May 27, 2022
Sales follow-ups are a tricky business.
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Automation is the talk of the business town these days.
Organizations are looking for use cases in their business functions to apply automation. Sales and marketing are no newbies to this either.
Every webinar, event, blog article, whitepaper, and social media post around sales I come across these days talks about sales automation.
The sales automation software market is growing exponentially every passing year. And why shouldn't it? The market demand explains the growth.
Global organizations are looking for intelligent automation solutions to improve sales efficiency and productivity.
But isn't the ultimate goal to close more deals?
And to close more deals, you need a strong sales pipeline.
You will get a lot of information online on how automation can help improve the productivity and efficiency of your sales team.
In this article, we will focus on in-depth strategies to improve your sales pipeline.
But before that, let us clearly define the sales pipeline and its various stages.
TechTarget defines a sales pipeline as a representation of sales prospects and where they are in the buying process. Simply put, it is a tool that helps the sales team understand the status of various prospects in the buyer journey.
The objective of the sales pipeline is to:
Tracking potential buyers using the sales pipeline helps you gain clarity on what the future holds for your business. Insights driven from the sales pipeline are used to build effective sales strategies.
According to a McKinsey report, you can automate more than 30% of sales-related activities. Let us look at automation strategies you can implement at every stage of the sales pipeline to improve your sales pipeline performance.
Prospecting is a sales process of identifying key prospects who fit your buyer persona and might need your product or service.
At this stage of your sales pipeline, the critical activity is outreach. Your sales team uses strategies such as email outreach, marketing activities, lead generation, and cold calling to increase the awareness of your product/service amongst prospects. It also includes sales follow-ups and assigning prospects to sales reps.
To improve your sales pipeline at this stage, leverage sales automation techniques to help your team save time and eliminate manual errors. Here are a few ways in which you can automate prospecting activities:
The lead qualification stage in the sales pipeline is about qualifying prospects who need your product/service and have a clear buying intent.
At this stage, you can improve your lead qualification process with automation in the following ways:
After qualifying leads, the next step is scheduling one-on-one meetings and demos with qualified prospects.
At this stage, it is essential to avoid manual errors - enter automation.
Use automation to automate scheduling meetings with prospects. Use automated calendars to enable prospects to request demos based on their availability. This reduces inefficiencies and speeds up the sales process.
Did you know that 42% of sales teams using a CRM use it to automate meeting scheduling? That's right. Don't fall behind; start automating your meeting scheduling right away.
Other ways in which you can leverage automation to improve this stage of your sales pipeline are:
For complex products and services with multiple features and offers, sales staff spends a lot of time generating customized quotes. It adds confusion and frustration to both sales teams and the client.
A general sales quote generation process includes the following steps:
Use automation to automate these steps in your quote/proposal process to save the valuable time of your sales staff and deliver a good customer experience.
Here are a few ways in which you can automate quote/proposal generation:
Sharing documents and sales enablement collateral is a significant part of the final stage of your sales process. It is an easy trap for your sales team to make manual errors between all the chaos and excitement of closing a deal.
The best way to avoid human errors and ensure efficiency is to automate sharing standardized sales documents with the prospect based on specific timelines.
Sales automation improves and speeds up your sales pipeline by pushing prospects down the funnel faster. It also helps boost your sales conversions, saves your sales team valuable time, shortens your sales cycles, and enhances your customer experience. Leverage sales automation to redefine your sales pipeline process completely.
There are always some pretty cool things going on here. Don't forget to check back periodically for the latest updates.
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