In the world of customer relationships and business, companies are being urged to use both Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools and a Sales Engagement Platform (SEP).
Some might ask why you need both, and what’s the difference between SEP and CRM?
Here’s some of the reasoning behind adopting both solutions in your enterprise business architecture.
People and Processes
One of the key differences in the Sales Engagement Platform vs. CRM discussion is that CRM is centered more on identities, and SEP is focused on a pipeline process.
Where a CRM is “record-focused”—its main goal is building a customer profile for ongoing business use—SEP is “process-focused,” and centered on controlling aspects of the guided selling process and automating sales tasks so salespeople can focus on accomplishing goals and hitting specific targets.
CRM is considered by many to be SEP’s predecessor, and has been around for decades. This tool is about putting a name with a face. Having a lot of customer identifiers in the same customer record in the CRM allows salespeople to easily access historical customer information and use that data to create customer-centric relationships.
But SEP is different. SEP actively harnesses this customer information, applying it to task automation, boosting the sales team as they work within profiles, and eliminating much of the friction often experienced in the sales process. Using Conquer Cadence for sales engagement can help boost productivity, shorten sales cycles and increase profit.
CRM: A System of Record
Another way to look at CRM is that it acts as a repository of information, or a customer ledger, detailing every aspect of an organization’s relationship with a customer, including every transaction—however small—that’s occurred. Think of the CRM as a large digital filing cabinet to keep track of all activities happening between customers and the organization. This “recording system” can be accessed and employed by other parts of an enterprise system, typically with enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions.
Essentially, one of the main differences when comparing Sales Engagement Platforms vs. CRM is this: SEP has vision into the customer repository in the CRM and moves the field of vision from the rear view mirror to the front windshield by enabling nearly frictionless sales as the SEP and CRM are used in tandem.
SEP: A System for Guided Selling
While the CRM is the system of record for most enterprises where customer profiles live, the sales engagement platform serves as a tool for guided selling. Leveraging sales touchpoints, the Conquer Cadence SEP enables sales teams to communicate with prospects and customers with Seamless Access™ to all omnichannel communications from a single pane of glass: the Conquer user interface that lives directly inside of Salesforce.
An SEP becomes even more powerful when it is built natively within the CRM. This removes any potential data conflict and error that comes with the integration of two separate applications, specifically bi-directional data syncs that often fail and cause data integrity issues. A truly native SEP like Conquer Cadence ensures that all prospect and customer data is accurate and updated in real time within the Salesforce CRM, and allows sales teams to communicate directly from the CRM they already work in on a daily basis.
Conquer takes the correlation between the SEP and the CRM to an entirely new level. With Conquer, the Cadence SEP actually lives entirely within the Salesforce CRM. This truly native design of Conquer is unique from all other SEP solutions that need to continually sync data back and forth between the SEP and CRM systems. This never happens with Conquer.
Reports and KPIs
Actual use cases of SEP include numerous ways that the software improves user experience. For instance, sales engagement reports provide actionable business intelligence (BI) in digestible chunks that improve minute-by-minute conversions and also guide current and future decisions throughout an organization.
Some of the KPIs involved in SEP to CRM collaboration include:
- Increased response rates
- Increased conversions
- More time spent on a web site
- More customer interactions
While CRM is certainly an invaluable tool, it’s still an island when used alone. The insights gleaned from SEP reporting metrics further illustrate one of the many differences between Sales Engagement Platform vs. CRM. The ROI from implementing a sales engagement platform is undeniable, and further illustrates those SEP vs. CRM differences—CRM can’t offer this level of return or insight. Conquer offers tools that bridge the divide.
Strategic Road Maps
If you’re not yet convinced there are differences between SEP and CRM, think of SEP as a strategic map that essentially lays out the best path toward your organization’s goals. SEP is the guide for your sales team to reach current and future sales goals. It’s the blueprint and the action plan and the activity all in one.
CRM solutions alone simply don’t offer this kind of functionality alone. You need an SEP to leverage all the valuable data you are collecting in your CRM into tangible, repeatable sales results. Ready to bring your sales team into the future? It’s no longer Sales Engagement Platform vs. CRM, it’s both. Using SEP in tandem with CRM is the future, and the future is now. Enterprise organizations can steady their feet, hold their ground, and outpace the competition, if they choose to make smart investments and choices with the right technology.
Looking for a partner? Unleash your sales team with the power of a strong sales engagement platform. Take Conquer.io for a spin.