Sales Engagement Platforms – What and Why
By Jim Lundy
Sales Engagement Platforms are here. We have been tracking the trends in sales and marketing for years, going all the way back to 2008, when I went to Dreamforce, in part because many at Gartner did not believe Salesforce was going to be relevant.
As we know, the cloud and SaaS became disruptive and CRM has become a way of life for sales professionals. That said, CRM doesn’t provide all of the tools a sales professional needs to interact with customers and prospects.
Digital Workplace and Sales Enablement
Given our core coverage of the digital workplace, we recognized the start of the shift to specific sales enablement tools soon after the founding of Aragon in 2011.
We had many clients start talking to us about the fractured state of sales enablement, which didn’t have the coverage or the analysis that was needed.
The Rise of Sales Engagement Platforms
We identified Sales Engagement Platforms (SEPs) as a trend in our Technology Arc™ for Sales and Marketing in early 2015. Today, we published a new research note that identifies the core elements of SEPs, including content, communications, analytics, and CRM integration.
In a nutshell, we believe that sales teams will need SEPs to engage faster and to essentially sell digitally. To us, it is like having an Office Suite tailored specifically for sales.
As such, we have identified the SEP market growing fast from $700 million today to over $5 billion by 2021. We look at an SEP as a business application and we see more of these types of platforms challenging traditional suites, such as Microsoft Office, which while it still provides email, it doesn’t do everything that sales teams need to sell digitally.
Content and Collaboration vs. SEP
Having covered the content management and collaboration markets for over 25 years, we have a deep understanding of those markets. We know all of the major providers in CM, ECM, MCM, and UCC.
When IT departments try to tell your sales organization to just use the legacy tools they provide, it is time to call Aragon.
Our understanding of the traditional horizontal tools and how they compare to Sales Engagement Platforms is why we are uniquely qualified to assist sales organizations with understanding why SEPs are different and why they need them. This fall, we will be publishing the very first market evaluation of SEP providers in our Aragon Research Globe™ for Sales Engagement Platforms.
On top of that, I have lived in the sales leader role, having been a District Manager, Region Manager, and National Sales Operations Manager in my 15 years at Xerox. We have developed sales training (including advanced simulations), role model demos, and overall assessments on sales organizations. I can honestly say that as we see SEPs gaining more traction in sales organizations, the future is bright and the era of digital selling is here.
If you want to know more about our in-depth report on SEP, Digitize the Sales Force – Leverage Sales Engagement Platforms to Gain a Competitive Advantage, you can sign up now to become an Aragon client and get access to all of our other in-depth reports on sales and marketing, the digital workplace, and digital business.
One thing is clear. Digital selling is here and to be successful, your sales teams need SEPs.