing decision-making as a top challenge.
Sales engagement technology allows managers to track content usage and activities to develop benchmarks.
They can then compare individual rep performance to surface coaching opportunities, better train reps, and increase overall effectiveness.
Sales engagement data is also precious to marketing teams, as it provides insight into what content, messaging, channels, etc., are most effective for capturing and nurturing sales leads.
This will help you understand the impact of your sales engagement strategies and identify opportunities to support poor performers.
Sales organizations that still have point solutions that create gaps and more friction simply can’t offer the customer experience that those backed by a unified platform can.
Modern revenue teams need an integrated, seamless platform that helps them make the right call at the moment (based on real-time data), close the sales execution gap, and leave the guessing in the past.
Powerful sales engagement platforms ensure a system of action that merges engagement and intelligence.
Reduce Friction In The Sales Process
Improving sales engagement also means always working toward improving customer success — creating more personal communications, more compelling presentations, or driving more renewals, referrals, or upsells — and monitoring the results.
It takes an average of 18 calls to connect with a buyer, and only 24% of buyers open sales emails.
Sales engagement platforms reduce friction during the sales process by simplifying and automating how salespeople engage with customers and prospects.
Automated content delivery features can serve up sales plays and new sales collateral as needed, ensuring salespeople always have the customer-facing content at their fingertips.
Admins can set version controls that protect brand standards while allowing sellers to draw on customer insights to modify content based on personal preferences.
Social Media Engagement
These days, a lot of sales engagement happens through social media, as more and more of your target audience is using social platforms in their everyday lives.
Sales leaders can improve sales engagement by giving their teams the tools that provide the right analytics and platforms to engage with customers and grow their sales pipeline.
Looking at social media platforms like LinkedIn can be a highly effective way to get insights into what commonalities may exist that can be leveraged in a personalized sales outreach message.
In many cases, this initial point of contact can set the stage for whether your sales rep gets a response back or not.
The more personal and value-driven the message, the higher the chance the potential lead will be open to scheduling a sales call.
A Single Interface
Sales engagement platforms provide a single UI for sales reps to manage their activities.
This concept sounds obvious, but previously, sales reps had to toggle between multiple tools and applications in their day-to-day process.
Once the planning is done, the salespeople try to identify their potential customers and add them to the database.
Prospect engagement is a subset of sales engagement, focused on the early stages of the buyer’s journey.
When engaging a prospect, salespeople need to capture and keep buyer attention more than ever.
At this stage, sales representatives or data researchers also need to complete research on the prospects to gather more information about their personas, which might be useful in the future.
Sales managers can sync contacts and leads from their CRM or import them from a spreadsheet into the engagement platform where they automatically route them to the appropriate salespeople for outreach.
Instead of dialing at will or sending irrelevant emails, reps can instantly see which prospects are engaging with the most content, along with the themes or topics of the content.
This data can then create more personalized messaging and improve overall rep to prospect engagement.
Email & Call Cadence
An Edge On Competition
The right sales engagement platform should offer machine learning (ML) that analyzes the myriad data points it collects to identify trends and patterns, then suggests next steps to help improve rep performance.
If you’re operating within the sales industry, you likely already know the importance of maintaining a competitive edge, as today’s global marketplace offers countless options from which buyers can choose.
But if your teams still rely on SEP alternatives, they’re likely in a vicious cycle of underachievement.
With the right sales engagement strategy and tools in place, you can ensure that every sales rep is maximizing their performance and moving your business forward.
Onboarding & Coaching
Sixty-four percent of high-performing sales professionals cite a lack of ongoing training as impacting their decision to leave their jobs.
A sales engagement platform can help create better onboarding and coaching by:
Identifying which activities, content, and tactics drive successful customer interactions
Establishing benchmarks for every stage of the sales talent management lifecycle
Monitoring and comparing individual and team results, identifying top performers and struggling reps, and setting performance benchmarks
Sales Engagement Technology And Sales Enablement Platforms
Investing in both a sales engagement and a sales enablement platform is important to effectively implement your sales engagement strategy at scale.
Though they may sound similar, sales engagement and enablement focus on two separate aspects of rep productivity.
Sales engagement centers on efficiency: most engagement strategies accelerate a rep’s output through a systematic approach to buyer engagement.
Sales enablement, on the other hand, is focused on effectiveness.
Sales enablement seeks to ensure that every engagement is impactful by empowering teams with knowledge of what to know, say, show, and do.
It’s the communication between sales teams and prospects or customers, and the sales techniques that help that happen.
Together, sales enablement and engagement help scale your sales processes to ensure that every rep, from your SDRs to your account managers, knows how to maximize every customer interaction across the buyer’s journey.
Combining the sales content management capabilities of a sales enablement platform with sales engagement software ensures that your organization maximizes your content utilization, making it easier for sellers to find and share the most relevant content based on their selling situation.
What Is The Best Sales Engagement Platform For 2022?
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