If you work in the sales industry, you’re probably more than familiar with the amount of time it takes to accomplish day to day sales tasks like acquiring valuable prospects, following up and nurturing leads, setting meeting times and sales calls, creating deals, sending emails, and more – The list goes on and on. Now try and think about how many collective hours you and your fellow sales reps have spent on such tasks that you could have spent closing deals instead. If the number you just thought of scares you, you’re not alone.
But what if we told you that you and your sales team could actually save the time you’d usually spend accomplishing every day tasks and direct it towards other, more important priorities? What if we also told you that the sales tasks we described above would not be tossed in the wind but would instead be accomplished by a software system?
This is where sales automation comes in.
Sales automation is a software that implements digital tools like artificial intelligence to automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks that are usually performed by sales reps or sales teams on a regular basis. By doing so, sales automation not only streamlines workflow processes across sales teams but also drives more movement through the sales pipeline by enabling sales reps to spend more time closing more deals and corresponding with leads.
What kind of functions can sales automation perform?
Sales automation can manage a surprising amount of sales functions, thereby empowering sales reps to shift their time and focus from administrative tasks to improving their customer service skills and building better connections with prospects. It does this by:
1) Finding prospects for your business. One of the most time-consuming tasks in marketing and sales is finding qualified prospects for your business who are most likely to convert. Sales automation software can create filters that help sales teams identify the most interested potential clients to follow up with and nurture in the sales process.
This ensures that your sales teams are not spending precious time with uninterested leads, and instead pivots their attention to the potential customers who are most likely to convert. The sales automation engine can aso distribute leads based on a variety of criteria such as geography, area of interest, or others that ensure leads are paired with the best suited sales reps.
2) Upkeeping your customer relationship management (CRM) tool. Keeping up to date on all your customer information does not only take a significant amount of time, but also requires your sales team to be on top of contact data entry, avoid duplicating information entry, and ensure that no details slip through any cracks. Unfortunately, human error can make it difficult to maintain a flawless CRM platform.
Luckily, there are tools like HubSpot’s free CRM platform, which integrate both sales automation and customer relationship management so that tasks like inputting prospect information, updates, and activities can be automated rather than manually entered.
3) Setting your meeting schedule. How often have you wasted time going back and forth with a prospect to decide on a time to set up a call? With sales automation, clients can find slots that align with your schedule to book meetings, cutting the game of phone tag out of your daily activities and adding more ease to the sales cycle.
4) Recording your meetings and sales calls. Sales automation uses intelligence tools to record, transcribe, and analyze the conversations you have with your clients. This tool allows sales reps to read the transcriptions from their meetings rather than having to replay an audio recording. This way, the automation software effectively removes the manual work that your sales teams have to do and further enhances the speed of the sales process.
5) Tailoring specific messages to prospects based on their interests. Sales automation software can track prospect activity and behavior, such as when someone spends a long time on your business’s checkout page or abandons items in their carts. The automation software can then recognize your prospect’s action and send out an automated email to their email address that’s specifically tailored to that action, serving as an extra personalized and targeted touchpoint.
6) Manage your email automation. Sending follow-up emails to your prospects can become tedious, especially if you’re cranking out the same sentences or messages time and time again. Sales automation simplifies your email process by offering templates that you can personalize and customize before sending them out to your prospects. These email templates can also help you tailor your email campaigns and newsletter strategies. Best of all, you can do all of this while only doing half the work!
7) Providing accuracy. As we’ve mentioned before, no matter how incredibly efficient your sales teams may be, they’re still made up of human beings which means errors are bound to be made every now and then. While no automation service is perfect, sales automation software can produce an accuracy that humans may not be able to 100% of the time.
However, incorporating automation into your sales process doesn’t mean that the software will override the functions and capabilities of your sales reps. Instead, integrating automation into your sales process to provide accuracy for important tasks can enhance the way your business conducts sales management as a whole.
8) Produce reports for sales managers. If you’re a manager overseeing a sales team, you’ve probably spent countless hours creating reports to receive insights about your sales processes. With automation services, you no longer have to worry about that as you’ll be able to receive automated reports using CRM.
At the end of the day, upping your sales numbers and improving your business metrics are not the ultimate goals of sales automation. Instead, sales automation is designed to grant sales reps and teams more time to focus on critical priorities such as connecting with prospects and closing sales that will effectively drive your sales numbers and metrics. Granting your sales reps more time to focus on result-driven functions is the key to a successful sales strategy for your business.