Salespeople spend a significant part of their day on administrative tasks like writing emails, sending follow-ups, adding data entries to the CRM system, scheduling meetings and so on.
According to a study by Hubspot, sales representatives use only one-third of their available time in selling.
In today’s world, where technology is becoming an integral part of our lives, automation of manual tasks is inevitable.
A sales automation tool can help you perform your day-to-day tasks in a more efficient and less time consuming manner.
In this blog post, we discover 4 essential automation tools which will help you focus your efforts in increasing sales and growing your business.
1. Automate Sales Prospecting
Sales prospecting is exactly how it sounds: running through a heaps of individual and business profiles to find out prospects who are most likely to convert to paying customers with least amount of efforts.
Sales prospecting is a time-consuming task for a sales rep but the most important activity in the sales cycle. Sales prospecting when done right can lead to a shorter sales cycle, increase revenue for your company, reduced cost per acquisition and high quality leads.
In the earlier days, sales prospecting was more about cold calling, dropping in randomly to meet someone, networking over a meal and so on but sales is changing rapidly and you need to adapt to the changing trends to stay ahead of the competition.
The world is moving towards digital and a great tool to automate your prospecting is to introduce LinkedIn Sales Navigator to your sales team.
LinkedIn is one of the most widely used professional social network and LinkedIn Sales Navigator is an advanced search tool which helps you build and nurture your professional network to find high-quality prospects.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator provides actionable information and insights that can help you in having a deeper understanding of your potential leads. In addition, it allows you to keep your personal and professional profiles separate, so you can easily focus on one thing at a time.
Did you know that when you have a mutual connection with someone, irrespective of whether it’s a first degree connection or second degree connection, you’re five times more likely to setup the first meeting?
LinkedIn Sales Navigator offers a multitude of functionality which allows you to find and connect with prospects.
The LinkedIn TeamLink connections filter allows you to find prospects who meet your search criteria and share an acquaintance with you or your team. Hence, with this tool you not only harness the power of your network but the collective power of your team’s network.
You can try out the LinkedIn Sales Navigator free for the first 30-days with complete functionality while the paid plans start from $64.99 per month, when you choose annual billing.
Some of the key features of the annual plan of LinkedIn Sales Navigator include 20 InMail messages per month, extended network access, lead and account recommendations, job change alerts and a friendly mobile-app which allows you to access the software anytime anywhere on your mobile device.
2. Sales Pipeline Management
Sales prospecting is a continuous process, and hence, it is important to maintain a visual sales pipeline to have a clear view of your prospects through the sales funnel.
A sales pipeline will help you in visualizing and monitoring how many leads you have, which stage they’re in and what should be your action plan to close the deal.
This will ensure your sales team keeps a track of what they’re doing and remind them of their goals at every stage of the sales cycle.
Not only that, sales pipeline manager will create a symbiotic relationship between the marketing and sales team, because their ultimate goal is the same i.e. converting more leads to customers.
In a sales pipeline, when you organize all the information in one place, it helps you in creating effective follow-ups and ultimately, in winning more deals.
A well-maintained sales pipeline will help you in finding your weak spots and in analyzing your efficiency at each stage of the sales cycle.
In addition, it will also allow you to have a better control over your sales forecast. A great tool to automate your customer management and sales pipeline is Bitrix24.
Bitrix 24 offers pre-defined templates for sales pipeline management and can be used free for a team of less than 12 sales representatives.
You can use the templates to customize the sales cycle and define leads as they’re defined in your business.
It’s quite easy to set up and it helps you calculate the lead to win ratio along with a visualization of your opportunities at each stage of the sales funnel.
The tool helps you in identifying the bottlenecks of your process and introduce a continuous improvement cycle to your sales team.
The basic package is free to use and gives you access to unlimited records, free mobile application, free email marketing tool, free custom fields, easy integrations and an easy-to-use customer management system.
Bitrix 24 offers a collaboration and communication platform for both internal and external operations and since it’s cloud hosted it can be easily used across devices. Automate your sales pipeline and experience the impact on your revenue growth instantly.
3. Automate Scheduling
Scheduling meetings and calls is an integral activity of any sales representative’s day. It can be frustrating, unproductive and costly for a salesperson to coordinate multiple meetings at once.
You can end up wasting a lot of time in exchanging emails with a prospect to find a mutually convenient meeting time. 25% of the meetings are no-shows either because someone rescheduled or forgot about the meeting. It can be an expensive, time-consuming and frustrating experience for your sales representative.
Time is precious for your sales representative, and hence, automating the process of meeting scheduling can increase work satisfaction and reduce frustration in your sales team.
You can use the SuperSaaS online appointment scheduling system which offers lifetime free trial with access to most of the features.
SuperSaaS allows you to automate your meeting scheduling process so you can avoid the back and forth emails to find a time and place.
You can create individual schedules for each of your sales representative and allow them to set their own working and availability timings.
The system sends a quick personalized email confirmation for the appointment and a reminder meeting certain minutes before the scheduled time. Individuals in your team can connect their personal calendars like Google calendar, Outlook calendar, etc. to avoid conflicts with personal appointments.
The prospects will see slots of available time slots, and they can choose a mutually convenient time on the schedule to set up a meeting.
The system allows you to set repeating meetings in a single click, and reschedule easily when necessary. SuperSaaS allows you to set default meeting duration for different types of prospects like for example, 15-minute meetings, 30-minute-meetings and so on. If your internal meetings require presence of certain people from the team, the system can also automatically check for mutually available time-slots.
Another great feature of SuperSaaS is the ability to add automatic buffer time in-between meetings which takes into consideration the travel time from one location to another.
You can put a limit on the number of appointments per person, add minimum scheduling notice requirements, add a cancellation policy and customize the layout colors and branding according to your company branding requirements.
SuperSaaS offers a lifetime free trial and you get access to all important features in pricing plans starting from $8 per month. All packages of SuperSaaS allow access to unlimited schedules and unlimited registered users and you pay on the basis of total number of upcoming appointments.
4. Automate emails and sales calls: YesWare
Most communications between your leads and sales representatives happen via email. 86% of the business professionals prefer email as the preferred communication medium while only 20% of the emails are actually opened.
Wouldn’t it be great if your sales representatives could know if their email was opened and read or did it fall among the 80% of the emails which are moved to junk and never responded to?
Only if you could get a real-time notification to know how your prospects engaged with your email, you could improve your communication and tailor your communication to the content they like.
A great tool to understand these insights is Yesware.
Yesware helps you in identifying the open and reply rates for the emails sent by your sales team. It tracks emails, calls and presentations directly from the inbox.
Monitoring the statistics via this tool can help your salespeople in sharing the top performing templates with other team members to improve their sales outreach and close more deals at a faster rate.
Yesware works as a great tool, not only for the sales team but also for the manager of the team in tracking accurate and relevant data for the sales teams’ activity.
Yesware can help you identify which prospects are actually interested in your products. With Yesware, you can easily reuse the effective templates and improve your productivity and communication effectiveness.
It allows you to test out different media formats to see which formats provide you maximum engagement from your prospects. As the tool automatically syncs the engagement activity across devices in the account, your sales team can easily update the lead contact information from one devices without worrying about multiple manual entries.
You can test out the software with a 15-day free trial. The paid packages start from $15 per user on a monthly basis and offers features like unlimited email tracking, attachment tracking, free templates and reports, presentation tracking and analytics and a great email support.
Technology can complement the existing skills of your sales team and help you in accelerating your revenue growth. In other words, selecting the right tools is not enough. Selecting the right tools along with the right people for the job can help you in improving your sales growth and will result in improved profits for your business. Embracing automation can result in a better ROI in terms of profits and job satisfaction only when sales automation tools complement the skills of your sales team and not replace them.
Which of these sales automation tools listed above have you used or consider to be more fascinating? Let us know in the comments section.