Closing a single deal often involves several contacts with a high-quality prospect. Even after the sale, your team is likely committing hours to managing relationships, answering questions, fulfilling orders and providing other support services via phone calls, emails, meetings, social media and other channels.
It adds up. Multiply that by the number of customers you have — and aim to have as you grow and expand your business — and digital sales and customer relationship management become real time-killing challenges. Either your team forgoes other duties, or you fall behind, unable to deliver the level of service and personalization you’d aimed for.
The solution: digital sales automation.
- Any business process or activity that is repeatedly performed is ripe for automation. Lead generation is one of them.
- Automation tools minimize errors and time to execute.
- Automation improve sales-marketing alignment, prospecting, and lead nurturing and tracking.
What is Digital Sales Automation?
“Marketing and sales automation gives companies the opportunity to attract, acquire, and retain customers while satisfying their current needs for personalization, care and tailored services.” — Forbes
Digital sales automation involves streamlining manual, time-consuming tasks so that your organization’s talented salespeople can spend less time on admin and more time doing what they do best: selling. Automated tasks can include all the administrative and data entry tasks that reps, leaders and managers do daily, weekly and monthly.
In short, sales automation enables you to leverage technology to improve your bottom line. You save time and money — and your customers enjoy a better, more personalized experience.
Why Automate Your Sales Processes?
Before we jump into the how, let’s examine the why. Why take the leap and automate your sales process?
- Automation minimizes human error. Unintentional mistakes in data entry often go unnoticed and can cost a company — whether that be in a lost sale, a disgruntled customer or a hit to its reputation.
- One survey found that nine out of 10 managers spend time on nonessential admin tasks. On average, they spent more than 15 hours or two days a week, with 20 percent spending three days or more. Digital sales automation empowers managers to lead their teams and focus on growth.
- Old-school collaboration and productivity tools — like email and spreadsheets — often hinder employees. Half of respondents to one survey agreed that spreadsheets used for managing work actually reduced productivity.
Core Components of Digital Sales Automation
The key areas outlined below make up the foundations of any successful digital sales automation system.
1. Data-driven client prospecting
Before you can begin selling, you need to identify your ideal customer persona and make meaningful first contact with them.
Spark conversations by homing in on a need, pain point or desire. Answer important questions on the minds of prospects. Show that your product or service delivers the solution your ICP is looking for. Use data to strengthen the prospecting process — whether it’s to identify demographics, behaviors (for example, discovering where your ICP hangs out, their preferred communication platforms and so on) or wants.
2. Marketing automation
Marketing and sales go hand in hand, so it’s no surprise that marketing will play a part in your digital sales automation strategy.
Marketing outreach is an integral component of building long-term relationships with your prospects and clients — but it can take time. By streamlining and automating your marketing, your team can spend more time refining and optimizing messaging to boost ROI and conversion rate.
Automated digital marketing campaigns can be delivered via email, social media and other avenues. Be sure to record and analyze your results as you go.
3. Lead tracking
You want to track prospective clients’ every move, so when they engage with your business, you can reach out, pitch or offer a discount or bonus.
Traditionally, detailed lead tracking involves a salesperson seeking behavior updates and insights from various tools and then logging valuable information.
Automated systems that make use of integrated software remove the tediousness of this process while ensuring your team has accurate, up-to-date information about your prospects.
4. Order management
The sales process doesn’t end after a customer checks out. Order management involves the fulfilling, tracking and management of orders — a process that demands collaboration between admin, finance, sales and fulfillment teams across a company. Plus, depending on your product or service, orders may have several moving parts and a variety of key players involved — successful order management requires the real-time collation of each of these components, creating a single source of truth that’s accessible business-wide.
Order management is a particularly significant concern for businesses that are rapidly scaling. Manual tasks can quickly become overwhelming, and teams can find themselves in deep water with little time to do anything other than fulfill orders. By automating your sales management process, you free up employee time and other valuable resources, all while minimizing human error and giving your customers the best possible experience.
Embrace Automation Technology
Sales teams can be reluctant to introduce new systems and unfamiliar technologies. After all, they’ve gotten by the old-fashioned way for years — why fix what isn’t broken?
The thing is, expectations are changing fast. Consumers demand a level of personalization above and beyond anything that came before. Whether you are running a small- to medium-sized business or enterprise-level organization, there’s just no way your team can keep up using manual systems.
Automation is the key to delivering superior customer experience. So, if you want to future-proof your business, it’s time to embrace automation technology.