Sales teams are stuck in a downward spiral of wasted time and inefficiencies, thanks to outdated tactics and a lack of tools.

Sales representatives spend only 30 percent of their time on actual sales, the remaining 70 percent are unproductive activities that are not related to sales.
This fact alone is enough to accept the need to automate everything that is possible in order to reduce the influence of the human factor since it is unproductive to fight with human nature.

Automation will allow your sales team to focus on what the “robots” do not know how to do yet, on what they do better and what you need them to do — building relationships with customers and deal directly with sales.

Automation of «routine» processes will increase the stability of the quality of performance of these processes and increase both current and repeat sales. In addition, it will free up the time of your salespeople in order to engage in their direct responsibilities — to collect information, consult, promote deals in stages — to sale. Automation will also allow you to take control of large amounts of information about your customers and transactions and personalize sales, which will lead to the best results.

Of course, there should be a balanced approach to sales automation, you should not try to automate everything at once. There are two extremes — sales are entirely in «manual» mode (for most traditional businesses), the other is an attempt at total automation, which is observed in some companies.

This approach deprives sales of flexibility. For example, full scripted communication of managers with clients can also lead to some loss of sales, because not all customers will like this “robotic” approach, and the manager may miss out on sales opportunities associated with the need for some flexibility.

If your sales system allows controlled variation from a hard scenario, you get the benefits of an individual approach to working with each client.

In other words, automation is a necessity, which plays a key role in the modern sales system, but it is still impossible to completely avoid human participation in sales. In the future, with the development of artificial intelligence, the role of human in sales will decline.

Today, there are many IT-platforms for sales management, there are plenty to choose from, taking into account the specifics of your business. IT sales automation begins with the selection and proper configuration of a CRM system.
Most CRM-systems provide similar benefits, have similar functionality. In addition to the systems themselves, there are many “extensions” — widgets that are used to integrate a CRM system with third-party services to create an integrated automated system.

12 tips for sales automation.

1. CRM
Advantages of using a CRM system:
• A repository of all information about customers and transactions, with convenient search and controlled access — you are no longer dependent on the resigning employee with his invaluable notebook with all his records.
• The system of analytics and reports that allows you to quickly and accurately identify weaknesses in the work of the team.
• Saves and launches all incoming requests — nothing is lost
Despite the fact that the CRM system is the main tool for automating the sales department, automation does not begin with it, but with the correct setting up of the sales business process.

2. IP telephony
Allows you to record calls for further analysis, set up “smart” redirection under flexible scenarios, analyze the effectiveness of advertising sources. Like the CRM system, it is an excellent tool, the potential of which can be revealed if you have the “methodical” part of automation configured.

3. Standards of performance
When you have adopted standards for the number of processed leads, the number of calls, meetings with customers, etc., you automatically correlate the results with the standards and adjust the salary. Such automation works much better than long conversations with salespeople and, as a result, saves time and energy of a manager.
3. Automated e-mail and messages chain.
You once set up a chain of messages to a new customer, all new leads get step-by-step involving in relation to your product, which helps them to make a right decision — buy from you, it also does not allow the client to forget your company. As a result, conversion rises up.

4. Notifications.
The system automatically informs the salesperson about the need to perform the next task of the deal, the receipt of the order, the receipt of money from the client, missed calls or messages from the client, etc.

5. Book of sales and sales library.
In order not to walk endlessly in a circle on the meetings, again and again talking about the optimal scenario of behavior in a given situation to salespeople, you create an internal “Knowledge Base” that is constantly updated. New employees, as well as all employees, when a new situation arises, quickly get a response from the Knowledge Base.

6. Virtual planning meetings
You no longer need to get all managers from the “fields” to the planning meeting in the office, you just hold the planning meeting via video conferencing or in a group chat in one of the instant messengers, if we are talking about simple questions — a plan-to-fact report, etc. Invaluable time savings and the ability to constantly be in touch with everyone, without taking anyone away from the sales process.

7. E-document flow
Say «goodbye» to those times when the sales had to waste time  mailing documents to the client or make visits for signed copies. Everything can be done electronically, including automatic invoice generation and sending to the client.

8. Coordination the terms.
Days ago salespeople used to take hours and even days to agree on non-standard terms for customers, now you can set up instant notifications to the Commercial, Financial Director, HSD — to all who need, with the instant request for price approval. The salesperson can receive acceptance immediately (setting up relevant business processes is required). Other words, the sales person can agree extra discount with three or more steakholders in seconds, while making call to customer and save the deal.

9. Chatbot
These are forerunners of «future sales «. The elementary functions of a chat bot can be set up even by anyone. Big companies are already using chatbots, which are hard to distinguish from a person. A real opportunity to withdraw from sales a serious part of the routine.

10. Video explanations.
It’s easier to demonstrate one time, than to make written explanation a hundred times. Video format displaces texts everywhere. Create a library of video explanations for new employees and customers. Short videos included in the chain of welcome messages to the client will help — what product to choose, will help to sell, help to understand the steps to purchase.

11. Scripts and speech patterns
Even the most brilliant salesperson is difficult to manage 100% in all situations of communications. Most salespeople are the most ordinary, new employee not always properly prepared come. Therefore, scripts and speech patterns are indispensable. These are the “bricks” of communications of your salespeople with clients, and the “cement” is flexible use of scripts and improvisation.

12. Automatic analytics of conversations of managers.
Not all companies listen to managers’ calls with clients, even selectively. Meanwhile, it is a great source for identifying weak points in sales. Now you can analyze 100% of your managers’ calls with clients and receive automated reports on weak points. Such reports are prepared by a “robot”, based on transcribed search in conversations with keywords and keyphrases.
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