Sales process automation is not about eliminating jobs. The goal is to give sales more time to engage customers, provide value, and close deals. Finding, hiring, and training new salespeople is an expensive and time consuming undertaking, so maintaining high productivity is key. According to Forbes Magazine sales reps spend less than 36% of their time selling. So what if you could automate those non-selling tasks to improve sales productivity by 30%, 40%, or 50%? Here are some ways.
1. Define Your Sales Process
It is critical to have a defined sales process before automating. Your process should match your customer and prospect’s journey so that sales is providing value at each stage to build trust. It is also important that marketing be involved and fully understand the process. Marketing can then focus their efforts to support the process to achieve true alignment with sales.
Use customer relations management (CRM) software to create email templates to support each stage of the sales process. Emails should be super easy to send with one click or by updating a field or customer journey stage. Automatically populate contact name and sales signature to minimize data entry. Include a call to action with helpful content to entice recipients to respond and move to the next stage of the journey.
3. Automated Campaigns
It can take an average of 6 to 8 touches just to start a conversation with a prospect. Making calls and sending emails can consume a lot of sales time. Use CRM integrated with marketing automation to send regular emails to prospects with compelling content based on the stage they are in. Personalize emails with contact name and sales rep signature. Make it easy for reps to trigger campaigns with one click or by updating a field or journey stage. Emails can be sent at regular intervals to prospects until they respond, and a response could trigger a sales call or another campaign to bring them closer to beginning a conversation.
4. Documents And Reports
Not all sales interactions can be scripted so it is important to give salespeople easy access to sales and marketing information when needed. Store sales and marketing materials and contracts in CRM for easy retrieval. Create templates for quotes and customer reports. Link quotes and contracts to account records. Organize marketing materials by customer journey or sales process stage. Include document versions and expiration dates to avoid sending obsolete materials
Researching and entering account and contact data can consume a significant amount of sales time. There are research apps such as Hint that search the internet to find company and contact email, address, website, and social media data. Hint is also integrated with CRM so info can be added to account and contact records with one click.
6. Administrative Tasks
Use CRM process automation to easily route and monitor tasks. Turn a customer email into a case with one click to be routed to an appropriate agent. Create an internal case for marketing, accounting, and operations inquiries. Trigger customer on-boarding tasks such as credit check, account setup, and training with a one click update of opportunity status. Automatically send email notifications when tasks are completed, and alerts when they are overdue.
A solid sales process supported by process automation will increase productivity, but there is also another benefit. Increased CRM adoption. When CRM starts making their lives easier sales will use it more, becoming more organized and more productive.
Today there are many CRM solutions in the marketplace but not all are equal. SugarCRM has the process automation, customer journey mapping, case management, and automated marketing integration functionality to increase sales productivity. If you are just embarking on your digital transformation journey make sure you have the proper tools to do the job right.