A Proper Introduction to Sales Engagement Platforms
Before we get ahead of ourselves, a proper introduction is in order.
Sales Engagement Platforms (SEP’s) are applications leveraged by sales teams to organize and execute the delivery of multi-step sales campaigns to their top prospects.
In layman terms, these campaigns consist of a combination of emails, phone calls, and other touch-points.
All of these activities are then automatically logged and stored in a CRM without extra manual intervention.
Bottom line – SEP’s enable reps to focus time and effort on revenue-generating activities and automate time-draining tasks.
What We'll Cover
We introduced you to Sales Engagement in the 5 Types of Tools to Unleash Your Sales Productivity in 2020.
Now, we’re going to dig a bit deeper.
Here, you’ll read about:
- A Brief History of the Curve-Jumping Technology
- How SEP’s Maximize Sales Potential
- A Red-Hot Take on SEP’s & CRM’s
- Sales Tech Stacks: Systems of Record & Systems of Engagement
- Next Steps
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1) A Brief Overview & History of the Curve Jumping Technology
The invention of the Sales Engagement Platform back around 2013 irreversibly changed the B2B sales profession.
Seemingly overnight, the massive wave started.
Sales teams now had the means to scalably reach out to target prospects and track activity at a pace that was simply unprecedented at the time.
Put simply, SEP’s enable salespeople to work faster than humanly possible.
It’s like going from:
- using a screwdriver or a sledgehammer to using a power-drill or a bulldozer..
- riding on horseback to riding in a car..
- using a Razr to an iPhone..
- snail mail to Amazon Prime..
- dial-up to 5G
You get the picture.
2) How SEP's Maximize Sales Potential
Let’s do a little before and after, shall we?
Managing Sales Campaigns – Without Sales Engagement:
- 1) Reps manually compile lists of target accounts and prospects in spreadsheets, sticky-notes, or CRM
- 2) Reps copy & paste emails, manually adjust for their recipient, and send one by one
- 3) Reps don’t have visibility into email opens, clicks, and replies
- 4) Reps manually input activity into a CRM or don’t at all
- 5) Reps track progression through a sales campaign in a spreadsheet or through manually created tasks in CRM
See a theme?
The constant manual intervention places a huge drain on resources.
So, if your sales team is responsible for executing outbound campaigns – and you’re NOT using a Sales Engagement Platform – you’re incurring massive opportunity cost.
Now, let’s compare to the new way.
Managing Sales Campaigns – With Sales Engagement:
- 1) Reps centrally track their target prospects and accounts in an external application and directly link to their CRM
- 2) Reps can write emails once and automatically generate pre-filled templates for each prospects.
- 3) Reps have full visibility and real-time monitoring of opens, clicks, and replies.
- 4) Reps can automatically log activities in their CRM without manual work
- 5) Reps track progression through a sales campaign in the SEP and can focus on execution.
Which world would you rather live in?
"If your sales team is responsible for executing outbound campaigns to convert prospects - and you're NOT using a Sales Engagement Platform - you're incurring massive opportunity cost."
Remember this. For every hour you save per work-week over the course of a year, you’ll get an entire work-week back.
3) A Red-Hot Take: SEP's Are As Mission-Critical As CRM's for Driving Growth
You might be thinking, “Whoa there sir, we’ve been doing just fine without Sales Engagement!”
If that’s the case, you’re probably not fully aware of the opportunity cost being left on the table.
Let’s play pretend for just a moment..
Imagine you’re a world-class Olympic sprinter.
And you’re due to participate in a winner-take-all race between you and your competitors.
It’s just a 1 mile straight shot.
Your competitors aren’t even in shape.
How could you lose!?
You’re the first step up to the starting line. And around the corner, here come your competitors..
All behind the wheels of brand-new, high-performance sports cars.
Obviously, there’s no way you’ll win.
Even if you’re the fastest, hardest-working, most talented sprinter of all time, the cars will win hands down.
They can move faster than humanly possible.
When it comes to competing in the arena of sales, it’s the same thing (just swap the cars for Sales Engagement).
You can be the most efficient, hardest working, determined person ever. But even average competitors can & will outpace you with the right tools.
And while CRM’s are extremely important, they won’t really help you move faster and engage the market at scale.
But SEP’s will!
4) The Sales Tech Stack for Prospecting: SEP's to CRM's
To this point, we’ve covered that:
- CRM’s are strong at serving as a System of Record (where data is stored)
- CRM’s are typically weak at serving as a System of Engagement (where data is collected)
This is exactly why tools are stacked on one another. Where one stops, another starts.
For a sales prospecting process, here are the essentials:
Using these tools collectively, you’ll:
- Centralize prospects in your CRM.
- Research them with sales intelligence tools
- Build lists with lead-generation tools
- Engage with sales engagement tools
There are plenty of other solutions that can surround these. You can even use multiple tools for one purpose in some cases. But these are the core essentials for a prospecting tech stack.
"If you want to maximize productivity and potential, the right tools have to be stacked on top of the CRM."
5) Next Steps
If these tools are not a part of your everyday workflow as a rep, bringing them into your stack can be exciting.
But, please consider a couple words of caution..
If you don’t know how to drive a car, you’ll probably crash. Same thing with Sales Engagement. Learn how to use the systems first and avoid common mistakes others make!
And before you acquire a SEP (or any new technology), be sure to do your research and get the right system for your needs.
No matter where you are on the search for information or a new platform, we have you covered:
- If you’re still not sure if SEP’s are right for you, at least take a look at 4 Signs It’s Time to Adopt Sales Engagement
- If you’re still learning about SEP’s and don’t want to learn key lessons the hard way, check out 9 Critical Mistakes Teams Make When Using Sales Engagement.
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