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Here’s something interesting: Today, salespeople spend only about 35.2% of their time on tasks that directly lead to closing deals. The remaining 64.8% goes into non-selling activities. Yikes!

When your real or virtual cash register dings because another customer has plunked down some cash, you feel good. You’ve just swapped value for that person’s money. Sounds simple enough, right? But we all know it’s not that straightforward. 

Depending on the type of business you run, a lot of work would have gone on in the background right until the customer doled out the cash. But in reality, only a few activities were directly responsible for you closing that sale. That’s right. And if you or members of your sales team aren’t too busy with minor tasks, maybe you all can focus on the primary activities that bring in the cash. 

Not to mention that some of those other activities are just downright tedious and boring. But is there a way of escape? Yes, there is. It’s sales automation, and here’s how it can help you focus on the more fun and profitable aspects of sales like pitching and closing deals.

But Hold up, what’s Sales Automation?

Sales automation refers to using software to manage and carry out certain activities within the sales process with little to no human input. The idea is to get a suitable system to execute repetitive but essential tasks like sending out targeted drip emails, entering and analyzing data, etc. The point here is to free up time for the humans on your sales team to be more efficient and productive as they focus on other vital aspects of the sales process.

5 Things You Can Automate

Sending Routine Messages

You probably send out a ton of emails, and that’s very important. You need to contact leads and nurture your relationship with them. Old customers also have to stay abreast of the latest offers. Don’t forget about the good ol’ thank you emails and reminder messages too. The truth is we really can’t exhaust the reasons why you need to send emails. But we can ask if you must be the one behind the screen every time an email has to be sent. And the answer is no.

With sales email automation software, you can prepare your email templates beforehand and load them into your system. What’s more, you can link this software with your website and deliver well-timed customized emails to visitors based on their actions and preferences. The interesting thing about email automation is it finds its place in several parts of the sales process. You can use automation to generate leads, warm them up, and even close deals.

Lead Prioritization

Imagine what life would be like if your salespeople knew which leads to immediately chase like crazy and which ones to snub either temporarily or permanently. They would likely rake in more conversions and would definitely avoid wasting time on unqualified leads. While automation offers this benefit of lead prioritization, the juiciest part is it’s able to do it with little input from humans.

With a lead qualification system integrated with your web analytics, the software can point out hot leads based on predetermined metrics you set. All you have to do is create a relevant lead scoring model based on the peculiarities of your business and the behavior of your audience. Your model could be based on visitors’ traits like job title, company size, or activities like page visits, downloads, and other relevant factors.

The point is to get your scoring model right and leave the rest to the system. It will point out prospects that fit the bill so your team can go after them.

Lead Nurturing

The point of lead prioritization is to know where to direct the most efforts immediately. However, it doesn’t mean you abandon all other leads that haven’t been flagged as hot yet. In fact, according to MarketingSherpa, 73% of B2B leads aren’t ready to become customers the first time they reach out. So what do you do with these people? You stay in touch and employ gentle, persuasive tactics. But doing this can be tasking, and that’s where automation comes in.

You can create a preset plan to automatically send targeted messages to guide your leads towards a deal. These messages can include resources that answer frequently asked questions. Or materials to further highlight the unique value of your product or service. The idea is to make sure you have a plan targeted at removing the possible inhibitions such leads may have.

Here’s a note of warning, however. Automating lead nurturing messages doesn’t give you the right to spam people. Do this, and your efforts could be counterproductive. Instead, create a reasonable calendar that will determine how often you will reach out to people who aren’t ready to do business.

Lead Distribution

Assigning leads to salespeople can get tricky, especially if you’re attracting heavy traffic. Usually, a lot of time passes before certain leads are given to sales reps and contacted. It may appear that this isn’t a big deal on the surface, but that’s not necessarily true. At least not if we go by the research that shows that leads called within the first five minutes of sign up are 100 times more likely to pick up the phone.

Clearly, manually distributing leads takes time and speed is essential in dealing with new prospects. The way around this snag is to use an automatic lead distribution system. You can assign leads based on predetermined factors like company size, industry type, and geography. This way, salespeople can immediately identify their own contacts and reach them.

Sales and Revenue Forecasts

There’s no doubt forecasting helps in planning and decision-making. Data-based and precise predictions will help you set realistic goals and choose how best to go about achieving them. But that’s the “why” of forecasts. The “how” is far less exciting when it has to be done manually. For one, the process of manual data analysis can be painfully tedious and time-consuming. There’s also the fat chance that your forecast will be full of holes due to inaccurate calculations.

But automating the forecast process takes out the drudgery of the activity. It also reduces the chances of errors (to err is human, to automate, divine). With this, you can have access to reliable sales and revenue predictions without breaking a sweat.

Join the Bandwagon

This is one of the few times when going with the crowd is the right thing to do. Yes, you still have to consider automation in the context of your own business and operations. But chances are if you looked closely enough, you’d find activities you can hand over to certain software to boost your team’s productivity.


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