If you’re not using sales automation software yet, you’re wasting valuable time and money.
Imagine a tireless fleet of employees taking care of all the mundane, repetitive tasks that keep your business running. Meanwhile, your other team members are focusing on important projects, like closing sales. Working together, these teams ensure your business operations are coordinated and effective.
Don’t have the budget to hire a whole new team of dedicated assistants who can work 24/7? That’s where sales automation comes in.
Bonus: Learn how to sell more products on social media with our free Social Commerce 101 guide. Delight your customers and improve conversion rates.
What is sales automation?
Sales automation is the use of sales automation tools to complete manual tasks that are predictable and routine.
Think sending invoices and follow-up emails, or answering customer questions. These administrative tasks can take up a huge amount of valuable employee time. And they often need to be done monthly, weekly, or even daily.
Outsourcing these tasks to sales automation software increases the productivity of your team. And it costs a lot less than hiring a new assistant who happens to love repetitive labor. You can automate up to one-third of all sales tasks!
What are the benefits of using sales automation software?
In short, sales automation software increases your productivity and revenues. Businesses that use sales automation have reported a 10 to 15% increase in efficiency, and up to 10% higher sales.
Despite these huge benefits, only one in four companies has automated sales tasks. That means three in four companies spend more time than they need to!
If you’re one of them, here’s how sales automation can support your success.
Streamline and boost your sales pipeline
Automation tools can tackle important (but time-consuming) elements of the sales pipeline. Collecting customer data and email addresses? No problem. Sending personalized emails? A breeze.
Automation software can even make product recommendations and guide customers through check-out.
Ensure no prospects fall through the cracks
First impressions count. Forgetting to follow up with new prospects can cost you their business. However, if you’re sending all those follow-up emails yourself, it’s bound to happen.
Increase customer satisfaction
A human touch matters to your customers. Some business owners worry that they’ll lose that essential element if they rely on automation. But the right automation strategy can have the opposite effect. With more time, your team can provide faster, better support to your customers when it counts.
Your whole organization has the same data
Sales automation tools integrate with your customer service software to keep all the important details in one place. Centralizing sales data ensures your team members can work in harmony. That way you can build on one another’s efforts instead of stepping on one another’s toes.
Benchmark your performance
In addition to performing tasks, automation software can report on them. Get data on important KPIs like qualified leads or new subscribers whenever you need them. These analytics can help you track growth and set goals. Best of all, you won’t need to spend precious time producing them.
10 ways to use sales automation tools
Below are just a few of the most essential tasks that sales automation can tackle for sales reps. At the end of this post, we’ve rounded up a selection of tools that can do all of these and more.
Collecting data is crucial, but time-consuming. Adding new leads to your CRM by hand can eat up your afternoons. Sales automation software can take care of collecting data and updating customer information. You’ll want a tool that integrates with all your lead sources, for one unified database.
Once you generate qualified leads, you need to reach out to them. You might be hesitant to automate prospecting. After all, these emails are important. They need to be warm and personal, not robotic. They need to set the right tone and engage your prospects.
Fortunately, you can automate a personalized email for each prospect with the data you’ve collected. You can also customize triggers, like reaching out to prospects who RSVP to an event. This ensures that each communication from your brand arrives right when your prospect is most interested and engaged.
Only 10-15% of your leads will turn into sales. To maximize your ROI, you want to focus your efforts on the most valuable leads. Sales automation tools can help you with lead generation, lead scoring, and direct your efforts where they’re most likely to pay off in the sales funnel.
Scheduling a simple call can often feel as complex as scheduling a rocket launch. You need to consider calendars, commitments, time zones, statutory holidays, moon phases… the list goes on. Automating the meeting scheduling process is the way to go. You can send your prospect a single link, and they choose a time that works for both of you. Or let your customers schedule their own in-store appointments, using a tool like Heyday.
Email templates and automation
Email marketing offers the best bang for your buck, generating $42 for every $1 spent. But 47% of sales teams are still sending emails manually. Typing out each email and contact details to schedule a sales call is a huge waste of time. Copy-and-pasting is faster but sloppy. The best solution is an email template, which can be populated by individual customer data for a personal touch.
Sales automation software can create and send these email campaigns for you. The software can also scale up as your small business grows. You can send automated messages to 100 or 10,000 qualified leads in the same amount of time. Then, when customers are ready to talk with a human being, you can step in.
If you use an eCommerce platform like Shopify, automating order management is easy. There are a ton of order management apps that integrate directly into the platform. These can generate invoices, shipping info, and delivery updates.
And when the order is done, you can also automate a customer satisfaction survey!
Customer service FAQs
Automating answers to frequently asked questions is a huge time-saver. It also benefits your customers! They can get support 24/7, and receive answers faster. One company was able to automate 88% of all customer questions using Heyday’s chatbot! That also meant faster support for the 12% of customers who needed a human to take over.
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Social media scheduling
More than half of Instagram users log on daily. So do 70% of Facebook users and almost half of Twitter users. Your brand needs to stay active on social media to keep up. Fortunately, you don’t need to log in to each platform every day to post your updates. You can use a social media management tool like Hootsuite.
With Hootsuite, you can schedule posts at the best time for each platform, without spending all day on TikTok for work. (Instead, you can spend all day on TikTok for fun.)
This is a good time to remind you that any automation requires human oversight. That’s a lesson Drag Race learned after Queen Elizabeth II passed shortly before this tweet was sent:
CHECK YOUR SCHEDULED TWEETS!!!!! pic.twitter.com/Hz92RFFPih
— an ancient man (@goulcher) September 8, 2022
As always, automation works in harmony with your team. You want to be monitoring your channels and engaging with audiences. And remember to delete any awkward pre-scheduled posts.
Proposals and contracts
Automation can even help you close a deal. Rather than typing out each proposal, automation software can pull key details from your CRM and use them to populate a template. It also minimizes the risk of human error.
These tools can also monitor the documents. You’ll get a notification when your customer has viewed and signed. Save even more time by automating reminders.
Regular reports are important for tracking your performance, but producing them can be a drag. Instead, use software tools with integrated analytics to measure your business activities. These can include your social media reports, chatbot analytics, or sales data.
The 12 best sales automation software for 2022
There are a ton of tools out there that promise to transform your business. Here are our picks for the most indispensable options.
Heyday is a conversational AI assistant, designed to support your customers at every stage of their shopping journey. Heyday helps customers find the products they want, answers FAQs, and provides order updates. It can also support your sales team, by capturing leads and collecting data. It integrates with all your messaging channels to support customers everywhere.
Heyday also provides powerful built-in analytics to sharpen your business strategy. Learn more about your customers with each interaction, and direct your efforts for the greatest impact.
Get a free Heyday demo
Social media has never been more important— or more time-consuming if you’re posting manually. Hootsuite can do the heavy lifting of scheduling and posting to each platform. Plus, it provides you with the most important social media analytics. It also centralizes all your social media profiles into one clear, organized dashboard.
Beyond posting, Hootsuite also lets you monitor audience engagement. You can tune into important customer conversations, and coordinate your team’s replies. Plus, your sales team can use Hootsuite to find and connect with new leads.
And as social commerce grows even more important, you can use Hootsuite to sell products right on Instagram!
Try Hootsuite free for 30 days!
LeadGenius helps sales and marketing teams connect with valuable prospects. With LeadGenius, you can automate data acquisition tasks using their Flow browser extension. This allows you to quickly find new potential customers, and update your existing contacts.
And with DataGenius, you can search the web for accounts and contacts that align with your target audience. That means less time spent searching for new customers, and more high-quality prospects. You know the phrase “Work smarter, not harder?” This is exactly what it means.
Overloop (formerly Prospect.io) is a sales automation tool for outbound campaigns. It allows your sales team to scale up their prospecting efforts across multiple channels, and analyze their results. From there, you can create custom flows to maximize your results.
Your team can also use Overloop to automate recruitment and business development activities. Plus, it integrates with other automation tools for a unified workflow.
5. LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Where can you find new prospects? Well, the world’s largest professional network is a start.
With more than 830 million members, the people you’re searching for are already on LinkedIn. And with Sales Navigator, you can find prospects using customized, targeted search tools. Manage leads in the platform, or integrate with your CRM.
Why do some interactions lead to a deal, and others to a dead end? With Gong, you can stop wondering. It captures and analyzes your customer interactions, yielding data on the most effective tactics and strategies. In short, it turns the art of customer engagement into a science.
Gong can help every member of your sales team become a star performer, by creating data-driven workflows to follow. Identify weaknesses in your sales pipeline and address them with clear, actionable steps.
Skip the back-and-forth scheduling nightmares. With Calendly, your prospects and customers can book meetings with a single click. You’ll never have to send another email saying, “Are you free Monday afternoon for a call?” Let alone the inevitable follow-up: “Okay, how about Tuesday?”
Founded in 2013, Calendly exploded during the pandemic. (The sudden proliferation of virtual meetings might have something to do with it.) In 2020 alone, the user base grew by an incredible 1,180%!
It integrates directly with your calendar, so you can determine your windows of availability. You can also collect contact data and send follow-ups automatically.
84% of customers value experience as much as product quality. To stay competitive, you need to provide a top-tier customer experience. That’s why you need a CRM.
A CRM helps all your departments work together, by centralizing customer data. That means everyone has the same information, and can see what actions have been taken. From the customer perspective, it’s smoother, more coordinated support at every step.
And Salesforce is a top-rated CRM for good reason. It’s endlessly customizable for your business needs, and integrates with all the other tools you rely on. Plus, you can automate repetitive processes like emails, approvals and data entry.
9. Hubspot Sales
Another superpowered CRM option, perfect for teams of all sizes. Hubspot Sales Hub coordinates each stage of your sales pipeline, allowing you to track and measure your team’s activities.
You can nurture customers and prospects automatically, using customized workflows. Spend less time enrolling prospects and sending emails, and increase your revenues and response rates at the same time.
For smaller businesses, Sales Hub has free and affordable monthly plans. You can scale up as you grow while spending your finite resources wisely.
ClientPoint lets you streamline the process of creating and sharing documents. These include contracts, proposals, and information packages.
With ClientPoint, you can also get analytics on each document and set up automated alerts and reminders to close the deal.
Odds are, your sales team does a lot of email outreach. Yesware helps you streamline and focus your efforts, by tracking the results of your communications. It integrates directly with your email client, so it doesn’t feel like an extra step in your process. In fact, you don’t need to change anything at all: Yesware gathers information for you, then makes it easy to share insights with your team.
Yesware also lets you save your best emails as templates, so you can duplicate your success. It also includes features like scheduling and email sending.
Zapier is an app for apps. It allows you to link one app to another, creating a continuous automated workflow. For example, you can automate personalized emails to new customers by creating a “Zap” between Shopify and Gmail. Or send weekly social media reports to your team by using Zapier to connect Hootsuite and Slack. With over 5,000 apps, the possibilities are almost endless.
Ready to add sales automation to your operations? Start with a Heyday demo to learn how conversational AI can boost your sales and customer satisfaction!
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