Sales are one of the most important parts of the business process which requires various strategies and skilled people to work on. When companies sell their products and services efficiently, they see growth in their business, and their business value increases. Sales become an important part of the company’s growth as more sales imply that the company is gaining more revenue. Hence, many strategies are devised to enhance the sales process, where one such method is automating the sales process. This is an important part of generating sales for your company, which does not even require the direct involvement of the sales team members.
What is Sales Automation?
Sales Automation is a strong method of increasing productivity, enhancing sales, improving revenue, eliminating time-consuming and tedious tasks, and saving several hours of work. The automation process reduces the burden on the sales team and helps them to focus on what they do best- generating leads and selling them. It is always best to master sales automation to streamline the sales cycle by using sales automation tools. With sales automation, the organization relies on tools such as CRM (customer relationship management) software, AI (Artificial intelligence), and other software to achieve the sales growth of a company. The jobs of the sales managers or representatives become easier by using sales automation tools. The sales reps get more time in their schedule which allows them to generate more qualified leads, and attract more potential customers, and maintain their productivity and growth.
How to Automate Sales process?
Sales processes give the team to make a game plan to convert leads into customers. When you have the right tools in place, you can organize the prospects, and ensure that you are reaching out at the right time. This helps your sales team to build strong relationships with the customers which would last years to come. The sales process, unfortunately, takes more time than expected as the process involves tedious tasks that are costing the company. The time which is spent in writing emails or logging sales notes could be used in searching for more high-quality prospects. Hence, automating these tasks would help the company to save both the time of the sales reps and the cost of the company. Here are a few ways to use automation to streamline the sales process.
- Scoring leads and prioritizing them
The sales process is tedious as all the leads created are not equal. Few people may want to buy the product or service today, but few are simply not interested in buying. If the sales reps treat each lead equally, they are wasting their time. They also could not take time to segregate which lead is useful and which would not produce any results. Here is where a lead scoring system would come into the picture. This system helps the team members to identify which is a potential lead and when it is time to connect to this lead. This scoring system is based on the actions of the individual such as engaging with a piece of content, reading an email, or interacting with the company in any way. Whenever an individual performs any such activity, certain points are allotted to the leads. These points accumulate and inform the sales team about the leads who are most likely to make a purchase. The leads which have the highest score are prioritized and less involved leads go further down the leads. The scoring system assigns scores to actions based on their significance to the lead nurturing process. This automated feature enhances the sales process by making it efficient and productive.
2. Artificial Intelligence-based sales bots
Companies have started competing with each other digitally with the help of artificial intelligence sales bots. Small-scale businesses that have a priority of converting leads to customers to expand their business can use AI to help them out. Here are a few ways which you have to consider:
- Improved Customer experience: By using AI chatbots, companies have improved their customer experience by using these methods:
- Personalized Packaging: AI chatbots help in personalizing each customer where everyone is given attention. With human reps, it becomes difficult to cater to this attention.
- Fixing problems: Chatbots are proactive as they fix problems before the customers realize that any issue even exists.
- Content Curation via Email: It becomes almost impossible to personalize emails to all the customers when the company has a large number of clients. Businesses communicate with emails to customers by sending them weekly or monthly outlets. In this scenario, AI algorithms can process the subscribers’ email browsing data to assess how individuals have interacted with your content. Based on this information, AI can send customers personalized emails which enhances the company’s appeal.
3. Automated Communication
Having an automated communication system becomes one of the most important aspects to prosper in any business. This communication includes voicemails, email, meeting scheduling tools, and personal email sequence, etc.
- Automated Voicemails help the agents to pre-record a message at their leisure which is received by the customers or leads when the agent does not answer the phone. This saves the agent from coming up with responses on the spot and allows them to give great customer support.
- Meeting Scheduling tools helps the sales reps to work with customers rapidly and conveniently so that they schedule meetings based on the data on the calendar.
- Personal email sequences schedule drip campaigns which makes the job of the sales professional easier.
- Sales email automation takes care of tasks such as unsubscribing email addresses of inactive users from email lists without any manual intervention by the sales executive.
Communication between the company and its customers is the most crucial factor that helps the business retain customers. When the communication is smooth, customers feel satisfied with the service and recommend many other people about the product and services. These automated tools help the company manage a large base of customers without having the sales executives manually perform any tasks. This makes the work-life of the sales rep easier and also helps the company to retain the existing customers, hence, enhancing the sales process.
4. Enrichment of leads
When the sales reps only have the lead’s name or their job title, it is not going to be enough to close the high-end sale. The rep needs to have more information to make a real connection with the customer so that they sign the contract. Finding this information takes time and effort, and reps can easily spend hours of the day to discover insights about specific companies. By using lead enrichment tools, companies can easily pull information about the leads and their companies. This gives the reps a complete and accurate profile of the company that they are trying to connect with. However, you do not want to fully automate the lead enrichments. It should be an on-going process that you should build upon continuously. A CRM helps the team to keep the prospect’s profiles updated and organized as they know more about any company. Likewise, a pro tip is that other members should also build on the same lead profile so that everyone works together to build a complete image of each individual and a comprehensive plan could be made.
5. Organizing sales team
As sales automation is implemented, sales managers could easily access customer-related data, sales figures, customer complaints, and sales rep activities. When it comes to measuring success, these details help the management to organize teams and make decisions with agility and based on in-depth and real-time data. The sales process becomes rapid and the sales team can use a unified system to manage activities such as organizing and storing data with the use of automated sales processes.
Steps involved in Automating the sales process
Step 1: Defining the goal
Always define a measurable goal such as a visitor scheduling a meeting or booking a demo for a SaaS vendor.
Step 2: Mapping the journey of the customer
Mapping out the entire journey of the customer and instructing the bot to take appropriate action could help the team to take the next course of action for the customer.
Step 3: Separate the customers who opt-out of chat
Segment the customers based on their behavior, usage, location, individual profiles, and visitors who opt out of chat, and send them a personalized and targeted message.
Step 4: Identify and assign tasks to people who would take the process forward
Once the conversation with leads has moved forward, identify, and consider the best individuals who would handle the tasks and could lead the process.
Step 5: Implementing the process
Once the sales bot is programmed, the process of implementation would be the next step. Use A/B tests to evaluate the performance of the sales bot.
Step 6: Analyzing the results
Consider using factors such as revenue goal and conversion to quantify the performance of the sales bot and analyze where the automation works and where human interaction matters.
Step 7: Measuring the value
Make full use of sales automation by identifying the potential phases of the sales lifecycle where automation can be incorporated.
Automating the sales process becomes a few of the important factors that make the job of the sales reps easier. Automation also gives companies to perform better as it helps the sales team to enhance their productivity. In today’s world, for the business to expand, grow, and sustain the customers, automation tools have become crucial elements. Knowing the process of how to automate the sales process in the business, and implementing it in the given steps helps businesses to flourish and sustain in their industry.