You’ve heard of customer relationship management software, but what are sales engagement platforms? SEPs are the “systems of action” that complement CRMs’ “systems of record.” They are where salespeople can decide which prospects get which messages on which days and in which order. Gartner found that 92% of sales development companies rank SEPs as critical to their success, and Verified Market Research predicts that SEP market share will grow to $7.3 billion by 2028.
Although marketing automation technology has helped companies engage their audiences en masse for decades, SEPs have enabled one-to-one communication at scale. For example, a sales development representative could send a follow-up email to one lead, call another, and comment on a third’s LinkedIn post without leaving the SEP. Plus, all those engagements can be pre-programmed and orchestrated to take advantage of the “stacking effect.”
Stacking involves creating a consistent, tailored cadence of messaging that reaches prospects at the right time, in the correct order, and on their preferred channels. It’s almost impossible to get the most out of stacking if you do everything manually. SEPs allow you to engage in stacking and other winning behaviors at scale. Companies that don’t use SEPs can’t compete with inboxes full of consistent, tailored follow-ups.
Using SEPs to Your Advantage
SEPs are advantageous no matter your industry. If you’re a manager, you can rely on your SEP to craft playbooks that enable team members to manage — and repeat — winning sales tactics. Sales teams worldwide are reducing their sales representatives’ ramp-up times through preplanned campaigns like these.
Your SEP can offer wide engagement visibility, too. You can track data for single representatives and leverage your team knowledge to highlight trends, such as which touchpoints had the greatest and most direct impact. For example, the right number and type of follow-ups can significantly affect replies. In a Woodpecker case study, adding one follow-up after sending an email increased prospect replies by 11%.
Here’s the catch, though: Your touchpoint sweet spot might differ depending on the situation or sale. And what happens if you’re working with a buying committee? As Gartner explains, some B2B companies must get buy-in from up to 10 people. This is no problem: An SEP can leverage historical data to help you discover the right mix of interactions to motivate each of those leads. The faster decisions are made, the faster your sales velocity will be. That’s great for your bottom line and department morale.
Read More: SalesTechStar Interview with Kevin Croxton, Chief Revenue Officer at Ceros
Making the Most of Your SEP to Engage More Leads
After adding an SEP to your tech stack, try these strategies to get the biggest boost from this powerful tool:
1. Build a specific workflow playbook
Get micro-invested in your SEP by constructing meaningful campaigns. First, prioritize your target accounts based on propensity to close quickly or estimated customer lifetime value. Then, segment your verticals and titles into logical units so you can engineer engagement strategies for each one. Document the personas within those segments.
Next, map out a prospecting or capacity plan that aligns with your account prioritization and your team’s daily workflow. Your sales representatives only have the capacity for a handful of manual engagements every day (such as calls and LinkedIn tasks), so it’s important to account for how many prospects they can contact in the allotted time.
Most teams fail early because they load too many prospects into their workflows. If you find your team doing this, consider increasing the automated touches within your campaign for lower-priority prospects. Reserve the manual touches for your most important accounts. Then, flesh out your workflows with messaging on different channels. Your messaging should be specific to the persona you’re targeting.
2. Focus on metrics that matter most
An SEP can reveal many metrics, and you might be tempted to track them all. Take open and click rates, for example. They might sound exciting and produce big numbers, but they aren’t as critical as reply and call sentiment rates.
So, which engagement metrics should you focus on? Consider the inputs you need to know for successful outcomes. These include the number of prospects added to campaigns, calls completed, and accounts engaged. After a few weeks, you should see consistent baseline figures.
From your baseline, you can start to optimize each metric. Perhaps you want to test some innovative strategies or try skipping a technique that’s losing momentum. Experimentation is less stressful and risky when you have data to back up your hypotheses.
3. Invest in good administration for your tech
SEPs aren’t simple apps. To get the most from your platform, you must maintain and care for it. Think of your platform as a Mercedes-Benz; you want to keep it in prime shape as long as possible.
You don’t need to hire an IT crew to babysit your SEP, though. Training an internal teammate to become your SEP’s specialized administrator is fine. Just make sure you have clear governance practices around settings, content, and integrations to clear up any confusion.
Additionally, manage users and roles closely to ensure you’re getting the desired impact from teams that invested in the platform. Many positions have different needs and success indicators, including account executives, account managers, and customer service managers.
Bringing an SEP into your sales department can be pivotal for your company. Instead of waiting to be the last on the block to add this disruptive solution to your toolkit, bring one into your department now.
Read More: A Better Way to Startup Success