There’s a famous quote from Lao Tzu: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
It makes me think of when Rob and I launched SalesLoft Cadence back in 2014, and how far we’ve come today. We were the first software company to deliver a cadence solution that met the needs of sales teams worldwide. Today, we’ve built the leading sales engagement platform, helping to increase the productivity and scalability of sales organizations.
We’re proud that the concept of cadences has caught on in sales. When a CRM industry giant like Salesforce enters the market, it further validates the sales engagement category. This is what SalesLoft has known all along – that sales engagement platforms drive efficiency, from lead generation to renewal.
Recent TOPO research revealed that salespeople still spend 47% of their time on non-selling activities. The automation of sales tasks enables sales professionals to work faster and more efficiently. However, we must be careful not to sacrifice authenticity.
Today’s buyers expect salespeople to interact with them in a personalized, consultative manner. The real differentiator is in using automation as a tool to help salespeople make real, human connections. That is what delivers significant results that are sustainable over the long term. Artificial intelligence will not be the demise of the sales profession. Instead, it will elevate and improve the buying experience.
What is next for sales engagement?
As we look to the future, sales engagement will encompass the automation of repetitive tasks, improved coaching, and a more personalized buying experience.
Here are a few specific areas we see technology shaping the future of sales engagement:
- Better Meetings: Tools like Conversation Intelligence will automatically transcribe conversations and document the key takeaways. This “virtual assistant” allows salespeople to focus on the discussion. It enhances the dialogue by enabling recordings and clips to be shared directly with customers.
- Personalized Communication: Cadences will become more and more customized to make prospects feel more understood and important. The question is not whether or not to personalize, but how, where, and when to personalize. Data can begin to answer these questions for us, removing the guesswork and improving the effectiveness of cadences.
- Data-Driven Playbooks: Data rather than gut will identify prospects that are the best fit for your solution and prioritize leads. Messaging and content can more easily be aligned with a customer based on their persona before a rep ever picks up the phone.
- Smart Sales Interactions: Machine learning will predict the effectiveness of any series of sales interactions. By cracking the code on cadences, we can improve sales performance and figure out what approach works best. With enough data, AI can discern patterns and domain-specific data in an instant.
- On-Time Sales Coaching: Features like Live Call Studio enable live-call monitoring, letting managers coach sales teams in real-time. Managers can also use technology to skip directly to critical points in recorded sales calls. More efficiently discovering improvement opportunities saves managers valuable time. Focused, on-time coaching benefits both the buyer and the organization.
The smart features and functionality of a sales engagement platform are essential to making sales strategies work. The best salespeople are using technology and smart data to learn from their customers, to understand their business and their challenges, and to improve overall sales engagement. With the help of a sales engagement platform, sales organizations can deliver a better, more efficient sales experience for both buyers and sellers.
We’re excited to see that sales engagement continues to expand beyond the foundational Cadence product. To better serve you, we are already testing the edge cases of critical components like dialer technology, mail server integrations, automation rules for use cases, open APIs, and deep bi-directional CRM syncing.
Today’s sales professionals are able to give a higher level of attention to prospects because they will have more time to proactively and consultatively engage with warm, relevant leads. As sales engagement technology continues to evolve, at SalesLoft, we look forward to continuing to help you deliver a better sales experience.
Sales engagement drives efficiency from lead generation to renewal. Here’s what’s coming up next from a sales engagement platform perspective.
Interested in learning more about cadence best practices and benchmarks? Check out our latest report here.