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, 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 sales automation, you can create a flywheel effect that brings in new leads and takes them through to the decision stage, automatically.

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.

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 help you set the foundation for automation. 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.

What is CRM?

The right CRM starts to create value the minute you enter your first lead. For 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.

Best Sales Automation Software

How do you find the best sales automation software? 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:

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 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.

Final Thoughts

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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