What is Sales Automation? The Complete Guide

sales-automation

A sales team requires to do a lot of tasks and activities to hit their target quotas. Some are understanding the customer needs, collecting customer data, regular follow-ups, scheduling meetings, sending emails, and so on. Fortunately, with sales automation, these repetitive tasks have not been a big deal for them. 

Studies have shown that over 80% of businesses are now adopting sales automation. Sales automation tools make it way easier to close deals by freeing them from their mundane activities. Let’s take a deep dive into sales automation and explore why you need to consider it for your business. 

In this guide, we will discuss, 

What is Sales Automation?

Sales automation is the process of streamlining sales activities and automating repetitive sales tasks using digital tools. 

CRM software, email marketing tools and other automation platforms have features that help in automating different parts of the sales process. With sales automation, you can automate the routine tasks of managing leads, following up with them till sending the last payment confirmation email. 

Here are some sales processes that can be automated.

sales automation for sales process

Benefits of Sales Automation

Sales automation when used to the fullest potential can drive your sales higher than you expect. Take a look at some major benefits of automating the sales processes. 

  1. Increases Conversions

Sales automation streamlines and speeds up your sales process making it easier for you to convert leads into sales. With sales automation, you can handle a large number of leads and move them from one stage of the sales pipeline to another swiftly.

  1. Reduces Errors

Doing sales tasks manually can lead to errors. With a minor mistake, you can even lose a good sales opportunity. This is when sales automation can save you. It performs repetitive tasks accurately minimising errors and increasing the overall efficiency of your sales team.

  1. Maintain Customer Relationships

Being responsive is vital for maintaining good relationships with the customers. By automating your follow-ups, emails and other activities you can stay close to your customers and make them feel valued. 

  1. Get better insights

With automation tools, you can get reports on your customer behaviour and analyse how your sales are progressing. This gives you insights into how you need to strategize your sales processes down the road. For example, you can get reports on your sales pipeline and see the conversion rates of your deals, the win and loss rate, average closed rates, weekly revenue reports etc.

  1. Stores data in one place

CRMs have inbuilt sales automation features where you can gather all your customer and sales information in one place. With all the accurate data, you can keep everyone in your organisation on the same page about your sales. 

Sales Automation Examples to Follow

Lead Distribution

Assigning leads to the sales reps can be frustrating when you have a large number on your list. When not distributed evenly, you can even lose your leads. That’s when sales automation comes in handy.

You can automatically assign leads to a sales rep based on the conditions you give. For example, say you run a sports e-commerce store offering various products. You might need to distribute leads based on the location of the customer, the product required, priority status, or lead source ( ads, website visits, offline etc). This is easy with automation.

lead assignment

Scheduling 

It can take you days to find the right time for you and your customer to schedule a meeting. It can be a little unprofessional too from your side if you are not able to find a time slot that works for both teams.  

But, by using automation tools with scheduling functionalities like Calendly, Zapier etc, you can schedule a meeting and free yourself from the back and forth emailing. Clients just have to view the sales rep’s calendar and choose a time slot that works for them. The meeting will be automatically added to your calendar.

scheduling

Client Communication

Staying connected to the customers is one of the greatest advantages of sales automation. With automated SMS and email sequences you can stay off the clock, yet stay close to your customers.

Many CRMs have marketing automation capabilities where you can automate your SMS, and email messages based on specific triggers and conditions. 

client communication

Email Templates

Typing the same messages over and over again for different customers could tire you.  With automation, you can create pre-set email templates and create automation to send them when needed. 

For example, say you want to send a welcome email to your contacts. You just have to create a welcome email template and set email automation to send them when contacts are added. You can use email marketing tools for this or simply use a CRM tool with this feature so that you can do many things from one place. 

email templates

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Invoicing

Invoicing is an essential part of the sales system of a business. With an automation platform, you can create automated payment systems for your business to create and send invoices and accept payments. 

You can simply create an automation to send invoices even when your sales reps are not available. Your customers can stay updated about their payments and invoices by automated reminders, ensuring frequent cash flow in your business. 

invoicing

Reporting

If you are a sales manager you might be spending hours creating reports of your company’s sales process. It requires a lot of data entry and tabulation.

You can do that easily using sales automation platforms. This helps you to create real-time reports of how your sales pipeline stages are progressing very accurately.  You can either use a reporting automation tool or CRM tools to create reports. 

sales report

How to Implement Sales Automation in your Business?

Not sure how to get started with automation? Here are some tips to automate sales process steps.

  • Analyse your sales process

The first step of sales automation is to identify the inefficiencies in your business. Analyse your sales process and find out where you need to improve.

Check with your sales reps and identify what tasks take a lot of time. Once done, analyse what types of automation you need to implement.

  • Choose the right automation tool

The next step to automate sales is to choose automation tools. Understand what type of automation you need and go for a tool that serves your purpose. Take demos, explore the tools in the free trial version, think about your budget and decide upon your automation tool.

  • Set Goals and Track results

It is important that you set goals and targets that you expect to achieve after the automation of sales processes. Also, create reports and track results to identify whether you are moving on the right track. This lets you improve your steps of sales processes down the road. 

For eg: If you are using a CRM tool, analyse the sales and customer pipeline results and update your strategies as per the report.

How Zenys helps with Automating Sales

If you are running a small business you might need to automate different areas in your sales process like lead management, data entry, communication, emailing, invoicing etc. Using different tools for all these purposes can not only be a financial drain but too chaotic too. 

In this case, you can use a small business CRM like Zenys. With Zenys you can do multiple things in just a single place. Here are some elements in your sales process that you can automate with Zenys.

zenys sales pipeline
  • Automatic scheduling of follow-ups with customers. 
  • Assigning tasks, follow-ups tagged to the contacts to your sales reps.
  • Stage transitions in your contact and sales pipeline based on specific triggers.
  • Creating email and message templates for customers, and sales views.
  • Sending automated emails and SMS sequences. 
  • Sending automated invoice emails.
  • Sending invoices to customers and sharing payment links.
  • Collecting online payments from customers. 
  • Tracking and reporting of how things are going in your sales pipeline.