How Sales Engagement Platforms Help Drive Results

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The adage that time is money is perhaps most true for salespeople, whose job productivity is arguably most directly tied to revenue. 

That makes it all the more perplexing when salespeople find themselves mired in trivial tasks during the workweek. Modern tools have made some of those tasks more efficient, but they’re still time-consuming. Research varies, especially depending on industry, but the constant is that less than half the week is spent on revenue-generating activities.

Account leaders and company officials have considerable interest in the sum of a sales representative’s total workweek experience, especially ways to maximize how much time they spend actually selling products. Let’s look at the typical day and new tools that help every salesperson find more time in their day to close sales. 

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Daily tasks that subtract from sales

Here’s what the daily activities of the average sales professional look like:

  • Planning their day: Sales reps switch between various schedule planning systems like email applications, traditional pen and paper, manager reports for task lists, or activity scorecards … all before they firm up the day’s schedule. 
  • Servicing related activities: Sales reps navigate multiple systems to look for data,  schedule for renewals and search maps for meetings they can complete on a particular route, all while making phone calls and exchanging emails. 
  • Prospecting activities: Identifying warm prospects from the database, setting up discovery calls and moving through the sales workflow requires sales reps to toggle among their database systems, communication interfaces, sales platforms and other tools. 
  • Proposals and documentation: This covers proposal drafting, calculations and electronic agreement tools to complete proposal-related activity. 

A number of sales tools exist across the sales lifecycle to empower and enable sales teams to be more efficient, but gaps remain. Many sales representatives face issues like productivity loss due to toggling between multiple systems; poor adoption due to the lack of preemptive intelligence and complexity; and a lack of insight due to fragmented data across applications with unclear actions or next steps.

Consider, too, the pressure most salespeople face to reach their often lofty goals. It’s no wonder the turnover rate in sales—estimated to be sometimes as high as 27%—is around double the rest of the labor force.

Companies seeking to cut turnover rates and improve sales teams should first look internally for improvements. To eliminate gaps in the sales lifecycle, leaders need a way to unify the sales stack and provide sales teams a single pane of glass for all their personal assistance and goal-oriented coaching. That means investing in a mobile-first, artificial intelligence- or machine learning-led sales engagement system to maximize productivity.

 

Ease of use = better productivity

An intelligent sales engagement platform can help integrate multiple systems. It can provide a unified view and glean insightful data from across the sales stack, providing the right data to sales reps. As an add-on, machine-learning capabilities can enhance the user experience, encouraging adoption and stickiness of the platform.

Sales reps can view their calendar outlining the day’s activities. They can also see the route map for planned meetings, with recommendations on other prospects and potential customers in the vicinity. The interface consolidates communication tools like email and Zoom all in one location. 

Sales reps can access collateral that may be relevant for a meeting and document meeting highlights, all on the same interface without having to toggle to another application or complete painstaking documentation.

 

How a personal assistant works

While having everything on the same screen certainly improves efficiency, there are other ways to increase productivity, such as a virtual personal assistant. Everyone needs a reminder at times or a little nudge in the right direction.

Imagine a sales rep logging into an engagement platform and seeing notifications like:

  • “Three customers are up for renewal this week, now is a good time to engage with them.”
  • “Calling your new lead Paul can increase your chance of conversion by 50%”
  • “Here’s an engagement summary of your previous call to prep for today’s meeting”

Preferred sales engagement platforms can provide these useful insights. They learn from winning behavior patterns across regions and build them into rules-driven engagement playbooks that prompt sales teams to emulate best practices, increasing their chances of conversion. 

For example, a lead conversion playbook might include the following nudges:

  • First call 
  • Follow up 
  • Engage with stagnant lead 
  • Proximity to priority lead within a particular radius of the sales rep’s current location
  • Priority engagements based on lead tier/potential and current state
  • Outreach to leads/customers to rectify CSAT scores
  • Highlight low lead coverage and automatically schedule ranked leads for follow-up
 

Goal-oriented coaching to drive better performance

To help sales reps perform better, sales managers need real-time visibility into their team’s activities and insights to find the right time to intervene and coach.

Real-time visibility can tell managers which customers and leads reps are meeting and when those meetings are, what areas need attention first, and how each individual rep is measuring up to their goals.

The single-pane sales engagement platform enables managers to know when it’s time to coach —and who they need to coach—by showing them the right time to intervene. It can also make for more impactful meetings during a time when employees across various industries are facing meeting fatigue (especially on-camera meetings).

A tool to predict potential risks, identify hurdles in sales conversations and provide the required analysis to understand what is or isn’t working can help managers steer their teams to better performances.

 

Now’s the time to enable success

The sales engagement market is a hot one, and it’s evolving. According to Gartner, “90% of sales leaders plan to invest in technologies and methodologies to help their sellers engage effectively with prospects and customers.”

Picking the right platform to partner with is imperative.

Sales teams need intelligent assistance and proactive coaching through a rich user experience to completely transform their way of working—from leadership to the rep level.

  • Originally published June 1, 2022