Nurturing leads and closing sales takes a lot of time and effort. It's not always the most efficient process either. There's no doubt that your sales team has spent lots of time trying to nurture a lead that was never going to close. These kinds of things happen; but with sales automation software, they don't have to.
Sales automation software is the sword-in-the-stone for inbound sales teams. It reduces friction in your pipelines, saves time and resources on your outreach and lead nurturing, and maximizes the efficiency of any team size. With automation integrated into your customer relationship management software (CRM) running workflows in the background, you and your team can stick to the high-level professional intelligence that you have built your business with and continue to grow.
What is Sales Automation?
Sales automation software essentially allows you to automate certain time-consuming tasks that are generally done by hand. Which, in turn, improves efficiency as well as the accuracy and speed of your sales process.
5 Reasons You Should be Using Sales Automation
1. Access Better Data
Sales teams need data to be able to effectively engage with prospects. If they don't know anything about the prospect, how can they sell them on anything? Automation tools allow sales personnel to immediately access valuable customer data, such as what products they've purchased in the past, if they've downloaded anything from your site, what pages they've visited on your site, how often they've visited your site, and more.
2. Improve Efficiency
In general, the use of automation helps to reduce or eliminate the need to manually perform many repetitive and time-consuming tasks. This increases the overall efficiency of your processes and allows your sales team to be more productive on a day-to-day basis since they can focus their time and energy on tasks that actually require their skills.
Improving efficiency is actually the subject of an entirely free e-book we wrote. Snag it through the link below:
3. Reduce Time to Sell
The use of sales automation software allows you to gather more data about your prospects and makes it easier for your sales team to identify prospects that are further down the sales funnel. By being able to prioritize these prospects, your sales team will be able to reduce the time it takes to close the sale.
4. Increase Revenue
Automation software makes it easier for your sales team to access helpful data while they are interacting with prospects. This means that they can generate estimates on the spot, as well as cross-sell and upsell based on the needs of the customer. Not to mention that because automation software helps reduce the sales cycle, you'll be able to engage with more prospects and close more sales within a shorter period of time.
5. Increase Customer Retention
The use of sales automation can help improve your customer retention, which is just as important, if not more so, than closing that first sale. Automation software allows you to continue collecting data on your customers based on their behaviors and purchases while also continuing to nurture them (such as via automated email content). All of this makes it easier to predict their future needs and requests, which you can then position yourself to meet and fulfill.
Sales Automation Examples
1. Finding Leads
Constantly performing searches on sites like LinkedIn to find qualified leads is a very time-consuming process. LinkedIn provides automation tools for LinkedIn Premium members that allow you to use customized filters for your searches to narrow down potential leads to the highest quality prospects. Once you've implemented the filter, you can set up automatic notices on a daily, weekly, or monthly period. These notices will be emailed to you and will contain a pre-qualified list of prospects. Better yet, no list will ever contain the same prospects, thereby preventing you from wasting time.
2. Collecting Contacts
Adding or editing contacts to your CRM (customer relationship management) software by hand is not an efficient process. You can use automation software to create and edit contact information for your leads based on certain sets of criteria that your leads meet. For example, if a lead watches a certain product video, you can automatically have that lead categorized as being "qualified" in your contacts.
Prior to automation, you would have to spend a significant amount of time every day manually creating reports and sending them out. Automation can produce your reports for you. Using CRM automation tools, you can customize your reports, choosing what data will be displayed and how it will be displayed. These reports can be automated to be updated on a daily or weekly period and to be automatically sent out to the necessary people via email.
4. Lead Distribution
Not only does it take a lot of time to assign leads to your sales team manually, it takes up a lot of bandwidth as well. Doing so can also lead to mistakes, such as leads getting lost in the process. An auto-rotator tool can allow you to assign your leads using a variety of criteria, such as geographic territory. If you're not using any criteria to assign leads, then you can use a round-robin tool to distribute your leads randomly.
5. Lead Scoring
Not all leads are of equal quality. You'll want your sales team to prioritize the time they spend on a lead, which means that they need to know which leads are most likely to convert in order to make the best use of their time and effort. An automated lead scoring system will allow you to assign scores to your leads based on different criteria, such as demographic data or behavioral data. Using a lead scoring system will allow your sales personnel to identify your best leads by their scores. Not only does this improve your chances of closing more sales, but it also reduces the amount of time wasted on poor quality leads who were never likely to convert.
6. Email Automation
Email has long been one of the most effective ways to nurture leads through the sales funnel. There are many ways that you can automate your email campaign. For example, you can create a batch of emails and use email automation software to schedule when those emails are sent out and who they are sent out to (using email segmentation).
Businesses often use email automation to send out automatic emails based on actions taken by their leads. For instance, if a lead has downloaded an eBook offer from one of your emails, an email recommending a certain product could be sent out automatically upon that action. You can even trigger a thank you email to be sent out to leads who have just made a purchase recommending similar products (essentially automating your upselling process).
Setting up meetings with prospects can be a challenge, especially if you have a busy schedule. It can get even more complicated when you suggest certain dates and times, only to receive a response requesting a different date and time from your prospect. It can take some time just to settle on a date and time that works for both you and your prospect, which can be a time-consuming process in itself.
Automated scheduling software allows you to add custom booking links to your emails. This way, prospects can use the link to access your calendar and choose a date and time that's free that works for them. Once they've booked the meeting, your calendar will automatically be updated. Such automation helps to eliminate the needless back and forth as well as any miscommunication that can occur when trying to schedule meetings.
Chatbots are essentially automated customer service tools and can be hugely beneficial. This is because they can address the questions of thousands of leads or customers at a single time and are available 24/7. This greatly reduces the amount of resources that you have to dedicate to your leads or customers. Chatbots can also answer repetitive questions or address repetitive complaints; for example, questions about products, questions about the checkout process (for e-commerce pages), or reports about certain bugs or mistakes.
When it comes down to it, automating time-consuming tasks that were being done manually can make the sales process much more efficient, thereby helping you save time and money. However, keep in mind that not every manual task should be automated. Automation is meant to help eliminate repetitive tasks, but in some cases, certain tasks may need to be done manually as a form of quality control. Before choosing to automate a task, determine if doing so will be beneficial to your specific needs and make sure that doing so won't hinder any part of the sales process.
Download our free e-book with an entire chapter about optimizing your sales process through the image link below!