Sales processes are a necessary evil for any business. You need to be able to segment your customers and prospects to have a way of reaching out to them, but it can take up a lot of time if you don’t automate the process. The good news is that there are tools that can help you automate your sales processes, so you can save time and focus on more important things!
When you’re running a small business, time is often a precious resource. You have to balance the needs of your customers, employees, and other stakeholders with the need to keep the business thriving. One way to do that is by using automation and technology to improve your business.
Automating your sales processes can save you time and help ensure that all your interactions with customers are consistent and professional.
In this article, we’ll discuss some common sales processes that businesses should automate to save time and improve efficiency within their teams and improve the buyer experience and customer satisfaction.
What is Sales Automation?
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Automating processes involves using a sales platform to automate tasks, documents, and information that are associated with selling products or services. Sales automation is a type of business process management, which is an umbrella term for any system or software that helps an organization manage its business processes in a goal-orientated way.
The most common sales processes to automate are:
- Lead generation and nurturing
- Sales qualification and scoring
- Sales quotations and orders
- Sales call logs
- Follow-up and scheduling of meetings
Sales automation can be used in conjunction with customer relationship management (CRM) software to automate some (or all) of your sales and marketing processes. Here are some examples:
You can set up automated tasks based on specific events or actions taken by potential customers. For example, if someone fills out an online form requesting more information about your products and services, you could trigger an email response that provides additional information about your product line or pricing.
Using a system like WooCommerce Dynamic Pricing & Discounts, you can set rules that automatically trigger certain discounts. This could be based on purchases that have just been made, previous visits to the website, or adjusting the prices to make sure they are lower than competitors.
You can build campaigns that target specific groups of customers based on their characteristics (e.g., location, industry type). These campaigns can include different approaches for different groups — for example, one campaign could offer a discount to people who have purchased from your company before, while another offers free shipping on orders over £100 to those who have visited the website but haven’t purchased anything yet.
You can use email marketing to reach out to potential customers at key points throughout the sales process (e.g., when they’ve first visited your website but haven’t made any purchases yet). This ensures that you’re reaching out with relevant information at critical times in their decision-making process rather than just spamming them with promotional material.
You can also use artificial intelligence marketing for data analysis and reporting, or content creation with natural language processing.
What Benefits Does Sales Automation Software Offer?
Sales automation software is designed to help businesses manage and streamline their sales processes. It can be used for anything from automating lead tracking and follow-up to scheduling meetings and sending emails, to managing contracts and invoicing customers.
The benefits of sales automation software vary depending on which features you choose to use, but here are some examples:
Save time with automation
You can save hours each week by automating tedious tasks like scheduling meetings or sending email reminders.
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Automation reduces human error because it’s more consistent than doing things manually, so there’s less chance of typos or missed steps when entering data into a system.
Business automation allows you to focus on higher-value tasks, like strategizing with clients or managing relationships with partners who help grow your business.
Automation means less stress for the sales team
There’s nothing worse than spending hours on the phone with unqualified leads and trying to get them to make a purchase. Sales automation software handles this problem by automatically routing qualified leads to sales reps who can close more deals quickly and efficiently.
Get things done in less time
With a CRM system in place, you’ll be able to manage every aspect of your sales pipeline from one location. This allows you to focus on other parts of your business while still keeping tabs on sales activity. You won’t have to worry about forgetting important tasks or losing track of important information when working with different tools (like email or spreadsheets) — all the relevant data will be in one place!
Improved lead management
Sales automation software makes it easier for your team to track leads, manage them through each stage of the pipeline, and provide timely updates on their status. This helps ensure that no leads slip through the cracks and ensures that everyone on your team has access to the same information at all times.
Sending automated emails and text messages can help you stay at the front of customers’ minds, especially if they have been on the fence about making a purchase or have given you their contact information but haven’t responded to your outreach efforts. You can also use automated follow-up as an opportunity to give customers more information about your products or services and build trust with them. This will help prevent them from becoming frustrated and moving on to another vendor who might get their attention before you do.
11 Easy Ways to Automate Your Sales Process
For many businesses, sales are the lifeblood of the organization. However, a lot of time and energy can be wasted on repetitive tasks that don’t bring in revenue, like following up with leads or sending out follow-up emails.
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The good news is that there are ways to automate your sales processes so you can spend more time doing what matters — closing deals and making money. Automating your sales processes is the best way to increase your revenue, reduce costs and make more money.
Here are 11 easy ways to automate your sales processes for immediate and long-term benefits:
1. Automate your email outreach process
Email outreach is an important part of the sales process, but it’s also time-consuming. You have to find emails, research them, send out multiple emails and then follow up if they don’t respond. That’s a lot of work that can easily be automated using popular email marketing tools that have a built-in automation functionality. Instead of manually finding contact information for each prospect and creating individual email templates for each one, these tools will do all this for you automatically — saving you tons of time!
2. Automate your cold calling process
Cold calling is an important part of many sales processes, but it can be tedious and repetitive. Many small businesses are still relying on old-fashioned cold calling to drum up new leads. But the phone is so impersonal and, frankly, annoying that prospects often hang up before they even hear a pitch.
Luckily, there are a few simple ways to automate this step in your sales process.
You can use CRM systems to store all customer interactions. This will enable you to track responses and reduces the risk of annoying and unnecessary duplicate calls being made to the same customer. You can also set up call scripts so every cold call is standardized and consistent — no more wasting time trying to think of what to say next!
3. Automate your lead scoring process
Your sales will only come from about 10–15 percent of the leads you get. To get the most out of your investment, you should direct your efforts on the leads that are the most useful. You may use sales automation solutions as part of your agile methodology to aid with lead generation, lead scoring, and directing your efforts to the part of the sales funnel where they are most likely to provide a return on investment.
4. Use CRM software to manage leads and contacts
Another reason to consider using CRM software is to help you stay organized while working on multiple projects at once. These programs help you keep track of all the information relating to each prospect or client that comes through your door — what they need, what they’ve bought from you in the past, and whether they have any outstanding questions or issues that need addressing. Some CRM platforms even allow users to create automated marketing campaigns based on each prospect’s unique data profile.
5. Automate your follow-up email process
Automate follow-up emails by using drip campaigns or advanced rules within email marketing platforms. You’ll save time on manual follow-ups while still ensuring that prospects receive personalized messages at each stage of their buying journey.
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6. Automate your lead nurturing process
Lead nurturing is a method of communication with potential customers that involves sending out regular emails or texts that provide valuable information about your product or service, as well as reminders about upcoming events or deadlines. This kind of communication allows you to keep in touch with leads without being too pushy about making a sale.
7. Make use of contact center software
If you run an inbound call center, consider using a call center platform. This is the best call center solution to enable you to manage your calls more effectively and efficiently, allowing you to save time and money.
Amongst other things, this can really help to simplify your company’s tech stack, by integrating your business and communication software. Rather than using one software for video calls and another for messaging, your employees can use one platform for everything; making the whole sales process easier and more efficient.
8. Use chatbots on your website
Chatbots are automated software programs that can conduct conversations with humans through text or voice messages — without requiring human supervision or intervention — which means they’re great for helping visitors navigate a website or service without needing help from an employee.
They’re also useful at providing self-service capabilities so visitors can get answers from a chatbot rather than having to wait on hold when they call in. Chatbots can answer simple questions such as “How do I find my order number?” or more complex questions such as “What’s the status of my order?” When a visitor asks a question, the chatbot can provide an answer or suggest that the customer submit their question via email for someone to respond. You can test with free chatbots for your website to get started.
9. Use a power dialer to automate sales calls
A power dialer is a piece of software (often included with your VoIP or corporate phone system) that speeds up and simplifies your phone conversations. It is a crucial piece of equipment for call centers that conduct several sales calls daily.
As soon as you hang up with a call, the dialer will begin power dialing the next number on your outreach list. It eliminates the need for your staff to manually choose or click the next number to call. Ultimately, the more you can streamline your contact center processes, the more your employees will be able to go through their call lists.
10. Coordinate internal communications in one central location
Your sales automation platform should also help you coordinate all of the internal communications that are related to your sales processes. This includes everything from emails and phone calls to meetings and presentations, as well as project management tasks and collaboration with customers and vendors.
11. Implement a task management system
Last but not least, a very important step to automating your sales process is implementing a task management system. This will be the backbone of your sales automation efforts, so it’s important to choose one that fits your business needs and works for your team.
You and your team can keep organized and accountable by using task management software. When your team uses a task management system, everyone knows where to find the next item to do and when it’s due. You may monitor their development and assist if they stray.
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Real advantages of automation
Automation of sales processes can save time, money, and increase productivity. In fact, a 2021 Hinge marketing study showed that high-growth companies were more likely to have mature automation marketing and sales processes in place, than no-growth companies. Ultimately, by implementing some of the tips laid out in this guide, we hope that you, too, can continue to grow and revolutionize your sales process.
Grace Lau – Director of Growth Content, Dialpad
Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud communication platform for better and easier team collaboration using a toll-free number from Dialpad. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. Here is her LinkedIn.