Find the best Sales Engagement Platforms
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Sales teams are responsible for customer prospecting, lead scoring and nurturing, forecasting, upselling, cross-selling, and much more. They constantly interact with customers via channels such as calls, texts, and emails, and use several tools to manage these interactions. However, tracking every single customer interaction or touch point isn't an easy job.
A sales engagement platform consolidates customer communication across channels and tools—from call logs to social media—to help sales teams track complete buyer-seller interactions using a single, centralized platform. It also automates sales workflows and processes to help save time and ensure high productivity among sales professionals.
To help you select a sales engagement platform that's right for your business, we've created a buyers guide that includes the necessary information you'll need.
Here's what we'll cover:
What is a sales engagement platform?
A sales engagement platform is an integrated software suite combining features related to customer relationship management (CRM), sales enablement and acceleration, collaboration and communication, and reporting and analytics. It helps the sales team interact and engage with prospects and customers across multiple touch points, including emails, calls, text messages, and social media.
The platform lets sales professionals create personalized customer content and schedule outreach activities using the same tool, saving them the trouble of having to toggle between different applications. It also automates processes such as email marketing and tracking to help save time and increase efficiency.
Sending bulk emails in Freshsales (Source)
Common features of a sales engagement platform
Most sales engagement platforms have integrated CRM, sales management, data management, communication and collaboration, automation, and reporting capabilities. Let's discuss these in detail.
Send emails via an integrated email client, such as Outlook, or directly through the tool. Use prebuilt or customizable email templates. Some platforms offer two-way email sync that lets you record both sent and received emails through the tool. You can also access the team inbox to reply to any unresponded emails.
Track which emails were opened and how they performed in terms of engagement. Use these metrics to create targeted content and figure out the right time to send outreach emails. You can also send follow-up emails to the better-engaged leads, as they have a higher chance of conversion.
Sales management capabilities
Score leads automatically to focus on the strongest ones and personalize communication to convert them. You can also use rules-based routing to ensure the leads are automatically routed to your most-qualified sales rep.
Sales call management
Manage sales calls—make and transfer calls, log call details (such as call duration and reason), record calls, and save them for future reference. You can also record a greeting message to be set as your business caller tune.
Sales campaign management
Plan and execute sales campaigns across channels, set campaign goals, create personalized content for targeted messaging, and track metrics to monitor campaign progress and performance.
Data management capabilities
Customer data management
Create dedicated customer profiles that contain complete customer information (contact details, web activity, social media profile data, previous interactions, etc.).
Communication and collaboration capabilities
Share, save, modify, track, and upload files (Word, Excel, PDF, etc.) via the web or mobile applications. Set file sharing permissions, and decide who gets to view, edit, delete, or share the files.
Communicate with prospects and customers via multiple channels, including text messages, emails, web conferences, live chats, and social media platforms (such as Facebook and Instagram).
Automate sales operations and workflows to save the time spent on daily repetitive tasks. You can set rules to automate customer-related tasks (such as billing and sending follow-up emails) as well as internal workflows (such as approving deal discounts and travel expenses).
Reporting and analytics capabilities
Generate sales reports for metrics such as conversion rate, total sales volume, revenue by sales rep, etc. You can also customize these reports and share them via emails in PDF and Excel formats.
Collect and analyze customer and prospect data from social media channels, blogs, websites, etc. to get smart insights into their needs, motivations, preferences, etc.
What type of buyer are you?
Before you start evaluating sales engagement platforms, you'll want to know which buyer category you belong to. Most buyers belong to one of the below categories.
Small business buyers (up to 500 employees): These buyers usually include small businesses looking to integrate their marketing and sales efforts or moving from old, disparate systems to one integrated platform. They should consider a sales engagement tool that lets them manage sales emails, track omnichannel customer interactions, and generate basic reports. Once they've established a substantial customer base, they can choose to scale their outreach efforts using advanced features such as sales intelligence, engagement analytics, and lead management.
Midsize and large business buyers (over 500 employees): These buyers are midsize or large enterprises with a sizable customer base. They should opt for a sales engagement tool with capabilities such as lead management, call management, sales intelligence, and advanced reporting and analytics. Since these buyers have larger teams to onboard and a growing customer base to manage, they should also look for workflow automation capabilities to help save time and improve sales productivity.
Benefits of a sales engagement platform
There are several benefits of using a sales engagement solution. Here are a few of them:
Informed business decisions: A sales engagement platform generates reports that offer insights into customer journeys and sales activities. These reports can be leveraged to take accurate data-driven business decisions related to the sales strategy, investment in sales and marketing efforts, etc.
Higher customer engagement: Customers are more likely to respond when they are contacted via their preferred communication channels or when they receive personalized offers and discounts. Sales engagement platforms offer omnichannel communication capabilities, backed by sales intelligence, to help the sales team offer positive customer experience, leading to better engagement.
Improved collaboration: Sales engagement software allows the sales team to collaborate on tasks, exchange notes, share files related to customer interactions and sales activities, and more. This capability ensures sales professionals work in sync and are updated in real time.
More time-saving: Sales teams can use the platform to automate various tasks, such as sending follow-up emails, setting billing reminders, and approving leave requests. They can also use premade content templates to draft sales emails. These capabilities help save time and allow the team to focus more on closing deals.
Market trend to understand
Here's a market trend related to sales engagement technology that you should be aware of:
Use of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) for better sales engagement: Businesses are investing in AI and ML capabilities to gather insights on customers' purchase intent and analyze their behavior across touch points (website, social media, emails, calls, etc.). These insights help segment customers for better targeting. The technology is also being used to develop algorithms for scoring leads and identifying the ones that are most likely to get converted.
Note: The application selected in this article is an example to show a feature in context and isn't intended as an endorsement or a recommendation. It has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.