Everyone is being asked to do more with less. Less time. Less money. Less staff. Savvy sales managers are turning to sales automation to boost productivity — and the bottom line.
Let’s take a look at the sales tasks that can be automated, the benefits, and the types of sales automation that will help you the most.
What is sales automation?
Sales automation is technology that replaces repetitive, manual tasks so sellers can spend time on the human interactions where they thrive.
Businesses from small teams to large enterprises use sales automation tools to engage more prospects, keep sellers focused on the deals most likely to close, and streamline lead generation. Leveraging integrations with CRM, email marketing apps, and LinkedIn, sales automation makes these tasks more effective:
- Prospecting and marketing – lead generation, marketing automation, and email automation.
- Pipeline management – lead scoring, tracking, lead nurturing, and opportunity management.
- Sales activity tracking – sales emails, sales calls, and task management.
- Sales data reporting – sales forecasting, sales reporting, and analytics.
As your business expands, you need tools to help you handle larger numbers of leads throughout your sales funnel. Explore the benefits and features of sales automation tools, and as you read, remember that Salesloft offers solutions that have many automation features built-in, allowing you to get started closing deals right away.
Benefits of sales automation tools
Sales automation is a force multiplier. It’s like having an assistant to take care of time-consuming tasks, so the sales rep can focus on high-value tasks, increasing their productivity and performance. It creates an ideal selling environment by allowing sellers to handle more qualified leads while continuing to deliver a personalized experience. Here are some of the benefits sales teams realize after implementing automation.
Close deals with proven workflows
Sales automation helps you turn every seller into your best seller. Use your sales data to understand what top performers are doing differently, then use that insight to set up workflows for every rep to follow. For example, if your top-performing sales reps send a LinkedIn message to new prospects followed by a short email a a few hours later, you can create an automated workflow that replicates this process — complete with the email template to use. This workflow removes the guesswork and builds a repeatable process that improves the customer experience and closes more deals.
Using automated workflows as part of your sales onboarding process helps new sales reps start closing deals sooner. They’re using the same workflows as veteran reps to build their sales pipeline and nurture deals. Data will reveal the areas where new salespeople are not following the process or are struggling, so sales managers can step in to coach and refine future interactions, ultimately boosting sales productivity.
Save time with sales process automation
Human interaction is a critical part of the sales process, but even the best sellers spend too much time deciding who they should reach out to first, what to say, and when to follow up. The best sales automation software will prioritize tasks and suggest the next best action, like prioritizing qualified leads and tasks for the accounts most likely to make a purchase.
Administrative tasks such as data entry, phone calls, and meeting scheduling can all get repetitive and waste valuable selling time. When these simple tasks are automated, sellers have time to focus on prospect research, building relationships, and other parts of the sales process.
Reduce the chance of error
Human error is inevitable, so why not automate as many time-consuming administrative tasks as possible? Data entry is prone to errors, but also one of the most critical sales tasks. By integrating your customer relationship management (CRM) software with sales engagement software, you can cut down on these errors because contact information and sales activities only need to be entered in one place. Using automation to take control of manual tasks, your sales teams can process significantly more error-free data and actions.
The sales lead handoff is another place where automation can reduce errors. You can ensure contact is maintained by automating the transition from marketing automation software to your sellers when lead scores reach a predetermined threshold.
Improve the customer experience
Sales process automation brings about fears of becoming robotic or losing the personal touch. When appropriately used, sales automation does the exact opposite. It gives your sales team more time to focus on human-to-human interactions with potential customers.
While automating repetitive tasks sounds great, it can be difficult when you have too many tools in your tech stack. You’re context switching, double checking to ensure tools work together, and ultimately spending a ton of time on admin work. Putting your entire revenue organization in one platform will improve the seller experience, and the experience for new leads.
Key features of the best sales automation tools
As you can imagine, not all sales automation software is created equal. You’ll want to determine the most important features of your sales process. Here’s a list to get started.
Lead generation and management are essential components of a healthy sales funnel, and knowing which leads to prioritize is easier thanks to sales automation tools. When new leads hit a certain lead scoring threshold, you can automatically notify the sales rep for quick follow-up. This AI-driven scoring model can also create priority lists and route prospects based on outcomes of sales tasks like email campaigns, sales calls, or contact meetings.
Automatically route prospects based on their level of interest or response time. Click count, view count, and reply count are email tracking metrics to keep prospects in initial automated cadences or move them to more personalized ones. When you know you have an engaged lead, spending time personalizing messages on social media sites like LinkedIn or sending customized emails makes sense.
Strong CRM integration
One of the most powerful automation tools is a sync between your customer relationship management (CRM) and sales engagement platform. Here’s an easy way to think about how they work together: your CRM stores and organizes customer contact information and records the interactions. Then, your sales engagement platform uses automation to manage all sales activities and the deal cycle. Choose a sales automation tool that integrates with leading CRMs such as Salesforce, Hubspot, and Microsoft Dynamics 365.
Call recording software with sales automation streamlines communication with prospects across the sales cycle. Use call sentiment or lead stage change to trigger a follow-up email or even remove prospects from all communication. Set recordings to be shared based on keywords or buyer engagement automatically. And make onboarding new sales reps easier with coaching playlists that improve cold calling and showcase demo best practices.
Real-time sales data and reporting
Data is power, and with sales automation tools, you can create automatic actions based on email template performance, at-risk deals, overall customer satisfaction sentiments, and sales forecast projections. Automation also makes it possible to remove manual data searches, entries, and spreadsheets, giving you insight based on the most critical data. Sales managers can use real-time data collection and analysis to diagnose shortcomings, coach team members, and reach sales goals. Add dashboards from synced centralized locations so everyone is using the same data. You can even set notifications when you meet or drop below specific metrics, keeping you on top of performance.
Automation based on sales activity streamlines the sales pipeline process from initial contact through final purchase. Strategically use sales automation tools to remove disqualified leads and set a reminder for follow-up later.
Choosing the right sales automation software for your team
Remember: All sales automation tools are not created equal. An all-in-one sales engagement platform includes the most data points possible to surface insights and trigger action most effectively. Robust integrations provide even more data and automation opportunities.
Salesloft is the most complete sales engagement platform from first contact to close, with more than 150 integrations.
Request a demo today to see what Salesloft can do for your sales teams!