Enterprise Sales Tech

Category Glossary

If you sell to key accounts and/or your opportunities are high-value, you will want to strongly consider these solutions. These solutions provide for internal collaboration, planning, documentation, and execution to penetrate and expand within accounts and win more opportunities. Think of these as platforms for operationalizing revenue growth.

Typical features may include:

  • Organizational mapping

  • Buying-team sentiment

  • Product penetration or white-space analysis

  • Assignment of responsibilities and tracking outcome

Most companies will benefit from having a well-defined list of target accounts. Target accounts are those that met your ideal customer profile (ICP). However, just because an account is likely to buy, doesn’t mean they will buy ‘now’. The best account targeting solutions will help you know who’s likely to buy now and why that’s the case. This is referred to as ‘purchase intent’. It’s now possible for salespeople to know which prospects in your ICP intend to purchase. When prospects visit your website or consume content on the web, those activities are thought to indicate an interest in purchasing. The more signals, the stronger the purchase intent. Some purchase intent solutions such as TechTarget’s Priority Engine aggregate intent data and then prioritize the list of potential buyers by the strength of their intent signals. In addition, some  – like Priority Engine – provide detail on the types of solutions organizations are researching most. Be aware that many intent providers identify only the organizations, not the individual people, that are consuming the content.

Look for:

  • Identification of multiple people at a single account showing interest in specific solutions

  • Customizable filters to target your ICP and the solutions they need to express interest in.

These solutions use AI in several ways. Some offer a virtual assistant to automatically reach out to and engage with prospects without the help of a human. Others use AI to write better emails. Virtual assistants make it possible to touch every single lead multiple times and to pursue expired or stalled leads you don’t want your sellers spending time on.

Look for features like:

  • Tone checking

  • Response probability scoring

  • Automatic composing and sending of emails

  • Automatic responses using AI and machine learning

  • Handing off to a salesperson when the prospect is ready.

These solutions incorporate AI and machine learning to identify the best next actions for each deal in the pipeline. It’s tough for salespeople to keep up with hundreds or thousands of moving parts. Each opportunity requires different activities at different stages with different people. These solutions tell sellers and managers which activities and actions are required and when to get repeatable, predictable.

  • AI-powered recommendations and playbooks

  • Automatic logging of deal activity into CRM

  • Analysis of recorded conversations

  • Identification of “next-step” best actions

  • Predicting risk in the forecast

Providing a way to search and find information and resources needed to move deals forward. These solutions put relevant information on customers, deals, products, competitors and activities into one searchable view. Share files, make calls, ask questions, find answers to keep your sales team productive.

Look for features like:

  • Chat

  • File sharing

  • Channels or topic views

  • Access to relevant content

  • Voice and video calls

Referred to as CPQ, these solutions make it possible to put together quotes for complex solutions that could have multiple configuration options and to price them according to each specific customer’s pricing schedule. Rules and logic intelligently guide sellers or buyers through the product configuration process. Some offer 3D visualization options to see the product creation in real time as each option is selected. We have not included solutions that are meant strictly for self-service ecommerce.

Typical functionality includes:

  • Quotes that can include bill of materials, drawings, spec sheets and more

  • Accurate pricing data for each account across any channel (sales, web, channel)

Creating professional proposals with custom fields and variables to automatically insert information like client and company names. Also saving product descriptions, case studies, images, or entire proposals in one content library. Solutions may include co-authoring and other collaboration as part of the workflow. May include RFP automation capabilities which can automatically draft relevant answers.

Typical functionality may include:

  • Approval roles and routing

  • Co-authoring

  • Content repositories

  • Esignatures

  • Invoicing

Preparation meets opportunity. These solutions ensure your sellers have perfect conversations. They aren’t scripts per se’. Instead, they help sellers prepare agendas, talking points, objectives, questions to ask, and more. Sellers either enter notes as their talking or notes are auto-generated from the call recording. Either way, meeting results and next steps are entered into CRM automatically and Managers get to see which works and what doesn’t. (see also Sales Coaching Software)  

Typical functionality includes:

  • Agenda building

  • Talking point prompting

  • Playbooks

  • Note-taking

  • Next Action logging

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It’s the oldest category of sales tools. It’s also typically the very first – and sometimes only – sales tool to be deployed. CRM is basically a database where salespeople and others in the organization can log and view information on contacts, accounts, activities, and opportunities. Over the past 15 years, specialized solutions have appeared (see all other categories on the landscape) that extend the capabilities of your CRM. Many CRM solutions are beginning to offer the same functionality as these stand-alone solutions do (although they may be optional). For now, we do not include CRM vendors in those independent categories. In the future, we will offer a separate CRM landscape that categorizes them based on the totality of functionality represented by this landscape.

While customer experience and success aren’t technically sales functions, renewing, upselling and cross-selling activities can be hampered if customers are unsatisfied. Therefore, we’ve decided to include them. These solutions may include monitoring and automatic actioning but may also offer new customer onboarding and training functionality.

Look for:

  • Trigger and action-based workflows

  • Targeting customer groups with campaigns

  • Automated playbooks and outreach triggers

These solutions make it possible to leverage the voice of your customer at all stages of the sales cycle without over-using any one customer. The process includes recruiting, logging which activities each customer is willing to participate in and how often, and giving sellers access to the right reference customer for each deal no matter the stage.

Look for features such as:

  • Customer reference lead generation,

  • Reference activities performed

  • Customer rewards and metrics

  • Revenue-impacted metrics

CRM account and contact data changes constantly. Companies get acquired, contacts change jobs or move from one company to another. These solutions do two things. First, they identify which of your contact data is incorrect or invalid (or duplicative) and make the necessary corrections, and they append or enrich missing contact data.  Enriching is the process of adding additional information to your existing contacts for more complete data.

Typical functionality includes:

  • Contact database analysis

  • Verify and enrich leads before they enter CRM

  • Duplicate record merging

  • Remove stale records

These solutions make it possible for sellers to deliver best-in-class pitches. They allow for collaboration when preparing for and presenting demos. It’s a new class of solutions primarily aimed at Presales function.

Typical features may include:

  • Agenda Building

  • Interactive product experiences

  • Self-Guided demos

  • Automated follow-up

Manually or automatically dial Your Leads from your computer. These solutions log the dials and the disposition (answer/no-answer, voicemail, conversation) many if not most offer local presence, or the ability to make it appear as if you’re calling from the prospect’s area-code. Stand-alone dialers are often used in high-transaction sales.  We tried to keep this list focused on phone/dialing capabilities but a few companies, like ConnectAndSell and MonsterConnect do the dialing for you and connect you immediately to live conversations. Please also see outreach automation solutions which have built-in dialer functionality.

Example dialer functionality may include:

  • Local Presence caller ID

  • Ability to use any phone system including VOIP

  • Automatic voicemail drop

These solutions are for sharing information and collaborating with prospects on their own personalized, private, web page (portal). Rather than – or in addition to – emailing content, the content is curated into the prospect’s private collection. No need for prospects to search for attachments and text links buried across multiple emails. Content can include contracts and proposals, videos, collateral, anything that is relevant to the deal. This is the new, modern way of communicating with prospects that improves the prospects buying experience. It also helps sellers identify members of the buying team and to understand each of their interests.

Typical functionality includes:

  • Posting content to a shared, private space

  • Collaboration via chat or email

  • Ability to forward invitations to other buying team members

Short and sweet. That’s the rule of thumb for effective prospecting emails. Unfortunately, while “short” is not so hard to do, “sweet” is difficult. Embellished email is a new category of solutions that lets salespeople create highly stylized emails that demand attention and engagement. Do away with attachments and boring text links or images that display as blank spaces unless “downloaded” by the recipient.

Typical features may include:

  • Webpage-like presentation of content

  • Cards that include graphics and links

  • Dynamic email signatures

Esigning functionality is more and more found inside of other solutions (such as Contract, Proposals and RFQ software). However, many of these can still be purchased stand-alone. 

Typical functionality includes:

  • Sending documents to one or more parties for signing

  • Tracking who has signed

  • Automatic distribution of signed documents.

Makes sure your teams have a clear understanding of their activity and learning goals by gamifying them. Sellers compete with themselves or team members to accomplish goals and reach objectives. Leaderboards display running standings to recognize and motivate over time. Clear goal setting and identification of associated activities and progress keep sellers on track and give managers a way to know who needs coaching.

  • Custom branded leaderboards

  • Real-time goal tracking

  • Define individual and team goals

  • Award recognition, badges, and prizes

An offshoot of lead list building solutions, installed tech stack providers identify technologies each organization has deployed. This information can prove quite helpful when the sale of your product or service is complimentary. Not every lead list building solution includes this information.

Typical features include:

  • The ability to find accounts and contacts that use specific technologies

Some refer to these as Sales Acceleration solutions or Sales Engagement solutions. Since they’re mostly aimed at top of funnel communication, we’re calling these specialized systems “Lead Engagement.” Specifically for inside sales reps (ISRs), or sales development reps (SDRs), they all include a dashboard of leads to contact, a way to reach them, scripts and call disposition notes. These systems make it possible to do high-velocity calling and dispositioning of calls along with next action scheduling. They are used separately from (but the data logs into) CRM.

Example functionality may include:

  • Inbound lead routing

  • Dialer capability

  • Automatic voicemail drop

  • Scripts

  • Web research links (to view the prospect website or LinkedIn)

Lead List Building solutions make it possible for salespeople to keep dynamic lists of prospects based on specific attributes like company size or job title. They can also alert sellers to trigger events such as job changes, company acquisitions, or new facilities. Lead list building solutions are a popular way for sellers to search for suspects for cold outreach. See also Account Targeting & Purchase Intent.

Typical features include:

  • Demographic and firmographic filters

  • Saved list filters for automatic list updates

  • Prioritizing based on triggers

Note: There are many lead list providers on the market where you by ready-made lists of vendors based on your criteria. We do not cover those here. We also do not include CRM or other category vendors that may offer this functionality within their solution.

While trade-shows and other field sales meetings are postponed due to the pandemic, no doubt these solutions will be in demand again in the future. These solutions can help you coordinate collateral, meetings, and lead activity for each event prior to, during, and after. They can significantly improve the lead follow-up to the point where prospects are sent personalized materials immediately upon the onsite or booth visit.

Typical features include:

  • Daily route mapping

  • Pre-meeting agenda planning

  • Scanning badges

  • Discussion forms

Think Zoom calls. Online meeting solutions provide the ability to share screens, use webcams, and present or demo products.

We don’t include webinar solutions unless they offer a meeting solution as well.

Typical Functionality includes:

  • Webcam video for participants

  • Meeting recording

  • Share and play video

  • Screen sharing

  • Virtual Backgrounds

  • Searchable transcripts

Like Lead Engagement solutions, Outreach Automation solutions also enable high velocity outreach. The difference is that these solutions center around cadences. Given that it can take an average of 15 outreach attempts to connect with a lead, it’s critical to have a solution that allows reps to perform cadence or automatic sequenced attempts across channels (first an email, then a phone call, then a social outreach, then a 2nd email with video, etc). Each email or phone call would be pre-populated or scripted. All activity is tracked in CRM. Outreach is often personalized with the contacts name along with a reference to their specific industry or interests. It’s becoming harder to differentiate Outreach Automation solutions from Lead Engagement solutions. I predict these categories will merge into one.

Typical functionality may include:

  • Outreach orchestration – setting up the sequences or cadences

  • Pre-populated emails to send at each step

  • Scripts for the calling steps

  • The ability to automatically disconnect a contact from the automation when they reply

Pipeline Reviews are  a cornerstone of the sales process. Managers and salespeople alike, need a way to make these sessions more productive. These solutions provide a means for having a standardized process and standardized views of information.

Look for:

  • List views and filtering

  • Configurable actions

  • Goal identification

  • Survey-type pre-meeting input

Presales is an important function in many sales organizations. Sometimes its referred to as Technical Sales or Sales Engineers. This emerging category is specifically for executing on Proof of Concepts, pilots, and mutual action plans. See also Demos and Presales Management categories.

Functionality includes:

  • POC dashboard with health and POC data

  • Scope collaboration and definition (including mutual action plans)

  • POC collaboration with the prospect

  • Issue Tracking

Presales teams (also known as technical sales or solution sales) are often responsible for the most valuable deals. They’re brought in to give demos and to show how the solution aligns with the prospect’s existing infrastructure and processes. It’s interesting to note that many presales teams are still using their own cobbled together solutions (using generic office productivity tools) which makes it impossible for management to have a clear view. This solution of categories changes that. It gives CROs the analytics they need to ensure the best utilization of these important resources.

Look for the following:

  • Analytics on deal flow

  • Tracking of what features are important to each deal

  • Alerts on potential deal revival based on product updates

  • Templates or playbooks to assure consistency

  • Presales capacity utilization analytics

With Remote Selling becoming the norm, it’s time for sellers to go beyond pitching products using PowerPoint. Buyers expect to see interactive presentations that are multi-dimensional and interesting. New features may include augmented or virtual reality including 3D product models. Also see Demos category.

Typical Features to look for:

  • Multimedia

  • Animation

  • Augmented reality and/or 3D models

Click to send personal gifts or incentives to engage prospects and entice them to meet. These solutions make it super easy to create campaigns for generating meetings at scale and to send one-to-one gifts to important clients.

Typical Functionality includes:

  • Direct Mail

  • Personalized Gifts

  • Branded Swag

  • Scheduling options

  • Handwritten notes

Creating and realigning sales territories to optimize sales effort and total overall revenue. Solutions typically include both quota planning and allocation as well as territory analysis and assignment.

Typical functionality includes:

  • Sales territory design and reassignment with interactive maps

  • Geo and account-based territories

  • Building and managing sales compensation plans

  • Scenario modeling

This is a newer category of solutions that curate, condense and/or beautify content in a way that makes it more consumable and interesting to buyers. The effectiveness of long-form content is suffering given the poverty of attention among buyers. Response-Worthy Content is more attention worthy and can lead to greater ROI on your long-form content. It can be used on social networks, emails, even ad units and can include CTAs, forms, and rich media.

Typical functionality includes:

  • Specialized content formatting

  • Ability to Personalize

  • Interactive and rich media elements

Video practice and role-play along with sales call recording and coaching have merged into this new category called Sales Coaching Software. As solution providers have expanded their platforms to include additional functionality, it became necessary to have a broader category. A third type of functionality has also been included which is coaching reps on specific deals (see also pipeline reviews and account & opportunity management).

Typical solution functionality includes:

  • Analyzing customer calls, meetings and emails to uncover key insights and coaching opportunities.

  • Deal coaching to ensure the right people are involved along with other key factors.

  • Coaching reps on their video pitches and role-plays and sharing best practices across the team.

Creating, modeling, implementing, administering, and optimizing compensation plans. Often includes salesrep dashboards for tracking commissions earned and paid.

Functionality includes:

  • Compensation Planning & Modeling

  • Commission calculations and payments

  • Modeling & Forecasting

These solutions make it possible to create a repository of sales materials, documents, videos, and learning material so sellers can offer prospects the most relevant information. Content can automatically be served up within CRM or Email based on the prospect’s information (industry, sales stage, or other important factors). Save your sellers time and ensure they have the most effective materials for every sales situation. We do NOT include cloud storage solutions. Minimum criterion is to centralize content into a branded collection.

Typical functionality includes:

  • Intelligent content recommendations

  • Filtering for role or region

  • Content microsites for individual prospects

  • Brandable content dashboards

  • Access to content from within Email or CRM

Sales Management and Operations leaders need data to make the right decisions. Whether it has to do with market planning, forecast or deal reviews, or knowing where the risks are based on rep activity and other factors – without having data, you’re going on gut. This category is often called Revenue Intelligence and often employs AI and machine learning.

Typical functionality may include:

  • Sales Forecasting probability

  • Identifying at-risk deals

  • Sales Performance Tracking

  • AI recommendations

  • Go-To-Market Analysis

This category of solutions is about creating, delivering – and measuring the results of – learning exercises. These solutions can be used for new hire onboarding as well as ongoing development and reinforcement. They are different from traditional corporate learning and development (L&D) solutions in many ways. First, they’re designed for remote, virtual, and self-directed learning unlike classroom-style L&D. Furthermore, they’re designed for ongoing reinforcement using micro-learning approaches and customized learning paths. See also Sales Coaching Software.

Typical Functionality includes:

  • Content Authoring

  • Creating learning exercise paths

  • Immediate access to reinforcement materials that explain correct and incorrect answers

  • Reporting on progress for individual and teams

  • Real-time and up-to-date Scorecards

Make it easy to find mutually available meeting slots and to allow prospects to schedule meetings directly into your calendar. The most innovative solutions allow website visitors to schedule sales meetings making sure to share the calendar availability of the correct rep (based on account or territory assignment). We do NOT include solutions that are solely for service-based interactions (e.g. booking haircuts.) note: Many other solution categories include scheduling functionality. We do not list them here.

Typical functionality may include:

  • Online dashboard for scheduling time with a salesperson

  • Email widget that displays availability

  • Schedule Appt link on website

  • Mutual availability finder

Gives sellers the ability to communicate and prospect on social media channels. They may also give you the ability to research prospects interests and/or be notified when a prospect or prospect account posts something or announces news. This category doesn’t have consistent characteristics since there are a host of solutions that offer different social selling functionality. For instance, this category includes solutions that will visit LinkedIn profiles en masse along with auto connect requests and templates.

Functionality may include:

  • Auto connection requests

  • Notification of trigger alerts

  • Personality trait analysis

Reps that rack up mileage doing daily field visits (think door-to-door sales) need access to solutions that make them more productive. This includes functionality like lead/address look-up, route planning, forms and contracts along with fast access to presentations and catalog information. Managers get access to activity tracking and visit outcomes. Help reps get the most value from their territory.

Look for:

  • Prospect look-up

  • Daily visit/route-planning

  • Call disposition

  • Access to catalogs & sales assets

  • Activity tracking

One of the most common complaints is that salespeople don’t log information into CRM. That leaves management to make decisions based on what is most surely inaccurate and out-of-date information. Not having good CRM data is often blamed for an inability to deploy leading edge salestech – salestech which depend on good data to work. Solutions in this category have recognized that it’s possible to automatically capture activities reps perform throughout the day so they don’t have to log them manually.

Functionality includes:

  • Automatically capture activity by associating calendars, dialers, notes from recorded calls, and email to the appropriate CRM records

You can retain revenue and drive account expansion when your salespeople and other customer-facing employees have a 360° of the customer. These solutions provide a single, unified system of record for each and every customer along with health scoring and critical status changes.

Typical solutions include:

  • Mapping and syncing fields across all relevant systems

  • Centrally managing data work-flows

  • Central view or profile of all relevant customer information

These solutions allow your sellers to quickly and easily quantify the economic impact to the customer. These tools can be used at any stage of the customer journey, including renewal time. Typically they include the ability to present various hypothesis and use-cases that are then translated into economic benefit.

Functionality may include:

  • Web ROI calculator tools

  • Value realization tools

  • Value summary documents

  • Industry metrics research and comparison

Video can humanize a salesperson from being ‘just’ a voice at the other end of the phone. Sending a video message can open doors. They personalize the message and convert the outreach from seeming cold, to feeling warm and sincere. Video email campaigns that automate video personalization and track engagement make it scalable. Personalized landing pages with personal pitches add to a great buyer experience.

Typical functionality may include:

  • Video email

  • Personalized video (with prospect’s info)

  • Video for social media

While doing research on the web, salespeople will come across many sources of contact and company names. These web lead clipping solutions allow sellers to quickly “grab” the data and import it into a spreadsheet, database, or CRM. Some lead clipping solutions will append the contact information with data like email address or phone number. This is helpful for sources like LinkedIn that don’t provide email addresses.

Typical features include:

  • Capturing all names and contact information displaying on a web page

  • Checking to see if you have the contact in your CRM (and adding)

  • Appending with missing data like email

These solutions identify which companies your web visitor/s work for (if their IP address is associated with a company). Regardless, if the visitor ever completes a web form, their past visits will automatically be associated with their contact information. Knowing the company that a visitor is associated with can give salespeople the opportunity to find the right contact by looking up the company on LinkedIn or on a lead database service like ZoomInfo.

Typical Features are one or more of the following:

  • Identifies visiting companies based on their IP address

  • Identifies people that work for the visiting companies and provides contact details (not the actual contact that visited)

  • Identifies the actual contact that visited and the pages they visited.

Note: many marketing automation solutions include website visitor identification as a feature. We do not include marketing automation solutions on the SalesTech landscape. For those, please see Scott Brinker’s Marketing Technology landscape.