One important factor in achieving business impact is a high-functioning, efficient sales motion.
The sales process is a set of steps and actions that a sales team performs in order to close more deals and potentially sell more products. Each company has their own unique sales process that is based on customer needs and buying habits, market movement, and company objectives. Though the process is not set in stone, it does serve as a useful guide for sales representatives to follow.
Over time, the sales process evolves. More and more sales techniques are introduced and the sales process is lengthened. Because of this, deals tend to get stuck in the pipeline and sales reps are failing to acquire customers. Though part of this is due to the lengthy sales process, there’s another culprit stalling deals. The company’s compliance with old, washed-up tactics.
Times have changed and so have the customers; it only makes sense for companies to upgrade their sales process and make it more efficient and effective. One way to do this is through sales force automation. If used appropriately, sales automation will fast-track the sales process and will accelerate revenue growth.
Sales Automation vs. Marketing Automation
Put the simplest way possible, sales automation is the use of software platforms to support sales-related activities while marketing automation is the use of these platforms to aid in marketing-related activities.
If we were to just leave it at that, it would still be hard to differentiate between the two because the line between sales and marketing has become blurry and indistinguishable. While some experts believe that this is a good thing, it is still important to know that these are two different functions that offer different things and require different skills and tools.
The purpose of marketing is to make sales easier. Doing that, in part, requires marketing teams to obtain buyer information by analyzing behaviors based on buying actions and decisions. This information is then used to create demand and generate prospective customers.
The process involves labor-intensive tasks such as email marketing, lead nurturing, ROI analysis, and CRM capabilities. While all this can be achieved through manual labor, it can get taxing and takes up way too much time, which is where marketing automation comes in handy.
Marketing automation software programs often involve customer tracking tools, lead generation tools, landing page resources, social media marketing tools, and other useful tools that allow marketers to become more effective.
Unlike marketing where the object of analysis is the general public, sales is a bit more personal and it focuses on a single prospect. This single target is then approached with a custom intonation that will fit the buyer’s persona. Ultimately, the goal of sales is to discover specific information about the customer and use it to get them onboard to close the deal.
Similar to marketing, the process involves tasks that require too much effort and take up way too much time. Included in this is order processing, contact management, inventory monitoring and control, order tracking, and a whole lot more. All of them are necessary in order to close a deal, but they don’t have to be done manually.
You can make use of a sales automation tool to do these for you and lighten the load on your sales representatives, so they can focus on building and maintaining personal relationships and actually making sales.
10 Sales Tasks That Should Be Automated
As said before, sales representatives perform regular and necessary tasks that can easily take over their entire day. Because of this, they are left with little room to build relationships and produce sales. As a result, revenue is low and the company loses profit.
The best way to counter this problem is to automate these labor-incentive tasks, but not all of them. Here are 10 sales tasks you can automate:
- Drafting emails – Sales representatives spend hours hunched over their computers, writing email after email because they believe that individually creating emails is the secret to closing deals. Sure enough, leads can successfully identify if an email is pre-written and it impacts the business negatively. However, you can still maintain personalization – and more importantly relevancy – without having to write each email individually with tools that embed templates so the bulk of standardized copy is done and fields are left open to input either custom or selected copy relevant to the person you’re emailing.
- Dialing leads – We’re currently in the digital age when everyone has turned to smartphones, so you just can’t have your reps dial their leads manually. Doing this will just result in wasted time and carpal tunnel syndrome. Instead, use tools that will allow your reps to dial leads with just one click.
- Lead prioritization – The first decision every sales rep has to make as they sit down on their desk is which lead to dial first. It may not seem like such a tedious task, but believe us when we say that it takes a lot of mental energy just to make this decision. Luckily, there are sales automation tools that will prioritize leads in real time using a variety of factors that you can choose yourself.
- Lead distribution – Sales automation tools don’t just help your sales representatives; they also help your sales managers who spend a lot of time deciding how to distribute leads. With the right tools, sales managers will be able to quickly assign leads to suitable reps.
- Leaving voicemails – On average, a sales rep spends 25 hours a month individually leaving voicemails for potential leads. If this task is automated, reps can leave a perfectly recorded voicemail with a click of a button, and they’ll be able to use those 25 hours pursuing better leads and making sales.
- Call logging – Call logging is not an optional task. However, keeping an accurate record of call outcomes can really make a dent in a rep’s selling time, so it’s best to have this task automated. Using the right tools, all outbound and inbound calls can be logged automatically.
- List building – Every sales team sorts their leads into groups based on different factors like which products or services they’re interested in, but, again, this is a tedious task. Manually sifting through individual contact details just to weed out a target is as exhausting as it sounds and reps should not have to waste their time doing this task. As important as it is, you can trust your list building to a sales automation tool that can store all of your contact’s data and allow you to segment it based on any factor you choose.
- Content monitoring – Monitoring relevant content and client content is a time-consuming task that requires reps to conduct manual searches. While the task has been made easy with the introduction of technology, it can still be made simpler. There are tools that will notify you when an article or video about a relevant subject is published. It can also allow you to find and follow information sources that are of interest to you, which will eventually provide you with a single feed of relevant information.
- Scheduling appointments – Sales reps live off of meetings with their leads but they die of frustration every time they attempt to get one on their calendar. The constant back and forth between email is physically and mentally exhausting, not to mention wastes a lot of time. Thankfully, there are meeting-scheduling tools that will give your leads access to your reps’ calendar and allow them to schedule their appointments on any free slot.
- Internal follow-ups – The sales process doesn’t revolve around external communication. Sales teams must also be able to properly and effectively relay information internally especially if they want to maximize sales. By automating this step, managers and leaders can automatically assign follow-up tasks and send follow-up emails to any member of the team. As a result, the team will be able to work in perfect harmony since there is a nice flow of information and everyone is updated on what the others are doing.
5 Reasons to Invest in Sales Automation
There are many good reasons to invest in sales automation and we’ll be sharing them with you:
- Boosts Sales and Revenue
Every company’s most desired result is more sales and bigger revenue. But how exactly does sales automation factor here?
One of the biggest challenges that companies face today is keeping up with their ever-expanding customer base. With all the tedious and behind-the-scenes tasks sales reps have to do, they lose time to build long-term and valuable relationships with every lead—a job that is just as time-consuming. And not being able to build these relationships leads to less closed deals and ultimately lower sales.
The use of sales automation platforms, however, will free up their time and allow them to effectively connect with prospects and score more sales. In fact, use of such platforms and tools has shown to increase close rates by 8% to 10%.
- Improves Productivity
Again, this is related to the reduction of administrative tasks that take up a lot of your reps’ time but don’t actually lead to more sales. Automating these tasks directly leads to better performance and improved productivity and it ensures that your sales team can respond faster to their respective leads.
- Allows for Better Lead Nurturing
Almost 80% of new leads never amount to anything because of lack of lead nurturing, and sales automation can help with this problem.
A sales automation platform, when used together with a marketing automation platform, can streamline the entire lead nurturing process. This will then allow sales and marketing teams to hit every important touchpoint at the same pace as the prospect while making sure that not a single point is missed.
All of this will then result in more deals that are ready to be closed by the sales team and, naturally, more sales.
- Reduces Sales Cycle Length
When the sales process is fast-tracked with the use of a sales automation platform, sales teams will be able to quickly point to the people that are most likely to avail of your products or services.
What this means is that sales reps won’t have to spend as much time with these prospects as they normally would. Sales teams, who use sales automation platforms will be able to close deals at 10% to 15% less time than sales teams who don’t.
At the same time, it will strengthen their capacity to reach the right customer at the right time and allow them to focus on more valuable customers.
- Increases Customer Retention
Sales doesn’t end with client acquisitions and closed deals, it also involves customer retention by continuously offering relevant content through email, SMS, or in-app messages. Sales automation tools can also allow your sales team to send personalized messages that will keep your customer engaged long after they have made their purchase.
By staying relevant and useful to your customers, they will be more inclined to stay with your company when the time to renew their plan comes. Customer retention can actually shoot up by 5% to 10% with the help of sales automation tools.
The Dangers of Too Much Sales Automation
As it is with everything good in the world, too much can be a bad thing. While sales automation can save you a lot of time, experts never recommend companies to fully automate their entire sales process. Too much automation in sales will make your company sound robotic and soulless, and leads are less likely to take interest in companies that obviously engage with them just for profit.
The lack of a human element in a sales process often comes across as unfeeling and makes you look lazy and unprofessional, so don’t be so hell-bent on automating the whole sales process.
Another important decision to make when automating the sales process is choosing which task to have automated. You won’t always benefit when you automate certain tasks, so make sure you know which parts of your sales process can be made more efficient through automation and focus on those. If, for example, your team tends to spend hours just to book meetings, then consider a tool that will allow them to schedule appointments much easier.
There’s also the danger of over-complicating the sales process to the point that sales reps, especially untrained ones, won’t be able to understand and use it to its full advantage. In fact, this even increases the odds of human or system error and puts your whole company and team in jeopardy. Once you’re in that situation, know that you have done way too much and that you need to re-evaluate your use of sales automation.
Sales Automation with Consensus
Automation is a wonderful and helpful tool that offers multiple benefits but only when it is used within reason. When attempting to automate, make sure you are also assessing the risks so you can get the results you want and make more sales.
If you want a sales automation tool that isn’t overly complicated and guarantees results, then take a look at what Consensus has to offer. Our platform has a small learning curve that can easily be mastered by any field agent or sales representative who desires to close more deals and make more sales.
Testimonials have been made on our product’s effectiveness and many people stand behind our brand. Accounts share that we were able to close deals—which would usually take months—in a matter of days and reach extreme sales velocity.
Overall, our platform has given our clients a 44% increase in close rates, and who wouldn’t want that? By simply choosing to automate a few steps in the sales process, you can effectively accelerate revenue growth. So if you’re looking for an automation solution that scales presales and enables buyers and sellers, look into Consensus.
To learn more about our services, you can click here!