Sales is certainly not an easy job. In a dynamic market where there are a number of products from different brands providing the same solution, selling can become a tough task. Doesn’t it? Not necessarily.
Sales might seem difficult because it does not matter how-much- you-do but how-well- you-do- it. You just have to do your tasks differently to achieve better goals than the competitors.
To take that high jump, salespeople need to erase the following challenges from their way:
#1 challenge is to gather information from siloed data: Siloed data is no data at all, sales team need a solution to transform that data into actionable information. The idea here is to get as much information regarding prospect in as less time as possible. Prospect research should involve not more than a few minutes before you reach out the phone to call. Sales team should have data such as customer contact details, email marketing, social interactions, past interaction, and more available on any device.
Here’s all you need to know about data integration.
#2 is to get qualified leads: In the rush to meet numbers, salespeople might be tempted to compromise on quality and hunt for more leads, but the quality of each lead impacts directly on the closure rate. Inbound is a better way! Generating high-quality inbound sales leads through liaison between marketing and sales.
Enter, sales automation. A sales automation solution addresses these challenges and straightens out many other sales activities.
Let’s have a look at them:
1. Building up good sales leads
Most of the times, salespeople are more focused on the features of their product rather than the target audience and identifying the ideal customer profile. If you are pitching the product to the wrong set of audience, you are wasting time. It’s important to understand the set of prospects which are a good fit for your brand. Sales automation helps to expose prospects to useful content while incorporating engagement features like calls-to-action, web links, landing pages, etc. This way you will be able to build ‘list of leads’who demonstrated an interest in your company’s product or service.
This interest factor differentiates between a prospect and a lead. Having leads means you don’t have to struggle with cold calls. Sales automation software can help you build leads list with sufficient data like, company information, contact details, interests, interaction history. This data helps salespeople to prioritize their activities and focus on those who are most likely to make a purchase.
Sales automation software helps build leads list through – demography and behavior. You can:
- Identify the target demography and build prospect list through prospect directories available online (LinkedIn is the best resource).
- Capture website visitor information through pop-ups.
- Retarget the audience through Facebook ads or Google ads and include a call-to-action in your ad.
- Identify dormant customers and send some exclusive offers for them.
2. Run effective email campaigns
Did you know that email marketing still remains the most effective channels of communication? Indeed it is. And it’s better than any other channels like phone or social media. Once you collect the lead data through sales automation, you can set up automatic email campaigns that are triggered based on user’s action. Setting up automatic campaigns is easier than manual emailing because automated emails are timely, personalized based on actions and relevant to the customers at each stage.
Due to these facts, automated emails see a better conversion than manual emails. They involve better prospect engagement and drive higher revenue to the business. Based on the series of actions, you can set up the flow of emails.
Website visitor → Brand awareness (Introduce the product) → Increase product usage → Enhance product features→ Journey the customer to make a purchase.
Corresponding automated emails:
Popup for email subscription→ Product white papers→ Free product trial → Email on product feedback email → Lead nurturing emails
Once prospect subscribes to the email list, he is no more a prospect but a lead. Subscription process indicates a strong interest from prospect’s end and is a great way to journey them through the sales funnel. Send emails including a free trial of your product to get customers try it and get converted to a paid customer. You can also set up a series of lead nurturing emails through sales automation software, to educate the audience on the benefits of your product.
3. Quality lead scoring
If the above lead generation process brought in a huge number of leads, one way to pull out the high-potential leads from the lot is to score them. Scoring can help discover leads that have a higher potential for conversion, so you don’t miss on hot leads. Lead scoring is an effective way to simplify the lead generation process and streamline your sales efforts for higher conversion. Score the leads based on the importance of their action. For example:
Based on the criticality of action to your business, develop a good lead scoring framework through sales automation software to improve win rates and better conversions. The aforementioned behavioral aspects of customers along with their position in the sales funnel should be considered while framing a good lead scoring system. If your customer is the awareness stage of the sales cycle but seems to often visit the pricing page, you may want to score him high over another prospect who is just visiting the website.
It’s also crucial to approach the lead when the score is high. A missed timing is equal to a missed opportunity. Sales team should help the prospect have a clear vision and guide him safely through each level of the sales funnel.
4. Pick the most resonating email
Successful emails that resonate well with your customers are a result of multiple tests done for different aspects of an email. A/B testing helps you to come out with that one email with high conversion rates. You can test different versions of the email. Sales automation software changes different elements of the email, sends them to different prospect segments and then gives the results in real time. The results show which email is working better so you can automatically send it to the entire mailing list.
A/B testing increases engagement rates by allowing you to choose that email with high open rates, click-through rates, and engagement rates.
5. Make more closures
Deals are the heart and soul of the sales process. Sales automation helps you to close better deals. You can track deals, trigger automated follow-ups, and get real-time reports. An easy drag and drop workflow allow you to track those high revenue generating deals and never misses your opportunity to win them.
Once you win the deal, you need to prepare quotations and proposals and share them with your leads. You can also automate this process through sales automation software. A tiny error in the quotation can cost you high, so create error-free e-Docs and proposals and instantly increase your rate of response. These interactions hint customers of your professionalism and diligence and are even faster than paperwork.
Sales automation can impact hugely on the performance and productivity of your sales teams. But, choosing the right solution ideal for your business could be time-consuming. There are multiple options available for different industries and sizes of businesses. Let us know your automation best practice in the comments below.
About the author:
Rohit Prasanna is the senior marketing manager of Agile CRM. Prasanna brings in about 14 years of digital marketing experience and has been an advisor to software start-ups in the mobile and SaaS areas. Before getting into startups, Rohit worked in various marketing, and product management roles at Unisys, Dell, and IBM. Specialties: Digital marketing, building and growing companies, marketing, business development, M&A.