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What Is Sales Engagement? A Way to Make Stronger Connections and Win the Deal

Two people talking about sales engagement while looking at a cell phone in an office setting
Sales engagement is about creating meaningful connections with customers. [Adobe / Skyword]

Learn how to use technology to create deeper customer relationships that drive sales.

Imagine walking into a shoe store and being immediately approached by a salesperson who tries to sell you the most expensive pair of shoes. This approach is often unsuccessful because it focuses solely on making a quick sale rather than understanding your needs.

Great sales engagement is more like an art.

It involves forming a genuine connection with customers and responding to their needs in a thoughtful way. While this personal touch is essential, technology can help enhance it. By using data, sales reps can gain a better understanding of customer preferences and tailor their approach to make the human element of their job even more effective.

What you’ll learn:

A new way to go from lead to close

Harness CRM data outside the CRM with Sales Engagement, and engage buyers as they move across the web.

What is sales engagement?

Sales engagement is any interaction between a prospect and a seller or a business — from initial outreach email to the deal-closing handshake and everything in between. You meet prospects where they are, which means on the phone, through an email, or over a video call. Sales engagement happens across channels and at every scale, In fact, according to our State of Sales Report, 87% of business buyers expect reps to be trusted advisors.

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What is a sales engagement platform?

A sales engagement platform is software that helps sellers improve interactions with potential buyers. It centralizes all your customer engagement interactions in one place, giving you a bird’s-eye view of your entire sales process and a granular breakdown of each step required for success. It helps you capture and track data, and then optimize and improve your approach until it aligns with your real-time leads.

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Five benefits of using a sales engagement platform

A sales engagement platform helps you effectively orchestrate, manage, track, automate, and personalize every engagement between the buyer and the seller. It helps sales teams understand customer needs better and respond more effectively, which can lead to more sales and increased revenue. In fact, sales engagement tools are rated as some of the top ROI technologies in which a company can invest.

1. Boost efficiency and reduce busywork

A solid sales pipeline is an efficient one. And nothing hurts efficiency and wastes energy like sales reps having to use 10 different tools for 10 different tasks. With a good sales engagement tool, you create a single point of truth for everything from messaging features to analytics.

Sales efficiency is about making the most of your efforts without wasting energy.

With reps only spending about 28% of their time selling (according to the State of Sales report), a sales engagement platform can help by automating tedious tasks such as data entry and scheduling follow-ups, which frees up more time for engaging with potential customers and generating leads.

2. Improve engagement planning

A sales engagement platform simplifies your sales strategy, taking it from a whiteboard to a streamlined digital system. This tool helps you plan how and when to engage with potential buyers, ensuring each step is effective. Once you have your strategy in place, you can create custom plans that target different types of customers through their preferred communication channels.

For instance, you can create cadences, or scheduled plans of outreach activities, that guide your sales team on how to approach each lead and move through prospects quickly. This ensures each action, from sending emails to scheduling calls, is part of a well-coordinated effort. This not only makes the sales process smoother, but helps close deals faster by keeping communications timely and relevant.

3. Deliver more personalized interactions

Sales has always relied on a rep’s power to make a prospect feel comfortable, heard, and inspired. The volume of emails and sales calls makes that hard to do at scale.

Sales engagement tools use artificial intelligence (AI) to capture everything from sales emails to a customer’s tone of voice in a meeting. It then makes suggestions about how to tailor your messaging to each client’s pain points. The platform might generate an email based on your customer’s specific needs, or suggest using language that speaks to your prospect’s reactions in the moment.

4. Track the interactions that matter

Instead of tracking every sales action, it’s more effective to focus on specific engagement metrics. Sales engagement platforms can track key indicators such as email open rates, link clicks, and other interactions. This data can be compiled into standardized reports that provide a clear view of what’s working and what needs to be adjusted. This allows you to refine your approach continuously, ensuring your sales efforts are as effective as possible.

5. Optimize sales processes

Sales engagement tools can help sellers do their job more easily. But the real point is to do their jobs better. They need to use the data captured by every interaction to make sure they’re engaging their customers in the smartest, most effective, and most efficient ways. That’s why optimization is the most important part of the sales process, and the most important benefit a sales engagement tool can offer.

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What makes a good sales engagement platform?

What really makes a sales engagement platform effective is whether it fits your team’s specific needs, like seamless CRM integration, ease of customization, and AI-powered workflows. It’s crucial to choose a platform that can fully integrate all necessary data and be customized to your unique processes.

For example, if you implement a popular sales engagement tool that is user-friendly and has many automation features, but it doesn’t integrate well with your CRM, it will limit your ability to capture and analyze sales data effectively. This hampers your ability to improve future engagements.

In contrast, consider a company that switches from inbound to outbound sales and launches a multi-step campaign. They use their sales engagement platform to experiment with different strategies across various audience segments. This allows them to pinpoint the most effective tactics and fine-tune their outreach, demonstrating the importance of a platform that truly fits their operational needs.

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Three features to look for in a sales engagement platform

As the sales landscape evolves, so do the tools that support it. Moving away from cumbersome databases and manual operations, today’s sales teams need technology that enables high-quality, targeted interactions. Here are three crucial features I recommend looking for in a sales engagement platform:

1. Integrated workflows

The right platform should make it easy to communicate at scale. This includes sequencing emails and sales calls, scheduling communications directly within the platform, and integrating these actions with your CRM.

The ability to generate outreach templates for different channels — such as emails, LinkedIn messages, or meeting outlines — is essential. This set-up helps you execute against your planned engagement process with buyers by automating and personalizing your interactions effectively.

2. Advanced analytics

Analytics are essential for understanding your sales strategy’s performance. Look for a platform that gives you detailed insights into metrics like email open rates and LinkedIn message interactions. It should also track engagement levels, such as the rate of responses to communications and interactions with content.

These tools help you track and measure each step of your engagement strategy, so you can refine your approach based on real data. Analytics play an important role in understanding what tactics are effective and what needs retooling.

3. Connected communications and conversational intelligence

A tool that centralizes emails, phone calls, social touches, and tasks in one central CRM hub can significantly enhance sales team engagement efficiency. With all sales activities in one place, reps can easily track prospects and manage their interactions.

Real-time call analysis and automated transcripts capture essential insights for refining strategies and standardizing successful techniques. These features simplify the workflow and equip reps with the data and insights they need to optimize engagement and improve sales outcomes.

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Embracing tomorrow’s sales engagement

As sales technology develops and evolves, the true measure of its success will be how well it complements and enhances our human interactions. The most effective sales engagement platforms don’t just automate tasks. They augment our natural selling instincts and amplify our ability to connect meaningfully with customers.

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