What you need to know about Sales Automation in less than 10 minutes

Leena Fernandes

Leena Fernandes

November 9, 2020 |

‘’67% of lost sales are a result of sales reps not properly qualifying potential customers before taking them through the full sales process.’’

This is one of the most common issues because whilst sales reps like you continue to engage with leads, your remaining 60% or half of your other time goes into creating documents, following up with leads, sending emails, and more.

When such tasks are being conducted, it is possible that the extra time you require to engage with leads can lag behind.

Technology is growing and it will continue to grow with the years to come, but with this comes the development of unique solutions that make it all worth it and useful for certain aspects in a business, one such is sales automation.

“By allowing algorithms to control a great deal of what we see and do online, such designers have allowed technology to become a kind of ‘digital Frankenstein,’ steering billions of people’s attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.”

Sales automation is a useful tactic or process for sales reps. It offers tons of benefits and works in your favour when it comes to generating leads.

“In our business, we talk about emerging technologies and how they impact society. We’ve never seen a technology move as fast as AI has to impact society and technology. This is by far the fastest moving technology that we’ve ever tracked in terms of its impact and we’re just getting started.”

It is a solution that makes your attention towards this article worth the read.

What is covered in this article?

1. Meaning of Sales automation

2. Types of Sales automation

3. How to make use of Sales Automation in your sales process?

4. Benefits of investing in Sales automation

5. Best practices of Sales Automation

6. Expert opinion on the use of AI in the sales automation

Let’s get started.


Meaning of Sales automation

This is what a sales process looks like.

Earlier sales included a consideration and decision phase, but with the modern buyers today, the decision stage is now a dedicated section for sales. 

The reason being, the consideration stage can now be managed with the content creation and online selling. 

But the consideration stage takes up a lot of time and effort.

Interesting Read : Voicemails Can Push Your Sales From Better To Worst : Here’s Why

Let’s understand this better with an example:

1 . Posting of blogs

2. Posting of social media posts

3. Posting of newsletters

4. Sending multiple emails and follow-ups to prospects

All these require time and effort and needs to be consistent so that the sales team can make the lead conversion faster.

Hence Sales automation can help you with this.

Sales automation is the process of making your sales actions easy.

Whether it is following up on leads, sending emails regularly, and any other repetitive tasks, sales automation will conduct it on your behalf so that you have more time to focus on your other task which is the engagement of leads. 

To understand in detail about sales automation, you can watch this video here, ” https://www.act.com/en-uk/what-is-marketing-automation

To understand about sales automation better, let’s move to our next category.


Types of Sales automation

1. Reminder automation

Whether it is leads that are contacted or the prospects that require follow-ups, all of these actions need to be conducted well and recorded in the CRM. With a sales rep managing multiple leads in hand, it becomes difficult to follow up with every lead at the right time. Hence with reminder automation, this issue is eliminated.

Imagine having to receive notifications for every action you need to conduct next. This will result in better lead management and nothing gets missed out in the sales process. 

2. Lead management automation

When you have the leads in hand, it is important that you manage it well. Wouldn’t it be great if you could have your leads aligned in one section with its contact details so that it becomes easy to engage with the potential leads? This is exactly what the lead management automation does.

It makes the entire lead process easy by bringing in all the information in one place 

3. Engagement automation

Whether it is sending regular follow up emails, or sending voicemails, or even scheduling meetings, when all these actions are done manually, it takes up a lot of time and effort. When you have engagement automation this work is conducted well and with consistently so that your focus on lead generation is equally given. 

4. Data entry automation

Data entry is a tedious job. It requires most of your time to fill in the time details and conducting this manually is not going to work out if you wish to excel in the lead generation process. Hence with an automation process for data entry, this task can be managed accordingly, freeing your time to focus on the leads.

5. Research automation

Research is what will help you cater to your leads better. It is always great to have information in hand about the new trends in your business, the market happenings, prospects’ needs, and expectations. Having this action being conducted in an automated manner will always keep you updated and keep you one step ahead of your competitors. 

6. Activity automation

As a sales rep, you would conduct multiple activities, such as updating documents, contracts, and more. In such cases, having a machine take care of this while you focus on leads is a better option. Your sales actions will be present each day, focusing more on them can lose out your chance to convert a potential lead. 

Now that you have this understood, let’s understand better how sales automation plays a role in your sales process in a more detailed manner.


How to make use of Sales Automation in your sales process?

Sales automation

1. Awareness stage

This is a stage where your prospects need to be aware of your brand. The best way for them to learn about your brand is through the below ways:

A. Blogs

B. Campaigns

Sales automation

C. Social media ads

Sales automation

These all will contribute to helping your prospects understand about your brand and explore your brand better to learn more. However, this action can only be conducted when you’re doing it via an automation technique which in this case is sales automation.

The regular placing of content in the right platforms, ensuring that the content of the above-mentioned channels have work being conducted, and more. 

2. Interest stage

Once your prospect’s attention has been tapped, the next stage would be to tap that attention and retain it for as long as you can. For this to happen you need to conduct the automation work for the above same action. You need to continue to curate the newsletters or blogs on topics that will make your prospects understand what your brand is in a more deeper manner and push them to the next stage. 

Interesting Read : Top 15 Best Practices for Call Center Agent Training

3. Desire/decision stage

Once you’ve captured the attention of the prospects, they will be compelled to invest in your solution. So it would be great if you have the contracts already made so that there is no delay in converting your prospects into a sales lead. 

4. Action stage

Your action stage and the last stage in the sales cycle are the ones where your prospects are ready to become your sales lead. Everything is completed and it is time to engage with your new leads and get them acquainted with your product and offer them great services. 

Now that you’ve learned this, let’s move to the next category where you can understand better the impact of sales automation on your brand.


Benefits of investing in Sales automation

1. Reporting actions will be better

When you have an automation solution with you that is taking care of your repetitive tasks, you will be bound to receive a better reporting detail. With that, you can understand what is happening positively for you and what is not, and accordingly, you can make changes and refine your business practices when it comes to catering to your prospects. 

2. Better lead management process

It is not easy to manage leads and if you want to engage with leads better you need to get this sorted first. You will get multiple leads on your website, your next step would be to filter it and find the right leads. If you plan to do this manually, it will not work. Hence here is when sales automation can help you.

With sales automation, you can organize your leads better and place them in the right category. After that engaging with leads becomes much faster and better. 

3. Saves sales reps time

As a sales rep, there are other works as well which need to be done such as meetings, follow-ups, completing documents, training, or getting trained by experts and more. How can this be completed when you also have the lead generation to do which also takes more time?

Here is when sales automation takes place. With sales automation, all you need to do is conduct all the repetitive work with this solution and when that happens you can function better with your leads. 

4. Quality sales work will be contributed

When you conduct repetitive tasks manually, there are chances of you missing out on a few things, to avoid such mishaps, conducting the same work with an automation process is a better option. When this happens, the sales work will be of top quality. Everything that you contribute will do the job well.

Let’s understand this better with an example:

When you are following up with leads regularly and sending them emails on time, there will be chances or rather a confirmed option of those leads being converted into a sales lead. 

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5. Refines your sales process

Your sales process requires you to be quicker in 2020 no matter what you do such as your repetitive tasks and also lead generation. Sales automation makes this possible by ensuring that all the work is conducted smoothly, you don’t miss out on any necessary actions, and that the sales activities are enhanced in nature. 

6. All email actions will take place on time

The best way to convert any lead is to push their interest to the limit where they will be compelled to invest in your solution. This can happen when your follow up game with leads is on point. This can be done manually, but the risk of missing out or committing an error can stand in your way.

With sales automation, this is eliminated because the repetitive tasks are being taken care of. 

7. Higher lead conversion opportunities 

When the sales automation is ensuring that all your repetitive tasks are taken care of, when leads are being catered to well and when all your sales actions are being conducted in a great manner, you are bound to receive good lead conversion opportunities. 

8. Have a better understanding of how sales automation works

The sales automation tools are available in the market. For those who are new and want to explore, there is an option for a free trial that can help you understand what the function is all about and how you can get started on it.  This will help you make better sales automation investment decisions which will in turn give you better sales results. 

Now that we have this understood, let’s move ahead to understand what the best practices of sales automation are.


Best practices of Sales Automation

1. Lets you automate email actions

As stated earlier the email actions are important because this is one such medium that you will use in order to engage with your prospects well. This is one of those mediums where you can try to shift your warm prospects into hot leads and then to a sales lead quicker. 

Sales automation conducts this process better and ensures that your email actions are conducted well.

2. Lets you automate cold calls

Cold calls are important because they let you engage better with prospects. 

Sales automation

Cold calling can be conducted efficiently when you have all the leads in one place and secondly when you have to engage with leads who have scheduled calls. When you take care of leads this well, you can perform better with your lead generation activities. 

3. Lets you automate prospect action

It would be great if you could monitor your prospect actions such as when they click on your blogs if they reshare your posts and more. When you capture such information with sales automation, you can easily understand how well such prospects can be treated. You can also understand how you can continue further and enhance your lead tactics. 

Sales automation is a technological solution that works well with the use of modern technology. We have shared the expert opinion on how AI is a great technology solution and best suited to help sales.


Expert opinion on use of AI in the sales automation

1 . Trevor Hatfield, Founder and Ceo of SaasInvaders stated, 

 

‘’One opportunity I see for artificial intelligence, in regards to marketing automation, is the ability to optimize the marketing and sales funnels automatically. It could help form the top paths for a successful conversion down to the close of a customer. This could also allow for easier multi variate testing and knowing that the best version of your test will automatically be used when verified as the winner. Then through the knowledge gained in the tests other suggestions could be made for you that are furthering your funnel’s clarity and optimizing it further.”

2 . Cameron Lizenby, Business Intelligence Analyst and Consultant at VP Demand creation services stated,

‘’I believe that Google may already be doing this, but using AI to drive the best marketing medium for the stage the customer is at in the sales funnel. I believe this also utilizes a cost function to determine if the increase in conversion rate of a certain more expensive medium, such as direct mail, would ultimately lead to an increase in profits and not just revenues.’’

3. Milena Mitova, Digital Marketing automation expert and more at Leafwire Digital stated, 

‘’Artificial Intelligence in Marketing automation can certainly help marketers drive more sales by optimizing click-through and response rates via improved personalisation that truly caters to the needs of the customer. Using AI to understand individual-level preferences will remove numerous conversion barriers and will definitely improve customer satisfaction — which is the ultimate sustainable differentiator for growth.”

4. Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sinovation Ventures stated,

‘’Humans need and want more time to interact with each other. I think AI coming about and replacing routine jobs is pushing us to do what we should be doing anyway: the creation of more humanistic service jobs.”

5. Kelly J Waffle, EVP at Markistry stated,

“It’s just a matter of time before artificial intelligence (AI) will be used commonly in marketing automation. AI, with its science, data, machine learning, and algorithms, will take all the behaviorial, transactional, and demographic data in marketing automation to create better interactions with prospects and customers. AI and marketing automation will make marketing more targeted, predictable, and actionable for all levels of marketers.”

6. Damjanovich Nebojsa, Founder and Ceo of Adplanky stated, 

“Artificial Intelligence suddenly became a big part of our everyday life. It’s not just an interesting approach that will work in the far future and only can be read in books. Because machine learning algorithms are allowing us a 24/7 market research. From the programmatic buying POV, robots help advertisers continuously improve the performance of their campaigns and widen the scope of ads by recognizing patterns that are hidden from the human mind. So adaptation to the fast changing market has never been easier. And it is not only about fast adaptation but also about proactive actions. You take action even before something happens on the market. Predictive analytics is the solution for that and this is where A.I. could be used more and more!”

7. Zsuzsu Kecsmar, Co founder and CMO at Antavo stated, 

“It will revolutionize the user experience in e-commerce stores! For example, there is a trend to use AI in loyalty marketing. It will be soon a big hit among the features that loyalty programs, like Antavo, offer to marketers. The concept here is that based on certain loyalty members’ behavior, for example, if your loyalty member is on level 4th, and you know when they have their pay day, then during those weeks, the members automatically can double their points by purchasing products from your store. BUT! And here is coming the smartest thing: the AI will create different cohorts from your loyalty members, and each of them will be notified via emails with different kind of offers (not just double points days, but an invitation to Twitter contests or about the fact that a limited reward available in your store). The AI will measure which offers mobilize your loyalty members the most, and smartly send out those incentives to larger groups that drive more results for you. And this very same technology can be used other fields of ecomm marketing, like email marketing (Automizy), personalized product recommendations based on search results (Findify.io).”

8. Matt Heinz, Heinz Marketing 

“We’re already seeing a significant acceleration in the use of big data and predictive analytics to drive personalized marketing and performance. I expect artificial intelligence will advance that further, making it easier to customize conversations with a wide and unlimited number of prospects moving forward.”


The Bottom Line…

‘’There is a 10x drop in lead qualification when you wait longer than 5 minutes to respond, and a 400% decrease when you respond within 10 minutes versus 5 minutes.’’

Sales in 2020 need to be smart and more efficient, with the rise in technology and AI solutions, sales actions need to be better than it is currently.

With Sales automation, the process is simpler to understand and completion of all sales activities and workflows are conducted well.

So tells us, what did you think of this article? What are your views on this topic? 

We would like to hear from you. To reach out to us, tweet

Leena Fernandes

Leena Fernandes

A writer by choice. Leena has served her passion for writing mainly into the B2B marketplaces.

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