As long as there has been someone in marketing creating leads for salespeople, there has been the justified complaint that salespeople fail to follow-up 75% of the leads, and therefore sales are lost. A salesperson’s failure has long-tail repercussions for their company, and sales management has been complicit in the crime.
Yes, the database of record for leads and customers must be the CRM system, but CRM is a backward-looking view of the customer, of prospects, and of the salesperson’s activities (don't get me started on forecasting). Of course, CRM systems with marketing automation built in or even managed separately helped lead follow-up, but it was still marketing activities rather than salespeople making contact and closing the sale in a predictable manner. Enter the Sales Engagement Platform (SEP).
Why it Matters:
“If you want your company to sell more than your competitors, install a sales engagement platform. Skip retraining, don’t hire the sales consultant yet, and go directly to the tool that makes every salesperson more persistent than your competitors.”
Until the last few years, companies that employed marketing automation could point to an increase in sales because of an effectively managed marketing automation system that delivered useable content based on prospects’ identified needs. However, the most valuable addition to the marketing stack is really a Sales Engagement Platform. The SEP controls and aids the salesperson’s scheduled activities so that their prejudice against leads from some sources, companies, geographical locations, and even some products, are virtually eliminated.
I say virtually eliminated because if a salesperson using the SEP ignores it, he or she is risking their job, not the least of which is a failure to make quota. The SEP runs alongside the CRM database programs, without prejudice, to present activities the salesperson must follow based on logic, urgency, artificial intelligence, and lead scoring.
The SEP also addresses the number one skill a salesperson needs to succeed - - persistence. When followed correctly, by automating next steps and a cadence around leads, the SEP ensures that all leads are followed up 100%, leaving nothing on the table.
Of course, salespeople may fail if they don’t have good sales skills, but even a mediocre salesperson can succeed on average using a Sales Engagement Platform over a good salesperson not using it.