Less than 36% of the average salesperson’s day is spent selling. That means that over 64% of each rep’s time is spent not selling your product. However, this means that you have the potential to outpace the competition by increasing the efficiency of your sales team.
Time is a limited resource, but you can make sure that your sales team uses most of it through automation. In fact, 63% of companies outgrow their competition by doing just that. Companies that utilize automation also have higher conversion rates (53%) and higher rates of annual growth (3.1%).
Recent technological breakthroughs can automate much of the sales process and give your sales team more efficiency than ever.
As you look through the following tech that can help you automate sales tasks, check to see if a function is available in your CRM. You may not even realize that these options are available unless you look. If it’s not, it might be wise to evaluate whether your CRM is really serving your needs and see what other options are out there.
In times past, organizing and giving out leads took significant amounts of time. However, it can now easily be automated so that the entire sales team can conveniently reach the leads that they need.
By creating and filling out a CRM, you can segment your sales leads into helpful categories to allow you to reach out to similar customers quickly and efficiently. Whether grouped by region, where they are at in the sales journey, or the product they want, it can be helpful to have similar customers in one place when considering email promotions, invites to local events, or follow-ups with a certain type of leads. It also helps managers sort leads amongst the sales team based on area, interest, and experience needed.
Many CRMs can also help you better prioritize leads by giving you a “lead score” which is calculated by the amount and quality of actions that lead has already had with your company. The more touchpoints, the more likely they are familiar and trusting of your brand -- which means more sales. Or it can also score by comparing a lead’s demographic information (company size, industry, etc.) with what your company best serves. Marketo and Hubspot both do this.
If your company receives a lot of inbound queries from prospective customers, a chatbot like MobileMonkey might save your customer service team and your sales rep a lot of time. Chatbots can answer common questions automatically and, based on keywords in the answers that prospective customers provide, can collect and prepare valuable information before the lead is passed on to a salesperson.
The old-school method of keeping track of your leads 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. However, note-taking and constant checking can drain valuable time instead of making calls.
Through automation, much of this can be managed through a decent CRM. Some offer a way to mark “left a message” (or a similar option) and they will automatically be reminded to follow up later. Even better, some automatically log visits or emails without the need to check off anything at all. For example, Map My Customers works with your salesperson’s GPS to update your customer’s profile instantly.
Not only will it make it easier for your salespeople to manage their follow-ups, but leadership can also easily keep everyone accountable in one place. They can check on and filter for the last actions of any potential leads through their CRM to make sure that none are left to go cold.
It’s crucial that salespeople don’t sound mechanical, so they 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 their time.
By building templates and “canned responses,” a lot of this can be done ahead of time. Certain fields (such as the client’s name or company) can be automatically filled in by your CRM, which ensures accuracy as well as the use of less time verifying basic info.
Speaking of emails, how many of yours are spent trying to pin down a time and date for a meeting? Using a scheduling tool like Calendly or Doodle can take a lot of this work off of a sales rep’s shoulders.
Email signatures are prime real estate that is woefully underutilized. And when many different salespeople have differentiating ways of signing, it can come across as unprofessional, confusing, or inaccurate. Services like Sigstr make it easy to automatically format signatures for your whole team so they don’t have to worry about updating them to include the latest awards or new products.
For as much as we try to hide behind our text messages and emails, there is always going to be a need for traditional phone calls in sales.
Are you manually punching numbers into your phone every time you need to make a cold call? Help your reps dial up to 40% more leads daily by using a phone dialer that integrates with your CRM. There are a ton of these out there so it’s best to contact your software company to see which is the best fit for your location and usage rates.
Although there is plenty of reasons why writing pen-and-paper notes during calls can be good for you, there are other options that can help you get the most out of your phone calls. Automated transcription services like Gong or Wingman can identify the most important parts of your conversations based on keywords and even present instantaneous research based on them.
But beyond just voice calls, automated SMS tech like SalesSMS can also help you use a phone strategy more efficiently. Promotions, appointment reminders, or basic information collection can all be automatically done through this method. And when you consider the fact that SMS have an open rate of 90% compared to email’s 20%, it’s a no brainer to add to your communication strategy.
If you rely on physically visiting your customers or leads, manually routing your sales team can take a significant amount of time. But not planning out your routes will waste even more of your team’s time because they could be potentially driving out of their way.
Automating the route planning process by using the data from your CRM can ensure that your team is seeing the maximum amount of people each day and isn’t wasting any time on the drive. Good tech does way more than just plotting out selected destinations in Google Maps. It’s about balancing the kind of opportunity, the time allotted for each meeting, and the territory assigned for particular reps.
Proposals And Paperwork
Instead of copying and pasting intricate sales data into presentation software, consider tools like PandaDoc or ClientPoint that lift those right out of your CRM for you. Many of these tech options can also integrate with your master content library and have built-in document editing tools so you truly eliminate any need to click in and out of various places to craft your proposal.
Delivering physical copies of contracts and paperwork is not only a waste of time but of resources. There is so much tech out there like Docusign, SignNow or other digital signature software that can automate every part of this crucial step in sales and minimize your carbon (and cash) footprint. Some also offer automatic reminders and notifications to eliminate even more wasted time.
Grow Your Business Through Automation
Sales automation is no longer optional. Companies who choose to automate their everyday sales tasks will increase their sales team efficiency, shorten conversions and increase their profits.