The Signs Your Team Needs Sales Workflow Automation [and the Dangers it can Cause!]
You work in sales. You’re burnt out; tired of the same old routine. You wake up, you get ready, you grab a coffee, you commute, you book appointments, update your customer databases, and fire off dozens of emails in the hope that something sticks. Finally, it’s time to go home. You’re hungry. But you’re way too tired to cook, so you just order something instead. Eventually, you fall asleep on the couch with a slice of pizza in one hand and a half-empty glass of wine in the other. What a day. Wake up. Repeat.
“Remember why you fell in love with sales in the first place: the people, the travelling, the suit… the money.”
You’re looking for answers that’ll help you re-become the sophisticated, money-making salesperson you know you are. But you won’t find them at the bottom of that pile of spreadsheets, nor is it hiding somewhere, unopened in your inbox. It’s right here in this article, and it’s called sales automation.
If you still don’t know, get to know. Here are the four definitive signs that you need sales automation, the dangers of too much automation, and the kinds of tools you can use to automate sales processes.
1. My Lead Management Process Is a Mess
“68% of B2B businesses have not yet identified what their sales and marketing funnels entail”
What!? With the internet at our disposal, lead prospecting, enrichment, and nurturing should be a walk in the park. The lack of consistent lead management processes means businesses often rely on luck, rather than the tried-and-tested methods of an established process. Better still, automate it. The faster you connect with and engage a new lead, the higher your chances are for closing a deal. Leads need to be directly captured, pushed into a CRM system, assigned to the relevant sales person, and acted upon immediately.
With pipeline automation…
By automating their pipelines, sales and marketing teams can visualise a lead’s movement through the funnel all the way to that magical nirvana – conversion. By setting up triggers down that pipeline, they can also create alerts or actions, taken automatically, to push their lead into a desired action.
2. I Forget To Follow-Up All the Time
If you’re not looking after your customers, you can bet that somebody else is.
When sales teams are responsible for replying to each prospect that flies into their inbox, things get messy. Follow-ups tend to get swept under the rug whilst sales reps wastes time on mundane tasks. A comprehensive culture of timely follow-ups is crucial because, quite simply, they increase the success rate of deals. By implementing automation software into your sales processes, it’s possible to eliminate missed follow-ups.
With action-based rules…
Apart from automating menial tasks such as data entry, you can also fully automate personalized follow-up workflows by setting action-based sequences to nurture leads until they are ready to purchase.
3. I Don’t Know Which Leads Want What
Your sales team is sending irrelevant information to irrelevant people in an attempt to upsell and cross-sell.
Upselling and cross-selling are two terms that often come together, but are often confused. To upsell is to target certain, existing customers with an offer to upgrade to something more expensive. On the other hand, to cross-sell is to sell a different product to an existing customer as an add-on for their original purchase. As it goes, upselling and cross-selling are major tributaries to modern revenue streams.
CRM systems help us cross-sell and upsell with simple tagging systems that segment clients based on their individual actions or requests. After tagging and segmenting different groups of customers, you can then tailor your messages to them, instead of mass-spamming irrelevant audiences that won’t buy, and worse, will probably unsubscribe.
4. My Departments Aren’t Working From the Same Page
Interdepartment misalignment is a common problem that often slips under the radar.
Your sales team happily works closely with other departments; marketing, billing, and customer support. So it’s not the people who are the problem, it’s the technology. When different departments aren’t working off the same page, but with the same clients, cracks appear along the sales funnel. With one, centralised CRM system in place, you can deseam company operations across the board to create the smoothest buyer journey possible.
With a CRM system…
From the second a prospector picks a lead from their source, to the second that customer leaves a five-star review of your product, everything is organised and assigned to the correct employee. Shared notes, all-inclusive access to customer context, and lead scoring automation are essential to bringing your sales and marketing teams together.
Automate It All!
No. Sales automation is like a Big Mac, or a pint of beer. Delicious at the time, but too much of it is bad for business; things stop working the way they should do. In modern sales, the human touch is a highly-coveted asset. By being overly-automatic, marketing campaigns come across as spam, chatbots go rogue, and customers get turned off because they want a personal experience.
Sales automation software isn’t designed to take over the world. It’s designed to work alongside your teams and the processes that they are trained to do. It streamlines the itty-bitty processes within a larger process. Being human is the only thing you can count as having in common with your customers — don’t lose it. Besides… we all saw what happened in I, Robot.
What Automation Tools Can I Use?
The answer to this one is entirely subjective. There are a million and one different tools out there that can automate your business’s million and one different sales processes. We’ve taken a look at that can help automate the more banal tasks associated with sales.
A good CRM system can do just about anything. Besides your sales team, there’s a little bit of something in there for everybody: lead prioritisation, email sequencing, pipeline management, ticket management, reporting, call logs, web form automation, and lead generation integration with sources such as LinkedIn. If your lead generation strategy includes LinkedIn, give a closer look to the systems as NetHunt with native-like LinkedIn integration.
It hurts my brain to think that people are still going back-and-forth over email to sort out little meetings. Event automation software sources its data from a website form to be filled in by clients, before sending an automated confirmation message and sticking it in the relevant employee’s calendar.. Personally, I’m all about Calendly. It’s a free online appointment scheduling software that works with. Office, Gmail, and Outlook! I can book meetings whilst I’m sat with my feet up. Win-win!
After a hearty lead generation campaign, you’d be forgiven for thinking the hard work is done. It’s not, but with lead enrichment software… it’s no longer hard. Manual lead enrichment is dull. Bring in the robots who have access to oodles of data, cherry-picked from different sources across the web. Big shoutout to Clearbit, one of the bigger names in lead enrichment, a sidebar widget that displays useful information about the people who email you!
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Sales people of the world, unite. It doesn’t have to be like this. With sales automation software, you can do more with less. Lead prospecting, enrichment, and nurturing. Done. Event scheduling and other, menial data input tasks. Done. Follow-ups. Done. Segmented outreach. Done. Everything done and you don’t have to lift a finger.
Sales automation won’t just save business… it’ll save your sanity!