Sales Automation and Outreach for B2B Companies
Sales automation allows for a company to thrive and keep a competitive edge as the rest of the industry increasingly uses sales automation technology, while those who stay with manual data entry fall behind.
This Whole Selling Business and How It Works
So, what is sales automation? Well, it’s in the name: an automation of sales.
Letting an algorithm take control of the boring, tiring, and painstaking process of finding a potential buyer and engaging with them in the hope of having a conversation that will turn into a closed deal. Administrative and data-entry tasks are the main enemies at play here, and, in the digital era of the 21st century, e-mail appeals, inventory control, contact upkeep, etc. have fallen under the rigid story of business machinery.
It isn’t just for your established brands and companies that a sales process is set-in-stone. Even if you’re just testing the waters to see if a market is big enough and/or what might be a good market position, sales automation software is to your concrete advantage because you will instantly see if there is potential or not instead of having to find out via a lot of unreplied emails. There is an ideal solution for everyone, regardless of how far from the starting line one is.
That being said, its idealness must be very carefully planned. Like all software, it’s as useful as a wet notebook if done incorrectly, which is why the best practice is to form and follow a strict step-by-step guide with the end-goal of a working sales automation system:
1. Outline Your Current Process
Chart out your entire sales process from beginning to end, with every step articulated in pain-staking, explicit detail. There must be no stone left unturned. Some things --but not everything--that absolutely must be taken into consideration in this step: Ideal customer profile, creation and editing of documents, structure of follow-up emails, call analysis, proposal creation, and accuracy of pricing and reporting.
2. Diagnosis and Prognosis
Once you’ve got your entire sales process outlined, described, and surgically examined, you can continue by understanding the flaws in your current design and how you would like to automate them. You should have clear, concrete, and achievable objectives as to what you would like sales automation to do for you.
3. Research the Necessary Tools
Now that all of the background chores have been finished, it’s time to start doing research for the tools as described in the second part of this chapter. It’s better to have an acute software that specializes in helping you obtain your specific goals.
4. Form a Dedicated Team
Next, a dedicated team that can implement and care for all of the work involved with your chosen program. This would entail an accurate setting up of the software so that it automates your goals and fixes the flaws as outlined in step one.
5. Perform Trial Runs
Because step four is bound to have overlooked areas of consequence, it is highly encouraged that your team perform some trial runs to determine the efficacy of how you’ve set up your software. Any flaws or imperfections should make themselves abundantly clear with successive trial runs.
Once you have everything sorted and your program works as intended, it should be ready to deploy. This action should reflect an absolute confidence in the structure of your software and sales proficiency; if any steps have been done half-heartedly, your sales will fall apart.
Generally, the most important areas for a sales team to examine would be client prospecting, pipeline management, lead tracking, engagement, bureaucratic approval, and follow-up. However, this is not to say that a few things might turn out to be indispensable in the long-run, such as insight-compilation.
Once you’ve got this process finished and tailored to your company, you can finally embark on perfecting the craft that is your company’s specialty. It should still be acknowledged, though, that sales automation is still a work in progress, which is why we would include a list of the current advantages and disadvantages:
- The hallmark of sales automation, it proffers the ability to dismiss time-consuming tasks such as manual data entry, thorough management, and planning of time to sell.
- It allows for a company to thrive and keep a competitive edge as the rest of the industry increasingly uses sales automation technology, while those who stay with manual data entry fall behind.
- As automation is not yet standard in sales, a considerable initial investment and set-up is necessary.
- Personalization is still a relatively new concept that has not yet become an industry standard. Your clients may be taken aback at what may be perceived as a lack of trying to understand them.*
*However, as sales teams realize the need to have an authentic human touch to every sales lead, the supply of sales automation tools should adapt to the demands of personalization.