A Guide to Sales Automation
Are you and your sales team still using spreadsheets, notepads or a CRM without automation to manage your sales process?
Incredibly, many businesses are still working this way, however those who have transitioned to a sales automation CRM (or a sales automation platform integrated with an existing CRM) cannot believe they ever did anything else.
So what is sales automation? Well, it’s NOT designed to remove the sales team from the picture. Quite the opposite, it’s designed to improve productivity because you and your sales team will spend less time on routine, time-intensive tasks and more time selling!
And importantly it will help sales managers easily determine which sales reps are performing and the quality of leads being created by marketing.
So what might an automated sales process look like? Key elements include:
Instead of retyping the same emails again and again, imagine a selection of templates easily accessed from your inbox, on brand and with key elements already personalised and documents pre-attached.
Calendar integration means your sales team can send a meeting link and a prospective customer can view and book in a time that suits both of them.
Following up leads via email is another task ripe for automation. Set a series of emails and reminders, enrol your lead, and be assured that if they respond they’ll be removed from the sequence.
Easily see sales forecasts and visualise your pipeline:
How do you track how much your team or your reps are going to close this month? Do you ask them for their forecasts? How consistently accurate are they?
Sales automation platforms provide you with a customisable interface so that you can see how much is in various pipelines and at what stage, giving you accurate forecasts for this month, next month and further.
Even better, some automation platforms such as HubSpot offer automated deal workflows, so you can trigger a deal to automatically progress to the next stage of the pipeline when it meets certain criteria – such as when the prospect or client filled in an RFI or briefing form.
And when it hits that new deal stage, key documents – such as forms or contracts are automatically pre-filled with relevant data and emailed to the prospect or client. Internal notifications are then triggered, and tasks for key stakeholders are set.
This means less work manually configuring and sending documents or updating each deal, and more time working on the next one.
Lead Quality Measurement:
Have you ever faced the problem where you’ve had plenty of leads, but no way of telling which ones are quality and which are useless besides general feedback from your sales team.
Sales automation provides you with an opportunity to automatically ‘score’ leads based on determined criteria, such as the role, company type or information requested. Sales teams can then filter leads and chase up the best quality leads first.
And if few of your leads have a high score, then you will have the data you need to have a candid discussion with the marketing department.
Sales Rep Performance Measurement:
The deep data provided will also enable you to track individual sales performance. If you know your team’s average close rate and sale value for a lead from Google Search is 10% and $10,000 respectively, and one rep is only closing 5%, and $5000, then you have identified a training opportunity.
This reporting is often what brings both marketing and sales managers over the line. While the deals pipeline will allow you to track real-time progression of deals, a customisable reporting dashboard will pull in key information on the individual, team and product level.
If you’re interested in sales automation, these are the key questions you’ll need to consider:
- Will you be integrating with your own CRM or using their CRM?
- Can the platform integrate with your email client (e.g. Gmail) and any other core programs your company uses?
- What does your contact and deal data look like? Will it need to be reviewed and cleaned before being uploaded?
- Is your company looking to scale up in the future? How will this affect the features you might want to access?
We’re a certified Hubspot Partner, the best sales and marketing automation platform we have found. It’s easy to use (very important or sales reps will not embrace it) and incredibly powerful
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