20 Mar Sales Engagement Platforms: The Future of Selling
The way businesses buy is rapidly changing and as a result they way companies sell is also rapidly changing. New solutions, vendors and sales tools are expanding into various industries at a fast rate. Different vendors keep churning out new sales tools that promise to increase your productivity. Sorting through the chaos can be challenging, but one trend in particular is changing the sales process paradigm. Companies big and small are reorganizing their sales teams to have dedicating sales prospectors. For companies that are thinking about or have already made this move, the incumbent CRM solutions do not adequately address these process changes. In order for your new sales prospecting team to thrive, you need to look towards the future by investing in a Sales Development Platform.
Although utilizing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems have helped sales reps save time and better manage customer relationships, these systems are just not enough on their own for today’s dedicated prospecting teams. And with this huge shift to sales development and engagement software, the tech industry has taken notice. Aragon Research predicts that the market for sales engagement platforms will explode from $700 million to $5 billion in the next five years.
If you don’t know yet: Sales Engagement Platforms (SEP) sometimes also called sales development platforms, are becoming a necessary tool among sales organizations throughout the world. All the tools needed are lumped together into a solid sales engagement software on a Sales Engagement Platform, helping the sales development reps engage prospects faster, improve prospect pursuit, communication and productivity, and ultimately helps lead to more closed sales. You certainly don’t want to invest in a sales tool that will complicate your sales process, you want to make your process as simple as possible. Because, as any sales professional knows, time constraints are a challenge that just about every sales rep never seem to have enough of it!
So what benefits do Sales Engagement Platforms offer your business organization? Let’s find out.
Manage Sales Content Easily
Sales reps are provided with engagement analytics through Sales Engagement Platforms providing key data to current pain points and opportunities. If you’re looking for insights into sales content assets, these analytics can help in determining popular content amongst your target audience and gives your business a huge competitive advantage in knowing what messages and content elements are working best.
Identifying which content generates more interest and increases engagement with the prospect will ultimately help you determine which assets are working best for you, and which aren’t providing value. Sales development reps use this information to tweak content and use it to close more sales. This enables sales development teams to focus their energy on deserving leads and increasing sales engagement and conversion, instead of blindly guessing at what the prospect wants to see.
With the help of advanced analytics, sales development reps are able to find out what both prospects and customers need in real time, no matter where they are in the funnel. When your reps are equipped with this information, it enables them to expedite their actions in pursuing a lead or prospect.
Some other analytical benefits to using a SEP include:
- CRM integration. When combined with CRM data, such as sales stage and closed status, SEP software can be used to guide contextual recommendations for what the sales rep should do next. Guided selling empowers sales leaders, letting them be more diligent and calculated when communicating internally, as well as to leads and prospects.
- Automated Touch Plans. These automated workflows help sales development reps manage the right next outreach tactic whether it be a phone call, voicemail, email or social media message. Without this type of workflow automation it would be impossible to manage a multi-step prospect pursuit process against the hundreds of leads that sales development reps engage each month.
- Real-time data. Sales work can be watched in real-time and used later for analyzing processes or coaching new sales people. Rather than relying on a rep’s estimate of close likelihood, sales management can see how opportunities are evolving based on actual sales involvement. Analytics can then drive a predictive model that points toward optimal sales resource allocation. This capability is key to accelerating the sales process.
- Reporting and measurement. With the best sales engagement platform, you can instantly see when your team hits its goals and milestones. This helps keep accountability in check and gives leaders an effective way to manage sales reps.
- Mobile analytics. Smartphones have become readily available which has changed web browsing and other online interactions as we know it. With the power of mobile analytics, sales reps are able to engage prospects at anywhere and anytime. More customers are engaged via mobile phones which can lead to sales increase.
- Email templates. Templating lets you easily create multiple emails with the click of a button. By using email templates, you can capture prospects at their moment-of-interest, a crucial time in the buying process.
Constant and Multiple Forms of Communication:
Communication has never been more important that it is now. There’s a need for you to always communicate with your prospects so that you can keep your business at the top of their mind. There are a variety of tools you can utilize in communicating with prospects but the most important thing is your sales message. Your messages must be communicated through a reliable medium and in a way that makes following up less stressful (and saves time as well).
Thanks to Sales Engagement Platforms, reps are able to keep in touch with potential clients through various forms of communication like email, phone and text. In addition, SEPs makes it easier for reps to conduct sales presentations and live pitches. Reps are more likely to get quicker results through live pitches that fast-track the sales process.
Learning from the Pipeline and Forecasting Opportunities
Learning from your current sales pipeline will help you make more impactful forecasting decisions. Forecasting is focused on later stage deals, meaning the ones that are far enough along that you can begin to get a feel for the likelihood of success in the current quarter. The pipeline refers to every opportunity a sales rep might be working on – including the ones that are far enough along to be at the forecast stage – but there are many other opportunities in the pipeline that are not that far along yet.
Organizations must learn about their diverse pipeline opportunities before they can successfully manage those incoming opportunities. They need to know the worth of every deal in the pipeline, how much time is spent on each prospect in the pipeline and most importantly, the conversion rate of closing sales. Even though most of this data is already provided by customer relation management software, we also need advanced sales engagement platform tools to gain a fuller picture of this information. A SEP will help your sales team improve their timing for follow-up activities and help them improve engage with the prospects through a more insightful selling approach.
Lifecycle Support for Customers
Sales reps can get easily frustrated dealing with the customer lifecycle. From pitching, to follow up, to close, to support and expansion – it is never easy. And the work never stops.
Here’s where SEP proves useful. A Sales Engagement Platform is the perfect tool to use to support targeted selling and predictive analytics. It consolidates the customer engagement data needed to feed the sales cycle. All this is rooted in the unique needs and engagement of the customer, and since it gives reps the equipment needed to effectively respond to prospect signals, it ultimately shortens the sales cycle.