Best Sales Engagement Platform Comparison (Top 14 Software 2021)

Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Michael Scheiner
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A business is the coordination between many moving parts. Inventing and developing products, managing employees, and cultivating a public image. But the success of one department truly makes or breaks any business: sales.

In today’s cutthroat markets, your sales team needs every latest tool in the seller's toolkit. It started with CRMs (customer relationship management), which help sales reps stay connected with their customers and clients. Nowadays, it’s all about SEPs, or sales engagement platforms.

The very best sales engagement platforms work alongside your CRM. They do more than provide useful contact information. SEPs help sales departments find more prospects, qualify more leads, and close more deals. 

This article gives you the basic ins and outs of SEPs. Then, we look at the top SEP software available today. This breakdown will compare features, tools, niches and prices.

 

 

Sales engagement platform comparison chart (top 10 highest rated)

Product

Best for

Pricing starts at

Website 

Outreach

Best sales engagement platform overall

Contact vendor

Visit

Groove

Top sales engagement tool for Salesforce

Contact vendor

Visit

Mailshake

Top sales engagement tool for Gmail

$44 per user/month billed annually

Visit

VanillaSoft

Best sales engagement platform for telemarketing

$80 per user/month 

Visit

HubSpot Sales Hub 

Good free sales engagement tool for startups

$45 per 2 users/month billed annually

Visit

SalesLoft

Great B2B sales engagement platform

Contact vendor

Visit

Reply

Good sales engagement platform for LinkedIn

$70 per user/month

Visit

DealHub

Great SEP for training and coaching sales reps

Contact vendor

Visit

ConnectLeader

Top sales engagement platform for inbound sales

Contact vendor

Visit

Mixmax

Best free SEP for email outbound sales

$9 per user/month billed annually

Visit

 

What are sales engagement platforms (SEPs) & what do they do? 

Sales engagement platforms do many things. Like their sister apps CRMs, they take over a lot of the repetitive data entry for sales reps keeping their files in order. This spares salespeople from having to do boring and lengthy tasks, letting them focus on more important things like nurturing their leads through the pipeline.

SEP also uses automation. It lets reps create workflows so that certain things happen automatically based on triggers. For example, a workflow can send out a follow-up email to a prospect who has clicked a link or filled out a form. This email can automate the scheduling of a phone call with a sales rep. They also handle things like quotes, invoices and receipts.

Sales engagement tools are useful for both inbound sales and outbound sales. Sales development reps (SDRs) usually deal with cold outreach. This could be via email or phone. Their job is to find as many prospects as possible and turn them into qualified leads. Some common SEP tools for outbound sales include auto-dialers and email templates.

Inbound sales, on the other hand, are when potential customers reach out to a company on their own to request information or buy something. SEPs have distinct tools for inbound sales like AI triage or voicemail features.

Finally, SEPs provide marketing and sales help with things like cadence templates, A/B testing, analytics and reporting. Based on the data filtered by customizable metrics, AI-based SEPs can make real-time recommendations for ways which sales reps could improve customer engagement.

 

What is the best sales engagement platform? Here’s our top 14 list:

From enterprise-grade selling software, to free-version platforms suited for startups, this list of the 14 best sales engagement tools has got something for every kind of business. While most vendors don’t advertise their prices on their websites, we list the pricing and plans for those that do. 

 

Outreach (Best sales engagement platform overall)

Outreach got off the ground in 2014. At first it was an in-house tool for their own salespeople. The platform was so successful it became the main product. Today it’s backed by Salesforce Ventures, among others.

The Outreach platform is always analyzing sales rep and customer interactions. It uses this data to refine its machine learning AI. This helps improve its automations and predictions. Outreach learns from the best reps to help train other salespeople. The dashboard gets you clear visibility on ongoing campaigns, leads and deals. It also lets you create sales sequences. These plan when and how sales reps interact with leads. Communication goes over email, phone calls, text messaging and social media. They also have a voicemail tool. You can use Outreach to test out different campaigns and messages. It also integrates with many CRMs.

For a full list of features and prices, visit the Outreach site to request pricing. 

Outreach is best for:

  • Account-based sales

  • Outbound prospecting

Outreach 

 

Groove (Top tool for Salesforce)

Groove is an award-winning sales engagement platform. It boasts over 50,000 sellers using it. These include Google, Uber and Capital One.

Groove is a SEP meant to work with your Salesforce. Its main advantage is automation. This helps sales reps with non-sales activities like data entry. Sales reps can spend more time on outreach and lead nurturing. Groove captures data from sources like your email and calendar app. It also grabs LinkedIn data to update your Salesforce. Workflow management prioritizes tasks and helps the sales team collaborate. There are also campaign helpers for every touchpoint in the sales process. You get tools like auto-dialers and online meeting schedulers. You also get sales intelligence features. These include revenue forecasters and other trend prediction tools. 

Visit Groove’s website to request information on pricing and plans.

Groove is best for:

  • Salesforce integration

  • Financial services

Groove 

 

Mailshake (Top app for Gmail)

The founding team behind Mailshake brings together many skills. They are a mix of venture capital investors, product designers and SaaS marketing leaders.

Mailshake is all about sales cadences. This refers to the sequence of customer engagements during the sales cycle. It helps plan the timing and the channels of outbound interactions. With Mailshake this covers email marketing efforts as well as phone calls and social media messaging. By using omnichannel communication it helps with sales acceleration. The Mailshake dashboard is very simple to get used to. You can automate things like follow-ups. There is an integrated phone dialer. Mailshake does a lot of integrations. These include G Suite, Outlook and SMTP.

Mailshake offers 2 plans. The email outreach plan is $44. The full sales engagement plan is $75. Both are per user per month billed annually. There is no Mailshake free trial but you can cancel within 30 days for a 100% refund.  

Mailshake is best for:

  • Gmail integration

  • PR agencies

Mailshake 

 

VanillaSoft (Best platform for telemarketing)

VanillaSoft was founded by a bunch of sales reps who once upon a time weren’t pleased with existing software. Today this is one of the biggest sales engagement tools out there.

VanillaSoft is all about two things. It streamlines the calling process and boosts sales. It starts with real-time lead tracking. The dashboard offers many reports, like for ROI projection and corporate views. There is auto-dialing with a progressive feature. This automates dialing new numbers and is great for telemarketing. There is call recording. It’s good for sales rep quality control and training. When it comes to SMS and email marketing VanillaSoft has got many features. There are email templates, drip tools, and SMS reminders. You can even do SMS one-on-one chat. VanillaSoft includes voicemails too. There are integrations for things like Salesforce and VoIP apps.

Product name is best for:

  • Telemarketing

  • Insurance sales

VanillaSoft 

 

HubSpot Sales Hub (Good free tool for startups)

HubSpot is a pioneer of inbound marketing. This changed the game from pushing ads on prospects to attracting leads with good content. The Sales Hub package is a decent SEP.

HubSpot Sales Hub comes with a useful basic CRM system. You get a suite of sales engagement tools like lead scoring. Sales Hub helps you make quotes. It’s got the usual analytics and reporting on sales rep stats and ROI. There are email templates and email tracking. There’s good sales automation that does follow-up tasks. You can also automate your sales pipeline to avoid losing leads. HubSpot Sales Hub also offers many communication channels for sales reps to keep in touch with customers. This includes a great mobile app.

HubSpot Sales Hub has a free version. It has many customer relationship and email automation features. The basic plan starts at $45 for 2 users per month billed annually. Each additional user is $23. The Pro plan starts at $45 for 5 users, and the Enterprise plan starts at $1,200 for 10 users. There Is also a Starter Growth Suite for $50 per month. It’s a bundle with sales, marketing and service tools.

HubSpot Sales Hub is best for:

  • Startups

  • Small business

HubSpot 

 

SalesLoft (Great B2B platform)

SalesLoft is an Atlanta-based sales engagement platform which was launched in 2011. Today it has offices in New York City, San Francisco and Guadalajara, Mexico.

SalesLoft is a SEP mostly aimed at B2B sales. Its functionality is meant to work alongside your sales CRM tool. It can save time for a lot of reps. This is a tool for serious sales strategies. SalesLoft does a lot of automation in rep-to-customer interactions. It still leaves a lot of room for more personalized engagement. You can plan and implement sales cadences. Saved sales playbooks can be shared among reps. Email templates can also be customized. Sales opportunity management features are plenty. Included are pipeline dashboards and deals-at-risk automatic notifications. There are plenty of automated sales workflows. SalesLoft does in-depth sales intelligence and reporting. 

Contact SalesLoft for prices through their website.

SalesLoft is best for:

  • B2B sales

  • Sales strategies

  • Analytics and reporting

SalesLoft 

 

Reply (Good platform for LinkedIn)

Reply was founded in 2014. It’s a small team of around 70 distributed staff. The CEO and founder has a background in both software development and sales, a great combo.

Reply begins with serious automation. This is used to keep in touch with leads. It works with emails, SMS and WhatsApp messaging, and phone calls. Reply helps gather new prospects from Linkedin. You can stay in touch with leads and use follow-up reminders to not forget them. Sales reps can start their day with a Reply scheduler. It includes tasks and calls. This is a good tool to refine and optimize standard sales strategies. You get A/B testing, sales sequence stats and other sales quota data. Reply is fully Gmail compatible, and can also come as a Chrome extension. 

Reply starts at $70 for 1 person per month with 1000 contacts. The Business plan starts at $70 per month for 3 users minimum. This gets you unlimited contacts. All plans have the same features. If you plan to subscribe many users you can get a cheaper per-user price.

Reply is best for:

  • LinkedIn users

  • Individual business owners

  • Startups

Reply 

 

DealHub (Great SEP for training and coaching sales reps)

DealHub calls itself a deal acceleration platform. This speaks to the aim of speeding up the sales process from first contact to conversion. The company’s offices are in Israel.

DealHub provides sales enablement features like CPQ tools. This stands for ‘configure, price and quote.’ There are templates for quotes you can also customize and share. DealHub helps sales reps by giving them selling scripts and tips. These playbooks use question-based flows. There are also triggering events which prompt reps to upsell or cross-sell. This is a solid tool for new sales reps who need standardized training. DealHub also helps manage product lists and pricing updates. All info on customer interactions gets synced to your CRM like Salesforce. There are also deal documentation, contract management and e-signature features. 

DealHub has 3 plans. For the list of prices, contact DealHub’s sales team through their site.

DealHub is best for:

  • Sales enablement

  • Training new sales reps

DealHub 

 

ConnectLeader (Top platform for inbound sales)

ConnectLeader grew out of the tech stack combination of CRM, sales automation and learning management systems (LMS). Its focus is on reaching new prospects through multiple channels.

ConnectLeader has several products. TruCadence is for reaching B2B sales leads. It’s a sales cadence tool to help time the best ways to connect with a lead. It also shows the best channel, like emails, phone calls, text and LinkedIn. It does lead scoring and prioritization. There is also A/B testing. TruInbound is ConnectLeader’s product for inbound sales. It collects prospects from things like online web forms, or social media posts, blogs, other CTAs. It qualifies the leads and auto-routes them to the best rep. You can combine the tech stack of TruCadence with TruInbound for a total SEP tool. There are also analytic tools which report on metrics for your cadences and templates.

True to the spirit of inbound sales, you will need to fill out a form on ConnectLeader’s website to request pricing details.

ConnectLeader is best for:

  • Inbound sales

  • B2B sales

ConnectLeader 

 

Mixmax (Best free SEP for email outbound sales)

Mixmax is one of the few sales engagement platforms for startups and businesses on a budget. However, the best features are in the more premium plans.

As a SEP, Mixmax puts most of its efforts into email functionality. Things sales reps can do through email include the following. They can share their availability and let customers pick out appointments on a calendar. Put surveys into emails. Track email metrics like opens, click rates and downloads. Plan and automate email sequences. Mixmax has a bunch of automation tools on top of email. It takes over data entry. Leads can be automatically grabbed off of LinkedIn. It’s easy to create personalized sequences too. 

Mixmax offers a free plan with email templates, follow-up reminders and up to 100 opened email-tracking per month. The starter plan is $9, the SMB plan is $25, and the Growth plan is $49, all per user per month billed annually. There are 14-day free trials on the SMB and Growth plans. Startups can get a special discount. Enterprises should contact Mixmax for a custom quote.

Mixmax is best for:

  • Email outreach

  • Startups

  • Entrepreneurs

Mixmax 

 

ClearSlide 

ClearSlide is a San Francisco based SEP company. They launched in 2009 solely on founder funding along with early subscribers. Their initial success has since helped them expand greatly.

ClearSlide combines sales enablement with sales engagement. It’s also a great tool for content management, letting sales reps store and share client documents and other useful sales content. It offers a slew of tools for email marketing outreach efforts. This comes with email tracking. It works inside Gmail and Outlook too. ClearSlide has many features for live and remote sales pitches. These include web conferencing and online presentation options. The ClearSlide engagement dashboard updates in real-time. It reports on a variety of metrics like content engagement to team performance. You can also use ClearSlide for training and coaching sales reps.

To learn about ClearSlide’s plans and pricing, visit their website to request information.    

ClearSlide is best for:

  • Content management

  • Sales coaching

ClearSlide 

 

Pipeline

Pipeline is somewhere between a CRM system and a SEP platform. It aims to streamline prospecting and selling with a customer-centric approach.

Pipeline’s look and feel make managing sales intuitive. You can break things down in lists by deals, sales, tasks and more. You can zero in on each deal for more data. This also helps measure the success of marketing campaigns. There are other marketing tools meant to work inside sales departments. Same thing goes for CRM data, like full contact interaction histories. Pipeline also has smart agendas for reps. It helps prioritize deals and organize tasks. Content management makes sharing among team members or partners a snap. It integrates with Gmail and Outlook. There’s a mobile app too. 

There are 3 pricing plans for Pipeline. They cost $25, $33, and $49, all per user per month and billed annually. There is a 14-day free trial on all plans. 

Pipeline name is best for:

  • CRM integration

  • SMBs

Pipeline 

 

Klenty

Klenty is a straight-up sales engagement platform to work alongside most popular CRMs. These include Pipedrive, Zoho, Salesforce and HubSpot. Klenty is especially aimed at outreach and cold emailing.

Klenty helps sales reps craft outbound sales emails. It makes it easy to personalize emails beyond standard placeholders. Its cadence features show you the right amount of time between emailing. It also optimizes the time of day for best engagement. Klenty helps make sure your emails don’t get spammed or ignored. They use custom domain tracking and manage email throttling. There’s an automatic call scheduler too. For data, Klenty’s got good stuff. A/B testing, cadence performance metrics and team reports. There are many automations you could create between Klenty and your CRMs.   

Klenty is pay-as-you-go. There are 3 plans. The Tall is $25, the Grande is $50 and the Venti is $80, per user per month. You can try out any plan for free.

Klenty is best for: 

  • Email outreach

  • Zoho users

  • Startups

Klenty 

 

ClientTether

ClientTether’s CEO and founder once noticed something. That businesses needed to increase their marketing efforts just to keep their qualified leads numbers steady. ClientTether was born to be better than email lead generation and phone calls.

Sales reps get the tools they need to engage their prospects. SMS messaging, emailing and phone calls. Automation kicks in to help reps by with quick or repeat messages. CRM features include email designing, campaigns for sales development, sales cycles, and custom responses. ClientTether has simple tools for doing estimates and quotes. Invoicing and receipts are also in there. One cool tool is that you can monitor customer reviews. Reputation management includes internal alerts when online negative reviews are made.

ClientTether does not have standardized plans. Every plan can be customized based on company size, industry, marketing needs and more. Visit their site for more information.

ClientTether is best for:

  • Health care and personal fitness

  • Education and training services

ClientTether  

 

What is the best sales engagement software for you? 

And so we come to the end of our comparative analysis of the best sales engagement platforms. 

Our takeaway is this. For bigger businesses, Outreach and SalesLoft are top contenders. For startups or smaller operations on a budget, check out HubSpot Sales Hub and Mixmax. 

But the truth is, every single one of these 14 SEPs has their strong points. Now, it’s up to you to leverage that strength and empower your sales team with great sales engagement tools.

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