A great experience provided to the prospect is directly proportional to a streamlined and smooth sales process conducted by a sales rep. A study carried by Segment found out that 49% of buyers have made impulse purchases after receiving a more personalized experience. It may sound simple, but, converting a client into a customer depends on a lot of factors such as robust market research, proper outreach, personalized problem solving, smooth customer interactions, etc. It’s tedious to keep a tab on all these processes at once. Hence, on a mission to streamline the sales process better, many sales organizations are implementing sales engagement and sales enablement platforms.
Given how both of them have their primary goal of helping the sales teams become more efficient, let’s see how they’re different and how they complement each other at the same time.
What is sales enablement?
This refers to the process of providing the sales reps with technology, training or required information to help them increase their sales effectiveness. As the word suggests, it means ‘enabling’ the sales folks to close faster and better. Providing access to certain tools to enhance their sales cycle and transferring the right skills and knowledge to maximize buyer interactions are the main requirements of a sales enablement tool.
All the resources that are to be provided to the sales reps are developed internally with various teams such as customer support, product marketing, etc. who collaborate regularly to ensure the sales personnel stay up-to-date with the product features, client requirements and can present the right document to the right prospect at the right time.
Eg: A comparison document shared with prospects to help them understand how the product stands apart from the rest.
Benefits of a sales enablement platform
- Helps the reps to be well-informed while selling
- Accelerates the sales cycles
- Provides the sales teams with data-driven insights on how their prospects are consuming shared content
- Helps in onboarding the sales representatives
- Sales enablement platforms help measure what content works and what doesn’t
What is sales engagement?
Sales engagement is a continuous process that helps in nudging a prospect to convert into a customer. It includes various touchpoints or interactions conducted during the sales process, between the prospect and the sales team. Sales engagement is the process of developing and optimizing these touchpoints. The idea here is to nurture marketing qualified leads into opportunities. In other words, sales engagement is the process of qualifying leads and transferring them into a healthy sales pipeline.
Sales Engagement platforms help the sales development or business development representatives to reach out to the prospects and communicate effectively across channels.
Eg: Engaging with prospects using a sales cadence consisting of cold emails, calls, social media messages, etc. with the help of a sales engagement platform like Outplay.
Benefits of a sales engagement platform
- Helps in booking more sales meetings
- Automates sequences and messages and sends them in real-time across channels like email, phone, SMS, and social media
- Allows the sales team to personalize sales messages at scale across channels
- Integrates with various CRM platforms like Salesforce, Hubspot, and Pipedrive and updates status of leads and opportunities automatically via a two-way sync
- Helps measure the effectiveness of various channels/touchpoints that are used to connect with the prospect
How’s it different from a CRM solution?
A CRM solution is meant for storing any client information or data across different stages of the marketing funnel. Your CRM tools are not meant for one-on-one communications, thus removing the scope for any personalization. These tools are meant for importing leads and storing details around the customer/company, but apart from that, they don’t help in targeting the right market or engaging the right people.
CRM tools won’t send a message to a prospect at a scheduled time, they won’t remind you to finish your high-priority tasks around prospecting or even assist you in any outreach or engagement strategy. To avail these kinds of features, your go-to platform would be a sales engagement + enablement tool.
From the time when a lead is created to when there is a successful conversion, there lies a gap in this process - i.e. of connecting and engaging with the right prospect.
Usually, reps have mountains of prospects to contact but fail to do so because of less time or more prospects. Hence, the right combination of tools is needed to nurture leads across channels in an engaging manner to convert the leads into opportunities. This is where sales enablement and sales engagement platforms step in.
Sales engagement and sales enablement: different but interdependent
Sales enablement is an internal effort to ensure that all the required documentation, training, resources, etc. are aligned, in order to arm the sales reps with the right type of content at the right time, to close deals faster. Whereas, sales engagement refers to the process of nurturing leads across channels like SMS, email, social media with the singular focus of getting more sales meetings.
Enablement platforms help in providing the right training and tools to the representatives but don’t help in any client communication. A sales engagement platform includes the features of an enablement platform and allows you to integrate your CRM or marketing automation tools with the platform.
Despite certain differences between the platforms, it still becomes evident that to increase the productivity level and operational efficiency of the sales team, a sales enablement, and a sales engagement platform, are a must.
According to Hubspot, Salespeople spend just one-third of their day actually talking to prospects. They spend 21% of their day writing emails, 17% entering data, another 17% prospecting and researching leads, 12% going to internal meetings, and 12% scheduling calls.
Hence, automating most of the tasks above to divert their attention just towards talking to prospects makes sense, doesn’t it? Sales engagement and enablement platforms are exactly what sales reps need.
Thus, both platforms work in tandem to increase the overall experience of the sales team. They have an equal goal of enabling the reps to engage with the clients and customers effortlessly in order to crush the targets and meet the revenue goals.