What is Sales Automation?
A recent Salesforce report says that sales reps spend only 28% of their working hours actually selling.
That means that two-thirds of their time is being naturally wasted by mostly manual tasks and inefficient processes and management. The most successful companies have automated their sales to be more competitive and generate bigger revenues.
Sales automation in Salesforce enables sales teams to save time and perform a wide range of manual tasks automatically by pre-setting up algorithms or implementing of native Salesforce software solutions.
In terms of sales automation, it can be applied to the cost-price-quote operations (CPQ) when sales reps struggle to provide the best and most attractive sales proposals for clients.
This process can include a variety of steps with pricing and discount calculation, product configuration, editing opportunities, quote approvals, adjusting quote templates, etc.
Today, sales teams can automate and manage the everyday, repetitive tasks of their sales pipeline by implementing special sales software into their Salesforce CRM to set up smooth sales flows and provide accurate sales proposals for clients.
Sales Automation Benefits
The most typical outcomes of efficient sales automation are:
- Shorter sales cycles
- Larger average deal size
- Faster deals closure
- Decrease in time-to-quote
- Increased lead conversion rate
- Revenue forecasting opportunities
- Transparency of lead account and opportunity history
- Increased sales reps productivity
- Improved customer experience
The client enjoys a well-balanced buyer journey, can receive and edit the proposal in a favorable and convenient way, can respond to a sales representative, and can interact effectively on a deal.
Don't forget to check out: Boost Your Sales with Effective Email Pitch Strategies in Salesforce
Analysis of Current Sales Processes
Every day, sales reps deal with tons of complicated products and services, generate complex quotes, and communicate with customers in a highly competitive environment. Company growth typically depends on closing more deals and closing them faster. Old sales tools like Excel and manual procedures are no longer effective at providing deal velocity without errors and recalculations.
Sales reps want to be sure that they offer the right products and the right deals for their customers just in time.
Typical areas for analysis to find the weak points of current sales operations address the following questions:
- What manual administrative tasks take the most time from your sales reps?
- What processes can be optimized or automated?
- What sales software does not integrate with your CRM and needs an alternative to operate effectively?
- Does the use of the current software provide the ROI you expected?
- How do speed and accuracy improve the customer experience throughout the sales process?
- Where are the bottlenecks in your current sales cycle?
- What weak points do your sales reps enumerate in the current sales flow?
These questions will help to formulate the current weak point of your sales flows and provide insights into what steps can be undertaken to automate your business and make all the processes managerial and estimated in time.
Selecting the Right Automation Software for Salesforce CRM
Here is our roadmap of the most crucial points to follow during the decision-making process:
- Identify your current business needs and flow priorities
- Create a checklist of the most needed features for your business
- Select ''5-star'' and ''native'' for Salesforce apps first matching the checklist
Play with "5-star" reviews and "native" filters to create a short list of the best apps.
- Try-before-buy an app via Test Drive or Trial Installation
AppExchange is a great platform because it provides excellent ways for your sales team to estimate products via a trial install or test drive.
- Check the software logic, integration, and navigation capabilities
Ensure, you and your sales team will be able to adapt and navigate the software without difficulties. The chosen solution should be easy to set up, use, and even customize for the sales rep's needs. Don’t hesitate to consult experienced Salesforce consultants.
- Keep in mind security issues regarding data storage and safety risks
The solution should guarantee all possible security measures are applied to a potential data loss or cyber attack.
- Estimate the ROI with regard to the sales reps' time savings and the app's pricing policy
If the solution is provided on a paid basis, you should definitely think of the overall annual cost for licenses and possible complex customization costs. Time is everything, so try to forecast the sales growth powered by automation tools using sales KPIs over a period of time and compare it to the corresponding costs. That will provide you with the big picture.
- Check that the app supports multi-currency and third-party e-sign solution integration
- Consider future updates, customization needs, and costs
Make sure that the vendor will offer you qualitative ongoing service options available via the most convenient methods for you. So when looking for a company that will provide you with business automation software solutions, search among those that can support it properly.
- Estimate the support policy and response time to issues that arise
To sum up, select apps that coincide the most with your checklist, business needs, budget, and implementation resources, and start implementation to automate your sales.
Check out another amazing blog by Sculptor here: 5 + 1 Reasons Why You Need Salesforce CPQ Software for Your Business
TOP Salesforce Tools to Automate Your Sales
Sales teams use an average of 10 tools to close deals.
We can recommend three of them to make your everyday sales smooth and automated.
TOP 3 Mistakes of the Sales Automation Process
Following trends often drive the company to a dead end. It is important to understand that no matter how universal and high-tech, for example, software is, its purchase may exceed the cost of manual labor by sellers, and all of the program's functionality will be used, for example, by only 10% of the population, leaving the rest redundant. That is, the cost of owning the technology will exceed the possible revenues from using it.
Lack of Internally Qualified Resources
If the enterprise is large, it is wiser to entrust the implementation and optimization process to third-party experts or an organization with professional expertise in this field than to spend the time of employees trying to independently integrate and configure software for business needs internally.
What does a professional IT consultancy really do? Not focusing on the features and the solution itself but on the business and the processes of a customer who's interested in investing. And sometimes their role is to convince, them that the company first needs to solve some specific organizational issues and only after that is it the best time to start automation and all relevant processes.
Neglecting the Human Factor
All IT projects and investments are not about technology; they are about people. You need to clearly understand how people interact, how people communicate, and how your salespeople work every day to make their customers happy.
It is necessary to conduct research and surveys of personnel to identify which processes, from their point of view, interfere with the growth of sales efficiency. Perhaps the data obtained will optimize current processes without the need to introduce new technologies or will allow your sales team to learn and adopt new tools in a short time, providing additional motivation to sell more effectively.
Originally published at Sculptor.Cloud.com