Automation at various steps of your sales process can take your business to the next level by empowering sales professionals to build more trust and credibility with customers. In simpler words sales automation can be used to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your sales force.
Automation can be done almost at every step of the sales process, right from finding and knowing your leads, then to connecting with them through emails, meetings, or calls. Finally, it can be used in lead scoring and prioritization to connect with the prospects at the right time to close the sales effectively. (According to reports by McKinsey, more than 30% of sales-related activities can be easily automated.)
How to automate your sales process?
There are dozens of sales automation tools and vendors who provide you with such tools available in the market, each with its unique feature. Some tools can help you automate all the steps in the sales cycle helping you from prospecting to outreach to closing in a snap. While others might be more specialized in one particular sales aspect. For most businesses, you can find a single platform that can handle all your sales and marketing needs. And in most cases, a Customer Relationship Management(or CRM) can be your go-to solution for an end-to-end sales automation system that can help you create workflows and customer journeys across the range of products/services you offer.
It has been found that companies that incorporated automation at a higher level in their sales process can generate around 16% more leads compared to those that had low or no sales automation technology. And much more data is available that clearly shows that sales automation has a positive impact on every growth parameter of any company.
Benefits of sales automation:-
1. Saves time and efforts
Your sales team no longer needs to spend time on repetitive tasks such as data entry and emailing. Your tedious, time-consuming tasks are on autopilot and now your sales team can put more effort into closing more deals. Platforms like MailChimp, Sendgrid, etc offer email templates that can be used at various stages of the sales process.
2. Eliminates Human errors
Automation makes the entire sales process seamless without the risk of any human errors.
3. Prompt engagement and follow-ups
Following up with a new lead is as important as the generation of the lead. While your sales representatives might be busy with those who are warmer, you can automate your sales routine in such a way that they are eventually persuaded to buy your product/service.
You can send a welcome email on the first day followed by support and feedback on the second day and so on. Also, timely reminders can be sent to the sales representatives to follow up with the prospects so that they don’t miss out on opportunities.
4. Improved Customer satisfaction and loyalty
Sales process automation essentially speeds up the entire steps in the sales funnel. Automated texts and emails are generated to the potential clients as soon as they fill out a form on your web store or some social media platform. Such a quick response ensures that your client doesn’t move to some other reseller. Such customers help in your repeat sales and referrals as well.
5. Training of the new sales team members
With automation training of the newer team members becomes easier with the repetitive training modules which do not require any changes.
6. Recognizing potential customers and nurturing them accordingly
For any business enterprise looking to scale at a significant rate, you have to manage a significant number of leads every day. It can be a herculean task to manage the growing number of leads manually. Many of them may not be promising enough to be worked upon by your sales representatives So you can have a sales automation system in place so that only high-quality leads are passed on to your sales team.
7. Less cost per sale
Sales process automation when done wisely can save money for the company. With automation, it is easy for you to assess where your money is going and tighten up accordingly and hence better handle your exorbitant expense centers Also with automation, you will be able to get accurate calculations and hence take care of incorrect tax calculations or foreign currency conversions(which can be substantial in many cases) and hence save money for the business.
8. Reporting and analytics
Sales automation tools track the movement of your prospects through the sales funnel and give a transparent picture as to which actions were taken to close the deal. Such insights help you to predict sales trends and analyze customer behavior to formulate a better sales strategy. Generally, your sales CRM should help you with all these reports.
9. Helps in assessing sales team performance
Sales automation helps you to have access to all sales performance-related data of the sales team and hence help in reviewing their performances individually as well as a whole.
10. Helps in scaling business
You can surely accelerate your business revenues and profitability with continuous improvement in your services and a happy team working for you and this can be achieved only by automating your sales processes.
Does everybody need automation?
It can vary from business to business. For a smaller business, the need to automate may not be much but for a medium/ large enterprise, it can increase the profitability and revenue of the organization tremendously. You have to wisely identify the automation opportunities in your sales funnel so that it eliminates the room for error, saves your time and money on one hand, and ultimately helps you increase your sales revenue on the other hand. Moreover, not everything that can be automated should be automated. Customers are human beings eventually and they need to get the right kind of experience and emotional responses as well. People to people communication cannot be entirely replaced by technology. For an effective sales strategy, there has to be a balance between automation and real human interaction.
Sales automation definitely can play a significant role in scaling your business and increasing revenues. It is a win-win situation for everyone. Customer benefits from the quicker turnaround, businesses benefit from higher productivity, and the sales team benefits from better performances and hence better incentives.
VARStreet has been automating key business processes for VARS since 1999. You can use VARStreet to automate your catalog, quoting, sales processes, and procurement processes and also use eCommerce for taking customer orders online. For certain types of products or orders, shopping carts created in-store can automatically place orders with distributors and can automate the entire process of customer orders from procurement to shipment. All this allows you to service your customer better and at the same time saves you a lot of time and money so that you can focus on getting more business.