Sale is a complicated profession with many competing tasks that distract from revenue-generating activities. A new study of more than 720 reps shows that today’s salespeople are spending the majority of their time on activities other than sales. Nearly two-thirds (64.8%) of reps’ time, on average, is spent in non-revenue-generating activities, leaving only 35.2% for functions related to selling. Field reps are somewhat ahead, spending 3.1% more time selling than their inside sales counterparts, Administrative tasks are responsible for 14.8% of the effectiveness drain.
It’s 2022, and sales processes at the best and largest organizations are increasingly streamlined with sales automation software, giving their sales reps more time to sell. Sales automation is already beginning to play a major role in the sales process as it automates many manual tasks that are currently carried out by salespeople.
Most sales organizations use sales automation software to build sales funnels that map out each prospect’s journey from the moment they are first identified until they become a customer.
The sales funnel includes activities like identifying relevant prospects (prospecting), finding contact information for those prospects (lead generation), following up with leads, moving qualified leads forward in the sales process through lead nurturing, converting these leads into opportunities, and closing deals.
Sales teams can automate repetitive tasks associated with each stage in their sales pipeline by embedding them in their CRM platform or linking them to their sales data so that every member of their sales team has access to accurate information. Sales automation enables sales professionals to save time by taking care of administrative tasks like updating contact information, managing calendars, and processing opportunities without having to manually enter data into their CRM system.
Here are the significant benefits of automating sales processes:
- It can improve the efficiency and performance of the sales rep.
- It can optimize your sales process and enhance your efficiency.
- It can streamline your sales task to achieve optimal quality.
- It can minimize the response time, impacting your customer satisfaction.
Areas That Matter in Sales Automation
Studies have shown that sales reps spend about 21 percent of their time on emails daily. That’s a whole lot of productive time – almost a quarter. This time can be used to follow up on prospects. That’s the more reason you need to automate emails.
Most of the emails sent daily are repetitive. And that takes a big chunk of the sales rep’s time. Communication automation matters a lot, from sales email automation to automated voice mails, appointment scheduling tools, and personal email sequences.
With automated voice mails, the sales reps can pre-record a message at their leisure that the lead or customer receives when they don’t answer the phone. This prevents the agent from having to come up with responses on the spot, again and again.
With built-in appointment scheduling, your sales agents can work with customers quickly and conveniently to schedule meetings based on when they’re both available. The software does all the tracking, so nobody has to make notes. The software sends reminders to the sales reps and customers as well.
With personalized sales email sequences, customers can keep receiving important information in bits and pieces about the product or service on sale.
Then there’s sales email automation, which can automate tasks like unsubscribing the email addresses of inactive subscribers from the email lists. This helps save time and reduce bounce rates and spam complaints.
Automated data entry
Data entry can be incredibly tedious and time-consuming, but it’s also a duty that’s unavoidable. Well, that was before the proliferation of sales automation tools. By auto-filling sales data like prices, product details, and contact details for leads and customers, the sales automation software streamlines contact management. It saves valuable hours for your sales reps every day.
Sales automation software goes beyond the sales team’s human ability to explore the web and social media for key information on prospects and customers. It uses that information to create and update lead profiles, score leads on their win probability, and identify hot sales opportunities. This helps the sales reps incredibly because it saves them time and ensures that they are constantly up to date on the latest information about their contacts and prospects. All this knowledge is stored in a central repository so it can be easily accessed by all members of the sales team.
Automated activity logging
Sales emails, phone calls, and in-person visits need to get logged in real-time, so other reps know how far one representative has reached with a prospective customer. Automated activity logging does all that for the agent, once again saving them a lot of time to focus more on lead generation and closing deals.
Automated record creation
When your sales teams scan business cards or receive opt-in newsletter confirmations, they can simply let the sales automation software create the new records and profiles. As record creation is automated, the sales reps are relieved of a major time-wasting task. Instead, they can focus on closing deals with hot leads that the software identifies for them.
You need to update the CRM as soon as you’ve won a deal. Your sales team has to swap to the invoice generation tool to create and generate an invoice for the lead. This is a sheer waste of time. You can use automation to generate an invoice as soon as the deal is updated to ‘won.’ Also, you should think about automating your invoice processing to cut costs even more. With AP automation technology transforming this process, you’ll be able to save 50 to 75% of your money.
Lead generation is the beginning of the sales pipeline, so it’s a good place to start with automation. There are many ways that you can use software to generate leads in an automated way, such as landing pages and pop-ups with forms, but an increasingly popular option is to add chatbots into the sales automation process. The software automates the initial message of a customer-facing chat so that salespeople don’t have to waste time sending out the same message over and over. But when it’s finally time to warm up a lead, they can take over.
Lead enrichment is filling in the gaps in your lead data. For example, maybe you have an email address, but you don’t have a first and last name. The solution? Lead enrichment. Have a first and last name plus a company name but no email? Lead enrichment can help with that. As you can imagine, this sort of data entry work can be very tedious and time-consuming. Luckily, there are a number of lead enrichment tools out there that can do the work for you automatically, saving your team’s precious time.
The business may receive a high volume of leads from multiple resources. Some of these leads may be looking for a fling while some may be interested in starting a relationship with your company. While it makes no sense to spend a lot of time with the former set of leads, your sales reps may not be aware of that. There are, of course, AI-based lead scoring tools to help your sales reps prioritize leads.
Research indicates that calling a lead within the first five minutes of signing up will increase the likelihood of answering the call by 100X. But this isn’t the case in most companies. In most cases, the business receives leads from multiple sources—website, blog, and social media—and they remain untouched within the CRM for a period of time before being assigned to a sales rep.
There is a gap in the time between when the lead enters the CRM and the sales rep reaches out to them. This is where lead distribution comes in. By automating lead assignment, the response time is cut down which, in turn, increases the lead conversion ratio. You can assign leads by geography, industry type, company size, and deal value, making it a lot easier and faster for the sales rep to get in touch with prospects. This helps increase sales efficiency as it avoids multiple reps reaching out to the same lead
With Automating Software like DBSync, it becomes easy to automate your Lead Process and have a complete track of your Lead flow.