By now, sales automation is a term used across all industries worldwide. However, a properly deployed process aims to do more than just automate sales process steps. The basics of sales automation should empower enterprises to leverage their resources more efficiently while boosting customer satisfaction, engagement, and the overall experience while interacting with your brand. We recently conducted a survey. When asked about the most critical areas of sales and marketing that CRM has helped optimize, the top three answers were pipeline visibility (37%), quality of leads (35%), and quantity of leads (31%). While this is essential data, how can you master the basics of sales automation and achieve better results in the areas above? We have the answer below.
Top Benefits of Sales Automation
Sales automation is about more than just eliminating manual labor:
- It boosts sales productivity
- Accelerates efficiency
- Increases sales process accuracy
- Helps your team ensure that no opportunities fall through the cracks
- Increases sales quality
- Reduces your reps’ response time and boosts customer satisfaction
- Acts as a central hub for all your sales data and ensures data consistency
Nonetheless, you don’t want to overly automate your sales process. Too much automation exists, and it can lower customer satisfaction as many customers might not feel important or relevant to your business. Thus, you must balance automation and the human touch all companies need. Below are four tips that will help you effortlessly achieve that balance.
1. Opportunity Tracking
A sales automation tool will help you track opportunities seamlessly through every sales cycle stage, providing complete visibility to remove roadblocks and eliminate blind spots. Although opportunity management is an entire strategy, opportunity tracking is the cornerstone of it. Tracking features embedded in your sales automation software will help you personalize opportunity interactions, schedule meetings, and track lead movement along the funnel.
Integrating your Sales Automation tool with your CRM is the best way to improve insight quality and performance. Here’s how a sales automation and CRM tool working together will help you improve opportunity tracking and management:
- Pipeline Clarity: Your sales automation software will help you establish a clear sales funnel with appropriate stages that allow no ambiguity and standardize the process. Once you do so, knowing where your leads are in the funnel will become evident, allowing your reps to confidently approach each opportunity and lead.
- Customer Insights: Your CRM contains complementary information about each lead and opportunity and will offer your reps plenty of background information about their pain points, product preferences, and what they are looking for when making a purchase.
- Reporting and Metrics: Your sales automation tool can generate detailed reports about specific leads that will increase your understanding of having meaningful, data-based conversations with them. Thus, it boosts your conversion rate.
- 360-Degree View of Customers: Your CRM will act as a central hub for your data and synchronize with your sales automation tool. This way, everybody interested in sales metrics, especially your reps, can quickly access customer information, their questions, needs, and requests. At the same time, Marketing can use sales data to identify conversation topics that accelerate the conversion rates.
2. Leverage Enhanced Forecasting
To use your sales automation tool at the maximum, make sure to deploy enhanced forecasting tools. These will help you examine pipeline aging, movement in and out of the pipeline, what’s likely to close, opportunities that need attention, and month-over-month or year-over-year sales metrics.
But how can a sales automation tool help you leverage sales forecasting at its full potential?
- Automate data collection and analysis. AI-driven sales automation tools will help you automate data collection and analysis. Some SA tools automate data collection so that you can uncover new information and enhance your understanding of customers. This capability automatically gathers data from a broad range of social, news, and business sources to provide critical insights and actionable sales intelligence directly within both your sales automation and CRM tool.
- Customize your forecasting models to properly fit your business model. A solid sales forecasting tool will help you deploy commonly used KPIs without integrating with a third-party tool. Within your sales forecasting tool, leverage the pre-built dahlets and customize them to better fit your business. For example, our sales forecasting tool lets you deploy the Enhanced Forecasting feature to keep a close eye on win rates, sales velocity, pipeline health, and not only. Such tools will help you save time and money in the long run.
- Use reporting and visualization tools. Reporting and visualization tools can help you better understand past performances and your current progress to accurately predict future performance. Some sales automation tools let you track sales performance metrics in real-time. This will give you more actionable insights to improve your sales strategies and approaches. Reporting and visualization features will also help you identify pain points and act confidently to correct them without losing revenue or customers.
3. A 360-Degree Console
One pitfall of sales processes is having too many apps and software to juggle. If you want to master sales automation, you need to look into solutions that allow you to reduce the number of apps your reps need to change to stay on top of a deal. A sales automation tool integrated with your CRM, email, and calendar will help your reps rely on a single tab to see all your customer information in one place. Such tools empower your reps to focus on the sales process’s human aspect, increase customer engagement and satisfaction, and fine-tune their approach.
4. Mobile Matters
Ensure your sales reps have a fluent mobile interface to interact with when not in front of their laptops. An excellent mobile interface that’s easy to configure and can make life much easier for reps, especially in the field before and after customer visits. So, your sales automation and CRM tools should have flawless mobile interfaces to facilitate usage in the field. This helps your reps stay on top of the process and adjust interactions while remaining flexible.
If these tips tickle your curiosity, make sure to read our Gartner Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation Platforms report and learn more about how we can make a difference in your sales processes.