Forrester Wave Sales Enablement: What You Need to Know in 2020 and Beyond

Sales enablement means you have all the tools to get your job done. Outreach ales engagement is when companies are focused on how they can help their salespeople succeed.

There are a lot of companies out there that want to be different, and it’s important for them to find what sets them apart from the others.

9 out of 10 sales organizations find a platform to be an essential tool in their success.

Sales Engagement is a tool to help with automating sequences and CRM integrations. But it also helps speed up the sales funnel, connecting all revenue-generating activities together.

The outreach sales engagement process, both now and in the future, is important to building a successful organization. That’s why it’s important to know the difference ofsales enablement vs sales engagement.

Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following:Ā 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. šŸ˜€

What is a Sales Engagement Platform (SEP)?

Theres a lot of confusion as to what sales enablement tools and SEPs are.

Basic outreach sales enablement is just the beginning of what it takes to close deals. There are many other tools that will help, like your CRM and asset management solutions.

A Sales Engagement platform is designed to make it easier for sales professionals to focus on selling.

The goal of sales engagement is to promote consistent conversations, quick motions in the sale process and alignment between marketing efforts and sales

SEPs will soon encompass all the tools that you are using now in one solution.

SEPs help automate manual tasks, but also provide insights into customers and their needs.

Matt Millen, the Chief Growth Officer at Sapper Consulting told me that SEPs will soon include all of your tools in one solution. Conversational intelligence, forecasting customer success and more are included.

Is Sales Engagement Always the Right Fit?

It takes time and resources to try new things, but it’s worth the investment.

Sales teams will need to figure out if they have the resources and time needed for SEP, or not.

  • As a Sales Engagement software, you need to get the buy-in from your leadership team in order for it to be effective and provide ROI.
  • SEPs are the most complicated to implement, but they work well for small teams of SDRs. Siloed tools can still be used if you’re not looking for a full-scale transformation.
  • There are many stages of maturity in modernizing your sales organization. You start by exploring and planning, then you can adopt a handful of SDR seats before fully adopting them.

Outreach Sales Engagement is on the Rise

SEPs have the ability to extend and deepen a company’s reach in sales.

Forrester recently released a report that evaluates the different Sales Engagement vendors to help you decide which one is best for your company.

  • In the past 16 months, there has been more than $250 million in venture capital invested into Sales Engagement companies.
  • 10% of companies that have cut back on staff are using the money saved to invest in new technologies.
  • According to a Forrester evaluation, the majority of existing customers surveyed said they plan on increasing their licenses with their vendor.

This article discusses the importance of sales engagement in today’s economy.

More and more companies are focused on diversity, especially during the hiring process.

More and more CEOs are focused on technology. This is because they need to be in the right place at the right time, too.

Even when teams shrink, companies invest in the productivity of their remaining salespeople. They try to do this by using new technologies that will help them land more customers and increase revenue.

Manny Medina, Outreach’s CEO

Sales Engagement platforms will help sales teams rethink the way they do business and how to best serve their customers in a new environment.

What SEPs Offer to Sales Teams

The Forrester report on Sales Engagement found that three critical elements are needed in an SEP: it should be able to equip full revenue teams, provide industry-specific expertise, and have a vision for AI. Vendors who can merge these capabilities position themselves well.

In the Forrester report, they recommend that customers look for vendors who have:

  • Sales Enablement Platforms (SEPs) should allow for the entire revenue team to collaborate. The UI of SEP’s can support SDRs, CSMs and leadership with insights.
  • Industry-specific expertise is important. Many companies focus on other tech companies, but SEPs that want to be standout in the industry should recognize and build out their knowledge in finance, logistics, etc.
  • SEP vendors know that AI is the wave of the future, and they are developing in-the-moment capabilities for their products.

Morgan J. Ingram at JB Sales Training said that the problem is most people see a sales engagement as an SDR tool and not a sales tool, but adding technology to our process can make us more efficient.

Forrester looked at 31 different factors in their report, from security to partner ecosystems.

Here are five things that I think will be important for sales teams in the future.

  • Sales content for engagement
  • Artificial Intelligence is a push for companies to have real-time insights.
  • I offer professional services to help make changes in the sales organization.
  • Security and compliance
  • Industry expertise

Empowering, Cross-Functional Content

An SEP should consolidate and amplify sales content so it’s easy for professionals to find the information they need when talking to prospects.

You can’t just have a cold email template. You need to include pricing breakdowns, testimonials, compete snippets and more.

Beyond that, SEPs should give people the ability to analyze whats working and not. They should also point out gaps in content.

Whitney Sieck, Senior Director of Enablement at Outreach, has found that sales content is the key to customer success.

Organizations need to focus on content, especially as they move upmarket. Content is more important during the longer sales cycles.

Attaching content to downstream metrics like deals won and understanding open rates by persona and sales stage help enablement teams, which means they can provide stronger guidance for success at scale.

The ability to quickly pull and test sales content is important for all companies of any size.

AI That Speed Up and Deepen Engagement

A lot of companies are using AI, and a large number also say it’s important to their success. These trends should be happening for sales teams as well.

AI can help salespeople with all three things because it is fast-paced, requires depth of knowledge and patience. AI within a Sales Engagement platform means:

  • Automating data enrichment tasks that are repetitive.
  • I want to be able to see what my potential candidates are doing in the present, not just their past history.
  • Setting up smarter sequences
  • Identifying patterns and areas that need improvement.

Thats just the start.

Eugene Ho, VP of Product at Outreach, said Our AI is able to extract phone numbers from emails and make sure they are up-to-date. It also ensures the contact information for out-of date customers is still accurate when we pause sequences until they return.

AI is helping to make conversations with customers more efficient. AI can understand the intent of an email, for example, and help businesses get a better understanding of what their customer needs.

We recently announced the release of Kaia, which will allow real-time voice conversations with our chatbots.

Support for Change Management in the Sales Org

Professionals will make Sales Engagement stand out.

Any platform can let you set up sequences, but it’s also important for the vendor to be able to walk through change management and completely alter how your sales organization operates.

Sales leaders want direction once they implement a Sales Engagement tool. SEPs are in the perfect position to provide this, not just implementation but also guidance for change.

If you dont have a base level of service and support, it can be difficult to learn the platform or troubleshoot issues on your own.

SEPs should also be available to help companies that are looking for a new way of doing things.

SEP vendors should ask themselves these questions on a regular basis to support their customers

  • One of the most important things for a business to do is solve problems that customers have.
  • Customers are looking for ways to be more efficient when it comes to sales, which is why they want the most and least important features in a modernized process.
  • What are some of the different cases among our customers? What have been their most unique use cases so far?”

Pretty much any SEP that is focused on the topic of diversity has a good understanding of their audience.

Airtight Security

With SEPs, there are many ways in which customer information can be compromised. This is also true with lead and confidential data.

Martin Rues, the Chief Information Security Officer at Outreach told me that one of his concerns was evolving privacy regulations. With this in mind he said SEPs will need to find ways to enable compliance for their customers by building it into their platform. He also mentioned how sales is still largely run out of email and vendors must be able to demonstrate how they protect email data shared with them.

As security and compliance requirements change, SEPs will need to stay up-to-date so that they can protect their clients.

Industry Expertise Inspires Change

A big part of effective thought leadership is customer success and long-term thinking. If you want to think like a leader, it’s important to be able to see things from the customers’ point of view.

SEPs have the opportunity to change how sales is done by focusing on process and not just product.

The author says that sometimes, it’s challenging to take thought leadership from theory to application. It may be difficult for sales engagement partners who understand a business’ primary challenges and help connect the dots for busy prospects.

Whitney is new to Outreach, but she has had a chance to review some of the Sales Engagement vendors content. I like when they send me information on my current initiatives and top priorities; I especially enjoy templates or thought leadership that contains simplified frameworks, said Whitney.

Habits and bias are being replaced with data and insights.

Matt Millen said that SEPs can help companies with their sales and customer service by providing them with data, insights, and best practices. He also believes the communities of these new technologies will benefit lagging organizations.

I am most looking forward to the shared culture of best practices. What about you?

Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following:Ā 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. šŸ˜€
Editors Note:

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? Iā€™d love to hear from you!

We have over 60,000 monthly readers that would love to see it! Contact us and let's discuss your ideas!

Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
Justin McGill is the Founder of LeadFuze - a lead generation platform that discovers new leads for you automatically. Get 25 leads free.