What Is Sales Automation? – The Ultimate Guide For 2023 

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When sales workflows are poorly organized and you try to keep all your thoughts and tasks for the day, week, or month in your head, you may find that your profits start to drop. The number of clients may decrease or remain stable, which is not always the key to success. 

At such moments, you can try to keep up everywhere and everywhere. However, in sales, you need to control so many processes that you need to be a mastermind to be successful at every task. 

This is difficult to achieve because then you will have to work to the limit of your capabilities, which will lead to natural burnout. 

However, now there is an ideal solution that will allow you to stop controlling absolutely everything that you need to do. Businesses are increasingly turning to automation to streamline sales operations.

Since sales professionals perform a huge number of tasks and control many important activities, negotiations, and sales stages, today you can set up automatic execution of those tasks that have already become a routine for you.

Most of both easy and complex tasks can be set to auto mode and you will be able to deal with those issues that require your comprehensive attention. 

We'll talk about what it all means, how salespeople can take the load off their shoulders in many ways, what its advantages and disadvantages are, and much more.

What does this mean?

Without the use of any programs and tools, you cannot set something up for automatic execution. Thus, the automatic execution of sales tasks means the use of programs and online tools that can be directed to perform various tasks

What does this mean

On the Internet, you can find a lot of useful tools, as well as software that is used by both large and small businesses. Many companies, moreover, prefer to resort to a custom solution that will be designed for tasks relevant to their business. 

Using such tools, you can select a range of tasks that you can set to run automatically. This is not to say that this has only pros, because, like any other thing, it also has its advantages and disadvantages, which every business needs to weigh. 

However, this is a chance to get rid of routine tasks that can take too much time to complete. Because of this, important issues may be left without the attention of a specialist, which can subsequently lead to serious issues with sales and with the business as a whole. 

Statistics you should know

  • About 50% percent of companies that use automation software report that they have much more time to find an individual approach to each client; 
  • Almost 40% of companies say that the most important thing for them was that such tools improve the process of finding better leads, which subsequently become buyers; 
  • Over 30% of businesses have already fully automated at least one activity related to the activities of the sales department; 
  • More than 85% of small businesses say that such tools and software allow them to compete with larger companies. 
  • On average, companies can save more than $45,000 by using workflow automation software.

What advantages and disadvantages can you get?

If it were possible to automate everything, then we would come to the conclusion that the labor force is no longer needed. Fortunately, this is currently not possible.

Moreover, when we talk about sales, here we cannot do without people who can find an approach to each buyer. Let's look at the benefits and drawbacks of employing sales automation solutions.

Pros

Getting rid of routine tasks 

All professionals who work with sales understand that every day they perform too many tasks that have already become routine and take a lot of time. Usually, such tasks are not difficult, because of which specialists begin to tire more. 

If you don't get the response you want from the client, or any response at all, you need to remind them of yourself. This is a basic process, but if you have a large number of such clients, it might take a long time to remind them about your firm. 

You can leave such an easy task to an automation tool that will do everything for you and even much faster. In the same way, you can get even more tasks done. 

Efficiency improvement 

When you don't have to waste time on routine tasks, you can start focusing on more serious tasks. You have more time to get to know the people you sell to better, build a more personalized approach to them, and create a new plan that will eventually assist in growing sales.

Efficiency improvement

Since the individual approach is not only addressing clients by their names, you will be able to be more flexible in communicating with customers.

If earlier you were not available at a certain time for negotiations, then with the start of using automation, you will be able to start negotiations more effectively

However, this does more than just help you improve efficiency. It also affects the satisfaction of your employees.

When their work is no longer monotonous but becomes challenging and involves a creative approach, they have more motivation to achieve excellent results. 

A successful potential client search

Finding new clients who are most likely to make a decision to buy might take a long time. Modern tools and software help alleviate this problem

They enable you to discover prospective customers who are most likely to make a first purchase from your business. Instead of looking for such potential customers, you will have a chance to devote more time to your hot leads. 

Selling more services or products 

Most of these tools are built on artificial intelligence. It not only allows you to parse through information at the speed of light, but it may also provide something of interest to your frequent shoppers.

This way you can improve your cross-sells. Based on the analyzed information about each buyer, you will see what you can offer in addition to their order. After that, you just have to find an effective way to do it. 

Automatic generation of sales reports 

You no longer need to manually enter information to create the next weekly, monthly, or annual sales report. Instead, tools will do this for you, which will analyze the information, and present you with the finished result

This allows you to save yourself from human errors that can be made due to inattention. Based on this information, you can evaluate the work done and suggest new, more effective strategies that will increase your success. 

Price offers and billing 

At the stage of closing a deal with a client, the sales specialist needs to provide a price offer.

This process can also be made automatic. Now you do not need to do all quotes manually, because, at the negotiation stage, you will have an offer that you can provide to your client for consideration

Cons

Lack of individual approach 

Given that modern solutions can be used for a wide range of assignments, you may become to sound over-engineered, and your communication with purchasers may become ineffective. 

Lack of individual approach

When communication with a client ceases to be personal and becomes as if the negotiations are carried out by a robot, you are unlikely to be able to get a new client

In this regard, you should clearly distinguish between those tasks that you can set to run automatically. You can send additional messages or a weekly newsletter but don't automatically communicate in the middle of a negotiation.

Costly solution 

Large companies with big budgets can easily use the most advanced tools or even prefer a custom solution. In turn, for small businesses, this can be a big problem. 

Free tools may not offer the same performance as paid ones. However, in search of a successful investment, you can take advantage of the free trials to evaluate the software and make a final purchase decision. 

By making sure that any of the solutions suits you, you will contribute to increasing your profits. 

Crashes and failures 

Not everything can work so smoothly, even if you choose the best solution. No one is immune from technical failures or problems with software updates. Because of this, the level of performance can drop significantly. 

Thus, when choosing one or another tool, you should pay special attention to how the provider offers support and assistance in resolving any technical issues.

What exactly can you automate?

We can talk endlessly about the advantages and disadvantages of automating sales processes. However, before making a choice in favor of this solution, every business must understand whether this is a salvation for them.

To do this, you need to know what processes you can automate. 

Track the interaction with each of your clients 

For any business, using a CRM system is vital. This allows you to store information about each interaction with a particular user or client in one place.

Based on this information, sales professionals can make decisions about how to negotiate, and what they can offer, and they can also understand at what stage of the sale all contacts are. 

You can automate this system to collect data that is essential to you. You can understand the following about each of your contacts: 

Whether they are interested in your marketing offers and whether they participate in them; 

  • At what stage of sales and negotiations they are; 
  • What products and services are of greatest interest to them; 
  • Track who has turned from a potential customer into a client; 
  • Whether they have any additional questions or they need help. 

Segment your contacts 

Your business has a core target audience that you are focusing on. However, this does not mean that you will not contact potential clients of a different age, profession, or industry. 

When you work with disparate groups of contacts, you can spend a lot of time trying to find an approach to them. Instead, you can use automation to highlight certain groups of contacts

At the same time, you can choose certain parameters by which the software will perform automatic segmentation for you. You can find contacts in the same industry, same age, gender, and so on. The list of filters is huge. 

You will get lists of contacts for which you can develop a special strategy. You will see whether your contacts are active or not, whether they have made a purchase, whether they are participating in your marketing campaigns, and so on. 

That way, all of this will be recorded, allowing you to choose effective ways to make them buyers. 

Nurture contacts until they're ready 

A good specialist who wants to get as many sales as possible understands that it is best to provide an individual approach to everyone. However, this is not realistic, especially if you have a huge contact base consisting of potential buyers and regular ones. 

Nurture contacts until they're read1y

Some contacts may only be interested in your products and services, while others will be one click away from the purchase. Unfortunately, others may never be interested in making a purchase at all. 

You can only nurture your contacts and motivate them to make a purchase. Manually sending out hundreds and thousands of new emails or promotional offers is a waste of time. You can set this to run automatically. 

Once you see activity from certain contacts, you can remove them from automatic communication. Then you can take matters into your own hands to start a productive dialogue and connect them with the right specialist. 

Work effectively with your team 

To achieve success and huge sales, you need to not only communicate skillfully with your contacts but also establish organized teamwork. To do this, each specialist must perform the tasks that require their attention. 

When you nurture contacts, you can receive responses from them at any stage. You can use automation to distribute tasks to specific employees or free ones at a certain moment. 

When a contact performs an action, specialists will receive notifications that they need to make a call or contact the prospect in any other way. 

In the same way, you can automate other tasks that will be distributed among your specialists. You will be able to monitor how they perform their work and draw conclusions. You can also prioritize tasks that require immediate attention. 

Make sales predictions for the months ahead 

To increase sales every month, you need to make predictions about what will happen next. To do this, you need to analyze the previous weeks and months to identify patterns, set trends, and build strategies for communicating with customers. 

Advanced AI-powered tools can do the job for you. You no longer need to rely on speculation, because you will receive information about the numbers in sales, the number of customers and profits you can see in the next quarter.

How to choose the best tool?

If you are interested in improving your sales processes, you need to choose a tool that will bring you only great results. Now you can find a huge variety of different tools.

How to choose the best tool1

You can find both all-in-one programs and tools for specific activities, such as scheduling, messaging multiple prospects, CRM systems, and so on. 

Here's what you should consider before making your decision: 

Working with third-party software and tools 

Specialists use a huge number of tools for different tasks. To make things easier, you'd better target a tool that you can easily integrate with other tools. 

This way you will be able to streamline all your operations. The information on all platforms will be relevant due to regular updates. This will help you improve your performance and will also make your reporting process easier. 

Finding relevant customer information 

To communicate effectively with prospects, you need to be able to not only present your products in the best possible way but also to have information about who your customers are. You can work with both individuals and companies. 

Knowing the information about your prospects will give you an idea of how you need to communicate. Some tools can help you automatically collect information about your leads from open sources.

In this way, you will be able to achieve a productive dialogue and earn the trust and favor of your prospects, which will significantly increase the number of sales. The happier your customers are, the more sales you will make and improve your bottom line. 

Saving previously used templates 

From time to time, you can change your tactics to achieve greater results. However, your templates don't stop being effective even if you change them regularly. 

A good tool will allow you to save all the templates you have ever used. You will be able to assign specific templates to specific groups of contacts that are at the same stage. 

In addition, you can modify them, update information or make any adjustments and save them for future use. 

Digital calendar sync and scheduling one on one meetings 

When your communication with a client is successful, it means that soon you will reach the stage of a face-to-face meeting or communication via video. At this stage, most often there are difficulties when it is challenging for specialists to choose the ideal date and time.

In addition, most often, specialists can simply forget about such messages from clients that need to be answered. 

You should look out for tools that can help you schedule meetings automatically. Once you get to the point of scheduling, you can send your contact a link to your calendar so that they choose the most appropriate time. 

Your contact will be able to choose the most suitable date and time. After that, all the information about the upcoming meeting will appear in your schedule. 

Creating an offer 

Using many different tools, you can have many sources of information about what kind of offer you can make. If you do all this manually, you can lose a huge amount of time that you could spend on other clients. 

Advanced software or an online tool can help you get started. By integrating it with other tools, it will be able to automatically collect information and add it to the offer. It will be able to add information from your mail, notes, phone calls, customer service system, and more. 

Thus, at the right time, you can send a ready-made offer to the client instead of wasting hours and days of precious time. 

Scoring system 

Knowing when a contact is ready to move on to the next stage will help you better navigate the quantity and quality of your leads. You can now stop tracking your contacts as this will be done automatically. 

For each process, you can allocate certain points that will be assigned to contacts when they perform certain actions. All this will be recorded, and you will see the scores of each of your prospects.

Based on this information, the manager will be able to automatically assign tasks to specialists so that they start contacting such potential customers. Thus, you will quickly understand which lead is worth your attention, and which one you can stop wasting your time on. 

Conclusion

Whether you have a large sales team or a small, large number of customers or not, you can reap many benefits from automating your sales processes.

Now you have the opportunity to take advantage of a huge number of software or online tools that can automatically perform various routine tasks. This is a great chance to speed up processes, as well as devote more time to important tasks. 

You can choose any tasks that can be completed without your supervision. You can leave the rest of the tasks to keep your communication with customers personalized. 

Using such software, you get many benefits, including increased productivity, finding quality customers, improving cross-selling, creating regular reports, and much more. Do not forget that there are also disadvantages that you need to consider. 

When choosing the best solution for your business, you should carefully study each option

Look out for easy integration with other apps and tools, gathering information about prospectuses, saving templates, making appointments, and more. This will allow you to highlight the tools that will suit your needs.  

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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