About This Constellation ShortList™
If the intent of customer relationship management (CRM) tools is to centralize the transactional relationship of the sales process, sales engagement platforms are intended to centralize the work of selling. Sales engagement platforms simultaneously tackle some of the biggest obstacles traditional CRM systems pose to sellers. These platforms focus on the mechanics of selling: what to say, when to say it, where to focus and what to do next to make the most impact.
First and foremost, sales engagement platforms must integrate with and pull data from the tools sellers use, including CRM, email, phone and collaboration systems. They should automate information and activity capture, improving the scope and accuracy of what’s captured in CRM. Programmed email cadences, communications intelligence identifying optimal time and engagement channel, automated customer meeting and call scheduling are also core functions of any engagement platform. Reporting and analytics to gain visibility into performance and impact should benefit both seller and managers.
In addition to improving data collection, these systems provide an intuitive workspace that presents customer and account information to sellers, as well as prioritized activities and guidance on next best actions. Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly being applied identify behaviors that improve the likelihood of success, score leads to prioritize action and seller focus and enhance personalization in every engagement.
Constellation considers the following criteria for these solutions:
- Email, collaboration and calendar integrations
- Integrated sales communications channels including email, phone dialer, text and social
- Automated, programmable email cadences
- Prioritized actions and guided next steps for sellers
- Actions and responses triggered by customer behaviors
- Integrated activity capture in CRM
- Security and governance controls to ensure data security and compliance
- Improved deal visibility, outcome reporting and analytics to optimize results
- Increased pipeline and forecasting accuracy
- Sales best practice identification and sharing
- AI/ML applied for smart lists, segmentation, communication recommendation and analytics
- Integrations across key sales solutions including CRM, productivity, coaching, intelligence, chat, collaboration, communications (telephony and video), security and account based selling tools
The Constellation ShortList™
Constellation evaluates around 20 solutions categorized in this market. This Constellation ShortList is determined by client inquiries, partner conversations, customer references, vendor selection projects, market share and internal research.
- MICROSOFT DYNAMICS 365 SALES
- SALESFORCE SALES CLOUD
- ZENDESK SELL
Frequency of Evaluation
Each Constellation ShortList is updated at least once per year. Updates may occur after six months if deemed necessary.
Constellation clients can work with the analyst and research team to conduct a more thorough discussion of this Constellation ShortList. Constellation can also provide guidance in vendor selection and contract negotiation.