Today’s post is by Alexa Lemzy, the customer service manager and content editor at business texting provider TextMagic. She is passionate about automation solutions for businesses, nurturing relationships with customers, and improving marketing and sales communication. You can connect with Alexa on Twitter.
Automation helps sales teams do what they’re here to do: sell. Studies show that salespeople dedicate only a third of their time to sales and less than 20 percent of their time on direct customer-related tasks. The rest is spent on other tasks that can be automated to free up time for selling.
B2B marketers agree that the top benefits of incorporating elements of automating into your sales organization and process are higher volume and better quality leads. And businesses say they experienced 451 percent growth of qualified leads after switching to marketing automation for nurturing prospect relationships.
With sales teams now using an average of five different technologies to automate their processes – and 70 percent of businesses using some form of marketing automation – it’s no longer a question of if you’re going to automate, but when and with what tools.
The gap between a customer expressing interest in a product and a salesperson contacting them is astonishingly wide, with 70 percent of leads remaining uncontacted by sales teams. This can be attributed to inefficient processes.
It’s simply not possible for salespeople to manually generate emails to all the people who check out their products – especially since the channels used to advertise are increasing (Website, social media, etc.).
Creating email templates and sending automated emails in response to triggers such as visiting your Website or social media page, filling out a form, and other types of interaction can help ensure that more leads are contacted with fewer hours spent.
Using manual processes to contact sales leads may not seem like it makes much of a difference. But consider how much automating something as simple as dialing a lead’s phone number can increase your productivity. Automated dialing means sales reps reach up to 40 percent more leads per day.
That’s a huge edge over offices that are still pressing buttons. A program that syncs your customer lists – that allows you push one button instead of several – can make it easier for reps to contact a long list of leads.
Text has a lot of benefits to salespeople. With astronomical open rates (close to 98 percent) that come lightning fast (90 percent of texts are opened within three minutes of being sent), many businesses that adopt text have experienced higher response rates. But text’s efficiency also means your salespeople are essentially saving time by texting over other forms of communication.
In this text messaging case study of LWS, a telesales company, using text messaging helped them increase their sales and let the customers reply to offers via text – resulting in a sales work efficiency increase of 30 percent in sales and excellent return for conversion.
Besides ensuring that a lead is going to make your appointment, texting can easily be automated to send messages to leads at specified intervals and to respond to messages received with automated templates.
A good salesperson knows what factors (budget, decision-making authority, needs) make a lead a priority. But what if, instead of sitting down and crunching numbers to determine which leads deserve your immediate attention, you could have that process automated for you with all the data laid out in a simple program?
Tools like Salesforce and Leadsquared allow businesses to set up which factors make a lead a priority to them and calculate a lead’s prioritization level based on the program’s algorithm. That way your most agile sales team members can skip the information crunching and data pulling and get right to what they’re good at – selling your product.
Sometimes sending emails about in-house subjects like meeting notes, sales reports, and other issues can take up precious time that could be spent on landing new sales. And what about the time spent transferring files from one team member to another – or having to wait for a file you could really use now?
Adopting a cloud-based system can help cut down on time spent waiting for the files you need as well as drafting unnecessary emails to everyone just so you can attach a file. Just send the relevant file to cloud-based storage so those who need to see it can and you can get on with your sales.
Automation helps businesses save time and costs and improve the quality of work in various departments. Sales teams are not the exception, so take advantage of the wide range of possibilities automation offers to sell more and better.