What is the difference between a Sales Engagement Platform and a CRM?

by Lee Gladish in August 31st, 2020

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There are distinct differences regarding the function of a CRM and Sales Engagement Platform that are integral components to any business. One organizes all your customers' contact information and interactions while the other focuses on executing sales activities with prospects.

This article will dive into those specifics so that you understand the benefits and differences of each platform.

What is Sales Engagement?

Sales Engagement is a focus on the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of interactions that occur between a prospect and a sales rep. For example, when a prospect opens, clicks, or responds to an email sent by a sales rep, any actions taken by the prospect will qualify as sales engagement. 

What is a Sales Engagement Platform?

Sales Engagement Platforms are designed to streamline the sales process by taking a closer look at the detailed information at each stage of engagement.  

There are several communication methods between a sales rep and a prospect that plays a part in converting a lead to a customer. Sales engagement tools monitor and track each touchpoint of the customer’s full lifecycle and provide analytics on each touchpoint. With this insight, the sales team learns such things as which email is best to send, what communication method prospects respond to the most, or even how many times a prospect has viewed an email and interacted with content.

The data and reporting provided by sales engagement platforms enable sales managers to build strategies that lead the sales team to deliver better outcomes. 

What is a CRM?

Customer Relationship Management, or CRM for short, is a system used for cultivating the relationship and interactions with customers with the goal of improving business relationships. CRMs store customer and prospect contact information, sales management, productivity, and reporting which is accessible to all members of a team.

With one central place to access all customer and prospect information, companies can make informed decisions about who their customers are, streamline processes and improve profitability. 

The difference between Sales Engagement Platform and a CRM

Sales Engagement vs CRM Comparison Chart
Both the CRM and sales engagement platform perform different functions as shown in the infographic above. 

If you think in terms of a marketing and sales funnel, sales engagement platforms represent the activity at the top of the funnel. SDRs and BDRs are the main users of sales engagement platforms. It’s where they prospect, communicate, follow up, and manage the conversations with leads. With all communications, data, and other essential components located in one central platform, sales teams can deliver a more streamlined sales process. 

In regards to CRMs, these tools are more tailored towards the mid-to-bottom funnel to maintain and build upon existing customer relations. CRMs are used primarily by account executives and customer success teams to provide insight into the entire customer journey (e.g., renewing contracts and updating contact information).

Airborne: Sales Engagement Platform for Agencies

Airborne encompasses the data and analytics needed to streamline agencies' sales process. Features include embedded click reporting, smart campaigns, multi-channel and analytics, and reporting features. Track where your clients are in the sales cycle, view their individual performance, and allow for better collaboration. 

To learn more about how Airborne can enhance your sales process, click here to talk to an Airborne Specialist today!