Embracing Sales Automation: 3 Top Reasons
Integrating automation into the sales process helps teams scale personalization, improve speed-to-lead, and engage at just the right time. Sounds sweet, right? So why doesn’t every company have advanced automation capabilities and rules assisting their reps in the background?
All too often, organizations:
- don’t properly understand the impact that sales automation can have on closing deals OR
- overestimate the amount of effort required to integrate into their sales process
Yet, when you look at the numbers, it turns out that the best sales teams automate aspects of their sales process to make their reps more efficient and powerful. According to Salesforce, high-performing teams are between 40-50% more likely to automate sales process tasks than low-performing teams.
In this blog we’ve outlined three key reasons why sales automation is so effective, and provided some tips and examples for how to best integrate it into your sales processes.
Reason #1: Automating lead capture increases speed-to-lead and drives pipeline.
When a prospect shows interest in your product or service through a website visit, chatbot engagement, or content download – what do you do? Most well-oiled sales teams have reps dedicated to responding to inbound visitors as fast as possible. This role has proven to be valuable, as research shows that increasing “speed-to-lead” (the time elapsed between when a prospect expresses interest and a rep’s first engagement) significantly improves the chance of a prospect materializing into a won deal. Some companies go the manual route and allocate each rep a certain number of hours to the task.
But what if you could automate the process and let those dedicated reps use that time for outbound prospecting or to work existing deals? That’d be like having two reps for the price of one. By capturing leads automatically, you can trigger automatic actions and send the prospect relevant messaging based on how they came in (more on that in Reason 2).
Here are a couple of effective examples:
- A prospect fills out a form to request a demo. Send them an automated email and ask to schedule a meeting without having to loop in a rep.
- A prospect visits your website and engages with your chatbot, answering a few basic questions. Automatically loop-in your inbound rep and surface key information from the chat immediately for greater personalization.
As you can see, automation can help teams strengthen the top of their funnel. However, there are other areas where sales automation can have a significant impact as you progress further down the funnel, even as things get more… personal.
Reason #2: Automation is the only way to personalize engagement at scale.
Integrating automation into the lead-scoring process gives reps and managers a clearer picture of prospect and account progress, which is essential for tailoring messages to the right stage. You’re probably familiar with lead scoring already, but the real fun starts when you trigger automated responses based on key scoring events. This allows reps to send highly relevant content at the right time based on a prospect’s buying signals. Thanks to sales automation, you can provide a tailored experience without requiring “white-glove effort” for every sent email.
Here’s how that might look:
- A prospect has been viewing your educational content but hasn’t exhibited buying behavior yet. After weeks, they download a pricing guide that shows they’re considering your product. With automation configured, their download triggers a high lead-score threshold that pushes the prospect into the next stage, alerting a rep of the buying behavior, and capturing the information in CRM so reps can use it for communications later.
And when it comes time to follow-up, automating does not mean that you’re pigeon-holed into sending canned one-to-many emails. Weaving audience-specific templates into automated email campaigns is another effective way to scale personalized communication to large amounts of prospects. This takes some work up front to set up the audience-specific templates but once you do, reps can send out hundreds of relevant emails in a fraction of the time it would take to craft each one.
Still, the nature of sales automation means that you can’t personalize everything. Instead, the goal should be to personalize the right things. Mix, match, and test different levels of personalization so you can find what works well for your audiences.
We’ve seen these use-cases work well:
- In your template’s subject line, reference a specific pain point related to a content download. Then configure an automation rule to send the email template to prospects who have just downloaded that content.
- Insert competitive killpoints into the email template body and automate a campaign to engage with prospects who have just moved into the consideration stage.
In short, automating lead scoring processes helps reps understand when it’s a good time to reach out, and what kind of content will resonate across numerous contacts and accounts.
Reason #3: Once configured, workflow automation saves individual contributors, administrators and managers significant time in the long-run.
I don’t know a single manager who enjoys cleaning CRM data. If you know of one, you might want to alert the authorities, because he is probably an alien. But seriously, for all the good it does, tracking activities and cleaning data is one of the least appreciated tasks in any sales professional’s day. Not only do these tasks detract from a rep’s selling time, they can also result in human errors that take even more time for an administrator to go back and clean up – can you say lose-lose?
Automatic activity capture solves both of these problems with one proverbial stone. Each automatically tracked email, phone call, and calendar invite is one less task for reps to worry about – which means more time for high-value activities like building relationships. Over thousands of engagements, this time-savings adds up for reps and managers alike. A systems administrator at Zego was able to automate activity capture and reduce admin time by 90% with Groove’s Salesforce-native sales engagement platform.
Beyond data hygiene, automation can help sales leaders identify highly engaged accounts and those that are at risk of slipping through the cracks (recall lead-score automation from Reason 1). Automating lead management hinges on a strong lead-scoring foundation that maps closely to your business stages.
Here are a few automation cases that are useful for managers:
- An account that was once heavily engaged has gone dark. After 7 days of ghosting, an automation rule triggers an internal alert to the account AE or loops in a sales leader to resurrect the deal.
- A VP-level decision maker is all over your pricing page, and has even filled out a form. An automation rule sees their title appear in the form fill, and auto-alerts a sales leader on your team to reach out with “leader-to-leader” messaging.
There you have it. Sales automation is not the mythic beast that some make it out to be. When configured and used strategically, it can improve a team’s efficiency and effectiveness in a variety of ways and across a variety of roles, from saving admin time to filling the funnel.
If you’re interested in exploring how to streamline your sales processes and drive more revenue with sales automation, reach out to get in touch, we’d love to help.