What Is Sales Automation?

Chapter 01: What Is Sales Automation?

How many deals have you lost due to common mistakes and oversights? You forget to follow up with a lead, you don’t have time to update opportunities in your CRM, or you waste time digging in your inbox to find the current status. Sound familiar?

With sales automation software, you can set everything up once and then sit back and relax.

Sales automation uses software to eliminate repetitive, manual tasks and automates them. You can automate follow-ups, manage your sales pipeline, and easily train new sales team members with a repeatable and scalable system.

Automated Sales Funnels

Your sales funnel is the series of steps that prospects need to take to become a paying customer. The stages in each company’s sales funnel can differ, but the main three are awareness, consideration, and decision. By leveraging a sales automation platform, you can create a flywheel effect that brings in new leads and takes them through to the decision stage, automatically.

The Sales Automation Process

Here’s how to automate each stage of your sales funnel:

Awareness: The goal here is to create some sort of asset that captures the attention of your target audience. And, most importantly, you want to get their email address. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to create a lead magnet, like an e-book or whitepaper. The content will live behind a form on a landing page, where prospects will need to enter their information before accessing it. Don’t forget that your lead magnet needs to relate to your product or service. For example, if you work for a design software company, your lead magnet should relate to design to ensure you’re attracting the right kinds of leads.

Consideration: At this point, you’ll have leads in your funnel and you’ll have all their email addresses. Set up an automated email nurture series to send at a regular interval so you can continue to be top of mind and can educate leads on your offering. Don’t be too pushy or overly sales-y at this point — there is a time for that later on. At this stage, you know your leads are interested in content, so your first one or two emails could point them to blog posts on a similar topic. Then, the third and fourth emails could start to introduce them to your product, sharing a high-level overview of the benefits.

Decision: Now is the time to close the deal. Your leads have shown interest in your content and have gone through your entire nurture series. Your final email in the series should be the hard sell and should include something to close the deal, like a product demo, free trial, or special discount. This approach won’t work for everyone, so if some leads don’t convert, you could create a separate nurture sequence specifically for them and check back in six months with another offer.

Chapter 02: 5 Benefits of Online Sales Automation

Having a sales automation platform can benefit your small business in many ways. It streamlines the sales process, as sales teams can rely on their CRM for managing their sales pipeline and email campaigns, for example.

Consider the following five ways in which investing in sales process automation can systematize some of your daily tasks and integrate some of your other programs into one central location so you can focus on finding more leads to grow your business:

1. Record creation

Having a sales automation system in place in the form of record creation generates a new contact record whenever a form is populated by a lead or when a business card is uploaded into the system, saving sales representatives from having to manually input all of their new data each time. Once those records are created, they can be tagged and segmented for easier record keeping and reporting.

2. Client/prospect communication

Another great sales automation example is being able to nurture client relationships by staying connected and distributing content via marketing or personal email sequences. Sales reps can also program their business line to leave automated away messages when they are either tending to another client or have activated “do not disturb” mode after logging off for the day, preventing clients from feeling neglected.

3. Email templates and automation

Being able to populate pre-designed email templates can shave hours off a sales rep’s day. The CRM comes preloaded with an extensive library of templates to choose from with a variety of different corresponding scenarios, making it easier to target the right audience.

4. Scheduling

Employing a scheduling and appointments feature on a sales automation platform ensures nothing falls through the cracks. Whether it’s a new client consultation or a follow-up meeting, hassle-free scheduling prevents sales reps from accidentally double booking or missing appointments. Gone are the days where messages need to be exchanged back-and-forth to compromise on a meeting time.

5. Reporting

Using a sales automation system gives sales reps a bird’s eye view of sales conversions, form completions, email open rates, click-through rates, marketing and campaign performance and contact engagement. Instead of having to sift through piles and piles of data, simply leverage the sales reports feature to monitor lead and product revenue, activity history, orders and billing, etc.

Chapter 03: Sales Automation and CRM

The secret to saving time and boosting productivity is to find the right CRM to manage and trigger your sales automation. What is CRM? It stands for customer relationship management: a powerful system that connects the data from your sales leads and customers, all in one place.

A CRM helps you set the foundation for a successful sales automation process. You can track details like email address, type of customer, purchase history, current sales pipeline stage, and how often someone opens or clicks an email.

Learn more about CRM in our What is CRM? guide.

The right CRM starts to create value the minute you enter your first lead. For the best results, make sure that all your leads are processed through your CRM. By having everything in one place, you can quickly identify which reps are crushing it and which have bottlenecks. Or, monitor deal progress and brainstorm how to move forward with cold leads.

Keap is the ultimate CRM solution for client management and sales automation. It has everything a sales team could wish for as far as maintaining customer relationships and garnering leads. With Keap, sales reps can easily organize their tasks and track interactions with clients and prospects, as they leverage automation tools to streamline their sales processes and generate more growth for their business.

Chapter 04: Find the Best Sales Automation Software

How do you find the best sales automation tools? There are dozens of options available, each one with unique benefits. As a general rule of thumb, here are the top features to look for in sales automation software:

Features of the Best Sales Automation Tools

Automate and personalize communication

Use the data you collect to proactively nurture leads and grow your revenue. Use autoresponders to send a series of personalized emails or build nurture series based on certain actions.

An easy-to-use landing page builder

Look for an intuitive interface that lets you create landing pages, without needing coding skills. You want your landing pages to be mobile-friendly and load quickly. As an extra bonus, look for a landing page builder that lets you access high-quality, royalty-free images.

Pipeline management

Streamline your sales cycle with automated follow-up reminders, forecast creation based on prospect needs and trends, and reports by product, lead source, and other metrics.

Quotes and orders in one place

Create, manage, and share custom quotes directly from your sales automation tool. Send email notifications to sales reps when quotes are accepted or declined, allow customers to accept a quote with one click and pay online, and automatically convert quotes into orders and create a balance.

Third-party integrations

Look for sales automation software that integrates with the tools you use to extend your productivity. Have an online store? Integrate with tools like Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, and WooCommerce. Want to streamline your accounting? Integrate with QuickBooks or Xero.

Chapter 05: Keap is the Ultimate Sales Automation Tool

Sales automation by Keap can dramatically increase your productivity and efficiency, and save you hours each week. That way, you can spend more time closing deals and less time worrying about administrative tasks.

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