Sales Best Practices

5 Key Areas to Consider on the Path to Digital Sales Transformation

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Cari Murray

Senior Manager of Content Marketing

There’s now even more pressure on businesses to make the digital pivot. To deliver on revenue targets and consistently win in the market – not only executing tactically today, but strategically plan for the future – requires tools that can drive processes and support workflows across the entire revenue team. Enter Sales Engagement.

We've already covered what digital sales transformation is and why sales engagement is a critical part. Now, let’s look at the "how."

How do you evaluate an investment in a sales engagement platform (SEP)? How do you know which solution will drive your business forward? How do you make sure your business requirements are being met? We’re here to help.

Here are the top criteria to help you evaluate how well a sales engagement platform would serve your sales organization.

Sales Insights

How you measure your sales efforts is just as important as the activities themselves. How else will you know what activities are really driving the right outcomes – positive interactions, meetings, and pipeline? And how will you be able to shift messaging and coach reps without the data to back it up?

There are two key areas of sales insights to tell us whether our selling efforts work for buyers – content performance and team performance.

We know by now that reply rate is a good metric to have, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Modern sales teams are trying to figure out how to dive deeper into their content and get past the reply rate. They want to understand buyer sentiment, the emotions and signals behind the response that help to measure sales engagement more accurately.

Best-in-class sales engagement technology should support not only a view into your data, but visibility into the insights behind the data. So, when evaluating platforms, it’s important to consider questions like ‘how will we know when our messaging is effective?’ or ‘do our front-line managers have visibility into their teams’ performance?’

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Content Control & Access

Too much of anything isn’t good for anyone, or so the saying goes. We see this play out in the crossover between sales tools and teams. Sales organizations invest in digital tools, get through implementation, and release it out into the wild with high hopes for success. Yet, all too often, the platform quickly becomes the Wild West where content is flung far and wide and duplicate content abounds. If this sounds familiar, you are not alone.

Besides the obvious issue of simply getting your team’s hands on the right content, there is also the issue of measurement. In this scenario, there’s no way to measure what’s working (and what’s not) to establish clear playbooks and best practices. Your team’s ability to shift messaging quickly and effectively is directly correlated to the amount of control you have over content and permissions within your team.

A sales engagement platform should enable you to easily create teams, organize content by relevance, and provide enough guardrails to restrict teams from duplicating content. So, when evaluating a sales engagement platform, consider questions like, ‘do we have a structured way to test content performance?’ and ‘can our teams easily find relevant content?’

Flexible Workflow & User Interface

What good is technology if it’s difficult to adopt? So, at the core, a sales engagement platform should create more efficiency and drive greater collaboration across roles and teams.

A clean user interface (UI), meaning that your reps can access the tools they need easily and effectively, is a non-negotiable to encourage widespread adoption. But what makes a best-in-class platform is an underlying level of flexibility. Every sales team is unique, operating with different go-to-market motions (i.e., account-based, channel-sales, highly transactional, a mix of motions) and operating with specific business needs. So, as you evaluate, consider how flexible a platform will be to meet your unique requirements and ask questions like, ‘which types of cross-team workflows need to be supported?’ and ‘what type of growth will we see in the coming months?’

Security Standards

Security may not seem like the most enticing part of platform evaluation, but it’s at the forefront of technology. Your customers want assurances that you practice diligent stewardship of their data and certainly your CISO or procurement teams will require best-in-class security. Not to mention, non-compliance can result in a hit financially as well as to the reputation of your business.

Of course, businesses should apply full compliance policies. But it’s just as important to partner with vendors that invest in compliance, helping you better enforce your own strategies. So, when evaluating current vendors or considering a SEP, it’s important to ask partners, ‘what investments have you made in security and compliance?’ and ‘how do you plan to adapt to new compliance and regulation?’

Seamless Integrations

Sales teams need to act quickly. They want a way to work without logging into multiple systems. They want insights from across a variety of data sources in a single view. And sales leaders want the most out of the technology investments you’ve already made.

A SEP with tight integrations should make that happen. But what separates good from great? Beyond basic integration, a best-in-class SEP should give you immediate insight into what activity is happening on third-party platforms in one single view.

As you evaluate your own processes as well as different vendors, make sure to ask questions like, ‘are our vendors in a position to adapt to new compliance and regulation?’ and ‘do we have visibility into the third-party tools within your existing sales engagement platform?’

Finally: Dig Deeper

Asking the right questions of your team, stakeholders, and vendors will lead you down a path to the right solution to meet your goals of today as well as the future.

Download our complete guide to help you evaluate how well a Sales Engagement Platform would serve your sales organization.