Sales Process Automation & How To Implement It

updated on 23 September 2022
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In our world of booming technology, the most prominent businesses and organizations are enthusiastically streamlining their ventures with the sales process automation. As per Forbes, Some businesses still have sales reps investing about 50% of their valuable time in tasks that one can easily automate; smart leaders are switching to automation, allowing their sales reps quality time to sell.

Sales process automation plays a crucial role in the sales process. It automates the tasks which are otherwise carried out by sales reps. A recent article states that more than 80% of business owners look forward to sales automation alternatives. Such business personnel realizes how important it is to automate the mundane sales management processes. 

Sales automation helps close more leads and generate more revenue by freeing up time that the sales reps spend on routine tasks. With robust sales automation tools like a visual sales pipeline, automated email campaigns, automated follow-up emails, assignment of leads, and automated segmenting, it is as easy as pie. 

Here, we have tried to break down the sales automation process flow to get you started automating your business today!

What is Sales Automation?

Sales automation software and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) refer to technology that helps streamline sales by automation of workflows and sales tasks. Sales automation enables sales reps to save time by performing their administrative jobs like managing calendars, updating information, and processing opportunities. The sales reps get free of entering data into the CRM system manually. 

Know the process

Automation of sales processes via pre-built applications helps businesses close sales faster. The sales process automation aids the sales reps in managing their sales pipeline in no time. 

Various sales organizations utilize sales automation to develop sales funnels. These sales funnels effortlessly map out the journey of each prospect from the minute they are identified to the moment they become a client.

The sales funnel incorporates multiple activities like the following:

·      Prospecting - Identification of relevant prospects.

·      Lead generation - Finding contacts of prospective clients. 

·      Follow up with generated leads.

·      Lead nurturing - Moving the qualified leads towards the sales process via lead nurturing. 

·      Conversion of leads into opportunities.

·      Sealing the deal.

How does sales process automation work?

The sales automation process comprises seven steps. Let us find out more about them in the section below:

1.     Automated guidance

With automated guidance, the sales team receives notes and reminders via the sales automation software. Having regular reminders helps keep your sales reps on track and prevents them from missing working on important prospective clients who have high chances of converting into paying customers. 

2.     Lead management automation

Sales process automation enables the conversion of potential prospects into customers. With lead management automation, a sales rep can work on creating filters and rules that allow them to curate a list of more potential leads. Based on lead behavior and characteristics, like click-through rates, email opens, social searches, etc., the sales automation software helps you list down the potential clients. It segments your leads and classifies them into buckets or lists for you to work on.

3.     Communication automation

Communication automation is an integral part of the sales automation process flow. It incorporates tasks like email automation, voicemail automation, personal email sequencing, appointment scheduling tools, and others. 

·      Automated voicemails - Automated voicemails allow the sales reps to pre-record voice messages at their convenient time. These recorded messages are sent to customers when they do not answer a call. This relieves your sales rep from having different responses on the spot every time their call reaches a customer's voicemail. 

·      Scheduling in-built appointments - It allows quick scheduling of meetings based on the availability of both parties. Your sales reps can schedule meetings conveniently in no time. The sales automation software does the tracking with no requirement of making manual notes. In addition, both parties would also receive automated reminders for the meeting. 

·      Personalized email sequencing - Having personalized email sequencing would keep your customers informed about the new updates on your products or services. They would receive informative emails now and then and keep up with the regular updates. 

·      Sales email automation - Sales email automation helps automate tasks like unsubscribing the static email address from the list of emails of prospects. This step aids in saving time and facilitates reducing spam complaints and bounce rates.  

4.     Automated data entry

Data entry is known for time consumption. It is incredibly time-consuming and tedious. In addition, it is an unavoidable task. The good part here is that the data entry task is a piece of cake with the automation process. Sales automation enables auto-filling of data like contact details of customers, product details, product costs, etc.; automation software streamlines the process and saves sales reps' time in abundance.

5.     Automated research

Automated research can work wonders while seeking information on potential customers and prospects. It goes beyond the human ability of the sales team to shake down the social media platforms and the web to extract information about potential prospects. It then utilizes this information to curate updated lead profiles, identify hot leads on the sales opportunity, and score leads on their winning probability.

Such automated research helps the sales reps to save time while still having the latest information about their list of contacts and prospect customers. All of the extracted data is stored in a centralized repository such that it is easily accessible by every member of the sales team. 

6.     Automated activity logging

It can get confusing and chaotic if one sales rep is unaware of the proceedings of a colleague. Phone calls with customers, sales emails, in-person visits, etc., all require to be logged in real-time, such that the sales team knows how far has another colleague gotten with any potential client. Activity logging automation does it all for you, saving you a lot more time. 

7.     Automated record creation

Whenever the sales team receives newsletters or business cards, they can let the automation software create new profiles and records for future use. Once the process of creating records is automated, the sales team can have another tedious and time-consuming task off their to-do list.

Stages of Sales Automation 

You might be aware of the sales process automation definition and all its excellent offerings, but you may not be aware of how to go about the process. To help you understand better, we will walk you through the stages of sales automation. 

Stage 1: Awareness

Your potential clients might know about your business online via social media platforms, paid advertisements, or a written post. This is a scenario where the client knows a little about your business but lacks in-depth knowledge. Now is the stage when you create awareness. You can pitch in some undeniable sales offers via SMA or email for a limited period. Extending an offer would allow engagement with your potential lead and evoke their interest in your product or service. 

Stage 2: Interest 

The 'interest' stage is about building and capturing the lead's interest. You can automate several tasks with your leads. If the lead shows interest in your offerings, you can jump to the next step. At this stage, the lead must have had some interaction with a member of your sales team. The client must have requested a cost quotation or can have subscribed to email newsletters. Now that the potential lead is showing interest in your service or product, you can prepare to educate your client with in-depth details about why they would require your services. 

This is where the process of automation steps in. You can automate a list of welcome emails to send out to clients. You can also set up reminders for your sales reps to reach out to your clients via click-through emails. 

Stage 3: Decision

The decision stage is the third phase of the process. Here you depend on automation and keep in contact with the leads. You share vital details about your offerings and shoot out information like product descriptions, invoice details, pricing contracts, etc. 

Sales automation tools help you to automate the events of storing, updating, and sharing essential documents with clients in no time with minimum effort.

Stage 4: Action 

The final step is to deliver to your customer and collect payments. Getting your new client started is the last step. This step can be time-consuming and eat up a lot of your manly hours. Such intense time spent on the final step can drag your sales work to slow down. 

Sales automation gets to your aid with the final cycle. It can perform tasks like tracking new deals, listing customer details, payments, etc. The automation software would inform you of the exact details of payments, deals, delivery products, etc. You can deploy an automated invoicing system that would help reduce administrative efforts. 

Learn How to Implement Sales Automation

To learn the implementation of automation, you must learn about each step in depth. For instance, you can appoint a robot to run through demos, but you can use email templates to schedule them. Such tools help your sales rep to create presentations and proposals. Below are some ideal practices to note while effectively trying to implement sales automation. Let us dive in!

Define your goals

To begin something new without a definite goal is not a great strategy. You can approach the process with a deliberate strategy with a defined goal. Therefore ask yourself: Why does your business need automation? Are your business constantly slipping opportunities? Are your sales reps overwhelmed by administrative tasks? Or do you desire to keep track more efficiently?

Whatever the answer, the conclusion sticks to the fact that you require automation. It would help if you looked at some case studies across your sales funnel and prioritized the lacking spaces. Listed below are some tasks where one can implement marketing and sales automation tools:

·      Lead generation and prospecting

·      Updating customer data

·      Lead scoring and qualification

·      Segmenting the prospective customers

·      Scheduling demos and meetings

·      Creating proposals and sending them to leads

·      Communication - timelines, emails, and reminders

·      Performance and deal reporting (this is useful for sales team managers)

·      Tracking orders and sales cycle - cold calls, order status, follow-ups, reports, etc.

Standardize the processes

The sales processes should be consistent across all teams - including data entry patterns, timelines, naming conventions, and practices. 

Automation software enables you to apply uniform centralized data repositories and sales processes. You can schedule a free demo with Sales Simplify to understand better what needs to be standardized and streamlined.

Implement a CRM software

A CRM or Customer Relationship Management system is one of the essential digital tools to scale your sales. It will house all the customer data and will become the centralized centre for the sales process. Every detail of the customers would be collectively present in the CRM or the software that integrates with the CRM. Thus, one of the initial tasks is investing in a CRM and migrating all your data. If your data is on paper, segregate the movable ones and shift them to a digital format.  

Begin small with AI

As per Salesforce, artificial intelligence is predicted to witness a boost of 139% between 2020 to 2023. If implemented correctly, AI can be mighty. If you wish to be on a journey with artificial intelligence, you must think about features like AI chatbots. All the AI chatbots help you automate the top of the sales funnel, also known as lead generation. Chatbots can proactively reach out to your website visitors, gather customer information, trigger qualification sequencing, and help the sales reps with data. Chatbots also get better with experience. They learn via their customer conversations over time. 

Look into templates

Are your sales reps sending out standard emails, or are they spending time creating newer ones every single time? This is a counterproductive approach and can have inconsistency in the tone of voice of your company.

Some automation tools help you with built-in templates for your use. You can also create your template and upload it to the software. For instance, you can curate a sequence of your cold emails and attach them. 

For example, you can create your cold email sequences and add them to a sales system where you can send them automatically and track results.

Integrate workflows and data

Centralizing and processing information is crucial for a successful business. Having every data collective in one place helps in the completeness and accuracy of data, saving you ample time while updating information. Once updated, the information can get live across every system.  

Thus, this is why your automation is required to integrate with other platforms. For instance, your sales chatbot should seamlessly integrate with your CRM and your scheduling tool with your outreach management tool. Please make a note of the necessary integrations and have them implemented.

Train your team

Management changes play a vital role in the implementation of sales automation. The daily work routine of your sales team would change as a part of their workload would shed. Therefore, they would require training to use the new systems effectively. You can aim at workshops, open communications, and documentation to help your sales team take advantage of automation.  

Start Implementing with Sales Simplify

Sales automation allows you to acquire a competitive advantage over competitors in your field. Map out your strategy, experiment, and work towards enhancing your efficiency. Now, how to start intelligent process automation for sales and support? Automation can be a piece of cake with the right companion by your side. Sales Simplify is the answer to your stagnant business that requires a push of efficiency in the name of automation. So, why wait? Book your free demo today and learn more about advanced automation with the best in the industry.

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