What is Sales Automation? How Can It Help Small Business?

Illustration by Aleksandr Levchenko via Dribbble
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Anyone who runs a business understands the efforts that go behind selling a product. The bottom line of the marketing funnel and the buyer’s journey is to increase sales. It is all about persuading the customers in the right direction. Sales can be a tedious task if not tackled well.

For closing a single deal, one may need to contact up to 10 potential buyers. Sales are the final step of the buyer’s journey. It requires churning out the best from the target audience. To keep this cycle running, one needs to cut the time-consuming tasks. These tasks drain out immense energy. These include data entry tasks, sending emails, taking follow-ups, working on leads, etc.

But, how do we do that? One simple answer to this is sales automation. It helps in solving all the selling woes that you face.

What is Sales Automation?

Sales automation aims at automating administrative sales tasks. This allows the sales representatives to focus more on selling products to prospective customers. It streamlines the processes involved in sales, saving a chunk of time and finances.

Many businesses across the globe are opting for sales automation tools. This helps in enhancing their work efficiency.

Which fields can you automate using sales automation tools?

The key areas for the transformation of sales management with automation include:

  • Lead distribution: Sales automation tools divide the leads on the basis of geography and several other parameters. With the instant assignment of leads, it works as an essential feature.
  • Lead prioritization: Depending on the sales process and the buyer’s persona, you can rank the leads. Sales automation tools allow you to focus on the ones with the most conversion potential. It provides you with an ideal scoring for customers based on which priority order is decided.
  • Sales alert: Many times, you might have seen notifications appearing from several brands now and then. This is because whenever you take any action on sales, it triggers in the automation tools. It further informs the sales department about your actions. This leads to sending the relevant notifications to the team and customers.
  • Automation in the report: The sales managers can gain a better insight into the sales processes with these tools. Details like a sales forecast, calls made, follow-ups, etc. are all a part of the sales reports.
  • Pipeline management: An automated dashboard the streamlining of sales processes. No more manual work and helping in building stronger communications within the team. Alongside, it provides an integrated platform for all sales tasks.
  • Lead monitoring: The better a company manages the leads, the higher is the sales ratio. Automation helps in following up all processes and engaging well with the customers. Alongside, it also helps in increasing the reach of customers.
Best Practices to Follow for Sales Automation
Illustration by Zabombey via Dribbble

Best Practices to Follow for Sales Automation

Sales automation helps in decreasing the sales cycle, along with its efficient management. To extract and get the best results of these tools, one must follow certain practices. These include:

  • Analyse the current sales workflow: It is important to list down the current sales processes taking place. This helps you understand which ones are generating good results, and which ones have a backfoot. This will also improve the inefficiencies in the system. You can then automate the system for targeting them.
  • Blueprint: A blueprint works as an outline for seamless carrying out all work procedures. Automation helps in achieving this in a better and concise manner. Check on the targeted areas for automation. This helps in preparation of the framework of sales strategies.
  • Shortlisting of vendors: Understand your business demands well. Shortlist the sales automation tools with required features. This will help in having a good idea of which software holds the most capabilities. You can even cross-check the success rates of software with other companies in the industry.
  • Dedicated team: Have a separate team that handles the complete automation process. This will ensure that all loopholes are closed well. Even in case of any glitches, the team should be able to work it out.
  • Trial runs: Real-time automation trails are quintessential before making it all public. This will help in ensuring that the sales automation tools live up to the expectations.
  • Roll out: It is important to establish a proper operating system for the brand. This will help in finally managing the process well. After all, you do not want to lose customers at the final step.

Benefits of sales automation for small businesses

Benefits of sales automation for small businesses
Illustration by Sanni Sahil via Dribbble

To take your company a notch higher, it is important to be in line with the current trends. Gone are the days of traditional sales and marketing processes.

Automation is the buzzword. Not that, it also shows astounding results if implemented well. It serves several benefits, the list of which is as follows:

  • Regular follow-ups: There may be times when the sales representative is unable to take follow-ups. This is where sales automation comes in as a saviour. The follow-up emails and calls nudge potential customers in the right direction.
  • Easy implementation: No, you need not be an engineer or expert to install the software. You can set it up without much hassle. It has an easy execution with a few steps to follow on. For eg: Salesforce automation system is quite a popular one. It is because of its ease-of-use and features it offers.
  • Comprehensive: You can automate almost every step involved in sales. These are comprehensive and help in task management of processes like the proposal, sales, and others. Alongside, it also helps to set your priorities.
  • Analytics: Majority sales automation software has an analytics tool. But, you can even integrate one from other extra sources. This helps you understand the effectiveness of your strategies. This further has the benefit of making well-informed decisions without making assumptions. You can refine your workflow management and sales targets with proper analytics.
  • Errors: When tasks are performed manually, there is more room for errors. But, automation eliminates that issue. Many sales tasks are iterative which makes it tedious to work. So, opting for automation is a good idea in such cases. This also allows the sales representatives to focus more on customers instead of administrative tasks.
  • Forecasts: The proper reports help you generate forecasts on business performance. This further allows the companies to make decisions to increase sales revenue and a better ROI.
  • Personalized templates: The traditional methods of taking follow-ups required strenuous efforts of personalization. However, with automation, you get several email templates for sending out to customers. Small businesses can create email designs for themselves in a few easy steps.
  • Sales and revenue improvement: Majority of the sales experts agree on automation integration. This helps in increasing sales through enhanced pitching. Further, better the pitching, more will be the revenue. It allows the representatives to target the audience and get the required results.

Features to look for while choosing a sales force automation software

To avoid splurging massive amounts on automation software, it is important to consider its features. Especially for small businesses, the requirements are specific.

Here is a list of the features you can consider:

  • Customer management: This is the key role for every automation software. It is about the management of leads and contacts. This is important so that customers do not miss out on any opportunity. It also helps in gaining insight and improvement in performance with real-time data.
  • Management of leads: Sales is completely related to leads. The lower number of leads one has, the less will be the chances for potential customers. The Salesforce automation system is quite easy, helping you get the most of your leads.
  • Synchronization of tasks: It is important that the software is able to synchronize all the tasks to provide complete support. This helps the internal sales team with better performance and access to multiple leads. A good interface also provides flexibility in the approval system.
  • Cloud platform management: With all data being available on the web, it is essential that the automation software work well with the cloud platform. This makes the data completely accessible to the team 24*7. Alongside, the team can even work on the same platform.
  • Sales team management: Taking regular updates from the team can be a tedious task. However, with automation in hand, it becomes faster and efficient. The manager can get updates on a single platform which leads to improved productivity.

Conclusion

To summarize, every company has several departments. These include awareness, attraction and decision phases. Marketing comes before sales. It plays a key for lead generation and reaching to the target audience. Some marketing strategies like influencer marketing, digital marketing, are quite hype nowadays. However, sales are the final step which determines the growth of a business.

Many companies can now outsource the sales automation process. But, it is important to consider the ROI. Small businesses especially must keep a check on their growth. You can choose from an ample salesforce automation system available. All you need to check is the compatibility of the features with business requirements. Get going with these sales automation tools for best results.

About the Author!

Sara Williams is a Content Writer at PeppyBiz. She is not only a creative writer but also paints a beautiful canvas. She makes sure that you are left with no doubt about keeping up with marketing and sales.

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