Did you know that instead of using the bulk of their time selling, sales agents actually spend 66% of their time dealing with data entry, making quotes, and other administrative tasks? With these, Salesforce says that 57% of salespeople do not expect to reach their quotas within this period. But according to the same article, sales teams are adopting technologies to increase their efficiency and to work smarter.
One of the innovations that salespeople are using is automation.
Automation, as defined by IBM, is the performance of repetitive tasks by machines. This is just the surface of it but it is a capability that most users seek.
What is sales automation?
In sales, manual and administrative jobs are mechanized, leading to time and cost savings. Automation of those tasks is usually done using digital platforms. Sales teams utilize this technological advance to enhance productivity and efficiency. It can also transform the sales process by accelerating it and by ensuring that every sales agent works with accurate information.
Among the sales processes that sales automation can affect are:
- Lead enrichment
- Contact management
- Sales email send out
- Sales meeting scheduling
- Deal management
What is sales automation software?
As mentioned above, sales automation is achieved using digital tools. In some cases, companies employ sales automation software.
A common example is a sales CRM. It can do anything from filling in data fields with the relevant information, collecting customer information, enriching contact records, and synchronizing information across the board.
What can sales automation software do for a business?
Sales automation can do more than those things, however. It has more than just a handful of benefits for a business. Below, we discuss what these advantages are and how they can change the way a company works.
- Lead discovery
Sales prospecting is a challenging aspect of sales, according to 28% of the respondents in a HubSpot survey. It would be more so if the process is done manually.
Among the challenges sales teams face today is the identification of good leads.
Nowadays, though, there are software solutions in the market that offer prospecting automation. In fact, there are platforms that assist lead generation managers in finding leads around the globe. This means that there is an unlimited number of contacts they can find and provide to their sales team.
There is no need to go through an extensive database and find potential clients one by one, even. The procedure is largely automated, as users only have to input their requirements and the characteristics they are looking for in a lead.
On top of that, robust applications have recommendation engines that work overtime. These follow the criteria set by lead discovery staff and through an advanced matching algorithm, find appropriate recommendations. The software would then build a universe of customer recommendations automatically, thus saving time from the generation process.
- Lead scoring
How prime is a lead to make a purchase? This is something that the lead management team has to determine before passing on the torch to the sales department. Accuracy can be difficult to achieve if this is done manually. Or even if there are rules to ensure the accuracy of the scores, it can be too time-consuming and the opportunity may pass by quickly.
With sales automation, it is possible to score leads automatically and as soon as they enter the system. This is done by assigning numerical points to them or with any value that a company uses. Scoring is based on the lead’s interactions with the website, with the sales unit, and on other actions.
- Sales triggers
Timing is crucial in sales. If a sales agent is too early, they risk losing a prospect. If they are too late, the prospect would have gone on to sign with another vendor. To take action at the right time, sales professionals lookout for sales triggers.
Sales triggers are moments when a prospect is in the high time to make a purchase. There are many events that qualify and tracking every one of them is a difficult task.
This is a prime sales automation example. Many sales automation platforms have support for this. They would provide real-time updates so that members of sales teams can act as soon as the event happens. The only action required from the user, in this case, is to make a company shortlist and assign triggers to them.
This way, sales agents only have to take a look at the score to determine which leads they should start working on first to make sure opportunities do not pass them by. Various tools are available to streamline sales management. Some examples are these FinancesOnline sales software suggestions.
There are numerous CRM software options in marketing that offer sales automation capabilities. Some are multifaceted and can cover numerous aspects of the sales process while there are those that are focused on particular stages.
Deciding on a platform needs a lot of thought as, aside from the budget, a business has to determine whether its needs can be met by a software. Once that has been cleared, they can sign up with the best-fit vendor.
Furthermore, it has to be borne in mind that automation, while a boon, can also be a bane. There are dangers to this because it can lead to customer interactions becoming too mechanized. Or a business may become over-reliant on automated sales emails. Thus, it is important to apply automation best practices to get the most out of sales automation software.