Over 30% of sales teams agree that integrating modern sales technology into their traditional workflows is one of their top priorities over the next 12 months. And the benefits of this integration are real, with the market for Sales Engagement Platforms (SEP) expected to grow to at least USD 5 Bn over the next few years, meaning it’s a booming trend.
In this post-pandemic era, sales isn’t just about gathering leads or cold calling now and then, it has turned into a more personalized experience, and clients expect it from companies approaching them. That’s where a Sales Engagement Platform comes in. It enables sales executives to engage with customers with the right message, at the right time, at every stage of the buyer journey with a mix of personalization and automation backed by rich analytics.
Despite the clear benefits of using Sales Engagement Platforms, moving from spreadsheets to this new tech can be an operational nightmare without careful thought and preparation.
In this article, we explore the five key factors to consider before deploying a Sales Engagement Platform.
How well does your technology fit in with a SEP?
It is essential to know whether a new sales engagement platform fits your existing sales stack. Understanding how this integration is meant to power your workflow and take the weight off your sales teams’ shoulders is also crucial.
If it’s more than two technologies working together in one workflow, a “technical validation” is a must by an executive who understands these technologies in-depth, as this is one of the most important things to consider before deploying a Sales Engagement Platform.
For example, suppose a Marketing Automation System, a CRM, and a Sales Engagement Platform work together in a workflow. In that case, the integration must be smooth to avoid losing out on any potential leads. If your SEP doesn’t talk to your CRM, or worse, your marketing automation system isn’t tightly integrated at the top of the funnel; the entire solution falls flat.
This can be discovered by testing the integration of critical capabilities such as workflows, emailing, calling, and other activities with your CRM.
Is the Lead Management Process Flow concrete?
Any great technology will fail to bring results if it is not fit with the processes that follow. A lead management process flow must be in place when deploying an SEP because every lead gathered could be of utmost importance to the sales teams. Gathering quality leads is one part of lead management, but driving that lead through the funnel and turning it into a sale is a complete Lead management process flow. You have to focus on a variety of process areas and make sure each of them suits the new integrated workflow, including:
Gather in-depth Lead information: Identify your ideal customers and their buying questions. In understanding common pain points and areas of interest, you can effectively develop the right pitch to address them during the buying process.
Prepare an engagement process: No lead must be lost because of a break in communication, so it’s essential to have a formal engagement process in place to avoid losing a lead. Simple processes such as next-day follow-up or personalized emails with additional offers can be suitable for the process.
Set up lead-scoring criteria: A points-based system can help move leads down the funnel while accumulating points for behavior and demographics such as persona type, engagement, buying stage, and velocity. This will help in understanding the different stages of customer behavior and how fast the conversion was.
It is highly crucial to understand that the whole point of deploying an SEP is to save time and automate workflows, so the essential KPIs to measure include the time taken and ease of integration into the existing workflows.
Once we’re done putting these processes in place and integrating a Sales Engagement Platform with them, witnessing powerful Sales Automation will be a living reality.
What is your Content strategy?
Sales is a constantly-moving evolutionary process that needs changes with time. It is paramount for sales teams to answer specific questions as a part of clarity in the process.
- What are we saying to the prospects?
- What message are we conveying, and how is it important to them?
- How can we engage the prospects through a simple message?
Once these questions are answered, it is of utmost importance to craft a content strategy that suits your target group of prospects because engaging, relevant content will foster a dialogue at each stage of the buying cycle.
Your goal is to ensure your messaging and content are up to date and reflect your go-to-market strategy. Inevitably, you’ll identify some content gaps, and appropriate teams can help fill those gaps, so your sales team is properly armed.
To offer you a simple process to start with, you can try this:
- Segment your prospects into easily identifiable Buyer Personas that exhibit similar patterns in their buying decisions.
- Craft an engagement strategy for each persona – when and how to use automated messaging vs. personalized human touch.
- Use a proven framework to create relevant content for each group.
- Promote creative collaboration between Marketing and Sales teams and allow them to develop content together.
Are your existing operations ready to be integrated with an SEP?
Keeping data clean, enriched, and properly managed is a monumental task, especially for prospects we’re specifically targeting. When looking to deploy a Sales Engagement Platform to your database, companies should ask themselves questions such as:
- Do we want to automate any processes between our new SEP and the old CRM/database?
- What kind of data do we want in our SEP?
- What tools do we currently use to address data management issues?
- What is our current process for managing duplicate records?
Remember that your data management practices will significantly impact the utility and adoption of your new platform. Starting with simple processes, such as implementing a de-duplication process or email deliverability testing, can help save both time and money. This is one of the very crucial things to consider before deploying a Sales Engagement Platform.
It is also vital to take an honest look at the existing sales operations by examining your sales processes, available solutions, their complexity, and the KPIs, as the maturity of your sales operation matter a lot in this case.
Any sales technology is only as good as the people, communications, and processes you have in place. Otherwise, you’ll be paying for a service that you’re not using to its total capacity.
Is your Team Ready to Bring the Change?
Never will your company culture be more apparent than when going through a significant change. Implementing and deploying a Sales Engagement Platform, especially in a traditional sales environment, is a substantial change and can be quite challenging trying to get everyone on the same page. Change requires strategy, communication, and buy-in to be successful. If salespeople sense that a change may be a burden, they’re less likely to adopt it.
Success here often depends on the big question:
“Have you cultivated an environment of excellence and resilience, and will your reps react to this new change with those values in mind?”
If you’re not sure how your reps and other potential users will react to a new Sales Engagement Platform, make a formal internal announcement and be highly transparent with your team to build trust in your final decision and prepare them for the inevitable challenges of changing processes and implementing new technology.
Sales intelligence platforms such as Draup are helping Fortune 500 enterprises scale their sales efforts and empower their sales representatives with AI-driven insights, account intelligence, peer intelligence, and more.
With Draup, your sales team can map out each phase of the sales process, identify areas with gaps and inefficiencies, and recommend which technology works the best to boost sales and enhance the customer-client relationship.