Sales Enablement vs Sales Engagement: What’s the Difference?

sales engagement vs sales enablementWith consumers’ growing ability to research their interests online, the sales and marketing landscape has changed significantly in the last decade. Hubspot reports that “60% [of buyers] want to connect with sales [reps] during the consideration stage, after they’ve researched the options and come up with a short list.” With the customer being more in control of the buying process than ever before, engaging customers early is key to closing deals.

Simply “enabling” sales reps is no longer enough. They also need tools that allow them to engage customers, which means sales teams need access to customer data, workflow automation, and analytics (all of which sales engagement software provides).

With sales engagement software, sales reps can gauge how engaged customers are at every point in the sales cycle and craft their messaging accordingly. It’s not a matter of one approach over the other, but knowing the difference of sales enablement vs sales engagement, and seeing why you need both is worth understanding. So let’s break it down.

What Is Sales Enablement?

It depends on the expert you ask. With so much debate, Salesforce teamed up with the Florida State University and conducted research that culminated in their best-selling book, “Cracking the Sales Management Code.”  The team discovered that sales teams were managing metrics in three main categories.

  • 28% of metrics measured were related to business results that sales managers couldn’t control
  • 55% of the metrics measured were related to sales objectives that managers could indirectly control
  • 17% of the metrics measured were related to sales activities that managers could directly control

Only 17% of what sales forces measured were things that they could actually manage. And that’s where sales enablement can make a difference.

Based on their research, Salesforce determined that sales enablement can be defined quite simply as “a collection of activities intended to enable better sales execution.” And perhaps not so coincidentally, Salesforce noted the four primary categories in the sales enablement process coincide with the lifecycle of a sales rep.

  • Recruiting and hiring. Not only do you need to get people with the right skill set, but you also need to get enough of them. And according to LinkedIn, “75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before even applying for a job.” So put your best foot forward and make sure tc you let your culture show through on your social media and About page of your website.b
  • Training and coaching. No matter the employee’s experience or skillset, on-boarding, training, and coaching is required to educate and motivate reps within your organization.
  • Equipping. You must provide reps with the right tools to do their jobs. This is quite broad and includes a CRM, email tools, call tools, content, and sales engagement software, among others.
  • Assessing. You need to measure who and what is performing best. Which cadences result in the best contact rate? Which campaigns and content result in the most prospect interaction? Which sales reps have the highest conversion rates?

The Benefits of Sales Enablement

Sales enablement involves different activities with the goal of giving sales teams the tools and resources they need to close more deals. These activities often are spread across multiple departments within the company, not only the sales management team. For example, human resources may be charged with recruiting and hiring, while marketing often provides the content. The result is that the entire organization works together to help sales reps deliver a consistent, reliable customer experience.

What Is Sales Engagement?

Sales engagement is the process of engaging with prospects and customers across multiple channels at every touchpoint they have with a company throughout the sales cycle. So, while sales enablement is more focused on helping to build and equip the sales team, sales engagement helps sales reps communicate more effectively with prospects and customers.

It’s important to note that Sales Engagement software is not a marketing automation tool or a CRM. It bridges the gap between existing sales tools. Sales engagement software integrates with your CRM, email, outbound calling, and marketing automation to ensure that your sales team is able to make appropriate contact with the right messaging no matter where prospects and customers are in their journey.

Not only does sales engagement software streamline prospect nurturing, but it also enhances the sales rep/customer relationship to ensure customer retention. Sales engagement is a process primarily used by the sales and marketing team and doesn’t involve recruiting and hiring salespeople.

The Benefits of Sales Engagement

The primary advantages of using a sales engagement approach over using just a CRM are threefold.

  1. Sales engagement software gives sales reps all the tools in one place. Where a CRM is mostly used for collecting contact information, sales engagement software gives reps integrated tools to not only connect with, but to engage their prospects through their preferred medium at the right time in the buying process.
  2. Sales engagement software lets sales reps adjust their messaging according to what they are learning from prospects in conversations. Marketing automation is good for large scale outbound and inbound marketing. It doesn’t qualify leads like a rep can. Sales engagement software empowers reps with a central repository for all the available sales content and messaging.
  3. Sales engagement software ensures reps can respond to leads immediately. Marketing departments complain when the sales reps do not follow up soon enough, sometimes not at all, to the leads that they bring in. Research has shown that “those who attempted to reach leads within an hour were nearly seven times likelier to have meaningful conversations with decision makers than those who waited even 60 minutes.” Sales engagement software makes sure marketing and sales reps are immediately notified when a lead comes in so it won’t be lost to the competition.

Sales Enablement vs Sales Engagement: The Bottom Line

With sales enablement, departments throughout the organization work together to ensure the sales team’s success. Sales engagement solutions are typically under the purview of the sales management team. However, both sales enablement and sales engagement tools help your sales team engage more effectively with prospects and customers to close more deals. While traditionally categorized as a sales engagement platform, Salesvue also acts as an enablement platform in some respects and stacks up well to other traditional sales enablement platforms such as Outreach and SalesLoft.

Salesvue’s Engagement & Enablement Capabilities

Let’s take a look at how Salesvue meets common criteria for a sales engagement and sales enablement platform.

  • Recruiting and hiring is easier when you have determined what traits and behaviors your best salespeople possess. While Salesvue doesn’t have a recruiting and hiring function, it does reveal your best salespeople based on actual data. With the Math of Sales, you can be sure to eliminate faulty assumptions that sales managers often have regarding who their best salespeople are.
  • Training and coaching is easy with Salesvue. You can put established, automated workflows and processes in place, so new hires don’t have to wonder about who to contact, what to say, or how to engage prospects. Sales managers can record calls to help with coaching, and they may listen in and barge into calls in progress to help reps communicate messages clearly. Plus, with a central repository for call scripts, sales playbooks, competitor overviews, client reports, and any information that helps sales reps, you reduce the time it takes to onboard new reps.
  • Salesvue equips sales teams in so many ways by managing the customer engagement process from beginning to end, so sales teams are able to close more deals in less time. The rich features and benefits of the platform are worth taking some time to explore.
  • Engaging customers is quicker and easier with Salesvue’s Salesforce-native platform. Automation rules can immediately add new prospects to a follow-up or nurture cadence. Reps can use email templates and call scripts to guide their conversations, but still customize their message for each rep. With automated emails and task completion inside Salesforce, sales reps can work quickly through tasks, and they know exactly who to contact and when.
  • Assessing what works and what doesn’t is definitely a strength of Salesvue’s platform. Salesvue provides you with the reports that tie sales activities to marketing initiatives so you can save time and identify the most productive plans. And because Salesvue is native to Salesforce, you get full pipeline analytics all in one place. With a single click, it’s easy access to your pipeline data to save time, and allow managers to make strategic decisions quickly based on the status of your pipeline, including the number of leads, deals in progress, reps nearing a close, and leads falling off track.

Whether you are considering a sales enablement platform, a sales engagement platform or a software that does both, make sure to get a personalized demo from Salesvue to see how it can help your sales team ultimately close more deals.