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What Is Sales Automation and Its Benefits?

Losing customers in your sales funnel? Learn how process automation can help your sales reps raise conversion rates.

Sales automation allows you to use several tools to eliminate or speed up tedious, manual tasks. By reducing the time spent on repetitive or administrative tasks at your business, you can increase efficiency and focus on other important matters.

For example, sales representatives can automate messages at various points in the customer journey, so they don’t have to draft an email from scratch or send the same email to multiple prospects. As a result, they can nurture leads to land more sales and strengthen their bond with existing clients for retention.

Sales automation has many other benefits that can help enhance your sales efforts and boost your bottom line. Ultimately, the most significant benefit is the ability to do more in less time while minimizing the risk of errors and ensuring consistent, streamlined processes.

Before providing an in-depth overview of the advantages of sales automation, we’ll cover what it is in detail.

Did you know: More than 30% of sales-related activities can be automated, freeing up your sales team for more critical tasks.

What is sales automation?

Sales automation is the process of using software and tools to automate sales processes, including lead generation, email marketing, and sales forecasting.

As a result, you can reduce cumbersome tasks that eat away at your sales representatives’ time and focus on connecting with customers and prospects. There are many tools you can use for this purpose, such as email automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and appointment automation, which we’ll go over later on.

Sales automation provides sales reps the tools necessary to finalize more deals without sacrificing quality human interactions. Many sales automation tools can connect to customer relationship management (CRM) systems that provide insight into the needs of your audience.

With a better understanding of who your audience is, their desires, and their shopping habits, you can tailor your strategy to them. Plus, you can segment your audience and create custom campaigns that allow you to easily funnel leads through the buyer’s journey.

Automation tools also often have analytics and reporting capabilities. Sales reports typically include information about your campaigns, allowing you to see which ones were and weren’t successful. You’ll also be able to keep track of key performance indicators (KPIs) and valuable metrics, so you can make data-driven business decisions and identify opportunities.

Additionally, automation helps unify your sales team and ensures consistent data. Inconsistencies can lead to duplicate information that can throw off your calculations and create a domino effect that negatively affects your business. By lowering your risk of discrepancies and human error, you can ensure the accuracy of your data.

Advantages of implementing a sales automation tool: Increases efficiency and productivity, Boosts sales, Generates more leads, Retain more customers, Report creation, Better onboarding for sales reps,   Improves the customer experience

Benefits of sales automation

A sales automation tool can significantly benefit your sales team members and overall business.

Increase efficiency and productivity

Sales automation eliminates manual and time-consuming tasks, effectively removing them from your workflow. As a result, sales representatives can do more with their allocated time, focus less on administrative activities, and effectively close deals. You can also automate repetitive sales tasks that hinder productivity at your business.

Boost sales

Not only does a sales automation tool encourage your team to focus on selling, but it also eliminates the barriers that make it challenging to finalize deals. Automation can support your sales process, helping you finalize more sales and increase your profit. This type of software enables you to see where customers are in the buying process, so you can provide the right type of messaging at the best time and successfully move them from one stage to the next.

Improve lead generation

Various sales tools can help you identify the individuals who are most likely to buy from your business. Rather than focusing on every customer who interacts with your company, your sales team can hone in on warm leads and move them through the sales process.

Retain more customers

It’s a good idea to cultivate a relationship with your audience, even after they become customers. Doing so can help with retention, boost loyalty, and make it easier for your sales team to upsell or cross-sell different product packages or services. Plus, you can increase the likelihood of repeat purchases by retaining more clients.

Report creation

Sales reports are essential because they provide you with the data necessary to make informed business decisions. While many sales teams count on spreadsheets and manual data entry to create these reports, sales automation can quickly build custom reports with accurate data for your business. This saves time and provides stakeholders and decision-makers with detailed information.

Better onboarding for sales reps

Disjointed processes can make it difficult for new hires to learn the ropes quickly. When you automate your sales workflows, the learning curve is less steep for new employees since the tools and strategies used are the same across the board.

Improve the customer experience

Nowadays, consumers expect fast and efficient services. You can ensure consumers quickly receive the sales collateral they need to make a decision with sales automation. Plus, you can deliver quotes and proposals swiftly to move negotiations forward.

Disadvantages of sales automation

While sales automation tools can support your business in many different ways, there are a few disadvantages to consider.

Lack of personalization

An over-dependence on sales automation tools can lead to a decrease in personalization. For example, when sales representatives send potential customers a quote, the message may lack elements that are vital for nurturing the relationship. This includes omitting receiver names, using generic subject lines, and not updating sales collateral with relevant information.

According to a report generated by McKinsey & Company, 71% of consumers expect personalized interactions, and 76% become frustrated when this expectation isn’t met. As such, it’s important to personalize your messaging while using automation software and tools to your benefit.

Absence of human elements

You also run the risk of sounding robotic in your messaging when using sales automation software. At the end of the day, consumers don’t want to build impersonal relationships with brands. They not only crave real, human interactions, but they also may mistrust faceless brands that don’t emphasize authenticity.

Stackla reports that 88% of customers value authenticity, specifically when deciding which businesses to support. So, your sales efforts may not be as effective as they could be without a touch of humanity.

Must pay for tools and software

In many cases, you must pay for sales automation tools and software. Small businesses with limited budgets may have difficulty paying for advanced features that can significantly impact growth and profitability. However, you can try a few free and inexpensive automation solutions before committing to a software or tool.

Technological setbacks

Technology is fickle, and your automation software can cause setbacks if the system is down or there’s a power outage. To avoid issues, it’s essential to ensure the software provider has excellent customer service and will solve your system’s issues quickly. Looking for software and tools with automatic saving capabilities is also beneficial.

Risk of over messaging

If your business has never automated messages, you may send your audience too many at once. As a result, your contacts may view your messages as spam or block your email address out of frustration. This can hurt your email deliverability and engagement rate. Consumers that view your messages as spam can also distrust your brand.

73% of IT leaders say that thanks to automation success, employees are saving between 10 and 50% of the time they previously spent doing manual tasks.

How sales process automation works

So, how does automation work to improve your sales process?

Sales automation software and tools perform different functions and help you in different ways. This includes:

  • Qualifying and generating leads. Qualify leads faster and ensures individuals are right for your business before contacting them.
  • Automating communication. Automate email marketing messages, follow up emails, and more. This saves time and ensures you reach contacts at the best possible moment.
  • Building accurate and comprehensive sales reports. Build detailed sales reports that help decision-makers and stakeholders finalize projects, budgets, and so forth.
  • Managing your sales pipeline. Obtain a holistic overview of your sales pipeline and identify opportunities for communication. Plus, you’ll be able to see where prospects are in the buying process and optimize your strategy for a successful conversion.
  • Forecasting estimates, revenue, and sales. Forecasting allows you to stay one step ahead and remain ready for anything.
  • Scheduling sales calls and demonstrations. Quickly schedule sales calls and demos based on sales team member availability. This way, there’s no delay and clients can get the information they need fast.
  • Creating custom quotes. Creating accurate and competitive quotes is essential if you want to land a sale. With automation tools, you can quickly create custom quotes for customers based on the scope of the project and needs.
  • Tracking employee performance. Not only can you keep an eye on clients, but you can also follow employee performance with automation tools.
  • Order management. Automation software can notify you of delays or potential issues that can impact orders and customer satisfaction. As a result, you can inform customers about the status of orders and resolve any problems.

Once you know how to use automation in sales, you can enhance your processes and take advantage of the benefits of automation.

Sales automation software: What to expect

Sales automation software can help free your sales team of cumbersome administrative tasks, plus boost productivity and your company’s bottom line. However, not all software is created equal, and the type of solution you invest in can significantly impact your sales process and business.

Here are a few must-have features of automation workflows for e-commerce:

Email scheduling

With this type of software, you can automate the following messages:

  • Cold emails
  • Introductory emails
  • Appointment request emails
  • Follow-up emails
  • Thank you emails
  • Abandoned cart emails
  • Re-engagement emails

This way, your contacts will automatically get your messages based on where they are in the sales funnel. The goal is to generate qualified leads, move prospects to the next step in the funnel, and increase conversions.

Pipeline notifications

Automation software can notify you and your team when there’s movement in the pipeline, ensuring you always know where leads are in the buying process. You may also receive reminders if you haven’t heard from leads within a specified time. For example, the software can remind you to follow up if a potential client hasn’t responded to your appointment request after inquiring about a demonstration. This prevents prospects from falling through the cracks.

Real-time updates

Automation software provides real-time updates, so you always have an accurate view of your sales data and pipelines.

  • Salespeople with access to your software can leverage the most recent information on client calls.
  • Staff can send emails with relevant information based on new interactions.
  • Employees are never in the dark and have access to the latest information almost immediately.

Automated analytics and reporting

Access to in-depth analytics allows you to stay on top of sales metrics and other vital KPIs that guide decision-making. Plus, the system can automatically generate reports for managers and stakeholders. This process is much faster compared to manual reporting.

Personalization capabilities

As mentioned, personalization is essential to building trust and deepening your connection with customers. With sales automation, you can personalize every outgoing message with names, relevant details, and content that your audience segments find interesting. Personalization becomes easier when you pair your automation tools with an advanced CRM system.

Integrations with third-parties

Third-party integrations allow you to connect your sales automation software to other systems, applications, and programs.

For example, if your e-commerce store is hosted by Shopify or you process payments with Stripe, you can integrate your sales tools for better performance. Software providers often have a list of acceptable integrations, so verify the compatibility if you have a specific tool you want to use.

4 sales automation tools

Sales automation tools are available in different forms and are designed to help your business accomplish specific goals.

Examples of automation tools include:

Customer relationship management systems

CRM software allows you to manage your audience in a centralized location, enabling you to keep track of interactions with clients and organize customer information. While a CRM is often recognized as a repository for client data, it can also automate certain sales tasks to enhance personalization, nurture leads, boost efficiency, and generate more revenue.

For example, you can automate drip emails to increase conversions with Mailchimp’s CRM. Create welcome emails, abandoned cart messages, and product recommendations to guide prospects through the sales funnel. You can also build audience segments to send automated campaigns.

Scheduling platforms

Finding the right time to schedule calls with cold leads or demonstrations with prospects can be challenging. With sales scheduling tools, you can identify the best time to meet with potential clients, regardless of time zones and existing commitments.

Simply send the recipient a link to the scheduling tool, and they’ll be able to pick the most convenient time for them based on your team’s availability. Then, the appointment will automatically appear in your calendar. Not only does this reduce friction and frustration caused by back-and-forth messaging, but it also allows you to get in front of prospects quickly.

Email automation systems

Email automation lets you set up messages and deliver them at specific times or when certain triggers are met. For example, if a contact adds products to their cart but doesn’t finalize the purchase, an abandoned cart email can be sent automatically and remind them to finish buying.

Automated emails can be valuable when messaging multiple prospects. Instead of copying and pasting the same message over and over, you can create an email to send to several recipients. While the email will contain the same information, different elements can be personalized.

Additionally, email automation software often has templates you can use to speed up sales processes.

AI assistants

Rather than having sales representatives wait for potential and existing customers to ask questions, you can leverage the power of artificial intelligence. AI assistants can quickly resolve concerns, answer queries, and direct individuals to the appropriate salespeople for further support. It can also provide recommendations to drive sales.

Keep in mind that AI isn’t a replacement for your sales reps. Instead, it’s designed to support departmental objectives and increase customer satisfaction.

Expedite your tasks with automation

So, is sales automation worth it? Yes, software, tools, and automation strategies can expedite your task, allowing you to enhance your sales efforts and boost your organization’s bottom line.

Plus, by reducing the amount of time spent on monotonous, repetitive, and time-consuming administrative activities, you can increase efficiency and sales productivity at the workplace.

There are many types of automation sales tools that are beneficial for sales teams. Ultimately, the best one for your business depends on the sales goals you want to achieve, budget, department size, and so forth. Review your objectives and evaluate different software and tools before making a decision.

With Mailchimp’s automation tools, you can improve your sales and marketing campaigns. Reach the right customers at the right time, build custom automation workflows, automate emails, and more. Our all-in-one platform is easy to use, and different plans are available to help you identify the best pricing for your business. Check out our Marketing Automations today and build better, more effective campaigns.

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