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November 11, 2019

A Guide to Sales Automation

When we think of the best salespeople, it's hard not to pull up an image of outgoing, motivated individuals pounding the phones, scurrying to meetings and working tirelessly to please their clients and lock in deals; often doing so much at the sacrifice of their administrative work -- the notes, reminders and deal updates that get them paid, ensure they follow up on time and give them a sharp focus of which of their prospects is really the closest to closing.

Thankfully, in the age of automation, this image is thoroughly outdated. Salespeople may still hold a reputation for being notoriously bad at administrative work, but who needs admin skills when you have the ability to connect deeply with prospective clients, intuit needs and close deals that deliver satisfactory results for both the customer and the organisation providing the product or service? That's where software comes in.

Traditionally, salespeople have seen CRM platforms as valuable for tracking customer and deal information - but may not have had a platform that really gave back much in return for all of the time needed to input information. Today, however, CRMs serve to aid sales automation. And it is the salespeople that embrace the CRM as a supporting partner in their business that rise up as the true sales leaders in their industry.

CRMs Save Deals

Sales automation would not be possible without the use of a CRM platform. The CRM acts as the knowledge hub capturing information and organising it in a way that allows it to become valuable to the sales automation process. Without the capture and organisation of this information, sales automation would be incomplete and prone to fault.

As an example, if you're applying sales automation to prospecting on LinkedIn -- where you've set up an alert via your premium account to identify people based on particular criteria -- these alerts would come in weekly, monthly, or whatever you have set.

Without a CRM, what happens to those leads? They would perhaps go to a spreadsheet, stay on LinkedIn, possibly be called but they would be poorly managed, and it would be impossible to track them for lead scoring and process automation accurately.

A sales automation CRM allows you to quickly integrate the two, uploading leads from LinkedIn into the CRM to be automatically moved into the sales cycle where they can be marketed to, contacted, tracked and scored.

Platforms like HubSpot allow salespeople to port everything, including the lead’s social media profile, contact information, company, and whatever else is available from their profile.

Other tools, like Leadspace, integrate with CRMs to maintain accurate and relevant contact data using real-time enrichment, and the creation of workflows (automated outreach via email) help to minimise the manual, time-consuming process of creating and editing records for leads who meet specific criteria. Set up correctly, this can be done automatically.

What is Sales Automation

Leveraging the latest technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and other advanced digital tools, sales automation software streamlines manual, repetitive and time-consuming tasks by mechanising them. These tools are designed for salespeople; they preempt the repetitive tasks that need to be done and prompt salespeople on how to best utilise the platform to make their life easier, improve their conversions and afford them more time to do what they do best - mingle with customers.

Sales automation helps salespeople avoid:

  • Missing a deal because they forgot to follow up
  • Wasting time adding leads or opportunities
  • Overlooking faults in their sales process
  • Prioritising leads incorrectly
  • Spending time going back and forth to lock in meetings
  • Wasting time searching for sales collateral and other documents

Sales automation does not replace the function of sales and the people who execute this role; instead, it allows salespeople to improve their efficiency, eliminate manual tasks, streamline recurring activities, and ensure nothing falls through the cracks by keeping it well managed within a CRM that facilitates automation.

By automating and mechanising the repetitive daily, monthly, quarterly and annual tasks that salespeople would have otherwise had to do manually, salespeople are freed up to focus more on strategy.

Tracking data is not only useful for monitoring conversations and which customers are likely to close, but this data can also begin to show patterns, and sales automation software is designed to highlight these patterns to give salespeople the best insight into what works and what does not.

Sales automation assists with lead scoring, highlighting which clients are most responsive, which campaigns got the best results and where salespeople should focus their efforts so that they can close more deals, more often, based on data-backed insights.

If you're looking to capture more leads and close more deals, a CRM platform that empowers sales automation is your secret weapon to success. Our tool of choice for this is HubSpot, if you need some help and guidance, check out our Digital Marketing and Sales Automation services.

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