Sales engagement software: What does it do, and which platform should you choose?

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Contributor, Sell to Win

Effective email outreach is like walking a tightrope.

You have to personalize the messages you send in order to get a response. But if you spend too much time on each email, you’ll never be able to scale your efforts. What’s a sales rep to do?

The answer is to invest in sales engagement software! Keep reading to learn what sales engagement software is, why it’s beneficial, and how to use these tools to better personalize your automated outreach efforts and boost productivity. 

What Is Sales Engagement?

Sales engagement is the collection of interactions that happen between sales reps and the target audience they sell to. It can be measured by the number of contact points (“touches”) or by the time spent on each interaction.

When a prospect opens an email, clicks a link, downloads an ebook, or views a video, for example, it’s considered a form of sales engagement. The actions that your prospects complete and the rate at which they complete these actions measures how engaged each prospect is.

Typically, the more engagement you can generate, the better. Fortunately, there are software tools to help you increase engagement levels.

What Does Sales Engagement Software Do?

Sales engagement software is any application that streamlines the engagement process between sales reps and their prospects and/or customers. Different tools have different capabilities, but in general, most sales engagement platforms allow sellers to:

  • Automate communication: A sales engagement tool should allow you to build custom communication sequences. For example, you might start by scheduling an email to send to new leads, then following up with a voice call three days later.
  • Organize your conversations: Sales engagement software makes sellers more efficient by uniting all communication data in one place. That way sales reps don’t waste time toggling between multiple programs and searching for specific email threads.
  • Help you sell smarter: Most sales engagement tools include some level of sales intelligence. That means your platform of choice should track when you’ve made calls, sent emails, followed leads on social media, and more. With this knowledge, you can craft better sales strategies that result in more closed deals.

3 Benefits of Sales Engagement Software

You probably already have a good idea of how sales engagement software can benefit you as a seller. But here are a few of the top advantages, in our opinion, that sales engagement software will give you:

1. Increased Productivity

The average sales reps spends less than 36% of their time selling. The rest of their day is consumed with non deal closing tasks like scheduling their calendars, sending emails, and updating CRM software. While these tasks are necessary, they’re tedious and distract from more important, revenue generating work.

Sales engagement software allows sales professionals to automate communication with leads and make the most of the limited selling time they have

2. More Data

Data is the lifeblood of modern business. Without information regarding your customers and their preferences, it’s extremely difficult to sell at scale. Sales engagement software gives sales associates the data they need to sell at high levels.

By tracking engagement metrics like email opens and clicks, sellers can easily determine which of their leads is most valuable (in a business sense) and focus their efforts on them. Additionally, the data can be analyzed in order to adjust sales strategies for greater future success.

3. Better Success Rates

Increased productivity and more data will inevitably lead to better success rates for your sales team. By optimizing your communications and automating them to send at specific times, your communications will have more impact.

These facts are why 90% of sales leaders plan to invest in sales engagement software to help their teams connect with more customers and close more deals.

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The 5 Best Sales Engagement Tools For Sales Reps

So which sales engagement software should you use to personalize your automated outreach efforts? There are plenty of solutions available. But the five tools below stand above the rest:

1. Mailshake

Mailshake is a great choice for teams who are getting into sales enablement for the first time. The platform allows you to build automated outreach cadences across email, phone, and social media, and track it all on a single dashboard. Every Mailshake package also includes a set number of “list-cleaning credits,” which maximize your email deliverability by removing inactive and spammy email addresses.

Mailshake’s Email Outreach package costs $59/month/user, and their Sales Engagement package (which includes phone dialing and social selling) goes for $99/month/user.

Related: Want to raise your email game? Check out Get More Replies: Pro Moves for Email Sellers, our webinar with Mailshake founder Sujan Patel.

2. Nutshell

Nutshell is a powerful customer relationship management (CRM) software that’s surprisingly easy to use. Besides its standard CRM capabilities like pipeline management, reporting tools and team collaboration features, Nutshell Pro users also get access to personal email sequences, a sales automation tool that lets you automatically send a series of cold emails—from the initial contact to the final follow-up—speeding up your outreach efforts and improving your reply rates.

Nutshell Pro costs just $39/month per user—making it an extremely affordable option for teams who need a CRM and basic sales engagement features. You can give it a try today for free for 14 days to make sure it’s the right solution for you.

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3. Outreach

When it comes to sales engagement software, Outreach is an industry leader. The popular tool makes it easy to automate communication between you and your prospects in a variety of ways. 

Want to send personalized emails and social messages? Maybe you want to take advantage of SMS sales and send text messages, or automate your phone calls. With Outreach, you can. Outreach also includes AI to help guide sales reps to the right next action, making it easier than ever to boost productivity and close more deals.

While there’s plenty to love about Outreach, using the tool costs a lot more than other options. Expect to pay about $100/user/month to access the software.

4. Reply

Reply is another popular sales engagement platform. The tool helps sellers prospect via a handy Chrome extension that will automatically scrape a lead’s information (including email addresses and phone numbers) from any web page. 

When a prospect has been added to the Reply system, you can build multichannel sales sequences to send them by scheduling personalized emails and call reminders. Then, once your sequence is live, you can view reports and adjust your prospecting efforts accordingly.

Reply offers a 14-day free trial. Once it ends, plans start at $70 a month.

5. Mixmax

Mixmax bills itself as “email for closers.” This sales engagement software gives users access to a variety of email tools to help them get more replies and book more meetings.

You can use Mixmax to easily share your personal calendar, embed a poll or survey in your emails, schedule and track your email communications, and automate tedious tasks like Salesforce (an integration partner) data entry.

While Mixmax has a more narrow focus than the other sales engagement software mentioned, its email automation features start at just $24/user/month, making it very affordable.

Choosing the right software for your team can be overwhelming. If you’re feeling stressed by all your options, just remember the wise words of Rameez Ghayas Usmani, a Digital Marketing Executive at PureVPN: “The best sales software is the one your team loves using the most.”

Sales Engagement Best Practices to Improve Your Automated Outreach Efforts

Sales engagement software can be very beneficial, but only if you use it effectively. Here are three tips to help you get more out of your automated outreach efforts with a sales engagement tool:

1. Make It Personal

“Rather than going for quantity, go for quality,” advises Luiz Cent, Head of Sales at Mailshake.  “Before you even upload your list, you can add a column in your CSV to have a custom line that can be ‘mail merge/text replaced’ so when you upload it into your sales engagement tool you can easily personalize every recipient beyond the standard, company name, name, title you’ll often see.

“For instance if I was emailing Ben Goldstein, the Head of Content and Communications at Nutshell. I’d add in a custom line about his cute Yorkshire Terrier to let him know I am real and I did my research. You can also do this directly from the personalization panel in Mailshake.”

mailshake email outreach example luiz cent sales engagement software

Outreach is about building relationships. Do it with genuine curiosity and go into the outreach thinking, “how can I help this person and how can I help serve their customers/audience?” and you will succeed. 

2. Make It Sincere

Trust us, your audience can smell insincerity a mile away. A completely stock email template is only good for one thing: annoying the person you send it to. Nobody wants to receive a generic message that doesn’t pertain to them and devalues their time—especially when there’s over 100 other emails already clogging up their inbox.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use email templates. You just need to personalize them for each person you email. How do you do this? By complimenting their work, mentioning how their company has benefited you, thanking them for the content they put out in the world, etc. But it has to be honest. If you compliment a blog post that a prospect recently published on LinkedIn, make sure you’ve actually read it first. 

3. Dare to Be Different

As mentioned, your prospects receive A LOT of emails every day. What are you doing to ensure your messages get noticed? A well-written email that reads like every other message won’t usually get you a response. You need to get creative and make yourself memorable. But how?

According to John Howard, the CEO of CouponLawn, it all starts with the subject line. He says, “Make your subject line short and precise. This enables the reader to give an idea of the content of the email without having the hassle of reading long messages.”

Next, move onto the body copy of your message. What can you do differently than everyone else? Maybe you include a video in your email, or a customized product demo. Perhaps you create a personalized meme and attach it to your message. Sometimes all that’s required is a compelling story about why you’re contacting the person you’re contacting.

There’s no right way to craft a creative email. Just think about ways that you can add value, without saying the same thing as every other person.

Sell More With Sales Engagement Software

Sales engagement software will help your sales team boost productivity, gather more data, and achieve better success rates. Fortunately, this kind of tool isn’t difficult to use—especially if you implement our four tips to better personalize your automated outreach efforts:

  1. Make It Personal
  2. Make It Sincere
  3. Dare to Be Different

If you happen to be on the hunt for a quality sales engagement software, give Nutshell Pro a try. Our personal email sequence tool will help you craft and schedule personalized email follow ups that get read and responded to in less time. Plus, you’ll have access to all of our platform’s top CRM and sales automation capabilities like pipeline management, customizable reporting, unlimited in-app calling, unlimited contacts and data storage, and free access to live support.

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