It could be argued that there’s never been a better time to work in sales.
Those of us who still recall the rolodex, or cold-calling or Glengarry Glen Ross, will likely also remember the shortcomings of the tech available at the time - the clunky computers, the dial-up internet and of course, you’re A.B.C.
Happily, the antagonistic A.B.C mentality has been pushed to the wayside. Instead of salespersons thinking in terms of what they need to ‘do to a client’ in order to make a sale, teams are now looking to see how they can ‘Always Be Helping’ – and automation is helping do just that.
Today’s sales teams certainly have the technological edge, but this brings with it, a whole new set of problems. How to keep up with all of your applications? How to keep connected when you have a demanding job, demanding clients, and deadlines and targets to meet?
Thankfully, advances in sales tech and sales automation has helped reduce the amount of time we spend on repetitive, mundane tasks and helped free up our sales teams to do what they do best: connect with prospects.
A cornerstone of near every sales stack, and the easiest place to begin with automation is your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. Here are 6 simple areas you should be automating:
Automate Your Email
Despite the numerous communication tools we use, email is still an effective way to reach people. More than just a marketing tool, email templates and scheduled campaigns can be invaluable in helping sales teams manage their pipeline.
Creating email templates and automating your tasks and follow-ups, allows you to give the right contact, the right information, at the right time, meaning you spend less time pitching or checking calendars and more time nurturing leads. And whether you send 10 or 100 emails per day, having the ability to track open rates, click rates etc. can prove vital.
Automate Your Booking Process
The back and forth of scheduling a demo call can be incredibly frustrating for both parties, so why not automate it. There are numerous scheduling calendars and booking diaries available (both free and premium). Create an individual dairy booking link for each team member, and then simply add that link into your email templates, signatures etc.
Automate Your Lead Scoring
When configured correctly, automating your lead scoring will help you understand how important any given customer is to you. When working with existing customers, segmentation will help you identify the customers, who generate most profit and differentiate them from those, who may seem important, but in reality, consume a lot of your time and energy for a relatively small profit. The value of the customer does not necessarily equal the value of the sale.
Knowing which customers are most important to you (and to your bottom-line), can help ensure you dedicate your best people to their service or acquisition.
Automate Your Follow Up Tasks
Whether it be summarizing your meeting, sending a proposal or asking for feedback, follow-up tasks play a big part in B2B sales processes. Using a tool to automatically set and log your tasks can not only save your team time but also help managers monitor how and when deals are being moved forward. Using a B2B sales CRM, you can tie tasks and follow up actions directly into each step of your sales process, ensuring key actions are never missed.
Automate Your Pipeline
All of the above actions are all geared toward bring qualified leads into your sales funnel, so that you can begin moving them seamlessly through your pipeline to become a new client. So, it seems only natural that your prospects should also move automatically from one stage to another.
Configure the individual steps in your sales process so that as specific actions are completed, the prospect moves to the next stage in the funnel. This will provide reps a clear set of steps and actions to complete in order to win their deal, whilst allowing managers a helicopter view of the entire pipeline and where each prospect is at.
Automate Your Reporting
Spending an hour or more per day to manually create reports and filters your team’s results will take up precious time.
Why not simply add your team targets or their monthly/quarterly scorecards into your CRM, and generate reports at the click of a button? Track everything form how many people and companies were, how many calls made or appointment booked to how many emails were sent.
A B2B sales funnel hosted in a CRM system with hard numbers, leads, and sales automation, makes for a powerful tool in projecting and managing the growth of a company.
Not to mention, it’s far more actionable than an Excel spreadsheet.
By continuing to look for ways to automate your processes, you’ll find that you’re able to work smarter, spend less time on repetitive, time consuming tasks and more on connecting with customers ultimately driving you toward effective, repeatable & scalable results.
This blog was written as a guest blog post by Graham Richardson (Livespace.io)