Less than 36% of the average salesperson’s day is spent selling. That means that over 64% of each rep’s time is spent mainly on administrative work and not selling your product. However, this means that you have the potential to outpace the competition by increasing the efficiency of your sales team. This can be done by taking advantage of the power of sales automation.
Time is a limited resource, but you can make sure that your sales team gets the most out of it by automating much of your sales process. In fact, 63% of companies outgrow their competition by doing just that. According to an IDC survey, companies that utilize sales automation can see a 30% increase in deal closures, an 18% reduction in the sales cycle, and a 14% reduction in sales administration time.
Sales automation is an important practice that every team needs to utilize if they want to succeed in today’s business environment. In this article, we’ll break down what sales automation is, the benefits of sales automation, and some of the top sales automation tools.
So, What Is Sales Automation Exactly?
Sales automation uses software, artificial intelligence (AI), and other digital tools to computerize tedious, time-consuming sales tasks that are being done manually. The automation aims to manage many of the administrative responsibilities that sales reps and managers have to do every day, saving you and your team an enormous amount of time.
To be effective in sales, reps have to stay on top of a wide variety of tasks that are like puzzle pieces that all make up the sales process. As we mentioned earlier, doing this properly and ensuring things don’t fall through the cracks can often take up more time than is spent actually selling. Sales automation is what can make all of those puzzle pieces fit together much faster on a daily basis.
By utilizing sales automation, you are empowering yourself and your team with a dynamic way to streamline your sales process. Thus optimizing productivity, improving sales effectiveness, and increasing revenue. Sales automation frees your team up to place more focus on what is most important: generating leads, customized selling, and customer relationship management.
The tools used to implement sales automation are often referred to as Sales Force Automation (SFA) Software. Put simply, this is any software or digital tool that helps you and your sales team automate and modernize parts of your sales process. Most of these tools focus on repetitive, administrative tasks that take up the most time when done manually.
The Benefits of Sales Automation
Automating many of the daily tasks that you and your reps juggle every day isn’t just about saving time. Sales automation sends a ripple effect of benefits throughout your sales process and your company as a whole. Some of these benefits include:
Generating New Leads on a Larger Scale
To be successful in sales, your company must have an effective way to increase awareness, generate new leads, and prospect. If you don’t, there is nothing to feed your sales funnel. Sales automation helps you do this faster and, more importantly, on a larger scale. This means there will always be new leads coming into your funnel for your sales reps to actively work.
Your company can generate more leads, manage them better, and more effectively convert potential customers into loyal customers through sales automation.
Improved Customer Follow-Up
Your team’s follow up habits and response times to prospect inquiries and customer communications can make or break business relationships. The old-school method of keeping track of everything consisted of inputting notes into a spreadsheet or calendar, which salespeople checked into every day to make sure that they did not miss a potentially hot lead or important follow up. However, manual note-taking and constant checking can drain valuable time instead of actually making the necessary calls or sending the communications.
Through sales automation, your team can significantly improve customer follow up. Your reps can then focus on improving customer interactions instead of having to spend too much time on manual follow-up processes. Some automation tools offer a way to mark “left a message” (or a similar option) and will automatically send reminders to follow up later. Even better, some automatically log visits, calls, or emails without the need to check off anything at all. Then updating the customer’s profile instantly in your CRM.
Not only does sales automation make it easier for your salespeople to manage their follow-ups, but as a sales manager, you can also easily keep everyone accountable in one place. You can check on and filter for the last actions of any potential leads through the CRM to make sure that none are left to go cold.
Better Organization of the Sales Team
By using sales force automation, your sales reps can utilize a unified system to easily manage activities, store and organize customer/prospect data, and even segment sales leads into helpful categories. With some of today’s sales automation tools, all of this can be done from any device in any place they are connected. This not only means a more organized sales team but also a much more efficient sales process.
From a management standpoint, with sales automation, sales managers have instant access to up-to-date sales numbers, customer-related data, sales reps activities, etc. With all of this information available at the click of a button, you can be proactive, quickly pivot where needed, and make quick decisions based on real-time, in-depth data.
Improved Reporting & Sales Forecasting
Sales automation can open up a new world of real-time and accurate sales reporting that is readily available any time you need it. This can be tough to come by when you’re trying to keep track of everything manually in spreadsheets and charts. When you know that the sales data is being updated automatically, there is less chance of numbers being inaccurate or incomplete.
The sales reporting that sales automation can provide can also go much deeper than surface-level sales data. You can learn things like how many calls your top performers needed to close a sale, the open rate of your latest promotional email, where there might be a leak in your sales funnel, and much more. Sales automation provides you with reports that will give you a complete, in-depth look like never before.
Plus, with improved reporting comes improved accuracy in your sales forecasting. You can be confident in knowing that your sales forecasts will give a good glimpse into the future that is based on factual sales data.
Better Customer Service
You never want to automate all parts of your sales process because it would create too much of a robotic feel for customers. But, many different parts along the customer journey can still be streamlined effectively with the use of sales automation. This then means that your customers will not only have a better experience during the buying process but also after. Sales automation can mean better customer service through things like:
- Customized responses and outreach to current clients
- Seamlessly storing and managing inquiries/service cases
- Improving response times to customer inquiries
- Keeping relevant customer data together, organized, and available across your teams
- More easily meeting evolving customer expectations
Through sales automation, you can more effectively retain current customers as well as attract new ones through improved customer service.
Increasing Sales Revenue
One of the biggest advantages of effectively implementing sales automation throughout your sales process is the increased sales revenue that can come from it. Because so many of the time-consuming tasks that your reps were having to do previously will be automated, they can focus more time on selling. This will inherently lead to more deals being closed and higher volumes of sales revenue.
Top Sales Automation Tools Available Today
When it comes to sales automation software, there are a lot of different options available today to automate many different parts of your sales process. It can sometimes be hard to determine where to start. So, we’ve done the work for you. Here are some of the top sales automation tools that are best for parts of the sales process that are often the most time-consuming:
Map My Customers
Best for bringing sales automation to your sales reps' mobile devices
If you have several different tasks and parts of your sales process that you know could benefit from automation, there are multi-purpose automation tools available to handle that. But, if you have a team with reps WFA (working from anywhere), you need a tool that can work on the go as well. Map My Customers is your answer.
This mobile-first, all-in-one software maximizes you and your team’s efficiency through a more intuitive workflow, whether you’re on your desktop or your mobile device. The purpose-built sales tool simplifies day-to-day activities, making it easy for your reps to capitalize on opportunities and equipping you to make data-backed decisions.
Map My Customers provides you with all the automation you and your reps need. Two standout features of the platform are the Quick Actions and Check-Ins. Your reps can email, call, or route to customers quickly and easily with the click of a button directly from within the tool. Then with Quick Actions, they can automatically log activities simultaneously, enabling your team to stay on top of administrative work with very little effort. Reps can also Check-In with an account in just a few taps — the app will then pre-fill and timestamp information based on their location.
The platform can stand on its own as your sales CRM or integrates with many of the top CRM options. By automating many of your team’s sales activities, Map My Customers enables you to make sure that your reps are spending most of their time doing what is most important: selling.
Best for email lookup & outreach automation
If you ever run a cold outreach campaign, you should know how time-consuming it is to collect prospects’ email addresses, then verify them, and after that draft, send, and track cold email campaigns. Hunter makes it all extremely easy. They collected all of the tools needed for successful cold outreach in one place allowing you to automate every step of the process.
You can easily find anyone’s email address with Email Finder, Domain Search and Author Finder depending on the final data you want to receive (list of all people working for a specific company or just a single specialist). Besides that, Hunter allows you to verify all of the email addresses you found with them or if you found them in a different source with Email Verifier.
Their free tool for cold outreach called Hunter Campaigns allows you to automate and personalize the whole outreach sequence. You don’t need to schedule and send follow-ups manually, Campaigns will do everything for you.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Best for bringing sales automation into prospecting efforts
Sales prospecting is one of the most important daily tasks your team does. Without effective prospecting, there won’t be a steady stream of new leads going into your sales funnel. But, it can be tedious and time-consuming to prospect and pinpoint qualified leads. This is where LinkedIn Sales Navigator can help automate this process for B2B sales.
This popular sales automation platform, from the world’s largest professional online network, is packed full of detailed data and access to plenty of leads. With LinkedIn Sales Navigator, your reps can shift a generic search for leads into pinpointed targeting for highly qualified prospects in much less time.
With Sales Navigator's advanced search box, you can filter LinkedIn users by company, industry, location, job title, experience, education, and much more. Reps can also set up notifications to receive alerts when prospects take actions, like move up into a new role in their company, that can help you can initiate a conversation.
Best for automating processes involving your team’s sales calls & gaining call insight
Keeping track of what happened during sales communications and meetings is critical. Although writing pen-and-paper notes can sometimes be helpful, there are other options that can help you automate your team’s note-taking and call tracking to get the most out of your phone calls and meetings. Automated transcription services like Gong can identify the most important parts of your conversations based on keywords and even present instantaneous research based on them.
Gong can pull out key parts of your conversations (like what topics you covered, any action items that were discussed, and which competitors may have up) and even give you AI-powered insights about the opportunity.
The revenue intelligence platform automatically records, stores, and analyzes every sales conversation that your reps have, even sales meetings in the field. The information Gong supplies not only helps your team capitalize on every opportunity but will also allow you to get everyone on the same page with a consistent sales approach and messaging.
Best for integrating sales automation into your document management
Creating important business documents is often a daily task that can take up a lot of time. Instead of copying and pasting intricate sales data into presentation software, consider an automation tool like PandaDoc that can lift those things right out of your CRM for you. This platform can integrate with your team’s master content library and has built-in document editing tools. This eliminates any need to click in and out of various places to craft proposals and other important business documents, saving valuable time.
PandaDoc reduces the time it takes to send professional, comprehensive, and error-free proposals, contracts, and other documents. You can also, track the activity of your documents to proactively pinpoint any possible customer concerns and your customers can easily sign the documents electronically.
Best for automating and tracking your team’s sales email communications
It’s crucial that salespeople don’t sound mechanical, so reps try to personalize each email depending on the occasion. They write follow-ups to potential customers, thank you notes for current customers, FAQ emails, and welcome emails to new customers virtually from scratch. But this can be a significant drain on your reps time. By building templates and “canned responses,” a lot of this can be done ahead of time. An automated sales outreach like Right Inbox can help with all of this.
Right Inbox integrates directly with a Gmail account, pulls in your customer data from your CRM, and makes it easy for sales reps to create customized email templates, schedule emails to be sent later, create email sequences, and track all of the email communications. In addition, the platform supercharges sales efforts by enabling reps to set up recurring emails and email reminders to ensure that important follow up is never missed.
Grow Your Business Through Sales Process Automation
Sales automation is no longer optional if you want your business to be successful. Companies who utilize sales automation across their sales process will be able to achieve more and, in many cases, capitalize on an opportunity to create an edge over their competitor. Even more importantly, automating you and your team’s everyday sales tasks will greatly help to increase sales efficiency, shorten the time to close, and increase revenue.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to start implementing sales automation tools today. Try out some of the tools we mentioned above and find what works for your company. Start using sales automation today to skyrocket your sales team’s efficiency and grow your business faster!