In a recent study by Aragon Research states that Sales Engagement Platforms (SEPs) will grow into a billion-dollar industry over the next few years. This growth is attributed to the demands from sales and marketing teams to better engage and communicate with customers who are becoming increasingly selective and challenging to get.
Thinking beyond Sales Enablement, budgets allocated are expected to take a turn from tools such as single-point web conferencing and email tracking to Sales Engagement Platforms that has become the new order of engagement for organizations.
What is a Sales Engagement Platform?
A Sales Engagement Platform is defined as an integrated and user-friendly platform that guides and enables the sharing of content with customers, delivers actionable insights and integrates and auto-logs to CRM.
The different Segments in a Sales Engagement Platform
The sales engagement suite consists of five key segments. Some of these are standalone solutions while others are features of particular applications, and few market leaders are trying to club all these five categories and redefine the whole niche.
1. Channels—Channels are the primary sales delivery mechanisms for engaging with customers and prospects. They include a plethora of technologies, such as dialers, texting, email automation software, video- demos, web conferencing for webinars, personalized emails, Live chat, LinkedIn, other social media, review sites, Influencer marketing and more.
2. Content and messaging recommendations—This technology makes real-time recommendations, grammar checks, better word suggestions accessible to reps during execution. For example, email templates or presentations decks provide content that sellers should use. Real-time repositories and data dump might give instant answers to buyers’ questions. Technologies include knowledgebase management and content management.
3. Optimization—Optimization provides an in-depth analysis of sales engagement execution, followed, in some cases, by data-driven automated suggestions. Technologies include conversion rate optimization and meeting intelligence, both of which record and analyze the conversations. One important thing to be noted is that all this data is best at use if it is available at a single place. Here is where a CRM comes into play
4. Sales activity automation—It enables us to automate data collection from various sales engagement activities. Technologies include automatic logging of the activity like -details of all the conversations had with the prospect be it voice calls, emails, or even text messages. Sales activity automation is becoming more efficient by executing mundane day to day activities without actually needing human intervention. For example, instead of sales reps sending their initial proposals to the finance team, some technologies can do this automatically.
5. Sales engagement platforms—These platforms serve as a single source of truth to plan, execute, measure track, and optimize interactions between the various stakeholders across multiple touchpoints and channels. That is why choosing the right platform should be of utmost importance.
Sales engagement platform + CRM is passe
A good CRM software will integrate all sales communication channels within one platform, giving you a combination of Engagement and CRM. Since you have information about the customer and all the conversations that were sent out at one place, you can make well-informed and data-driven decisions and engage the customer. It also allows you to personalize your follow-ups by creating a sales cadence based on the response received to your communication. One of the most impactful outcomes will be able to predict your revenue using visual deals pipeline.
The three essential things to look before choosing a Sales Engagement Platform
Safety Features: Email persistence without SPAM risks
Think of email safeguards as a safety tool for your sales engagement platform. One main fear people have around sales email automation is whether it’s going to create spam and go unnoticed.
Every platform should have the following measures
- Single accounts that don’t get flooded, so you don’t get blacklisted (domain-level throttling)
- Prospects are not subject to multiple active sequences (sequence exclusivity)
- Proper intervals between courses (cool downtimes)
Speed: Never miss an opportunity to respond
Nobody wants to have an effective system and not know how to use it. But that tends to happen more often than you know in the sales software industry only allows your reps to respond at a specific time each week. Although this technology has a powerful potential to tell you when your prospects are most likely to react and to enable you to automate your responses, you need one without system restrictions and implementation nightmares that hinder you from pursuing your leads.
Cutting-Edge: Keep information up-to-date
Have a sales Engagement Platform that has market defying technology. Some of the latest technologies include:
a. AI-powered lead scoring.
Which is nothing but a methodology for ranking leads to determine a prospect’s sales-readiness? The Leads that are generated are broadly classified and scored on the basis of the interest shown in your product/service, their place in the buying cycle, and the level of engagement with your team.
b. Activity Timeline
What this feature does is that it combines all the Posts, Activities, and Notes and calls into a single source of truth for your sales reps. It also allows you to segregate different activity types and quickly identify the actionable.
c. LinkedIn Sales Navigator
With the emergence of new companies and new products around the same niche, the customers have a wide range to choose from which means that finding the right buyer becomes of utmost importance with the LinkedIn Sales Navigator integration the whole process becomes easy. Sales folks can build on the existing LinkedIn functionality and capitalize on it. They can view and synchronize data for your Leads, Accounts, and Contacts.
These are just some of the new features that are mentioned above. There are plenty more out there in the market. Choosing the right Sales engagement platform is going to be the decision that makes or breaks your sales output. If the engagement suite has a telephony system, live chat, CRM, and a marketing automation tool, from a single source all integrated for a seamless experience, I would place my bet on that rather than using different products for different functionalities that said ensure to choose the one that suits your business right and not go behind any market leader just because they have been there for a longer time.
Aakash here, Marketer at Freshworks.
Always up for a conversation on marketing automation, Football, and travel.
is this a company that does research or is it the name of the research paper. If it’s the first then what is the name of the paper and if it is the latter then what is the name of the company. Ideally, it should be something like: In a recent study by _________ on SEP…..