What is Sales Automation?

As a sales manager, your day-to-day tasks are to set your team’s targets, analyze their performance, and predict upcoming sales among many. On the other hand, your reps need to focus on prospecting, retain existing clients, and make more sales to achieve their targets. 

Some of these tasks are repetitive and are a waste of time and effort that can otherwise be spent on closing more deals. In many cases, these tasks can be performed without human effort using ‘sales automation’ software.

These powerful automation tools take care of the manual and repetitive tasks you perform every day with machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).

What is Sales Automation? | Freshsales

Sales Automation

The powerful automation tools that take care of the manual and repetitive tasks you perform every day with machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).

Why do you need Sales Automation? | Freshsales

Why do you need sales automation software?

Sales automation software helps boost productivity. In fact, 71% of C-level executives believe that sales productivity is essential for growth. Sales automation tools have become indispensable over the last couple of years. This is why more than 30% of sales tasks can now be automated. However, according to a McKinsey study, only 26% of sales and marketing teams have automated at least one business process. It’s time to change this.

Benefits of sales automation

No single source of information

Sales reps are constantly juggling between multiple tools to access lead information.

Prioritize your prospects

Enable your reps to differentiate between hot and cold prospects based on scores.

Predict your revenue

Predict your sales accurately by automating sales forecast reports based on opportunities and buyer behavior.

Increase sales revenue

Enable reps to focus on customers by automating frequent tasks and witness a boost in sales revenue.

Increase customer satisfaction

Improve customer satisfaction with quick responses by automating follow-up emails.

What can sales automation do for you?

Sales automation can help you perform various day-to-day tasks with more efficiency, particularly these key functions. 

Sales Automation | Freshsales

Sales prospecting

Purchasing lead lists may be an easy way to acquire customers, but it comes with many cons. For one, the quality of the leads may be sub-par. Also, you may be in violation of the ‘CAN-SPAM Act’ or the ‘GDPR guidelines’ in the European Union. 

Endlessly searching on LinkedIn seems to be the go-to for many, but is that the most ideal way? No. In fact, it’s exhausting.

The efficient alternative to endless LinkedIn searches is either a Premium or a Sales Navigator subscription that helps perform multiple searches with filters. Some sales automation tools help you find potential customers by identifying who visits your websites regardless of whether they fill out a form or reach out to you.

Another way is to build relationships with your potential customers on social channels like LinkedIn. 

Bryce Sanders,  President at Perceptive Business Solutions, finds LinkedIn great for finding the right people and inviting them to connect and get a conversation flowing. Instead of leading with business (like many others do), he gets a conversation going via messages and goes ahead by identifying the shared interests and proceeds from there.

Sales automation: Prospecting tools

Lead enrichment and distribution

You now need to assign the prospects to your sales reps. But before you do that, use a sales automation tool to enrich the data on the prospects via social and publicly available information.

Assigning the leads to your reps manually is painstaking. You can possibly assign three or four leads to various salespeople, but what if there is a larger inflow? A hundred? A thousand? Also, there are chances you might end up assigning a lead to the same rep multiple times. 

To avoid such errors, you have sales automation tools that can assign leads based on factors such as territory, company, size, and vertical.

Sales automation: Lead assignment tools

Lead Enrichment - Freshsales Sales Automation

Prioritizing and qualifying prospects

Once you have enough leads in your sales pipeline, your salespeople need to know whom to reach out to. Sure, your reps can research the leads before contacting them. Or, you could use an automated system that assigns scores to your leads based on their engagement with your company or their social presence online. That would keep your reps focused on the best opportunities. 

This is done by using demographic and behavioral data to determine how qualified a lead is. 

To successfully leverage sales automation tools that offer lead scoring, salespeople need to have all the right information about the prospects and their interaction with your organization, such as through website visits and email interactions. 

Sales automation: Prioritization and Qualification tools

Prioritizing Prospects - Freshsales Sales Automation

Follow-ups 

Your sales reps have to reach out to a prospect once they identify them. An ideal situation is if the prospect responds immediately. What if the prospect doesn’t respond? Or worse yet, what if your reps forget to engage with the prospect?

Manually typing out emails and sending them until a prospect responds is not ideal. Automated and customized email sequencing at the right time is the best way to boost productivity and reduce mundanity. Sales automation tools allow your reps to set up multiple emails to be sent at the right time. Email templates containing content for a wide range of scenarios are available as well and sales reps can put these to effective use.  

Another handy sales automation tool you can leverage is auto-call logging, which helps record call history for your reps. This is an important tool to have as it helps your reps save time on manually recording every call they take. 

Jim Wollenweber, a sales and marketing veteran, uses an automation tool that allows him to stay connected to clients even when there is no recent activity. He sends auto-generated emails to the thousand domestic clients he does business with depending on inactivity for up to 60 days through the use of a sales automation tool. 

Sales automation: Follow-up tools

Follow-Ups - Freshsales Sales Automation

Deal management 

A deal goes through many stages after it enters the sales pipeline and manually managing every single one can cause information to slip through the cracks.

Many sales automation tools come with deal management capabilities that allow your salespeople to automate deal movement based on parameters like engagement or activities by the prospect across deal stages. In other instances, where you may have multiple pipelines if you have different sales processes for inbound or outbound, you can configure deals to automatically move from one pipeline to another.

Sales automation: Deal management tools

Deal Management - Freshsales Sales Automation

Reports and dashboards

As a sales manager, you have to evaluate the performance of your sales reps and understand how you can optimize it for better results. You can manually create reports using spreadsheets and send them, but this takes a lot of time and effort. 

Automated report scheduling and delivery take crucial information to the right people at the right time, without requiring you to manually do so. 

Sales automation tools can automatically generate and schedule reports for you, giving you the option to customize them according to various attributes and factors. So you can generate a report to analyze an individual’s performance, an entire team’s overall performance, or even forecast the month’s sales figures. This helps you save time, improve efficiency, and reduce mistakes.

Sales automation: Reporting tools

Sales Automation | Freshsales CRM

CRM for sales automation

Instead of the hassle of using multiple sales automation tools, you should consider a comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM) software that packs them all. With Freshsales CRM, you can automate follow-ups, forecast sales, assign prospects, and prioritize them all from a single location.

Freshsales CRM also comes with free 24x5 support over phone, email, and chat, regardless of whether you are a free or a paying customer. Click the button below to see how Freshsales CRM is the best sales automation software for your business with a free 21-day trial. No credit card required. No strings attached.