What’s in your tech stack? Many of today’s sales and marketing professionals depend on sales engagement platforms to stay aligned and meet quarterly goals. We’re not talking about CRMs. While effective use of your SalesForce or HubSpot instance remains important, organizations now require a more detailed view into their winning, losing, and stalled deals. They require insights that can only come from the real-time visibility and analysis of cross-departmental data.
That’s why revenue teams are adding sales engagement tools to their stacks, despite the wider tech consolidation trend. It’s all about adapting to an increasingly digital business landscape.
According to a 2020 article in the Harvard Business Review, “Sales organizations can survive and thrive in the new digital world by responding to the changes digital brings to products, customers, salespeople, and sales channels.” The article drives this point home: “A more data-driven approach to sales decision-making will be critical for success.”
Find out how leading sales professionals put sales engagement platforms to use in this recorded Art & Science panel discussion webinar. This episode is part of the ongoing Success Series of webinars brought to you by the marketing experts at Virtual Intelligence Briefing.
GET EXPERT TIPS AND ADVICE
In today’s episode, Tom Riddle, Director of Survey and Research Solutions at ViB, is joined by three ViB customers who are experienced sales and marketing professionals: EJ Martinez, Manager of Inside Sales Readiness at VMware; Carlos Araujo, Director of Demand Gen at Softchoice; and Theron Glenny, General Manager at Greaser Consulting.
Tom and his panel of experts will share tips and advice about sales engagement platforms, including:
- Key capabilities of sales engagement platforms
- How sales engagement tools align sales and marketing efforts
- Where sales enablement tools fits into your tech stack
- Ways to drive more pipeline without adding headcount
- How to implement sales engagement platforms into your current tech stack
- and more!
LEARN THE KEY CAPABILITIES OF SALES ENGAGEMENT PLATFORMS
Sales engagement platforms give companies a range of key capabilities. They integrate with your CRMs, allow you to easily share content, make touchpoints more personal, and identify actions that impact deals and opportunities.
According to Theron, “The key word here is engagement.” These platforms provide not just insight into engagement with prospects and customers. They also allow you to take effective next steps to achieve it. “Whether it’s outbound or inbound, you can create a sequence of touchpoints that salespeople have been doing for years.” Sales engagement tools help teams be more effective, allowing “you to really execute your process with excellence.”
Carlos says that sales enablement platforms help marketers think like salespeople, and vice versa. “A sales engagement platform is a very good tool to help that kind of a confluence.” For instance, marketers can move beyond the “traditional email marketing that we send one email, two emails and forget about it.” Rather, teams get a clear view into multiple touchpoints, next steps, and better approaches that collectively help close deals.
DISCOVER HOW SALES ENABLEMENT PLATFORMS ALIGN DEPARTMENTS
According to Carlos, having a tool that can be leveraged by both sales and marketing makes a difference to a company’s long-term success. He sees “marketing and sales teams working very closely together to leverage” the insights provided by sales enablement platforms. Collaboration is driven by the opportunities both teams gain when they work together.
Carlos explains how these platforms create effective handoffs between departments. “Sales can start a conversation and when it hits a threshold marketing can pick up the conversation and continue the nurture or the engagement.” And both teams can tap into data that reveals “what type of message is resonating, and what’s not resonating.” When teams are able to effectively join forces, execution is all the more successful.
FIND OUT WHERE SALES ENABLEMENT PLATFORMS FIT INTO TECH STACKS
One challenge for sales leaders is selecting a tool that works within their current tech stacks. Theron points to the sheer number of technologies available to sales and marketing teams today. It’s critical to understand the different purposes of key technologies.
“Your CRM system is your system of record,” he explains. “It’s where all of your data is. But your CRM is not the place where your sales team needs to be executing the sales process.” Instead, processes should be executed from a sales enablement platform. “That’s your cockpit if you’re a salesperson.” But all that data should then be written back to your CRM. The two systems should work in tandem but have different reasons for being in your tech stack.
Theron points out the importance of automation. “Marketing automation plugs into your system of record and because of that, there’s a really great flow from marketing to sales.” Without automation, reports are stagnant and real-time actions get overlooked. When CRMs are integrated with sales enablement platforms, “there’s a seamless flow to make sure that sales is able to reach out and follow up with leads in a very timely manner.”
DRIVE MORE PIPELINE WITHOUT ADDING HEADCOUNT
There’s a simple explanation for why companies are rushing to add sales enablement platforms to their tech stacks: more pipeline and more closed deals.
According to Carlos, these tools are “a faster way to respond on a large scale while still keeping some level of personalization.” But the real benefits are to the sales pipeline. “Everybody is looking for a faster way to get pipeline acceleration,” he says, while also enabling “more deals to be closed.”
“Ultimately it comes down to driving more pipeline and being relevant to more people without having to occur the extra headcount” that is usually required.
According to EJ, sales enablement platforms let teams “automate some things that are typically rather laborious.” With automation comes greater insight into the data that’s being gathered. Analyzing that data helps teams close more deals. “Data analytics in general has come so far and machine learning and artificial intelligence are such hot buzzwords right now, but they’re important because it’s impactful.”
Sales enablement tools also help boost performance across teams. EJ says that they allow sales leaders “to really understand what separates a good rep from an average rep.” For marketing teams, these tools help everyone better “understand what is working and what is not working.” The insights that come from sales enablement platforms lead to more pipeline because they help teams constantly improve. “All that information is just fueling better future decisions.”
GET TIPS FOR IMPLEMENTING A SALES ENABLEMENT PLATFORM
When it comes to selecting and implementing a sales enablement platform, EJ’s advice is to start small. “Be very deliberate with the decisions you make and the intended future desired outcomes.” Start by identifying any broken behaviors in your organization and plan for how to fix them. “Otherwise, what happens is you just continue to build a sales engagement platform on a wobbly foundation of processes that are broken.”
Carlos emphasizes that sales enablement platforms are “not just a prospecting tool.” They’re critical for the entire customer journey. “Start with a more curious mindset,” he says, but also understand how to leverage these tools beyond just conversions.
Sales enablement platforms are a critical tool for helping you make good decisions that drive success for your business. Find out more by listening to the entire episode, “Art and Science of Sales Engagement Platforms.”
If you are interested in learning more about ViB and our effective marketing programs, contact us.