Technology, especially artificial intelligence, was once a major concern for salespeople who thought it would make their jobs obsolete.
However, the reality is that sales automation has arrived to make the day to day of this professional much easier, in addition to helping to scale his business portfolio faster.
On a daily basis, the salesperson's job requires some necessary, repetitive and time-consuming activities.
Nowadays, these activities can be solved simply and quickly through a sales automation system.
Thus, the professional has much more time to dedicate himself to devising strategies to be more assertive in sales.
Learn now what sales automation is and understand everything about this strategy.
Sales automation is a set of strategies adopted by a company to make its sales processes more efficient .
These strategies involve the creation and application of certain rules and actions, which make it unnecessary for an employee to manually monitor all stages of the processes.
This mechanization of time-consuming manual tasks is done using artificial intelligence software and other digital tools.
As an example we have CRM systems , pipeline management platforms, among others.
This software isolates the small, laborious and repetitive actions of the sales process and automates them using technology to save energy and time.
A manual sales cycle, within 1 example, can occur as follows:
- The customer knows the company and is interested in the product;
- The seller informs and solves possible doubts;
- The customer decides to think a little before making the purchase decision;
- The salesperson calls the customer within a few days and makes an offer.
With the help of marketing strategies and sales force automation , this same example can occur as follows:
- The customer knows the company's website and learns about the product through it. He leaves his e-mail registered to receive more news about the area.
- The sales and marketing automation platform assigns a score to this customer, based on pre-established rules.
- The customer is always reminded by email and keeps coming back to the site, which increases their score. The sales automation tool tells you that he is ready to receive an offer.
- The representative gets in touch with a customer who is much more apt to close the purchase and who is more likely to accept the proposal.
In a nutshell, this is how sales automation software works.
This makes interactions smaller, and consequently, the salesperson's time is optimized, so that he can dedicate himself to making a more assertive sale closing.
McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) cross -functional research indicates that approximately one-third of sales tasks and operations can be easily automated with current technology.
This makes sales one of the most promising roles in terms of automation potential.
A PwC survey (2020) showed that 65% of professionals believe that new technologies and automation will bring opportunities.
This proves that the perception that sales automation would take the place of the salesperson is long gone.
The same survey reports that 92% of respondents are concerned about their requalifications.
Which is quite important for the market update.
94% of these people imagine that their professional routines will be more productive and interesting.
Sales automation really offers agility and countless benefits in the results of professionals who are prepared and updated to take advantage of it.
Salesforce's "State of Sales" research report shows that sales automation is now a business standard.
It delivered a two-year projected growth of 86% for sales process automation.
This article defined sales automation and explored how it benefits businesses and sales teams.
Given this promising scenario, among the benefits offered by sales automation we can mention:
- Increased productivity – With the acceleration of processes, more customers can be approached.
- Increase in closing sales – With proposals being made only to qualified customers, the chance of closing is greatly increased.
- Shorter sales cycle – With automation, each process occurs faster, reducing the time between the first contact and the closing of the sale.
- Accurate data – The software can capture data and provide detailed and accurate reports on each step of the process.
- Fewer Lost Leads – All leads are worked on and addressed at the correct time to increase the conversion rate , which lessens the loss of those sales.
- Lower cost per sale – Since less time and effort is invested in each sale, your cost goes down.
The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), in 2018, cited a case of a company from advanced industries that applied sales automation, in the article 'The automation imperative'.
The goal was to streamline their bidding process, reducing bid time from three weeks to two hours. Before, bids were handled by sales representatives.
Tasks were done manually. Predefined proposals are now automatically populated with enterprise resource planning (ERP) data.
A sales representative reviews the proposal and sends it to the customer.
The result was greater customer satisfaction and a 5% increase in revenue, in addition to reduced time to 2 hours.
Therefore, sales automation software offers companies, in a practical way, the following benefits:
- Advanced deal management: Alerts to potential customers most likely to close based on business parameters.
- Faster Lead Scoring and Prioritization: Automatic lead qualification based on the buyer's journey, prioritizing the most potential customers.
- Smarter Lead Assignment Distribution : Determines the industry or territory the customer belongs to, making it easier to assign a customer to the right rep.
- Automated lead nurturing: Send messages that add value to the customer conversation at strategic points in your decision making.
- Accelerated response times: Send documents and materials to customers immediately, so that the process is accelerated.
- Sales forecast based on data: Based on the data collected, it is possible to predict more assertively how sales will be, contributing to the growth of your business.
- Consolidated and regular reports: All data is gathered in one place, making it easy to obtain accurate reports.
- Easier collaboration and communication: Your team can work together simultaneously, resulting in greater productivity.
- Regular reminders for tasks: Manual tasks that cannot be automated will be notified so that there is no forgetfulness and failure during the process.
- Perfect Scheduling: Schedule auto-population to minimize latency and downtime.
- Faster proposal creation: Automatically and quickly creation of proposals and quotations directed to each client.
Sales automation and marketing automation, as much as they are often treated as equals, they have a difference.
Marketing automation uses technology to help the team capture and nurture leads until they are ready to be passed on for sale.
Sales automation, on the other hand, is used after the contacts are already in the commercial area, and help the team to speed up negotiations and facilitate the sales process.
The strategies are different, but complementary.
Therefore, they are more effective when they are used together.
Among the activities that must be carried out in the marketing process in companies, we can find:
- Creating forms and capture pages to generate leads;
- Creation and maintenance of its own website and/or blog, to disseminate educational content and information about the company and products/services;
- Lead management, with data organization and security;
- Sending email marketing, to keep in close contact with leads and drive them to purchase;
- Management of social networks, making frequent publications with attractive content to strengthen relationships with prospects and customers;
Analysis of results of each stage and campaigns executed, in addition to monitoring the company's metrics.
Within the functions performed in marketing automation , to facilitate this entire process, we can find:
Tagging leads as sales opportunities;
Posts on social networks;
Sending leads to sales automation software;
Generation of graphs and results reports;
Creation of email flow, for communications conditioned to mental triggers.
Once the leads are ready to receive a proposal, they are routed to sales automation software , which makes the salesperson's job easier.
This technology will record and organize all points of contact between qualified leads and the company during the sales process.
The system will allow more specific mapping of each trade through:
- Activity documentation;
- Product detailing.
With all the technology, data is computed and reports are provided so that there is the possibility of evaluating each step and creating plans to improve the process.
With this, the stage of customer gain or loss, the variation of the average ticket, the duration of the sales cycle, the salesperson's performance, among others, is recorded.
In the end, the most important thing is the impact on productivity and the optimization of the salesperson's time.
Sales automation software makes the salesperson's life easier, however, it forces them to adopt a new conduct at work.
Thus, the first step is to carry out specific training for the entire team that is part of the department.
The ideal trainings are those carried out in workshops and also in the field.
As manual tasks are reduced, professionals can increase their productivity goals.
The average time for the new system to be successfully implemented in the team is approximately 1 year and this occurs in 3 phases:
- Phase 1 – Quantify automation potential and prioritize opportunities.
- Phase 2 – Implement prioritized use cases, i.e. eliminate non-value added activities, standardize processes and automate manual, time-consuming and repetitive tasks.
- Phase 3 – Scale up.
In addition to the sales automation platform, as well as the marketing automation tool, there are some tools that need to be integrated into this system to improve productivity.
The best known are:
- Paid Traffic Tools: Ex: Google Ads and Facebook Lead Ads
- Appointment scheduling tool: Ex: Calendly
- Integration tool: Ex: Pluga
We've already seen that these software don't replace sales reps, on the contrary, they help them close more deals, faster.
And due to the results promoted by this technology, sales automation has staying power, so this is not a passing trend.
To do this, get to know some tools to automate sales for your company.
- Snov.io : This tool offers effective solutions for every step of the way for your company's growth. It makes it possible to build a lead base for different purposes, build lasting relationships with your customers and manage lead lists in an intuitive dashboard.
- HubSpot : This is CRM software that does contact management and more. It even has paid editions that speed up your processes even more.
- RD Station : Developed by the company Resultados Digitais, this is a complete platform for marketing automation and sales funnel management.
- MailChimp : With it you can use the email marketing tool to automate sending emails to prospects and scale your sales approaches.
- Ploomes : It has an effective system for automating sales processes and has several integration possibilities to improve customer relationships.
When defining your sales automation software, you need to look for some important resources for the development of this activity.
Among the most important features, we can list:
Use collected data to proactively nurture leads through personalized emails.
It's important to have an intuitive interface that allows you to create landing pages, with no coding skills required, and access high-quality, royalty-free images.
Optimize your sales pipeline with automated follow-up reminders and metric-based forecasting.
Create, manage and share custom quotes directly from your sales automation tool.
Also, allow customers to accept a quote, pay online, convert quotes to orders and create a balance.
Allow integration with tools already used to increase productivity.
WhatsApp has more than 200 million active accounts in Brazil.
And 90% of consumers say they prefer to solve simple problems with companies through virtual service, according to a survey by Twilio.
This proves how much people talk online, albeit with robots.
In the world of sales, the consumer also expects dialogue, and for that, when contacting a company, he wants to be answered quickly.
This is why conversational marketing is so important.
You can bring your visitor into an interactive conversation through a chatbot.
This strategy allows you to capture contact data and better understand their profile.
This is done through qualifying questions.
Conversational marketing can also be called conversational marketing and this is one of the most modern methodologies in the lead generation field.
These tools are able to offer personalized experiences through message boxes and interactive conversations to generate engagement and conversion with visitors.
This could be the solution your company needs to boost your brand.
Often, the success of a venture is evaluated according to the return on investment (ROI).
In these new times, joining efforts so that digital marketing is applied effectively is increasingly important.
For this, sales automation becomes essential for a successful project and not adhering to this methodology means being left behind and leaving money on the table.
Now that you know what sales automation is and the importance of this strategy for your company, bet on platforms to improve your strategy and achieve the long-awaited results.