A Guide to Choosing The Right Sales Engagement Platform
In modern-day sales, it would be easy for you to find sales reps who use multiple channels to engage, prospect, follow-up, and sell. According to stats, 80% of SDRs use at least three channels to communicate with prospects and customers. In doing so, they end up creating 15.5 touchpoints per contact.
Sadly, many sales teams are pursuing these activities with the help of spreadsheets and multiple tools to manage lead data, prospect, and schedule meetings. Hubspot reports that even in 2023, 40% of sales reps still use tools like Outlook or Excel to store customer and lead data. Salesforce also found that 66% of sales reps are “drowning in tools”.
Honestly, it’s hard.
It is to consolidate multiple sales activities, and centralize customer & account data and their respective conversations, businesses have started using sales engagement platforms. conversations. According to TOPO’s Sales Development Technology Benchmark Survey, 92% of respondents rank sales engagement platforms as critical to their team’s success.
In this article, we’ll share with you everything about sales engagement platforms and the different features you should look for when selecting the right platform for your sales team.
Let’s get started!
What is a Sales Engagement Platform?
A Sales engagement platform helps sales teams undertake activities that aim to build relationships, understand customer needs, and ultimately drive sales. These tools automate repetitive tasks such as outreach, scheduling, lead routing, and reporting.
For example, Sellular, a sales engagement platform, lets sales reps automate their emails, calls, text messages, and social media interactions. It also enables domestic and international calling, maintains call records, and transcribes sales calls.
Sales engagement platform vs CRM
A customer relationship management system (CRM) is a system of record that collects and stores the lead’s contact information, such as email address, phone number, deal information, etc. It also tracks the past interactions you’ve had with the lead. For example, if you have emailed your client for the first time, the CRM will store that information.
Here’s an example from a Streak user who uses Streak CRM to track their activities within Gmail.
Furthermore, the user can track additional details like the specific email they sent to the lead, and whether they followed up with the client or not.
All in all, B2B companies use a CRM to:
- customer data
- Stage of the customer journey
- Enhances relationships by knowing at which stage of the customer journey their prospect is at.
A sales engagement platform automates your sales interactions on a deeper level, making sales communication more impactful. It automates your cold outreach on multiple channels like email, text, call, SMS and social. Additionally, it optimizes sales interactions — by recording, transcribing and analyzing sales calls and allows you to monitor your overall sales performance.
How Do Businesses Use SEPs To Increase Revenue
Businesses use sales engagement platforms to streamline and optimize how they engage with their prospects. Without SEPs, sales teams will fumble to manage conversations across multiple channels, mix up cadences and miss out on closing deals, resulting in a hampered bottom line.
1) Streamline sales pipelines
Filling up sales pipelines is the most important duty of sales reps. To carry this out effectively, reps would love a tool that packs a CRM, has a database to prospect, and helps with qualifying leads. Without a SEP, sales teams must manage all of these on spreadsheets and multiple tools. Hubspot research reveals that even in 2024, sales reps spend only 2 hours of their day selling - bogged down with many manual and admin tasks. Sales engagement platforms will help your team streamline various activities in your sales pipeline, helping prospects automate scheduling. Track conversations in a single place, and so on.
2) Close deals faster
Sales automation capabilities significantly enhance the efficiency of the sales process. Such automation in sales engagement platforms facilitates the swift and automatic execution of numerous sales-related tasks, thereby reducing the delays typically caused by sales representatives being preoccupied with other responsibilities. A study indicates that utilizing such software can improve sales productivity by up to 30%, emphasizing its effectiveness in eliminating the often lengthy gaps between customer interactions that arise due to administrative burdens.
3) Build relationships rather than simply cold outreaching
Rather than simply helping you knock on your prospects' doors randomly, sales engagement platforms help you make personalized pitches in the channels your customers like being talked to. They enable you to:
1. Personalize communication
2. Engage across channels
3. Plan timely follow-ups
4. Help build a long-term engagement strategy
5. Collect and visualize data for personalization
How to Choose a Sales Engagement Platform: The 4 Features You Must Look For
Wondering how to select the right sales engagement software for your organization?
To begin with, first, assess the needs of your team’s objectives. Then, look for the following features and select the right software accordingly:
1. Omnichannel communication
When sales teams are equipped with a platform that enables omnichannel communication, they can track multiple conversations in one place and speed up their engagement processes.
For instance, a sales rep may reach out to a prospect on LinkedIn and email, but without a single platform to track these conversations, they would struggle to keep up with multiple conversations and eventually lose the prospect.
To avoid losing high-quality deals in such circumstances, sales engagement software should integrate phone, email, text messaging, and social media and let sales reps track all the conversations from a single place or dashboard.
Sales engagement tools like Sellular offer omnichannel support. Here, sales reps can schedule multitouch sales cadences across different sales channels like email, SMS, calling, and LinkedIn.
Once the sales rep has identified a prospect they want to nurture, they can create a personalized email and execute outbound outreach based on the demographics and the desired lead nurturing activity. If the leads engage with the email, sales reps can further automate their processes and engage with these leads on other communication channels like SMS, calling, and LinkedIn.
2. Workflow automation
While the goal of a sales rep is to engage with the prospect and close the deal, sales reps have to go through zillions of manual tasks — doing back and forth to update the data manually in the database, craft emails for cold outreach campaigns, manually cold calling each prospect, following up with prospects and scheduling calls — which eats up a lot of your precious time. During this process, there’s a lot of hit-and-miss — maybe you missed following up with the prospect or reminding them about the upcoming meeting.
Sales engagement tools introduce workflow automation to eliminate this blocker and streamline the sales process.
Here are some of the common workflow automation features that sales engagement tools have:
- Email campaigns: This feature lets you create and automate drip campaigns, schedule emails, and segment each email campaign based on the subscribers on the email list.
- Task automation: This task automates the repetitive and manual activities that the sales rep does, like scheduling emails based on the prospect's highest engagement time, assigning a sales rep as soon as a lead enters the database following up with them, and auto-recording the sales call.
- Appointment scheduling: It enables integrations with tools like Google Calendar and Mixmax, which lets the prospects pick the most convenient time to book an appointment with the sales rep.
3. Phone and SMS capabilities
While most sales engagement tools offer email and social media communication, only a few platforms offer phone and SMS capabilities. With the help of these two powerful features, you can nail your cold calling.
For instance, Sellular offers global dialer capabilities that provide a dedicated business phone number to each sales rep in the sales team. Sales reps can then talk to the prospects and even text them to follow up with them.
Furthermore, it records these sales calls and transcribes each call — this is helpful for sales reps, as they can come back to see the discussion with prospects and even send the summary notes to prospects over email.
4. Reporting capabilities
The goal of a sales engagement platform is not just to help you interact with prospects better but to help you analyze your current sales process, understand the weak areas, and optimize it to improve the sales process.
And how can you do this? By tracking metrics and generating detailed reports. The reports are helpful for both the sales managers and the sales reps, as they help the sales managers analyze the performance of sales reps and provide insights to sales reps to improve their performance.
Sellular’s reporting features will help you:
- Measure team metrics like total calls, answered calls, and call durations
- Compare team performance
- Provide contact center data with real-time dashboards.
5 Sales Engagement Platforms To Consider
Once you assess your needs and understand the features you need in your sales engagement platform, you may pick one of the platforms from the following list and get started:
- Offers a powerful voice and texting system powered by Plivo; enables domestic and international calling, conferences, voicemail, transcription, text messaging, and call conferencing;
- Lets you view and edit all the Salesforce records from Sellular in real-time;
- Unifies all your sales tasks and activities to enable tracking sales productivity from a single place;
- Offers an advanced reporting feature that lets you measure sales team metrics, compare sales performance, and create custom reports.
- Offers an intuitive and familiar user experience;
- Offers flexible monthly contracts;
- Offers deep integrations with two-way sync to unify sales activities;
- Offers Smart Views and Outbound Sales CRM in all the pricing plans;
- Provides white-glove onboarding and free setup;
- Enables onboarding and account setup in a day;
- Provides 24*5 in-house customer support.
- Doesn’t offer extra features beyond sales engagement like revenue intelligence, managing customer success, and forecasting.
Sellular comes with two pricing options:
- Growth: Priced at $39 per user per month, this plan works best for sales teams wanting to scale sales automation and personalize email communication.
- Business: Priced at $69 per user per month, this plan works best for teams seeking voice and email omnichannel functionality and robust sales analytics.
Groove is a sales engagement platform that unifies the sales and revenue processes. The platform helps sales and revenue leaders grow and expand accounts, drive CRM adoption through automation and AI-assisted selling, and build a GTM engine with optimized messaging.
- Enables click-to-call anywhere from the web with Groove OmniDialer, which boosts the call volume
- Provides weekly sales reps’ performance reports
- Lets you record, transcribe and analyze sales conversations
- Integrates with Salesforce and LinkedIn
- Has a user-friendly interface
- Offers top-notch customer support
- Takes weeks to set up the account and onboard new customers
- Has a steep learning curve
- Has glitches in the calling feature
Groove does not offer a transparent pricing structure. Custom pricing is available on request, which increases the scope for selective treatment. Also, the platform demands a minimum of $10,000 annual spend for the first year.
RingCentral is a reliable sales engagement platform that helps centralize phone, SMS, and fax communication from one platform. It enables easier customer communication, as the sales reps can move their phone calls from desk phones to mobile apps and desktop apps. It also has great internal collaboration features to make communication between internal sales teams easier.
- Lets you send business SMS to individuals or groups in Microsoft Teams;
- Lets you host larger video meetings and conferences of up to 200 participants;
- Provides domestic calling and auto-call recording;
- Provides file sharing, team messaging, and other internal collaboration features.
- Has a user-friendly interface;
- Offers quick account setup and one-day onboarding;
- Integrates with Salesforce, Zendesk, and 300+ apps.
- Doesn’t offer smart views, outbound sales CRM, task manager, or email sequences;
- The customer support team has a slower response time on all support channels — chat, forums, and online support — compared to RingCentral’s competitors;
- Has a steep learning curve;
- Has complex documentation and FAQs.
RingCentral offers three pricing plans:
- Core: This plan offers basic phone calling features and is priced at $20 per user per month.
- Advanced: This plan offers an advanced phone system, automations, and insights. It is priced at $25 per user per month.
- Ultra: This plan offers a more comprehensive communications suite and is priced at $35 per user per month.
Klenty is a sales engagement platform that lets sales teams execute outreach across multiple channels, leverage contextual (and intent-based) follow-ups, and open new sales conversations.
- Lets you automatically record, transcribe, and analyze sales meetings with Call IQ;
- Helps you place call after call with one click, organizes the prospect data and scripts, and syncs notes to CRM with Klenty’s Sales Dialer;
- Lets you identify where the prospects are in their buying journey and automate the sales process using Sales Cadence;
- Enables multi-channel outreach and prospecting via emails, calls, texts, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp.
- Offers SMS texting;
- Offers Bi-directional Salesforce Sync.
- Offers a bad email deliverability experience;
- Lacks flexibility in email scheduling on different days of the week;
- Doesn't offer smart views for streamlined workflow;
- Has a steep learning curve.
Klenty comes with 4 pricing options:
- Startup: This plan works best for sales teams who want to increase their response rate and is priced at $50 (currently offered at $40) per user per month.
- Growth: This plan works best for sales teams who want a clean and updated CRM and is priced at $70 (currently offered at $56) per user per month.
- Pro: This plan works best for sales teams looking for a KPI-driven sales process and is priced at $100 (currently offered at $80) per user per month.
- Enterprise: This plan works best for enterprise teams who want a customized solution.
Salesloft is another alternative that lets sellers execute their digital selling tasks, communicate with prospects, use sales analytics, and get sales coaching to improve their sales skills.
- Allows you to create and view collections of sales meeting recordings;
- Lets you transcribe, analyze, and summarize every sales conversation with Salesloft’s Conductor AI software.
- Offers powerful dialing capabilities with SalesLoft Dialer;
- Provides high-quality customer support experience.
- Has a steep learning curve;
- Doesn’t allow you to import or export personal cadences from .CSV files.
SalesLoft consists of three pricing packages: Essentials, Advanced, and Premier. However, the pricing details are unavailable upfront.
Speed Up Your Engagement with Sellular
82% of SDRs already use cadence-based sales engagement tools to build and manage their sales pipeline. Clearly, your competitors are using sales engagement platforms to close deals faster. It’s time to simplify your sales process with a sales engagement platform like Sellular. Our features include:
- High-quality centralized communication
- Workflow automation
- Phone and SMS capabilities
- Reporting capabilities
Want to see if Sellular meets your needs? Request a demo!