Supercharging Sales Teams with Sales Engagement Platforms
Navigating a global pandemic has been a new territory for all of us. In this new era of working from home and shrinking budgets, many organizations have struggled with the sudden loss of face-to-face interactions and are taking a closer look at their sales tech stack to make the most of each.
Sales engagement platforms (SEPs) are one such technology that all sales-led organizations should be considering to drive revenue during this difficult period.
Making the case for Sales engagement Platforms (SEP)
The sales engagement platform is the force multiplier that revenue-led organisations need to increase efficiency and improve results at all stages of the sales cycle.
These platforms provide insight for every single role and deliver momentum at every stage of the sales process. This enables organisations to align all their teams in their revenue engine, gain visibility into the moving parts of the sales process and secure control and predictability of business results.
By making it easier for salespeople to do the job, freeing up approximately 20% of their time, SEPs supercharge the sales process. They do this by automating tasks, standardising workflows, and enabling a higher degree of personalisation when it comes to messaging. Many platforms also use artificial intelligence (AI) and data layering that enables precise analytics and A/B testing features.
While these SEPs are packed with complex technical features, they are designed to act as a centralised platform for all sales engagement, easily integrating with CRMs, the marketing stack and every channel used for external engagement – from social media to video conferencing. This simplifies the work of sales representatives and improves the quality of data sales leaders have access to as they revise their forecasts for the post-COVID era.
How SEPs Impacts Your Team, Customers, and Performance
Ideally, the SEP runs on top of and parallel to an organization’s sales process. It shares the same playbooks, milestones, and customer touchpoints. The only difference is the amount of science it provides selling activities and the superpowers it grants sales representatives, with the potential to generate a return on investment (ROI) of 387% over three years.
Used well, SEPs act as the cornerstone of an organization’s sales process, including:
Strategy Formulation and Sales Process Buildout
For the management side of a business, an SEP streamlines workflows across different teams and stages, which drives interdepartmental synergies and helps improve the productivity of sales representatives. It also provides a single coherent platform for strategic planning and to strengthen the impact of customer-facing and revenue-generating teams.
SEPs also grant visibility into which representatives are engaging with prospects using the right messaging and approach. This can help leaders to understand which members of the team need further education and assistance. Built-in analytics and A/B testing features also enable sales leaders to generate useful insight and carefully tweak any element, sequence, or tactic to optimise results.
Lead Qualification and Nurturing
An SEP makes sure that all leads entering a sales funnel go through a predefined sequence of touchpoints. These sequences provide the necessary personalized messages and customer experiences to turn prospects into sales-qualified leads.
Typically, we predict only 10% of cold calls turn into meetings. Many features of an SEP are designed to ensure high-quality conversations that result in stronger relationships and a higher number of booked appointments. These features include advanced analytics, intent-aware AI, and A/B testing.
Deal Closing and Account Management
Any sales development team worth its weight has a healthy number of sales qualified leads with the intent to purchase. Yet, with only 1 in 4 opportunities turning into a win for the business, identifying which leads are the warmest and where to dedicate the most energy is often a challenge. SEPs remove the guesswork and perform the heavy lifting usually required when preparing and closing opportunities so that sales representatives and leaders don’t have to. The automation and analytics features help to optimise the number of scheduled meetings, meetings held, close rates, and other metrics to speed up the process from lead qualification to purchase.
For corporate accounts with many decision makers, SEPs are also provisioned for account-based selling (ABS). A good platform allows you to create, test, and improve persona-based sequences and account-based playbooks, which takes the guesswork even further out of the sales engagement equation for optimum results.
It is not enough to simply close a deal. As we enter a new phase of the COVID crisis, many brands are spending as much time to keep their customers happy and upselling to them as they are prospecting new customers.
The hyper-personalized messaging and proactive experiences the SEP provides salespeople helps drive adoption and renewals, monitors customer satisfaction, and notifies account executives when risk arises. This allows the sales team to plan, manage and work on their pipeline even after the prospect has become a customer. This extends the lifecycle value of each customer to generate even better value for the business.
Tech is now part and parcel of many companies’ operations – it’s high time sales functions across the UK ditched the little black book in favor of accurate data, predictive AI and an always-on coach to maximize the value of their sales team and turn them into what they are designed to be: the engine driving business growth.