What is Sales Automation? A Beginner's Guide

We’re a marketing agency. A lot of folks think our job is to write blog posts and set up email campaigns, maybe do some paid advertising on Google. The truth is, digital marketing is the first step in a much bigger process to generate new leads and ultimately get your organization more sales. In our last blog post, we talked about the hand-off from marketing to sales. Today, we’ll take a look at the next part of the equation—managing your list of prospects, nurturing leads and ultimately closing deals through a mechanized process of sales automation.

Why Does My Company Need Sales Automation?

Fair question. Developing, implementing and following a sales automation process can be a big lift and seeing a return on your investment is critical. Let’s start by defining what sales automation actually is. In short, sales automation is:

The mechanization of manual, time-consuming sales tasks using software, artificial intelligence (AI) and other digital tools. It aims to manage or own responsibilities that sales reps and managers do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis (HubSpot).

In other words, sales automation saves your organization a lot of time by creating automatic processes to empower your sales team to focus their energy on the human side of selling. Additionally, sales automation by definition creates repeatable processes for everyone to follow and help you identify inefficiencies or room for improvement. Here are a few specific ways sales automation can help:

  • Updating deal or contact properties 
  • Moving prospects from one deal stage to the next
  • Assigning and creating sales tasks and follow-ups
  • Automatically sending out internal emails and notifications

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Automating your organization's sales processes not only helps make selling easier, but picks up right where your marketing leaves off. 

How Sales Picks Up from Marketing

Online marketing is all about telling your brand’s unique story. Through some of the channels we mentioned above and others, it’s all about providing the best possible information to your audience and answering the questions they might have about your service, product or industry in general. 

Marketing’s ultimate goal is to capture your organization more leads, usually through a form submission or other channel. Through various marketing automations, you can learn a good deal about your prospects—what kind of content resonates with them, how close they are to buying and how engaged they are with your organization. All of this info helps your sales team make smarter decisions when beginning the sales process. That’s where sales automation comes in. 

How CRMs Enable Sales Automation

CRM text with various tech attributes associated with | ProFromGo Internet Marketing PittsburghIn order to unleash the full power of a sales automation process, you’ll probably want to invest in some form of sales software. The most valuable piece of software for sales automation is your customer relationship manager or CRM. Your company’s CRM is the lynch pin that holds your entire sales process together.

CRMs make it possible for your organization to bring all of your sales collateral, assets, contacts and processes into one central hub. But how about some specifics? With a powerful CRM, you can get a better grip on the information you need to most effectively sell. Here are a few areas where a CRM helps your sales team shine:

  • Prospecting - Find potential customers in the wild and start nurturing
  • Lead Enrichment - Use a CRM to learn as much as you can about your leads
  • Contact Creation - Set up workflows that automatically add and qualify contacts
  • Email Automation - Trigger automatic emails based on pipeline stage or other criteria
  • Schedule Meetings - Schedule and track all of your conversations
  • Generate and Send Proposals - Start with a template, customize and send it out

How does Sales Automation Help Managers? 

It’s not just your sales team that benefits from implementing sales automation. As a manager, there’s a whole treasure trove of information waiting for you to analyze and respond to. Reporting is just as easy as any other automated process. No more spending half a day or more pulling and analyzing various data to get a glimpse of your staff’s sales performance or pipeline value of active opportunities. 

Lead rotation is another thing of the past—at least for you. CRMs help your organization enter parameters and automatically rotate leads to the next salesperson in line. You can assign by location, company size or any other combination of criteria. 

Finally, let your automation score your leads for you. Through AI and a little legwork up front, you and your team will know the quality of a lead right from the get-go. 

Learn More About Sales Automation in HubSpot with ProFromGo

Sales automation offers a robust arsenal of tools and processes to make your organization’s life a lot easier, and there’s a lot more to go over. If you’re interested in learning more about the sales automation process, contact ProFromGo to see how we can help you get there. 

Chris Vendilli
About the Author
Chris is the founder and CEO of Vendilli Digital Group. In his free time, you’ll find him camping, fishing, or playing beer league ice hockey with a bunch of guys who refuse to admit they’re already over the hill.
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