October 14, 2021
7 Best Sales Engagement Platforms: Reviews, Features & Pricing
- What is sales engagement?
- What is a sales engagement platform?
- What are the benefits of a sales engagement platform?
- Best sales engagement platforms for sales teams to use in 2021
- HubSpot Sales Hub
- XANT Playbooks
- How do I evaluate which sales engagement platform I need?
- What’s the best sales engagement platform?
- Frequently asked questions about sales engagement platforms
Your sales reps are busy, busy, busy, but for some reason, they’re struggling to fill their pipeline and meet targets. They’re so busy they can’t even keep up with tasks like updating your CRM, which is affecting your data quality and ability to forecast.
A sales engagement platform is one way to supercharge their performance and provide you with the insights you need to improve. But with several solutions on the market, all boasting similar features, how do you know what’s right for your team?
We’ve put together a rundown of the 7 best sales engagement platforms to help you decide.
2. HubSpot Sales Hub
6. XANT Playbooks
Looking for a killer sales engagement platform that sends personal-feeling emails? Mixmax helps you save time by sending personal, human-touch emails at scale.
Before we get into it, let’s get a few things straight.
What is sales engagement?
There are a few different definitions of what sales engagement is but, essentially, it’s a process that takes place across the entire customer lifecycle and covers all buyer-seller interactions throughout the sales cycle. It’s about empowering sellers to be more efficient (schedule more meetings and opportunities) and effective (accelerate sales cycles, close more deals) by enabling greater personalization at scale and eliminating busywork, bottlenecks, and guesswork.
Sales engagement goes beyond prospecting. It’s about facilitating true engagement and building meaningful, ongoing relationships.
Sales engagement differs from sales enablement, which is an internal process designed to equip sales professionals with everything they need to do their job. See our piece on sales engagement vs sales enablement for more details.
What is a sales engagement platform?
A sales engagement platform is software that integrates with common sales tools like your CRM, email, calendars, etc. It includes features like customizable message templates, sequencing, tracking and alerts, polls and surveys, scheduling, and automation.
Sales engagement platforms started off as tools for SDRs but now have important benefits for AEs, CSMs, and other customer-facing teams.
What are the benefits of a sales engagement platform?
- Time-saving: Integrating sales tools in one place means no more switching between tabs. Automating manual tasks, like updating your CRM, eliminates busywork, and email templates mean sellers never have to draft the same message twice.
- Greater personalization: All the information you have about your prospect through your previous conversations can be leveraged to personalize communications in conjunction with sequences and templates. Sales engagement platforms also allow you to insert things like GIFs and video messaging into emails to stand out from the crowd. Where it really shines though is when a platform lets you go beyond dynamic fields and personalize sequences at scale, customizing every step to speak to specific frustrations.
- Reduced friction: Scheduling tools, polls, and surveys cut down the back-and-forth involved in setting up meetings and gathering information and improve the chances of getting a response.
- Workflow automation and standardized processes: Setting up rules, sequences, and organizing their daily workflows makes it easier for reps to be more productive.
- Real-time tracking and alerts: Knowing who’s reading what content, and when, means reps can follow up with precision using up-to-date insights.
- Better data and insights: Sales engagement platforms track activity, engagement, and performance and sync with your CRM, making it a source of truth. Insights into buyer behavior and best-performing individuals, messages, content, etc. take the guesswork out of planning, forecasting, and coaching.
Best sales engagement platforms for sales teams
Mixmax was truly built for AEs, SDRs, and CSMs. You don't need a dedicated administrator for Mixmax, nor do you need a sales enablement program to start using it. Mixmax is plug 'n' play. It’s one of the rare sales engagement platforms that can offer a free trial because it’s so easy to implement that reps start using it from day 1 and realize high adoption.
Mixmax sits on top of Gmail and acts as a natural extension to Salesforce and LinkedIn, thus allowing reps to perform all essential tasks right from their inbox. By automating repetitive tasks and organizing their daily workflows, Mixmax increases reps' productivity and empowers them with the tools they need to do what they do best: sell.
- Integrations with Salesforce, Google Calendar, Slack, Zoom, Dialpad, Vidyard, DocuSign, Pipedrive, and more.
- Multi-channel sequences to create highly personalized buyer experiences based on real-time engagement.
- Autocreate synchronizes prospect data to Salesforce for improved lead and contact capture and better data hygiene.
- Rules enable workflow automation across multiple tools.
- Unlimited Gmail templates and engagement insights.
- Sidebar lets you access insights and personalize communication using prospect data.
- Google Calendar integration and one-click meeting scheduling.
- In-email polls and surveys increase responses by 20-25%.
- Email tracking, reminders, and real-time Slack, text, or email alerts when prospects open a message.
- Video messaging.
- Data-driven insights and interactive charts for identification of best-performing individuals, messages, content, etc.
- Smart send enables sending emails when recipients are most active in their inbox.
Typical user: A robust rules engine, engagement, and collaboration features make it the go-to for busy revenue teams using Gmail and Salesforce in fast-growing companies that value real engagement and personalization at scale. By seamlessly integrating all sales tools into Gmail, Mixmax is the ideal choice for reps who work from their inbox—and focus on their prospects and customers—rather than switching back and forth between tabs.
Customer Reviews: Users leaving G2 reviews particularly rate meeting scheduling and tracking, and real-time notifications. Teams love how the internal chat sidebar, easy-to-share templates, calendar scheduling, and tracking help them stay on the same page and supercharge email communications.
Free trial: 14 days. Also has a free version.
Ease of Use: Easy.
Ease of Setup: Easy.
Support: 24/7 support via website ticket or email, with dedicated customer success manager support available for advanced customers.
- Less effective for lead generation and mass outreach than some other tools because of emphasis on personalization over volume.
- Doesn’t allow you to send from multiple different email addresses from one account as Mixmax has an anti-spam approach to email outreach.
Looking for a killer sales engagement platform that sends personal-feeling emails?
Mixmax helps you save time by sending personal, human-touch emails at scale.
Request a demo.
HubSpot Sales Hub
Sales Hub is HubSpot’s bid to take on Salesforce. Although primarily a CRM, it has lots of features that enable engagement, automation, customization, and insights. Integrating with HubSpot for Marketing, it’s designed to get Sales and Marketing on the same page and enable more effective prospecting of inbound leads.
- Pipeline management and dashboards.
- Email templates and tracking.
- Document management and tracking. Build and share your library from Gmail or Outlook and see what works best.
- Conversation intelligence captures call details for performance insights.
- In-browser call tracking and recording.
- Customer data is accessible in HubSpot CRM, Gmail, or Outlook.
- Meeting scheduler.
- Automated email series and follow-up tasks.
- Live chat when prospects are engaging with your website.
- Streamlined, branded quotes with the configure-price-quote tools.
- Sales analytics and reporting.
- Sales management playbooks.
- Mobile app.
Typical user: Sales and marketing teams in small and medium businesses who don’t use Salesforce. Sales Hub offers lightweight sales engagement functionality and is a natural choice for companies using other HubSpot products.
Customer Reviews: G2 users rate email marketing, lead management, and contact & account management highest. They like how easy Sales Hub is to learn on the fly, as well as the calendar scheduling tools, and customer insights provided by activity tracking.
Free trial: 14-days.
Ease of Use: Easy.
Ease of Setup: Easy.
Support: 24/7 customer support via email, chat, or phone, depending on your plan.
- High price point.
- Designed for inbound not outbound sales.
- Works best when the whole organization is using HubSpot and teams adopt HubSpot as their CRM, email, and activity logger.
- Teams must use two email platforms: Gmail for everyday and prospect communication, HubSpot for campaigns and tasks.
- Email editor and certain media and interactive features are limited compared to other tools.
- May require an admin for task automation.
SalesLoft was built with prospecting in mind. Insights and upfront intelligence facilitate meetings, while 3rd party integrations allow sellers to personalize outreach, track performance, and deliver resources. Admins can also set custom roles for everyone from reps to managers to execs.
- Integrations with Salesforce, Gmail, Outlook, ZoomInfo, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, etc.
- Cadences and workflow automation.
- Sales playbooks help bring new recruits up to speed and create personalized buyer experiences.
- One-click dialer and messenger with CRM sync.
- Live sales coaching for reps during calls.
- Call recording and logging.
- Customizable SMS and email templates, and tracking.
- Calendar sync and invitation templates.
- Cadence, account, individual and conversation analytics, and coach-to-close workflows allow identification of at-risk deals, call trends, and successful plays.
- Sales-meeting and deal intelligence for pipeline overview and facilitate forecasting.
Typical user: Mid-market to enterprise SDRs. Particularly suited for high volume prospecting activity but not as relevant for AEs who need to perform more personalized outreach in two-way communication.
Customer Reviews: G2 users rate features like email tracking and automation, calendar functions, and workflow management highly. They also praise the easy-to-access metrics, and cadences that facilitate contacting elusive customers.
Free trial: No.
Ease of Use: Medium.
Ease of Setup: Hard.
Support: Via chat or call back for an additional fee.
- With four packages catering to different stages of the sales cycle, it’s not an all-in-one solution.
- Non-transparent, custom pricing and a high price point per user, making it less suitable for growing teams.
- Salesforce integration leaves a lot to be desired. Some users complain of missing, duplicated, or incorrectly merged lead data.
Outreach is designed to optimize account-based prospecting interactions and is suited for email sequences, marketing alignment, and tracking activity.
- Integrations with Salesforce, Gmail, Outlook, Sales Navigator, ZoomInfo, and more.
- Email, SMS, and InMail scheduling.
- Customizable, persona-based sequences, workflows, and templates.
- AI-driven insights into buyer sentiment, best practices, and performance.
- Calendar scheduling.
- Integrated dialer and audio/video recording.
- Email and social activity tracking.
- Deal acceleration tools.
- Account engagement status and account-based playbooks.
- Conversation intelligence.
Typical user: Mid-market to enterprise sales teams, managers, and execs focusing on outbound sales. Also, companies with large sales teams and.
Customer Reviews: G2 users like the record sharing, and email tracking automation. They also like how Outreach quickly identifies the right CRM contacts, information, and accounts so they can target key personas, as well as how sequences and automation facilitate mass email blasts and help them stay on track.
Free trial: No.
Ease of Use: Medium.
Ease of Setup: Hard.
Support: Via platform ticket.
- Non-transparent, custom pricing. High price point and tiered support options make it less suitable for smaller companies.
- Some advanced features can be daunting for beginners and have a steep learning curve.
- Setup is reportedly cumbersome and some users complain of a disconnect between the demo and reality.
- Requires everything to be done in-platform rather than CRM or email.
- Email editor is a bit limited compared to other tools.
- Automation isn’t out of the box and may require an admin.
Groove is a popular choice for companies wanting to keep their sales reps to work out of Salesforce. It enables categorization of client accounts and targeted, multi-channel campaigns based on different outreach strategies to sell into specific target companies, prospects, and decision-makers. It also promotes team collaboration through segmented account workspaces.
- Built on Salesforce, integrates with LinkedIn, and more.
- Tracking and Salesforce sync of calendar, email, meeting, and LinkedIn activity.
- Omnibar displays contact records when working with email or InMail.
- Templates and flows.
- Streamlined workflows and task prioritization based on real-time Salesforce data.
- Assign tasks to team members and collaborate across departments.
- Auto-dialer desktop app with Salesforce history and notes from previous interactions. Local presence dialing and callback. Click-to-call from any webpage.
- Calendar scheduling with customizable, branded links. Activity capture for real-time insights. Analytics and reporting by flow, rep, template, account, etc.
Typical user: Customer-facing teams working exclusively out of Salesforce in mid-market companies.
Customer Reviews: Email tracking and automation, CRM integration, and lead prioritization are highly rated on G2. Users find it easy to learn and use, and the Flow feature simplifies contacting multiple customers or prospects.
Free trial: No/managed pilot by request only.
Ease of Use: Easy.
Ease of Setup: Medium.
Support: Via phone or email.
- Non-transparent custom pricing.
- Not CRM-agnostic, so you’re limited to Salesforce.
- Task management can be slow and cumbersome.
- Email template creator and editor can be tricky to use. Copy-pasted templates sometimes need manual formatting.
- Reporting is more limited and inflexible than other tools (no individual rep CSV exports).
XANT Playbooks’ strength lies in leveraging AI and ML. Features like prospect scoring allow reps to prioritize leads and sales activities, and data collected on target audiences enables the creation of custom plays for different campaigns, segments, and products. The leaderboard also motivates reps to be more productive.
- Buyer intelligence, custom rules, and propensity scores.
- Buyer behavior insights and recommendations for relevant additional contacts based on current prospects.
- Smart engagement and personalization recommendations.
- LinkedIn, Owler, and Twitter integrations for real-time social media insights, including related contacts and notable events.
- Auto-enrollment of accounts, leads, contacts, cases, and opportunities into successful sales plays.
- Verified email and phone numbers.
- Two-way CRM integration.
- Email templates, tracking, and alerts.
- Personalized, multi-channel cadences.
- Workflow and task automation.
- Shareable calendar links.
- Performance metrics and insights.
Typical user: Sales teams in medium to large enterprises looking to manage lead follow-up and prospecting cadences, automate administrative tasks, and use data to predict who, when, and how to engage buyers.
Customer Reviews: G2 users rate lead prioritization, best-time-of-day scheduling, and record sharing highest. They like the intelligent features that allow for greater personalization, and how it helps busy reps dealing with high volume stay on top of things.
Free trial: 30 days for companies using Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics with a minimum of 15 users.
Ease of Use: Easy.
Ease of Setup: Medium.
Support: Via in-app chat or ticket during support hours, or phone for PRIME customers.
- High price point and non-transparent custom pricing.
- CRM integration could be better.
- Some users complain of poor call quality and connectivity.
- Reportedly can be buggy, cumbersome, or even freeze altogether at times.
Designed to improve email productivity, Yesware sits on top of Gmail, Outlook, and Office 365 inboxes and comes as a Chrome extension or Outlook add-on. Enables reps to track emails and see insights into email performance and how to best engage prospects at each stage.
- Integrations with Zoom, MS Teams, LinkedIn, Salesforce, Outlook, and Gmail.
- Email and Activity Feed instant notifications and real-time insights.
- Engagement history and Meetings & Opportunities dashboards.
- Multi-channel email campaigns.
- Upload or import contacts from Salesforce.
- Task, reminder, and follow-up automation.
- Shareable in-email calendar links.
- Customizable, shareable library of email templates.
- Performance and engagement analytics. Campaigns, templates, recipients, and reporting.
Typical user: Sales teams in small to mid-market companies looking to get insights into email tracking.
Customer Reviews: Email tracking and automation, CRM integration, and content management functions are highly rated on G2. Users also like engagement tracking features, shareable templates, and LinkedIn integration.
Free trial: 14 days.
Ease of Use: Easy.
Ease of Setup: Easy.
Support: Via website ticket or phone during office hours (Eastern Time).
- Fewer integrations than other tools.
- Google extension reportedly slows down browsers and is buggy.
- Monthly limits on tracking. Counts internal emails towards your limits unless instructed otherwise.
- No option to include attachments or images in email template bodies with mass mailings.
- Insights are less granular than other tools.
How do I evaluate which sales engagement software I need?
You can evaluate which sales engagement platform you need by asking the following questions:
- Does it integrate with your current tech stack, and will your teams be comfortable using it? If not, you could be wasting money on an expensive solution that doesn’t get used.
- Is it scalable and can all your teams use it? AEs often end up not using a tool built for SDRs.
- Is there a free trial so you can test it before committing?
- What customer support is available?
What's more important for your business/team size, the administrative side or the user-adoption side? For larger teams (say, 200 SDRs) you'll want a solution that's heavy on admin, whereas user adoption is key for a revenue team (say, 10 SDRs, 20 AEs, and 15 CSMs).
What’s the best sales engagement platform?
Ultimately, the best sales engagement platform is one that fits your teams’ needs, your current situation, and your budget. It should be easy to implement and use, with robust personalization and reporting features. You also want it to integrate with your current tech stack and unite all the tools your teams use in one place for streamlined operations.
If you’re a fast-growing company looking for an affordable, user-friendly platform that enables personalization at scale and serves the whole sales cycle, Mixmax is a great choice.
If you’re after high-powered AI-driven features and have the budget to invest, it’s well worth checking out XANT Playbooks.
Looking for a sales engagement platform that sends personal-feeling emails? Mixmax helps you save time by sending personal, human-touch emails at scale.
Frequently asked questions about sales engagement tools
Why use a sales engagement platform?
Sales engagement platforms make sales professionals more productive and effective and can positively impact revenue generation. They enable greater personalization at scale and reduce friction, improving the chances of closing deals, and deliver actionable insights into what’s working and what’s not.
Who should use a sales engagement platform?
Busy sales professionals who are struggling to fill their pipeline, close deals, or keep on top of manual tasks should use a sales engagement platform. By investing in a sales engagement platform, companies can implement more scalable engagement strategies to enable their team to be more efficient.
Which is the best sales engagement platform?
Mixmax is the best sales engagement platform for fast-growing teams looking to serve the whole sales cycle.
What’s the difference between a sales engagement platform and CRM?
A customer relationship management (CRM) is designed for data storage and management of prospect and customer interactions and relationships. A sales engagement platform is designed to automate manual processes, facilitate personalized interactions, and provide insights into what improves relationships, which you don’t get with a CRM.
Does my business need a sales engagement platform?
Your business needs a sales engagement platform if you want to enhance your sales workflows, ensure better data hygiene, link crucial information together to save time, and empower your teams to achieve better results.