Automation can help boost sales.
If you have a team of sales people, you probably don't think automation can help them close more deals. I mean, how can automation take the place of live voice-to-voice conversations?
It can't. At least, not until artificial intelligence gets a lot smarter.
Fortunately, there are many other ways automation can be used to support those live voice-to-voice conversations, which is the objective of this blog post: to share some clever ways automation can help your sales team.
Clever way No. 1: Transactional sales milestone communications
Every sales process has certain milestones. You know, things like "Prospect Qualified" or "Demo Scheduled." Stuff like that.
In most cases, these milestones usually require some outbound communication from the sales rep to the prospect. For example, after scheduling a demo, you might want your sales reps to send a follow up email with the appointment details and other information. The good news is that these transactional-type communications are 95 percent the same for everyone. The only thing that changes is the specific transaction details (appointment time, prospect's name, etc.).
When you have a very clearly defined sales process with these kinds of milestones, it’s very easy to create automated emails once your sales rep moves an opportunity to the appropriate stage in your CRM.
Here is one more example of this tactic that hopefully gives you some more ideas. Let's pretend that the first milestone in your sales process is to make a phone call to a new lead and speak with them. However, that first call doesn't always result in a conversation because people don't always pick up the phone.
One milestone in your sales pipeline could be "Contacting," which means they are not a brand new lead but we haven't gotten a voice-to-voice with them yet either. The sales rep called and didn't get an answer.
Since the context for that sales milestone is very transactional (phone call made, no answer), there can be an automated email that goes out immediately once the sales rep moves the lead to "Contacting."
The email can be very simple and might read something like:
I'm ~Owner.FirstName~ with ~Company.Company~ and I just tried giving you a call, but we missed each other.
I'll try again in a few days, but I wanted to quickly introduce myself.
Have a great ~Date.DayOfWeek~,
The only thing we can be 100 percent confident in with this email is that the sales rep tried to call and didn't reach them, so that's all we speak to. Automatically.
Not only will this save the sales rep time, it will also further nurture the budding relationship.
Clever way No. 2: Cold lead notifications
In order to automate, as we've explored already, the sales process and key milestones have to be identified. Once those milestones are identified, we can use automation to catch people from slipping through the cracks.
Most CRMs have the ability to trigger automation based on when a prospect moves into a sales milestone as well as when they move out of that sales stage. Hence, we can setup a delayed notification email to the sales rep if someone sits in a sales stage for too long.
Let's say, for example, we want to have a cold lead email go out to the sales rep 30 days after they get moved into the "Contacting" stage. The email can basically say, "Hey sales rep, this person has been in contacting for 30 days, time to move them or mark them as lost."
Then, you set up the automation so when the prospect is moved out of the "Contacting" stage, that email doesn't get sent. In other words, the sale rep only gets that notification if they don't move the prospect out of the "Contacting" stage within 30 days.
Obviously, depending on your sales cycle, you may want to have a shorter or longer delay for those kinds of notifications. This way, nobody slips through the cracks because the sales reps will be notified automatically if someone hasn't been moved ahead in the sales process.
Clever way No. 3: Creating an "invisible" sales manager
Similar to the previous tactic, we can use automation for other "under the hood" things as someone moves along the sales process. In fact, we can have things automating that the sales rep doesn't even know about which is how we can create an "invisible" sales manager.
One role of a sales manager is to keep tabs on the sales reps on their team and how their pipelines are progressing. Using automation, it is very easy to add notes to a prospect's record if certain things happen (or don't happen).
Let's look at the previous example of sending a cold lead notification to the sales rep. At the same time, we could also automatically apply a note to the prospect's record to indicate they sat in a certain sales stage for 30 days. Now, as the sales manager, you can easily setup some reports that look for those specific notes. If you see those notes happening more often for a certain rep, you can quickly identify that breakdown and chat with them to figure out what is happening.
You could even setup something like a fulfillment list of all cold leads and use that for a weekly one-on-one with your sale reps.
Or, to take it one step further, in the cold notification email to the sales rep, it can actually come "from" their sales manager to be more impactful.
What did you think? Did you discover some ways to use automation with your sales pipeline you hadn't thought of? Leave a comment below.