Automating Your Sales Cycle: The Why, What and How

Ellen De Beul

Ellen De Beul Content Marketer at Piesync

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Sales automation can greatly improve the productivity of your sales team and boost sales. Investing in this type of tech can be a leap of faith, so why should you consider it? What automation should you implement? And how will this help?

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If you’re still doing most of your sales work manually and not leveraging the power of automation to track progress, you’re certainly leaving a lot of money on the table. In an era where the majority of your competitors are busy automating their sales funnels and creating more time to work on other critical areas of their businesses, it pays to follow suit and do even better.

In this post, we take a look at some of the key reasons you need to fully automate your sales process. We’ll also show you the critical areas to begin with, including the appropriate tools to use for each process.

Why automate your sales cycle?

Sales automation is now a necessity for any business striving to reach its maximum potential. Here are some of the key benefits of investing in automation:

1. Save time

A major reason you need sales automation is to cut down on your sales administrative time. This include time spent on handling routine tasks such as logging calls, scheduling appointments, creating outreach emails and so on. Relieving your sales reps of some of these responsibilities helps to ensure that they spend more time on the actual, meaningful work that they’re supposed to do – selling your products and services.

2. Improved decision-making

An effective CRM is able to give you a 360-degree profile of each customer. This helps your team to stay updated about the opportunities available and the type of leads they’re pursuing at any given time. In the end, you can make better information-based decisions and ultimately achieve more in sales and other benefits like increased customer retention.

3. Minimize errors

Managing your sales workflow using automated tools not only speeds up the process but also reduces the risk of human error when completing sensitive tasks like data entry. Remember, some mistakes in a sales process can prove fatal, particularly those touching on accounting issues like tax and sales records.

4. Boost productivity

Most CRM software today apply gamification principles to encourage sales teams to compete and collaborate as much as possible. Their developers make it easy to setup real-time alerts, custom leaderboards, email alerts, and a wide range of advanced metrics. To sales reps, this feels like a game and keeps them motivated to keep ‘playing more’.  As a result, more leads are tracked, contacted, and finally closed leading to improved company sales and profitability.

What and how to automate the sales process

A sales process comprises of numerous tasks and micro-processes, most of which can be automated to enable your team to concentrate its efforts on tasks that need more a personal touch, like making actual calls, meeting prospects, and closing deals.

Below, we take a look at two key areas in a sales cycle that can be enhanced using automation.

Lead prioritization

Like in any other situation, prioritization is key when it comes to categorizing available leads to ensure you’re dealing with the most profitable and suitable ones. Some of the factors to consider here include how deep a particular prospect is in the sales funnel, and budget, among others.

Lead scoring, as this process is often known, can help your sales team determine the amount of time to set aside for each prospect. Unfortunately, the task can be extremely time-consuming especially when done manually.

But don’t fret as there are numerous tools available today to assist you in automating lead prioritization.

Some like Velocify and Salesfusion can assist you in analyzing your prospects’ interests, preferences, and spending habits, all of which are key factors towards making your overall sales process a success.

Communication with prospects

So, you’ve already qualified your leads and now have a list of those you deem best fit for your business. What next? You need to begin communicating with each to try and convince them to consider your products or services. However, reaching out to everyone manually is bound to consume a lot of your reps’ time especially if you’re dealing with hundreds or thousands of leads.

If this sounds like your company’s situation, it’s time to embrace automation for your outreaching process for a more effective workflow.

To begin with, you’ll possibly need email automation tools to help you in sending mass outreach emails to numerous prospects at once. A few options to consider here include Aweber and MailChimp.

You can also leverage the power of CRMs like Salesforce or Agile CRM to complete several tasks from a single point including gathering your prospects’ personal details and email tracking.

There’s also a special category of tools to assist you in syncing data from several apps and software. This way, you don’t have to export and import data manually, when adding a new tool  to your existing process. This Piesync vs Zapier comparison looks at two industry leaders to help determine which is best suited for your business.

In conclusion

Having the right tools and knowing how to use them effectively will play a key role in enhancing your sales cycle and boosting your overall business’ profitability. Delight your customers by providing timely responses at every stage of the cycle, use your time more efficiently and, ultimately, close more sales with automation.

Author: Ellen loves digital marketing and storytelling. As a content marketer she makes sure the Piesync blog is full of interesting stories, tips and case studies. When offline, she likes to climb, surf, take pictures and discover the hidden parts of Ghent. Gets a bit annoyed when hungry but she’s working on that.

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