As technology continues to build better heuristics for business growth, the importance of sales engagement platforms is now in focus. Because the Covid-19 pandemic fuelled uncertainty, financial advisors are now faced with the challenge of providing targeted solutions even as they look for ways to shorten their sales cycles.
So how do sales engagement platforms help financial advisors? To understand that, we first need to quickly review what sales engagement is.
What is sales engagement
Sales engagement is the chain of interactions between sales teams and prospects or customers across various touchpoints. Because of software technology, sales engagement can be measured more accurately and personalized at scale.
When designed and implemented right, sales engagement can positively impact the way you help customers and prospects discover the value of your products, ultimately translating to increased sales.
What is a sales engagement platform
Sales engagement platforms are interfaces used by sales teams in order to optimize their interactions with prospects and customers. That means your growth teams can use sales engagement platforms to make selling more efficient by tracking, measuring, and improving every interaction.
These platforms aren’t just huge databases; they are smart and have the ability to better contextualize nudges and reminders. As a result, you’ll find them in the arsenal of almost every successful sales team.
Why do you need a sales engagement platform
HubSpot cites a study which found that 60% of customers said ‘No’ four times before they said ‘Yes’. That clearly indicates how important followup is. And considering that 8 out of 10 B2B sales interactions will happen over digital channels (Source: Gartner), it’s vital that your sales deck is geared to automate follow-ups and make them more relevant, more meaningful.
While traditional CRMs are vast but passive databases, sales engagement platforms are anything but. Unlike a standard CRM that cannot provide you insights, these new-age platforms interpret signals and thus build context with which financial advisors add credibility to their communication.
Let’s look in detail at the benefits of sales engagement platforms for financial advisors:
1. Processes turn efficient
This might come as a bit of a shocker, but Forbes says sales people get to devote only 35.2% of their time to actual sales – the rest is spent in repetitive, admin tasks that don’t generate revenue.
Sale engagement platforms take care of a lot of scheduling, reminding, and following up (or prompting for a follow up). That means your financial advisors can spend more time proposing the best-fit solutions to customers and get more of them to sign on the dotted line.
2. Make it truly digital
Solutions that work in silos only make it harder for your sales teams to derive any real benefits from them. Sales engagement platforms are smart – they can sit on top of your existing systems and perform like a unified, one-stop platform from where to do everything: getting insights, scheduling follow-ups, spotting opportunities…all this, and more.
That’s why sales professionals say these platforms are truly digital because they leverage the power of integrating various devices, solutions and data.
3. Increases productivity
Why choose a sales engagement platform? In one word: better productivity.
Your sales teams no longer have to scroll through dozens of different systems to piece together data. Your sales engagement platform will act as a single source of truth, by displaying all the metrics that your teams need to reshape customer engagement strategies.
4. Omnichannel is easier
Your customers go through various stages before they make a purchase. And as their understanding and readiness improves, they typically shift from one channel to another. They may start with social media, then sign up for your newsletters, switch to emails, and finally get on a phone before taking out their wallet.
Sales engagement platforms are designed precisely to help you optimally engage your customers everywhere, from social media to emails to phone calls.
5. Scales personalization
You don’t need to be reminded that the age of mass selling is practically over, especially today where more data than ever is available. Sales engagement platforms efficiently leverage this data and personalize your communication at scale.
This personalization helps your customers trust you because they realize you’re putting in efforts to understand their needs and sharing only relevant information.
6. Handles repetitive tasks
From updating databases to sending documents to customers or prospects, your sales teams are typically tied to a number of repetitive, administrative tasks that should be automated.
Sales engagement platforms can efficiently take up such activities and free your sales personnel. This becomes especially important for financial advisors, since they are more strongly bound by compliance requirements. Automating such tasks enables them to concentrate on growth-facing activities without compromising compliance.
7. Optimize communication
Having to create fresh responses every time there’s a prospect query is like reinventing the wheel. Template sequences, on the other hand, make sure that you send the best, proven versions of replies and yet remain on top of things.
There’s one more reason to templatise responses: Anywhere between 30 and 50% of sales is won by the business that responds first (Source). Setting auto-responses keeps your prospects from turning cold, and ultimately you losing the sale.
8. Goes beyond CRM
As mentioned before, CRMs have few capabilities beyond storing data. They, for example, cannot provide financial advisors any context with which to strengthen the customer relationship. Relying only on a CRM, therefore, means advisors still have to do a lot of spadework when it comes to customer engagement.
A dedicated sales engagement platform is crafted to provide such solutions. You can benefit from a platform that doubles up as a smart digital assistant, and do more with fewer efforts and in a shorter time.
Sales engagement is a key driver in modern sales processes. Using dated, legacy sales tools seriously hampers the ability of financial advisors to help clients achieve their financial goals.
Process efficiency, increased productivity, scaling of personalization, improved communications, and freedom from repetitive tasks are some of the many reasons why finance agencies choose sales engagement platforms. If you aren’t using one, it’s high time you started a dialogue to explore further and reap the benefits of technology solutions