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Sales Automation: A Guide to a More Efficient Sales Process

Human interaction has never been as important as it is today, when most major businesses sell predominantly online, with little to no direct communication with their customers. Add the pandemic into the mix, and even more value is placed in brands that go the extra mile to engage their target audience through more than existing sales content. In such circumstances, it’s natural that many businesses try to keep their sales agents focused on customers and steer clear of too many automation tools. 

In reality, more automation in your sales department can actually make your sales team far more efficient, and the process itself more successful. Here, we’ll suggest a few of the most promising and cost-effective automation solutions, tools to implement them, and strategies to enrich your own sales department. With a few more tasks off your agents’ plates, they will be able to create a much more engaging customer experience and focus on discovering new leads to expand your customer base. 

Introduce Website Chatbots

AI has become a pillar of business success for modern companies, as it enables automation on numerous levels. For example, chatbots on your website enable immediate help for potential customers, but they also leverage those interactions to collect data, spot behavioral trends, recognize common customer issues, and resolve them more quickly.

For your sales team, chatbots can take over quite a few processes. They can provide up-sell and cross-sell offers to customers browsing your website, and they can use the available data to make personalized offers to impress each customer on your site. As a result, your sales team has more time and more information to handle more complex assignments and focus on the long-term growth of your sales. 

Automate Analytics and Reporting

In addition to data entry, to which we’ll get shortly, data analytics and reporting have also become incredibly intricate and demanding, yet crucial for the success of any sales team. Since you have a multitude of sales and support channels, from chat, email, to phone systems, you should leverage their built-in or integrated analytics and reporting features. 

To achieve that, many brands transition from legacy phone systems to VoIP-based communication platforms that not only enable phone calls, but also have built-in call analytics, automated reporting, and call rating. With access to a unified dashboard, you can recognize trends, spot bottlenecks, and resolve customer issues faster, while you also gain a deeper insight into your customers’ preferences. Your sales team can certainly use the reports and the data to improve their own approach and to strengthen their customer bonds.

Use Your Email Campaigns

Email marketing has become one of the most effective ways to generate leads, nurture them, and keep current customers happy and engaged. In the world of B2B for example, email is the top lead generation process available, but it’s equally relevant in the B2C sphere. 

Knowing that, your sales teams should use email automation as a prime way to target, engage, and impress customers every step of the way. What’s so amazing about modern-day email marketing is that it can be automated, so your sales agents don’t have to spend hours crafting responses or sifting through piles of customer purchases to spot a great up-sell opportunity when it arises. 

Collect and Store Relevant Data

We can all agree that data entry is no picnic. It’s time-consuming, mind-numbingly boring, and it leads to all kinds of errors and missed opportunities. We tend to make mistakes on such mindless tasks precisely because they are so repetitive. This is why your sales can go awry, when you fail to recognize a disgruntled customer waiting for your apology or spot a sales opportunity in a batch of leads. 

Thankfully, you can use data management and automated data entry solutions that will help you collate important details about your customers as well as the sales process itself to spot gaps and opportunities for improvement. 

Take Better Control of Your Workflow

When you have many sales agents on your team and numerous processes to keep in check, the more menial tasks you can automate, the better it will be for your teams and their productivity. Enter: workflow automation software such as Kissflow that are designed to provide a simple overview of your entire workflow and help automate as many tasks as possible. 

Ideally, with a tool to track your orders, handle pending requests or queries, and manage ongoing customer relationships, most of those mundane tasks would be handled with a click of a button. Added customization helps your business find specific loopholes in your sales to tackle. That way, you can prevent missed retargeting opportunities, forgetting to reply to a customer’s email, or failing to send a personalized thank-you note. 

Personalization for Better Engagement

On that note, personalization no longer requires heavy grunt work from your sales teams. On the contrary, personalization has become incredibly simplified thanks to AI-powered tools and smart data management software. With the right information at your fingertips, your entire sales department can personalize each interaction with more than just using the customer’s first name. 

They can use previous purchases to check in on them and see if they are satisfied with their product. Alternatively, they can offer personalized discounts and products that are in line with their preferences based on their history with your brand. More personalization in your sales communications helps you make all of your interactions more memorable and engaging. 

 

Of course, there are other ways to integrate automation into your sales cycle, but the listed options are fairly simple and low-maintenance, while they come with a high ROI. Make sure to evaluate your current sales processes, look for ways to add automation across the board, and you’ll be able to provide a much more seamless customer experience, engage your target audience, and transform your sales for the long haul. 

Elaine Bennett is a digital marketing specialist focused on helping startups and small businesses grow. Besides that, she's a regular contributor for Bizzmark Blog and writes hands-on articles about business and marketing, as it allows her to reach even more entrepreneurs and help them on their business journey.

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