Automation offers many opportunities for sales organizations to increase their productivity and close more deals. Technology can not only streamline repetitive tasks, freeing up salespeople to engage in core selling, it can reveal patterns and opportunities that allow organizations focus their resources on tasks likely to yield the greatest returns.
Here are six ways sales organizations can use automation to improve their productivity:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM). CRM software is perhaps the most popular form of sales productivity automation used by sales organizations today. Combining the key features of old manual Rolodex-type customer contact systems and spreadsheets with modern computer software, robust CRMs help salespeople track prospects and customers across multiple channels throughout the sales process. In addition to organizing addresses, phone numbers, titles, emails, company websites and other vital customer information, most salesforce automation promote engagement and reveal sales opportunities by monitoring customer purchase histories, buying preferences and personal information.
- Email and Marketing Automation. Also called inbound marketing automation, these are platforms that allow companies to automate email and newsletter distribution, social media posts and other forms of web-based outreach. They often include software that allows the user determine a communication’s effectiveness as well as follow customers through the entire sales funnel. Companies in this field, such as Marketo, Hubspot and Act-On offer products for email marketing, landing pages, social media prospecting, webinar management, lead management, SEO and CRM integration. These and similar services are having a dramatic impact on sales productivity, and are expected to only increase their influence over the next few years.
- Sales Analytics. Sales analytic systems measure and report data sales organizations need to track individual and group performance along a sales pipeline and to forecast future activity. In theory, they help organizations make more intelligent, fact-based decisions on where and when to commit their resources. A company might choose to use analytics to determine how long sales take from start to close, the value of an average sale, the cost of an average sale, conversion rates, and any similar information they find useful.
- Pipeline Management. Often coupled with sales analytics, pipeline management systems help sales organizations keep track of prospects and customers through each stage of the sales process. They also provide salespeople with automatic reminders when it’s time to follow-up on previous contacts or send out new communications. Some systems even automatically send follow-up emails without the need for human intervention.
- Proposal Automation. Writing simple proposals can be a repetitive, tedious chore. Writing long, complex ones can be downright soul sucking. A well-designed proposal automation system can easily reduce the time it takes to create a sales proposal by 30 percent. Since sales success is often a numbers game, this tends to result in more contracts. In addition, proposal automation reinforces a company’s Best Practices by standardizing the look and language of their proposals throughout the organization. This heightens overall professionalism and helps reinforce the company’s brand.
- Collateral Automation. Sales organizations are often challenged by the need to customize their sales tools to meet the needs of local markets. Brochures and other printed materials often need localized photography, graphics, addresses and contact information to be optimally effective. Dynamic Tool Creators are helping to meet this challenge by allowing salespeople to customize templated sales tools online, creating localized tools on the fly that, while speaking to local audiences, retain the company’s approved messaging and brand standards.
The Peterson Group Offers Sales Productivity Solutions
The Peterson Group (TPG) specializes in helping companies of all sizes improve their sales productivity. Our Tools that Sell® and Technologies that Deliver® help companies improve individual sales performance and generate more revenue over time.