Many have heard the age-old saying, “it’s a poor craftsman that blames his tools.” While it is important to have the right tools to have sales process automation success, it is easy to dismiss a CRM and automation solution because it doesn’t show results immediately. Often, this lack of results is due to a misunderstanding of the goals of the product, as well as a poor implementation process. The sooner sales managers and business owners can come to understand what truly constitutes sales process automation success, the better. This is the only way that the tools truly work.
Automation Doesn’t Mean Minimizing Phone Time
All too often, a misunderstanding of sales automation has companies attempting to automate the most high-engagement parts of the sales process. Phone time, however, is exactly what you want your sales team engaged in: what sales automation does is deliver high-value, qualified leads so those phone conversations can lead somewhere. If anything, your sales team will now have more time for in-depth, expertise-driven conversations that demonstrate how great your company is and make the sale.
Automate Processes that are High Frequency and Low Value
Because high-engagement phone calls are still the priority of the sales team, the automation focus should be on all those over-and-over tasks that aren’t high value: these are campaigns to re-engage cold leads, email reminders of abandoned shopping carts, and quick surveys about satisfaction. These emails are tedious for your sales staff to work on, and they have a much lower return per-engagement than personalized chat and phone conversations. Free up your team to do their highest value work by doing the necessary but tedious work via automation.
Talk to Your Sales Team About What Really Benefits Them
Too many CRM and automation solutions are chosen without the buy-in of the sales team. If it feels like they change software all the time, sales teams are likely to grow resistant. Instead, talk with them before choosing the next software and learn what they worry about. What helps them clinch the sale, and what takes hours of their day without moving the bottom line? This information can help you figure out how to make sales teams both more effective and happier, which leads to company loyalty. At the same time, this knowledgeable staff will also have ideas for things to automate that you might never have thought of.
Sales Process Automation Should Bring People Into Conversation With Your Team
Ultimately, you want automation efforts to funnel leads toward your sales team. As with all leads, some will drop out because they aren’t truly interested, but automation should allow the maximum number of leads who are ready to buy into your sales team’s capable hands. If your CRM and automation solution isn’t accomplishing this goal, consider whether or not the original implementation went in a direction that caused a mismatch between plans and outcomes.
Allocate Resources for a Small But Full Roll-Out
If “go big or go home” is the theory that gets results, many companies end up instead just spending lots of money and not making a targeted full roll-out to get good data. If you aren’t fully confident of your software, allocate enough time to do the research and make plans that will really save everyone time and headaches. Just adding the software without budgeting for training and development of new strategies is likely to waste more money than it saves. Thus, don’t throw tons of money behind a solution you haven’t tried, but also realize that as you get started, you may have to innovate, re-invest, and keep pushing in order to get the sales automation process that works best for your company.
Don’t fall victim to sales process failure just because you aren’t really ready for the implementation and results phases. Your company is within reach of success in sales automation.