As a rule, the main function of a sales team is to sell. To this end, it is important that she access the best tools and facilities, generating positive results for the company. However, even though it seems obvious, many managers do not invest in innovation when dealing with the sector.
As a result, repetitive tasks, such as filling out spreadsheets and manually organizing potential customer data, stand in the way of good sales. The truth is that all these processes can be optimized by good sales automation software, known as CRM (Customer Relationship Management or Customer Relationship Management).
It is essential, nowadays, that companies find ways to automate processes to remain competitive in the market. Thus, knowing this tool can change the direction and results of the sales sector and, consequently, of the organization.
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What is sales automation?
In theory, this innovation concerns a set of processes and technological strategies that increase sales efficiency. In practice, these are systems and software, such as the CRM, that automate certain tasks and, thus, relieve the team, which starts to focus on what really matters: closing deals with customers.
Thus, automating sales means optimizing the performance of the employee. To better understand the practice, let us take two examples:
Think of a traditional sale. In it, it is common for the seller, first, to talk to the interested party and clear all his doubts. Then, get the answer that the client will need time to think about the proposal. And then, after waiting a few days, they resume contact and discover that the customer has given up on the purchase.
Regardless of the reason behind the withdrawal, it is certain that the seller’s time could be optimized, right? Imagine, in an ideal scenario, that he could only contact really qualified leads, that is, those with the greatest potential to close a deal. Well, with sales automation this becomes easier.
Visualize the same example, but now with sales automation: the lead obtains primary information about the proposal through the company’s website . When interested in it, leave your e-mail to receive news from the newsletter. Over time, his interest grows, and he visits the site more and more.
During this process, the sales automation tool will be up and running. It will monitor the lead’s visits, assigning a kind of score to it according to the interest shown. Upon reaching a certain amount of points, the tool will trigger a signal to the sales team.
Upon receiving it, professionals will know it’s time to act, so they will contact a lead who is already highly engaged with the company’s proposal, which increases the chances of closing the sale.
Do you understand the importance of knowing the tool? In addition to the aforementioned example, sales automation automates several other operations involved in the employee journey, such as:
- relationship with customers;
- submission of proposals and budgets ;
- organization of tasks, avoiding forgetfulness;
- access to customer histories;
- consulting common data in the professional’s daily life;
- hosting data and files in the cloud;
- sales funnel structure;
- report generation, etc.
By eliminating the need to perform such tasks manually, human error is also reduced. Thus, rework is minimized and productivity is increased. In addition, it is possible to notice great improvements in the performance and time management of sales professionals, who deliver increasingly better results to the company.
How is automation performed?
Although it seems like a simple task, due to the use of technology, sales automation only becomes feasible through a good tool, that is, an efficient, intuitive and easy-to-use system. Therefore, it is important to look for complete software that is aligned with the needs of the sales team.
In theory, the more functions a tool offers, the greater the chances of it unburdening the team and encouraging them to focus on closing sales. However, there is no point in having hundreds of features if it does not operate satisfactorily or is difficult to use.
Therefore, true sales automation will be carried out with a tool that is useful to professionals. In view of this, it is recommended to include them in the decision regarding the acquisition of certain software. Many offer a trial period, and using them in your office routine can make your choice easier. Don’t be afraid to experiment; the best feedback regarding the chosen CRM will certainly be that given by employees.
Although each team prefers a type of tool, we separate some functions that are usually contained in automation software. By knowing them, decision-making can become simpler. Check out!
Lead scoring system (lead scoring)
It is common to find tools that set the criteria used by the company for a good sales opportunity. In this way, after a meeting with the team, professionals can define when the leads are prepared to receive a call or direct contact, and then assign a note to this step, as well as to the other moments involved in the relationship.
The scale can go, for example, from 1 to 5. 1 would indicate the visit to the website, blog or social network. 2, interaction with some call to action (CTA) contained on the page, such as leaving the email to receive the newsletter, downloading material or filling out the form. The 3 would group the leads that frequently return to interact with the page. In turn, 4 would trigger a message to the sales team, asking them to get in touch. Finally, 5 would be the converted lead.
Do you see how the system, which can usually be customized, makes all the difference in the team’s productivity? Without scores that help organize the sales funnel, it would be permanently stuck in the non-automated example and thereby waste resources.
Although sales automation is a great ally, it is certain that each customer has a demand. Therefore, it is not recommended to talk the same way with everyone. This generates the impression of robotization of communication, which goes in the opposite direction of what the current consumer is looking for. After all, “personalization” is the keyword of the moment.
However, this does not necessarily imply retiring the tool, as good software has the possibility of customization. That way, it’s simple to ensure that each of your customer groups receives an initial message aligned with their profile. Then, the CRM itself will trigger a reminder, notifying the salesperson that it is time to contact the human contact.
In addition to the above alert, quality software will also send alerts to notify you that:
- important meetings are about to begin;
- a new lead reached the required score to receive the call;
- the lead walked the funnel;
- there is a pending question or complaint;
- a task moved up or down the priority list;
- the deadline for an activity is about to expire, among others.
In other words, technology supports the good performance of the sales team. However, you need to program it correctly.
The good news is that this only needs to be done once. But over time, possible changes can be made, allowing the tool to adapt to the changing demands of employees.
The future is data-driven. With consumers looking for more and more personalization, it’s important for companies to know the specific pain points of their audience. Thus, they manage to deliver customized solutions that guarantee satisfaction.
Let’s look at an example that demonstrates the relevance of handling data correctly: imagine that a customer wants to open a bank account. When performing a search, he comes across different service packages. Bank 1 seems interesting, but requires the payment of fees for solutions it does not intend to use. On the other hand, bank 2 offers similar alternatives to bank 1, but makes room for it to exclude products that it does not need from the package — all, of course, without extra fees.
Which institution do you think he will prefer? Probably the second. However, it is important to pay attention: the reason why bank 2 realized that it would lose customers if it tried to force them to purchase an extra service is possibly the use of data — it sought to know its audience through research and data collection. of feedbacks, understanding what the customer expects or not from a bank, which facilitated the customization of the proposal.
Ideal sales software does something similar. It delivers precious data about customer behavior to the team. As a result, the team contacts qualified leads with much more direction, showing that the proposal is truly relevant to their pain points.
In addition, reports are generated that are useful for understanding the company’s sales outlook and presenting results to leadership, which streamlines and organizes work.
What are the differences between sales automation and marketing automation?
Although the concepts intersect, they are quite different. Marketing-oriented software handles pre-lead generation tasks. With this, they seek to increase the capture of potential leads, forwarding them to the sales sector, which then enters the scene, working to manage these relationships as best as possible and close the deal.
In a nutshell, marketing automation helps marketers with things like:
- easy creation of pages and forms that capture leads;
- social media management , ensuring that the networks used bring results in line with expectations;
- creation and sending of e-mail marketing, aiming at a good relationship with prospects (potential clients);
- automatic management of the contact base, offering relevant and educational content, and promoting offers;
- results monitoring, facilitating the understanding of what should be changed or maintained.
Do you see how automated systems aimed at digital marketing focus on prospecting and strengthening the brand in the eyes of potential leads? Several efforts in the area can be used at this time, such as the production of content and the creation of e-books.
Sales software, as mentioned, seek to simplify the closing of transactions by facilitating the seller’s routine, who manages to dedicate his efforts to the task. Given the details presented, the application of marketing automation and CRM usually go hand in hand. Both are important, although their functions are quite different.
What are the main advantages of sales automation?
Anyone looking to implement an automated system in their business cannot fail to know the benefits of this practice, which are many! Check below.
Greater chances of loyalty
The purpose of a quality salesperson goes beyond closing the deal. Although this is the core function of the team, we must remember that we are in the digital age. The year 2020 even represented a record of new companies opened, totaling a 6.0% increase compared to 2019. More than 3,359,700 ventures were opened — in addition to the 2.6 million individual microentrepreneurs (MEI) that emerged .
It’s not hard to see that markets are becoming more and more competitive, right? Therefore, it is essential to invest in ways to maintain a converted customer base. One of the best attributes, in this sense, is the commitment to loyalty. By ensuring that the customer has an unforgettable buying journey, the chances that he will not change your company for the competition increase, regardless of price.
Today’s consumer wants added value, far beyond discounts. That way, there’s no point in offering a low-quality item to the buyer. Doesn’t matter the price. If he doesn’t like it, he’ll look for the competitor without thinking twice.
Sales automation software helps to build loyalty, as it delivers valuable data to the seller, who can perform a high standard after-sales service. Considering that the current sales process is only finalized after this step, it is essential to have the right information at hand, ensuring that the consumer buys again.
Increased understanding of lead pain points
Loyalty is important, of course. But is it possible to carry it out properly without knowing everything about the client from the beginning? Probably not. Thus, the automatic system should be used as soon as the lead becomes qualified, still under the supervision of the marketing team.
Integration between software makes this process much simpler. Through it, sellers can import data directly from marketing. That way, they get in touch with the qualified lead who is more likely to communicate in the right way, which impacts the result — the customer needs to feel that the purchase they make will not only be relevant, but will also be aligned with their values.
By knowing exactly who the lead is, it’s easy to do this. Not to mention that this data will be precious to retain the consumer in the after-sales.
This is the core advantage of sales automation, as it impacts the entire company. With increased productivity in the sales sector, results are expected to improve. In addition, time management is optimized, encouraging the team to perform more in a shorter period.
Finally, reducing costs with manual processes makes all the difference in the company’s resource management. Therefore, it is possible to guarantee savings at various points in the salespeople’s workday, not to mention the minimization of human errors, which reduces rework and makes the tasks performed much more efficient.
Here’s another benefit that impacts the entire organization. By automating processes, the efficiency of the entire internal team tends to increase. This generates rapid improvements that are not always foreseen by the competition. So, it is interesting to seize the opportunity to overcome competitors and gain market leadership. If your company is already a leader, automation can generate a great competitive advantage.