The Ultimate Guide to Collaborative Spaces for Engaging B2B Buyers
Over 80% of B2B buyers prefer buying products online. The new norm in the B2B sales industry is digital, meaning sales teams need to meet their buyers digitally.
It’s not easy for sales teams to adjust to this trend without compromising the customer experience. How do you deliver the right information? Is personalisation still possible, and how do you get everyone on the same page?
The simplest option is digital sales room software. A collaborative virtual space with room for customisation and real-time interactions solves the challenges of operating virtually.
What Is a Digital Sales Room?
A digital sales room or collaborative work space is a shared space for sellers and buyers to complete a deal. Sometimes referred to as a virtual dealroom, these virtual spaces are secure enough to exchange sensitive documents, including financials, but open for real-time collaboration.
Using a digital sales room solves many of the challenges sellers and buyers face in an increasingly virtual world. It’s possible for all involved parties to log into the same dashboard and interact with proposals, demos, and documents to complete deals faster and more efficiently.
For example, sellers would load all requisite sales content into the central folder. They send the buyer a custom link for the content. The buyer can then access the information to review demos and proposals. Some digital sales room software even makes it possible for the buyer and seller to engage via chat functions.
Not only does the buyer experience a seamless sales process, but the software tracks engagement at each stage. Sellers can review the analytics to see where buyers spent the most time to identify what they care most about and refine their approach for the sale.
Why You Need a Digital Sales Room
With B2B sales going digital, businesses need to adapt to keep up with the market. Digital sales rooms allow you to meet your buyer where they are and deliver the same outstanding service as you would provide in an actual showroom.
In many cases, the buyer experience is even better than it was with the traditional, in-person methods. Additionally, the benefits for sales teams cannot be understated as these collaborative spaces provide data to improve decision-making processes. Key reasons to choose a digital sales room include:
Real-time visibility: Using a digital sales room provides teams with data on when buyers open files and how long they view them. You don’t have to wonder if prospects view your sales materials when you have true insight into buyer behaviours.
Standardised sales processes: Establish a routine and templates that reduce time spent at every stage while still allowing sales teams to personalise content for each buyer. With a standardised sales process, every team knows their role at each stage, making for smoother transitions.
Seamless transitions through the sales funnel: Removing the cumbersome back-and-forths over details can shorten the sales cycle and create a better overall experience for everyone involved.
Better forecasting: With access to more in-depth data, your team can make better predictions about buyer intent. They can set timely follow-ups and focus their attention to those most likely to convert at the ideal moment.
Streamline processes to reduce errors: When every team understands their responsibilities and has access to the same information, there is less room for error or miscommunication.
Boost productivity and motivation: Using digital sales room software means teams can automate some of the mundane tasks that slow them down. When teams can focus on their specialties and more complex tasks, they are more productive.
Enhance and reinforce workplace culture: Adjusting to the largely remote work environment has been a challenge, but digital sales rooms allow teams to openly communicate from wherever they work. It’s easier to connect with your team and encourage teamwork among remote team members.
Consider the applications for startups with limited overhead. Digital sales rooms make cross-team collaboration possible for teams that aren’t in the same office or even the same country. You can easily deliver a seamless buyer experience with teams all over the world. Expand not just your base of operations but also your client pool.
What To Look For While Searching for the Best Collaborative Space?
Choosing the wrong digital sales room software won’t help your team succeed. If you don’t have the right features or the platform doesn’t integrate with your existing tools, it will make more work in the end.
While extra bells and whistles are nice, the best digital sales room software includes at least the following:
Integration with existing tools and platforms: The last thing you want is to purchase a new email marketing platform because your new digital sales room doesn’t mesh with your existing one.
Document management: If you can’t pass documents, like contracts, to other teams or your buyer, the space won’t be functional for you.
Social networking: Social media is a critical part of lead generation, so you need software that lets you track campaigns across all networks. Make sure it provides data analytics and reporting on buyer engagement.
Task management: Boost productivity with task management to ensure everyone is on the same page and knows what’s expected.
CRM: Look for software that integrates with your existing CRM so you don’t have to reenter prospect information manually.
User-friendly interface: If it’s too complicated to use, your team and your buyer will avoid it at all costs. Make sure your digital sales room is functional for everyone.
Privacy and security: Buyers want to know your site is secure for sensitive information. And, what about your proprietary data?
Metrics and data tracking: Thorough data analytics and reporting is a key reason to use a digital sales room, so you want comprehensive tracking. Look for software with options for historical and real-time data for better buyer insights and forecasting.
Internal messaging options: Help your teams collaborate and expedite deals with internal messaging or chat options.
Anything extra could be helpful, but not at the cost of the above features. Be cautious when selecting software and ask specific questions to ensure it meets your needs.
10 Best Collaborative Spaces To Win Deals Faster
To help you narrow down your choices, here’s a digital sales room software comparison of some popular options.
If that quick comparison doesn’t quite answer all your questions, we compiled thorough breakdowns of each platform.
Digital Sales Rooms are a new product category. If you value a premium, enterprise-level product, then BuyerAssist is a good choice, but if you value an efficient, user-friendly tool, Forward is ideal.
Forward’s digital sales room offers a range of tools to support teams with every step of the sales pipeline. Build campaigns, track buyer intent, develop interactive, engaging sales proposals, and work from a centralised dashboard.
Centralised dashboard: Consolidate all sales materials, enjoy real-time collaboration, and track deal progress from one hub.
Mutual Action Plans: Develop structured deals to hold all parties accountable, create a seamless sales journey, and close deals faster with these interactive plans.
Comprehensive Sales Insights: Dig deeper into buyer engagement to gain true insights to use for refining sales materials and setting follow-ups.
User-friendly interface for you and your buyers.
Powerful personalisation tools to give buyers a tailored experience.
Seamless integrations with your favourite tools.
Access a library of templates to save time creating sales content.
The platform is still growing.
Offers a 14-day trial of the Pro version.
Pro: €29 per month when billed annually, €39 per month when billed monthly
Enterprise: Discuss pricing with the Forward sales team, but enjoy a 45-day extended trial when you commit.
Marwane Chorfi, co-founder of Gyfti, praises Forward for revolutionising their approach to sales and bringing their team together. He notes “Forward delivers a standout buying experience. It sets us apart from the crowd, empowering us to captivate buyers and confidently close deals. It’s an invaluable asset.”
Discover how Forward can offer the same exceptional experience for your team. Try it for FREE!
Valuecase is a German company catering to mid-sized firms; they provide unlimited virtual workspaces for teams of at least five users. The platform offers customisable templates to build out each deal.
Of note, some users note limitations in customisation options. There is also some question about the depth of analytics with reports of needing additional tools to gain comprehensive buyer insights.
Interactive sales plans to avoid back-and-forth emails and boost collaboration.
Real-time engagement analytics and reporting, including a feed that provides updates on buyer interactions as they occur.
Templated-based workspaces are customisable for your deals,
Create internal areas for teams to collaborate on deals before sending them to the buyer.
Create customer spaces quickly.
Responsive customer support.
Calculation tools to illustrate values.
Limited buyer insights.
Fewer features available than other products offer.
14-day free trial with access to all features
Growth: €59 per user per month, minimum of five users
Enterprise: contact the sales team to discuss options for a minimum of 15 users
Trumpet aims to be a one-size-fits-all solution for companies of all sizes. The platform focuses on personalisation as a key selling point, emphasising that you don’t need to have design skills to be successful with their software.
Despite the focus on personalisation, several users bemoan the lack of customisation options and general difficulties using menus. Some users note incomplete analytics and the need to incorporate other platforms to fill in the blanks.
Auto-personalised pods for prospects, no need to learn design skills.
Interactive Mutual Action Plans created live to be collaborative between teams and with buyers.
Video and Screen Recording for a smoother onboarding process.
Proprietary Document Signing Software (called trumpetSign) for buyer commitments.
Buyer Tracking and Insights through trumpet Signals, proprietary analytics.
Over 35 Integrations with popular platforms including Hubspot, Salesloft, Salesforce, Google Workspace, and Microsoft Teams.
Excellent customer support and transparency from the top levels.
Ability to save components from pods to reuse for future pods.
Good for post-demo support, from follow-ups to buyer support.
Minor, yet consistent glitches with the interface.
Not enough automations.
Free: Starter account provides limited features for unlimited users, up to 20 pods, analytics, and 30 integrations.
GetAccept is a Swedish firm offering support for businesses of all sizes and at any stage in development. That said, some larger corporations note difficulty with supporting their operations and roadblocks to some integrations.
Many users note the platform itself is easy to use but that some integrations leave a lot to be desired. It’s repeatedly mentioned as convenient for electronic signatures and document storage, but there appears to be fewer personalisation options than the other products offer.
Proposal management system monitors every step of the buying process.
Configure Price Quote (CPQ) solution to deliver accurate, consistent pricing for each buyer.
Tracking and analytics on every feature.
Mutual Action Plans to detail each step of the sales process.
Automations to reduce time spent on some tasks to boost efficiency.
Content management system for all sales materials.
Notifications and reminders to keep on top of follow ups and deals.
Sales engagement options for creating interactive materials and presentations.
Customer support via live chat and other avenues.
Easy document signing.
Mobile responsive for handling buyer questions on the go.
Reliable video messaging tools.
Pricing is not affordable for smaller and mid-sized firms.
The interface is not user-friendly and doesn’t integrate well with some platforms, especially CRMs.
14-day free trial with full access to the platform
Professional: $49 per user per month
Enterprise: Speak with the sales team for pricing.
BuyerAssist is an enterprise-level platform geared toward larger corporations. Security is a primary concern for BuyerAssist with several layers and regular audits of all applications, systems, and networks.
At first glance, BuyerAssist doesn’t come across as being nearly as robust as the other platforms. There’s no discussion of personalised deals or micro-sites, but based on customer comments, it appears that you can see the full offerings with a demo. Of course, start-ups, entrepreneurs, and smaller businesses might not have the budget to cover this one.
High-level security features.
Relationship mapping in three ways: buyer role, relationship, and buyer journey.
Mutual success plans allow teams to collaborate with their buyers and boost buyer engagement.
Buyer enablement and insights to create custom proposals that speak to prospects.
Useful for making organisational charts and relationship hierarchies.
Excellent for crafting mutual action plans for each buyer.
Limited features beyond the Mutual Action Plan.
Does not extend through upselling or renewals.
Limited integrations available.
BuyerAssist.io does not list pricing on the website. You can request a demo and get pricing at that point.
Look to emlen’s digital sales room for support with content management and distribution, collaborative deals, and insights to buyer engagement.The platform appeals to smaller businesses with its marketing, but has a higher price tag than most others.
This German company made an impression in the IT and SaaS industries with a user-friendly platform, except for the lack of integrations. Several users note that integrations and additional tools would enhance the experience and make it a more comprehensive platform.
Embed any type of content to share with buyers.
Real-time communication via notes, comments, chat, or video calls.
Custom branding in every digital sales room.
Buyer engagement tracking.
Secure sharing with additional features, like double opt-in.
Easy to use interface.
Chat and video calls with screen and presentation sharing abilities.
Good tracking of buyer engagement with content.
Missing some key integrations that you can get with other platforms.
Expensive compared to other platforms.
Core: €79 per user per month, €70 per user per month when billed annually
Premium: €129 per user per month, €120 per user per month when billed annually
Enterprise: available upon request.
There is no free trial, but you can book a custom demo.
Journey.io is a platform offering scalable plans that fit any team’s budget. The basic plan serves as a sampling but remains free forever for teams that only need five “journeys.” It’s unlikely that five will suffice and support growth, so eventually teams need to upgrade.
This platform relies heavily on AI and machine learning to automate much of the creation process, which also makes it user-friendly. Users note that it’s easy to create pitches, demos, and more. However, there are issues reported with syncing and some extraneous components that detract from presentations.
“Journeys” to guide the sales process and allow collaboration with buyers.
Unlimited content, including videos and presentations.
Buyer engagement insights, though they are anonymous at the basic level.
Security features that become more advanced with paid tiers.
Customisable journeys at every tier.
Useful buyer engagement tracking.
Easily collect all sales materials and documents in one place for every deal.
Missing a lot of features you get with other platforms.
Bugs with integrations, specifically CRMs.
Basic: Free forever
Pro: $29 per user per month when paid annually
Teams: $6,000 to $30,000 per year depending on the business needs.
Aligned is a collaborative workspace geared toward streamlining complex deals with interactive elements and personalised workspaces for each buyer. The platform notes its big advantages as better visibility at every stage of the sales funnel and more efficient sales processes.
While users appreciate how easy it is to create workspaces and content, there is some concern about the lack of customisation options. The platform appears to have limited design and formatting capabilities within the workspaces.
Content management for documents, videos, presentations, and more.
Templates for building presentations and deal rooms.
Engagement tracking and reporting features to assess campaign effectiveness.
Security features based on user and role.
Proposals and content sharing to get deals done fast.
Built-in chat features for real-time interactions.
Good free plan for small teams.
Decent metrics on which buyers are most engaged.
Responsive customer support team.
Could use more automations to reduce time spent on menial tasks.
Limited design options for presentations.
Free forever: up to three workspaces per user, unlimited users.
Basic: $29 per month per user, up to three users.
Pro: $49 per user per month, up to nine users.
Enterprise: contact the sales team for pricing if you have more than nine users.
Enable us is a platform from Mindtickle and dedicated to high-growth organisations. Write a short introduction to the product. The partnership aims to support teams with scalable growth and revenue enablement.
While some people commend how flexible and user friendly it is, others note that enable us has several clunky features. For example, search functionality is cumbersome and it’s difficult to shift page ownership.
Personalised digital sales rooms made with customisable templates.
Content management that makes uploading and organisation easy.
Mutual Success Plans foster collaborative relationships and standardise the sales process.
Custom onboarding and training to ensure users know how to maximise the platform.
Sales enablement and content analytics provide insight to buyer behaviours.
Easy to track and update all storytelling materials.
Detailed buyer engagement metrics.
Ability to send personal video messages to buyers.
Platform is still growing and expanding its offerings, so it may be missing some things you want.
Media uploading and embedding could be easier and more efficient.
14-day free trial
Starter: $25 per user per month when paid annually
Growth: $50 per user per month when paid annually
Revenue Productivity Platform: Contact sales team for pricing on this revenue scaling option.
Dock is another collaborative workspace that offers a plethora of integrations and customisation options. The United States-based company caters specifically to the B2B crowd with a range of features they deemed necessary based on the founders’ SaaS and Agency operator backgrounds.
Unlike some of the other platforms, Dock caters to the smaller and mid-sized companies with growth potential. There appears to be a notable learning curve on mastering the platform from the seller’s side and some minor quirks with formatting at times.
Customisable workspaces for each client
Pricing quotes and order forms with electronic signatures.
Sales content management to organise, store, and share everything from mutual action plans to demos to onboarding plans.
Client-facing project plans to break the sales process into manageable chunks, schedule tasks, and assign people to tasks.
Visually appealing interface.
Easy to embed content.
One of the more customisable platforms available.
Slow rolling out new features.
You have to log in every time you go to the app.
Free for up to five users and 10 assets.
Business: $49 per user per month
Enterprise: contact the sales team for pricing, must require at least five seats
Best Practices for Engaging Buyers in Digital Sales Rooms
Choosing the right digital sales room software is only the first step. Even the most cutting-edge platform won’t help your buyer engagement and conversion rate if you don’t know how to use it effectively.
Tailor Content for Specific Buyer Needs
Personalisation is crucial for every B2B buyer, and that means businesses need to customise every step of the sales journey. Personalised emails are great, but what if you could completely tailor every interaction with your buyer?
A digital sales room makes it possible to deliver that completely customised experience. Create a personalised workspace for each buyer. Then, monitor their engagement and comments to find common themes and struggles to determine which content to send and when.
Engage With Compelling Visuals and Graphics
One of the most powerful tools you gain with a digital sales room is the opportunity to embed impressive media. It’s easier to wow your buyers with stunning visuals, like videos and charts to better illustrate your points.
Using a digital sales room makes it easy to add your visuals to sales materials with a few clicks. The multi-media embed features makes it easy for teams to craft impressive sales materials with everything stored in one place.
Foster Collaboration with Interactive Tools
You can also boost buyer engagement with interactive content, especially your demos and presentations. Including surveys, forms, and ROI calculators can mix things up and educate buyers to help close that deal.
A digital sales room makes it easy to develop an interactive experience for your buyers, like mutual action plans. Adopting a mutual action plan is one way to structure your sales process, but more than that, it creates an interactive experience from the start. It’s easy to engage with buyers, set meetings, and establish deadlines so everybody stays on track.
Educate Rather than Just Sell
Hard selling your product may not be the best way to win buyers. Instead, focus on educating them about your product to reframe it as the solution to their problems.
Ensure Prompt Follow-ups and Gather Feedback
Waiting too long to follow-up can cause lost sales. You don’t want your competition to slip in and steal the deal because you didn’t follow up in time. Timely follow-ups let your buyer know that you value their business and want to close the deal.
Along with follow-ups, it’s important to ask prospects what they think about your product, your presentation, and even your sales process in general. Feedback from buyers can help you refine your process and serve them better.
Utilise Instant Data Insights for Improved Engagement
Data analytics and reporting empower teams to make better decisions. Having access to robust reporting on key performance indicators (KPIs) allows you to assess campaign effectiveness. The opportunity for continuous improvement through data-driven insights cannot be overstated.
It’s easier to identify trends and make adjustments to boost success rates. For example, with every team having access to the same data, it’s possible to make adjustments in real-time, which can salvage deals you might have lost.
Invest In a Collaborative Space to Boost Engagement
The B2B sales world has changed dramatically over the past decade. It’s more challenging than ever to meet buyers’ needs and maintain engagement throughout the sales journey.
Thankfully, technology makes it possible to draw everything together to create a seamless, personalised experience for your buyer. Using a collaborative workspace reduces the amount of back-and-forth needed to close a deal while providing sales teams with insight into buyer behaviours.
Using Forward’s digital sales room allows teams to deliver a stunning buyer experience every time. From interactive plans and proposals to personalised sales content and micro-sites, your team can boost buyer engagement with a few clicks of the mouse.