What Is a Sales Engagement Platform?
A sales engagement platform tracks and manages prospects’ progress through the sales pipeline, including how and when they’ve already interacted with your reps, and what content is most likely to resonate with them.
Sales engagement platforms empower sales reps to remain organized, informed, and prepared throughout the sales process.
In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about the software. We’ll talk about what it is, why it’s so important to track, and how to make sure you choose the best sales engagement platform for your organization’s needs.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What Is a Sales Engagement Platform?
- What Are the Benefits of a Sales Engagement Platform?
- How to Choose the Best Sales Engagement Platform
- How Yesware Can Help Your Sales Team Close More Deals
Sales Engagement Platform
Sales engagement platforms are designed to help sellers communicate more effectively with prospects and customers. They track and manage all correspondence and touchpoints, and can also intelligently recommend sales content that’s most likely to nurture a prospect to the next stage of the funnel.
While sales engagement software may sound like an add-on or a “nice-to-have,” it’s actually proven to be an incredibly beneficial asset to the sales process, and one that more teams than ever are adopting.
Sales engagement platforms are straightforward for the user, but wonderfully complex behind the scenes. On the surface, the software provides sales reps with a single, streamlined interface that sits atop existing applications and integrates data and content from all of the various platforms.
Although they’re known for being intuitive and easily adaptable, sales engagement platforms actually need to be capable of being significantly complex. The software is responsible for:
- Storing, managing, and recommending content and other sales collateral
- Tracking and organizing prospect communication
- Monitoring, analyzing, and strategizing next steps for outreach sequences
It also eliminates and/or automates administrative tasks, brings valuable data and insight to the surface (ideally, directly in the inbox), and enables and empowers reps to tackle personalized outreach on a large, but targeted scale.
In short, sales engagement software helps teams plan, execute, measure, and refine their interactions with customers.
What Are the Benefits of a Sales Engagement Platform?
There’s a reason why an increasing number of sales and marketing teams are prioritizing the adoption of a sales engagement platform.
Today’s B2B buyers have access to more buying information than ever, and they’re taking advantage of it — increasingly, prospects are choosing to do more and more of their own research, without input from marketing or sales. They prefer to move through the buying process independently.
In fact, nearly half of hardware and software buyers made their purchase decision without ever speaking to a member of the sales team.
With todays’ buyers so reluctant to engage with sales teams, each and every interaction is extremely valuable. It’s imperative that sellers and marketers maintain insight into buyer behavior so that they can be prepared to reach out with strategic content when the ideal moment arises. That’s where sales engagement platforms come in.
A sales engagement platform can help sellers design, optimize, track, and analyze a multi-touch, multi-channel buying experience that’s highly personalized, well-timed, and simple to automate at scale.
It empowers sales reps to take advantage of highly-planned opportunities to generate meaningful touchpoints with prospects.
Sales engagement platforms, in short, help sellers know what to do next with individual prospects — at scale and backed by data.
Sales engagement platforms improve workflows and the overall sales process by:
- Improving sales efficiency
- Improving communication among teams, and between prospects and sellers
- Integrating with and enhancing the capabilities of existing tools
When those three things are achieved, sales reps are able to more reliably and efficiently win higher-quality deals.Prospecting made easyAutomated campaigns with emails, calls, and social touches
Improve Sales Efficiency
One easily-measurable way that sales engagement software improves the sales process is by shortening the sales cycle and improving overall productivity and efficiency.
Sales engagement improves sales efficiency by:
- Automating administrative processes like activity logging, sequencing and dispatching prospecting campaigns, and updating dashboards with sales metrics
- Connecting the CRM system to the inbox and LinkedIn so that all relevant information is readily available to reps
- Creating, storing, analyzing proven messaging templates and sales scripts for future use
Sales efficiency is a more pressing problem than ever — sales professionals today spend very little of their time actually selling. In fact, only 36% of their time is allocated to sales-specific revenue-generating activities.
Sales engagement software improves efficiency in the sales process by automating administrative tasks and subsequently freeing up more time for selling.
Sales engagement platforms also make the sales process more efficient by equipping sellers with the insights and resources needed to make timely, authentic connections with prospects.
The software can read buyer signals and anticipate the best way to respond to each prospect based on where they are in the process and how they’ve interacted with your brand up until that point.
To sum up, sales engagement platforms shorten the sales cycle by freeing up sales reps’ time and teeing up the exact content a prospect needs to progress through the funnel at any given time.
Although speed is certainly important to a successful sales process, nothing will ever trump the importance of building authentic, trusting relationships with prospects. The way that salespeople do that is through effective and timely communication.
Sales engagement platforms help sellers communicate effectively at scale and with confidence. The software can help sellers design and execute broad-reaching and complex outreach sequences that are both highly personalized and repeatable.
It can also track those outreach efforts once they’re deployed to further refine the process of curating content for prospects at various stages of the sales pipeline.
In essence, sales engagement software allows sales reps to come immaculately prepared for every conversation.
Integrate with Existing Tools
One of the biggest drawbacks to implementing new tools in your tech stack is facing the risk of the new tool counteracting the productivity of an existing one.
Fortunately, the best sales engagement tools were designed with that issue in mind. They sit atop existing CRM and other sales software solutions to enhance their various capabilities. The sales engagement platform you choose should eliminate — or, at the very least, not add to — the need to toggle back and forth between your various sales tools.
It should be capable of auto-logging to and from any other existing platforms, as well as executing processes and analyzing data from a variety of touches and channels. It’s meant to be a single platform that stores all relevant data and surfaces it when you need it.
This expectation around seamless integration doesn’t just apply to sales, either — marketing, accounting, and support teams should also be able to integrate their current processes into the sales engagement platform. All teams should also have fully transparent access to workflows within the system.
Tip: Check out our free ebook for building a successful tech stack for your business.The Optimal Technology Stack for B2B Sales TeamsUsing data from the most successful business-scaling models, we designed a blueprint for the exact technology your business needs at each phase of growth.
Win More Quality Deals
Although sales engagement tools can have a dramatic impact on the day-to-day workings of a sales team, the bigger picture is equally impactful. Sales engagement software helps salespeople win higher-value deals. Not only that, it helps sellers win more of them — more often and more predictably.
Sales engagement software improves deal quality by providing data on which content is most effective with which buyer persona or prospect. It guides sellers on when to use what sales collateral. Sales reps can use this insight to prioritize and strategically nurture the most promising leads in the funnel.
With sales engagement tools, sales reps can make better decisions. It allows them to focus on strategizing and executing specific triggers that make the most difference for the most engaged accounts.
How to Choose the Best Sales Engagement Platform for Your Business
Now that sales engagement platforms are becoming more popular, it can be hard to know which one will best support your team. There are many capable platforms to choose from, each with its own pros and cons.
The platform you choose will ultimately depend on the unique needs of your team, but there are some general look-fors that all good sales engagement platforms should have in order to be capable and flexible enough to meet the rest of your team’s needs.
Multi-Team Access and Support
First and foremost, the sales engagement platform you choose should support a variety of use cases across all the revenue-supporting teams within your organization.
Many sales and marketing professionals falsely believe that sales engagement platforms are strictly for prospecting; this could not be further from the truth. The best sales engagement platforms’ capabilities should stretch far beyond prospecting, and offer robust support for:
- Workflow management
- Activity logging
- Template performance
- Call/email engagement statistics
In other words, sales engagement platforms should easily handle all things related to account management.
Next, the platform should offer powerful and intuitive automation.
There should be processes and organization in place for storing and tracking data around:
- A/B testing
- Scheduling meetings
- Call logs
- Email sequences
These features alone will make a tremendous difference in your teams’ productivity and output.
Finally, it’s important to consider how easy it will be to implement your new software solution. Does the tool offer native CRM integration? Can you access CRM data via Gmail or Microsoft Outlook? Does it integrate with LinkedIn?
In general, the sales engagement platform you choose should offer teams the opportunity to access the CRM and manage workflows directly from the inbox.
As you go through the process of choosing a sales engagement platform, consider the following:
- Is the platform flexible and broad-reaching enough to meet the needs of all customer-facing teams?
- How much time will my team save if they use the platform?
- How well can the platform integrate with my teams’ existing process?
- Is it easy to learn and adopt?
- Are there any data security or compliance risks?
- How much ongoing management will the platform require? Will it ultimately make more time available to us, or require more time to use and manage?
There may not be a clear winner across all of these questions, so it’s important to consider them holistically and choose the platform that will meet the most needs, most easily.
How Yesware Can Help Your Sales Team Close More Deals
Yesware — the one-stop-shop for intelligent outreach at scale — can take your sales strategy to the next level with our intuitive engagement capabilities.
Create Campaign Templates
Yesware’s email template feature allows you to automate and send higher-converting emails, without the repetitive busywork. With Yesware, you’ll never write the same email twice.
Our ready-to-go templates personalize in seconds and can be auto-scheduled to send at the exact moment your leads are ready to engage.
Speaking of personalization, Yesware also allows you to completely personalize all of your automated outreach with our prospecting campaign feature. Here, you can create automated email campaigns or multi-channel campaigns with calls and social touches.
You can choose from a variety of different touch-types, including automated or manual emails, LinkedIn InMails, and other custom touches.
You can easily integrate Salesforce CRM to add recipients directly from Leads or Contact records or bulk import entire list views. Customize emails automatically with dynamic fields or one at a time.Connect with more buyersClose better deals through better email outreach
Automate Them (Including Follow-up and Scheduling)…
Did you know that 70% of leads are never contacted, yet 65% of marketing budget goes to lead generation?
This is an absolutely tremendous waste of resources and a problem that can be easily solved with some simple organization and structure.
Yesware helps you stay on top of who needs initial contact, who needs follow-up, and when they need it.
You can automate follow-up emails to go out when prospects don’t respond to your first outreach. Yesware will remove recipients who reply or book a meeting automatically.
You can also automate the scheduling process.
Yesware’s Meeting Scheduler allows you to insert your meeting link into your templates and campaigns, then watch your calendar fill up all on its own. It integrates with both your Outlook and Gmail calendar.
Our reporting and analytics features allow you to track which content works best for certain kinds of customers. This will enable you to give a customized experience for each recipient, making automated personalization truly scalable.
And our in-depth Presentation Reports provide a streamlined analysis of the most engaging content in your sales playbook.
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