It is tough to push an important process through automation because there is so much that goes into it. You need to ensure that the process you are automating requires automation in the first place, that the business is ready for such an investment and also that the team will be able to work well with this big movement. It is not an easy change.
Processes like marketing and sales lay the foundation of your business revenue and automating any or both of these require foolproof planning and strategy. This is because it is important to understand the nitty-gritties such as what tasks can be automated, how beneficial will the automation be and will it be a satisfactory move?
Let’s take sales into consideration – sales reps daily tasks are to make calls, follow up with leads via email or phone call, work in sync with the marketing team for better results, have daily discussions with the product development team, understand customers’ interests and behavior and close more deals everyday.
However, there are exact criteria that you need to explore to know if you need complete process automation.
Here are a few questions you need to ask before implementing sales automation for your business:
1. How can you reduce non-selling tasks?
According to a recent study, most of the sales reps are spending 75 percent of their production time doing non-selling tasks. This means that sales are getting affected because of the other administrative tasks sales reps need to look after.
The main KPI for any sales rep is to bring in more sales. So if your sales team is spending more time on non-selling tasks then there is a need to bring in an automation tool. This is because automating manual tasks will provide more time to the sales reps to focus on calling and lead generation. Hence, bringing in a perfect balance between the selling and non-selling tasks.
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2. How good are you at prioritizing leads?
Good sales is not only about calling cold leads but also about pursuing hot leads continuously to win a deal. However, if your sales reps are spending their time by calling cold leads then they might as well stop calling altogether.
For any business to do well, it is crucial to prioritize leads based on their buying motive. And if your sales team is not able to do that accurately then it is time to bring in automation. This will help in scoring leads based on their buying pattern and motive and prioritizing it accordingly. So that the sales reps will pick up leads who will eventually buy the product or services.
3. How appropriately are the leads assigned?
Let’s say you have many hot leads in your pipeline but none of the sales reps made the calls yet, because they were unassigned. Having unassigned leads in your database shows how incompetent the lead assigning method is. And this might affect your lead success rate because any delay in response is seen as a lost opportunity.
This means you need to automate this task for better management. Automation will help in assigning leads based on different criterion such as reps from different regions or log in time and use rotation to divide leads accordingly.
4. How efficiently are you at handling follow-ups?
Timely follow-ups are important because they increase the success rate of deal wins. Any delay in response means you have lost a deal opportunity. So every sales team needs to answer this question with a definite yes or else automate this task as well.
Using automate alerts will help sales reps to respond to queries and requests on time without any delay. This automation will send real-time notifications to individual sales rep whenever it observes any activity from the lead.
5. How long are you spending on creating tasks and data?
To emphasise, half of your sales reps are spending time in creating tasks and only a couple of hours on calling. However, in actuality, it should be the other way around. Manually entering contact’s data and creating tasks to follow-ups is taking more time than calling.
The best way to solve this is to create automated tasks based on criteria such as whenever a lead is shifting from one purchasing stage to another, whenever a lead visits the pricing page and more such. Automate data entry using self-filling forms and contact information forms that can be synced later.
6. How regularly do you send content emails?
If your sales reps send content emails to potential leads regularly then they are wasting time by doing this task manually. Your alternative is to automate this task without losing the personal touch option. With automation, you can still send customized and personalized emails to your leads at a much less time. You can also add auto-responders for these emails to secure continuous follow-ups.
It is always viable to know what you want from the tool and if that tool can perform those pre-defined requisites. So first, get answers to these questions before you implement sales automation for your business. Then, based on those answers, look for an automation that suits your requirements completely.