Marketers and salespeople like to debate about automating sales processes. As you know, automating marketing related workflows has proved to be one of the best things to happen to marketing in the recent few years. We have seen enormous changes in the way marketing has shifted focus from offline to online. We’ve seen how marketers are more aware of buyer’s decision making processes and how to nudge them towards their brand.
What we’ve also seen is, through all this, sales has remained almost oblivious to the changing marketing and selling tactics. Sales has been hesitant to go the way of marketing and adopt automation.
The debate goes on whether automating sales processes is the right thing to do.
The reasons why people believe so are:
- Sales persons are averse to this idea: You cannot blame anyone if automation comes across as a complicated system. I’m sure you’ve come across companies that tell you how they have X number of features more than competitors. Add to that the existing features, the plug-ins and the data graphs. We do make automation sound too heavy, don’t we? The downside of appealing to the marketers has led to aversion from the sales reps. Sales people aren’t usually the techno savvy types and naturally averse to this whole idea of adopting automation.
- Automation is universally a marketers’ domain: The email campaigns and social media marketing tools have led people to believe that automation only serves the marketing lords.
- Sales persons believe automation takes out the human touch out of prospecting and makes it mechanical: salespeople are the people who like to talk and meet people, IN PERSON. For them, automation is taking away an integral part of their job which is connecting with prospects on a one-on-one basis.
- They don’t want to be bogged down to desktops: Sales reps are like the nomads of the corporate world. They are constantly out there talking and meeting potential prospects with no time to spare. To them a sales automation system ties them down to their desktops, robbing of the precious time they could spend selling (or meeting targets).
- They are more focused on leads close to buying stage: Sales is more focused on leads that are close to the buying stage. This is against the principles of automation that concentrates more on the leads that are in the first stage of the buying cycle.
- Heavy reliance on CRM: For sales teams, CRM is the alpha omega for their activities. They have become so used to CRMs that they refuse to let go.
Sales enablement solution is the sales answer to marketing automation. This system has similar capabilities to those of marketing automation, yet with a sales enablement approach.
Why does sales need automation?
A core reason why I think sales automation is a good idea is it’s a timesaver. You can do mundane tasks in one clean swipe and spend more time doing what you should be doing- selling. Using the CRM integration feature, you can constantly update and sync your contacts in lesser time.
Studies reveal that most of a sales rep’s time is spent searching for collateral. In a sales enablement solution, you can store assets using met tags and keywords. Unlike other systems, you don’t have to navigate through a sea of marketing and sales assets till you find the right one.
As sales teams are always trying to juggle time between scheduling client meeting and follow-ups, this time saving aid helps to put more efforts and time in selling instead of spending it doing unproductive work.
Don’t you prefer ordering pizza over the phone instead of going to the pizza place and picking it up yourself? We all are victims of convenience and your sales teams are no exception. Contrary to common belief, automation does not affect the sales workflow in any way. It assists the average sales person to perform better in an efficient way without any inconvenience.
As sales teams are not well versed with designing process. They will find it easy to create assets using sales enablement. This system has pre-approved templates or easy-to-design interface, which doesn’t require you to be a design expert.
A sales person can only sell effectively if she knows her prospect inside out. you can get extensive information about your prospects in a way that you can tell what they need and what they don’t. This is not just big data, but actionable big data. the difference is actionable big data tells you how you follow up with your prospects in real time so you can close the sale fast. You can further use this data to cross sell or upsell within your existing customer base.
In the past sales reps made special efforts to stay in touch with their prospects. This help them build a special bond. It was also to stay in touch with the prospect who don’t need you right now, but maybe they will be a time in the future when they will. All this task was a manual process and in order to close more deals, a sales rep HAD to go through this. Today, however, you have the option of automating your emails so you are constantly in touch with prospects. Using the automated social media drips, you can also foster relationships with prospects, as you would do in reality.
How can we effectively automate the sales process?
In the end, you need to find the one system that will answer all the needs of your sales team. A system that is not an added chore but a relief to them.
Find the right automation system that achieves all the goals like
- closes more sales
- Keeps the sales pipeline engaged at all times
- Optimizes the sales assets
- Keeps your sales team happy
For more information, visit Mindmatrix.