In the past few years, managers from all industries have been flocking to automation tools to keep up with the competition and make their busy schedules more manageable.
However, if you’re new to the idea, automations can seem quite daunting and complicated, so we’ve written our Definitive Guide for Sales Automation in 2022 to help you make technology one of your team’s greatest assets.
It helps align your team’s approach
You get an easy overview of your process
Your data is more consistent
It sends automatic notifications and reminders
Your team becomes more productive
Your customers are more satisfied
With tools like Bitrix24, you can automate almost every step in your sales process, for example:
Automatic replies for calls and emails
Add meetings to calendars
Trigger email sequences
Our guide for sales automation would not be complete without first focusing on your customer relationship manager. Your CRM is the focal point of all your team's activity, and the best software will log all your contact's details along with every message, call, email interaction, and more.
The advantages of a good CRM are pretty much limitless. From an individual perspective, it cuts out small repetitive tasks by automatically registering a lead's activity so you have no fear of things falling through the cracks or being incorrectly uploaded. With all of that taken care of, your team can concentrate on the tasks that require a more human touch.
On a team level, your cloud-based CRM shares all your data across every team member so if anybody is off sick, a colleague can pick up where they left off with all the information at hand.
Some of the most commonly used CRM automations deal with updating your contacts. For example, when a lead is created, you can automatically assign it to the right sales agent, as well as add them to a segmented list based on age range, profession, product they are interested in, or any other objective you want to focus on.
We’ll now go into more detail on some of the more complex aspects of automation that you can use in your daily schedule.
A sales funnel is a set of tasks that take you from the initial contact with a lead to the final stage of a deal — and often beyond. We’ve included funnels in our guide for sales automation because they provide a full circle of interconnected tasks so your team doesn’t have to worry about what their next step is.
Your sales funnels bridge the gap between your CRM and your project management tools. Within your project management software, you can create all the tasks that make up a funnel and assign deadlines and responsible people as necessary. Any changes or updates to a task will trigger a notification to all those involved and each funnel is saved as a template, ready to go whenever you need it.
As a manager, you can create a variety of funnels that are each specific to a certain series of tasks. For example, you can set up a funnel to deal with a lead who has downloaded some of your materials, and another for those with specific questions.
Dependencies are one of the best ways to connect a sales funnel because they automatically assign a new task once one is completed. You can even modify the triggers so one task only begins when another has already begun, or one begins only when two others have finished.
Dependencies don’t just work for each individual’s workflow though. For example, once a sales agent creates a quote, your finance department can be automatically notified in order to sign off on it before the client receives it.
Our guide for sales automation will now talk you through the best practices in lead generation with automated processes as a high priority. We'll break it down into two sections: active and passive lead generation.
Although active lead generation involves you reaching out to potential clients, there are still ways you can boost your productivity through automation.
Social media is one of the key areas where you should focus your efforts with direct messages. With integrations to your CRM, you can choose your target audience and send out a pre-approved message automatically. If they respond, your team will receive a notification and can take over to answer any queries and provide more information. At the same time, your CRM will compile data taken from their social media account to give you a fuller picture of who you are dealing with.
You have to be careful with cold emailing due to data protection laws, however, you can message users who once showed interest but have been inactive for a while. CRMs allow you to automatically populate smart lists of contacts who haven't been active in a timeframe you set.
Once you have your list, you can prepare email sequences to reawaken their interest. These sequences can be triggered automatically once a contact becomes "cold" according to your pre-set parameters.
One of the simplest lead generation techniques in our guide for sales automation is through forms on your website or landing pages. Tempt your audience with a downloadable document that you will send to their email once they fill in a form.
Your forms will automatically populate your CRM with everything you have requested, such as a name, an email address, a telephone number, and any other fields that are important to you, such as a job title. With all that information at hand, you can begin trickling your marketing emails to nudge your users towards a deal.
There are of course times when potential leads aren't looking for more information, but an answer to a question they have.
With chat bots as a widget on your website, you can provide an easy way for leads to get in touch without clogging up your phone lines. Ask for an email address then automate the first few responses so you have an idea of what your lead wants to discuss before allowing your team to take over.
Chat bots have a huge advantage over phone calls in that one sales agent can handle multiple chats at the same time for a higher volume of leads. With the email address set at the beginning, you've already got a means of contacting your lead and your CRM will automatically record your interaction so you can look back at it later.
Bitrix24 is an all-in-one business tool that covers every aspect of your automation, from lead generation and nurturing to a powerful CRM and video calls that your team will use to contact your leads.
Email marketing is still one of the top contenders when it comes to your sales process. The sheer volume of content you can send to your entire database — or certain segments — boggles the mind, and all of this is down to a few handy automations.
Leading the way in our guide for sales automation is personalization. Rather than sending out cringe-inducing messages starting with “Dear valued customer”, you can include each individual’s specific name, city, job position, and so much more. Automatic personalization allows you to send the kind of messages that people actually want to open without manually editing each email before you send it.
Templates are those niggly little paragraphs you find yourself including in every email response. The top automated email marketing tools allow you to set these paragraphs in advance and include them in your emails at the click of a button. This can cut out a huge heap of time — and a lot of frustration — when you’ve got a seemingly endless list of tasks piling up.
Make sure to include personalization tokens in your templates. Even though you’re automating your work, your users don’t need to know that.
Now you’ve created your killer emails with personalized fields, it’s time to wait until they're ready to go and press “send”. Wrong.
Automated sequences take your leads all the way through your funnel until they’re at the stage where they’re ready to talk to your team. The top CRMs give you the option of sending a series of emails, triggered either by an action taken by your user or simply in a timed order.
You might think analytics has no place in a guide for sales automation, but once you scratch the surface, you’ll see there are countless automatic processes going on behind the scenes.
With the right sales automation tools, your monthly newsletters and dripped marketing emails will give you valuable feedback on how your emails are performing, from your open rate and bounce rate to which links have led to the most traffic. All of this is compiled into one easy report you can download and view on a monthly or quarterly basis.
As part of our sales automation guide, we must point out that too much automation can be a bad thing. If your customers feel they are constantly talking to a computer, they will feel undervalued and frustrated, so now comes the point where it is over to your team.
Once your leads have reached the right stage of your sales funnel, you’ll want to offer a face and a name to strike up a real rapport. The best way to do this is through a meeting, whether on the phone, via a video call, or even in person.
Include a meeting scheduler in your emails so leads can pick a date and time to get things moving. There’s no need to worry about noting down all your commitments — your team calendar will block out that time automatically and send you a notification as a reminder. Like so many of the benefits in our Definitive Guide for Sales Automation in 2022, automatic meeting scheduling cuts out those small yet time consuming tasks, allowing you and your team to focus on completing deals.
Just because we're now entering the more "human" side of things, it doesn't mean there's no room for automation. At this stage in your sales process, make sure your team is fully equipped with the right communication tools and a guide on the best approach. Store it in a collaborative document for easy access and be sure to update it whenever you discover new best practices. The best sales automation tools will automatically send notifications when there are changes to your guide — saving you clogging up your team's inboxes with long, drawn-out explanations.
As a manager, you can record calls for later analysis. If you find you have sticking points that cause a lot of your deals to fall through, you can pinpoint the stage in your sales funnel and get to work identifying the cause.
So simple yet so time consuming — writing up your quotes and invoices by hand is one of the most obvious tasks that you need to automate for a smooth running system. Once you're at this stage, you need to act fast to avoid losing your deal, so our guide for sales automation puts a priority on outsourcing your quotes and deals to the algorithms.
Gone are the days where finalizing a deal was the end of your workflow. Now it's all about ensuring repeat business.
If you've purchased anything online recently, you'll surely have received a follow-up email shortly after asking if you're happy with your product and perhaps if you'd like to rate your experience and share it on social media.
Customer care is a key part of our sales automation guide and the good news is that you won't have to manually input a reminder and write up an email for every deal. As part of your email templates, you can automate a post-deal email that includes your customer's details and the name of the product you've sold — all taken directly from your CRM.
With our Definitive Guide for Sales Automation, you should have a much clearer idea of how you can increase productivity and provide a professional service to all your contacts. From saving your team time to ensuring you make the best of every opportunity, an automated sales process is now an essential tool for teams across all industries.
Bitrix24 is an all-in-one business tool that covers every aspect of your automation, from lead generation and nurturing to a powerful CRM and even the emailing, social media messaging, and phone and video calls that your team will use to contact your leads.
More than 10,000,000 teams have already started using our platform to streamline their sales automation process and so much more.
Get started with Bitrix24 for free and discover how it can boost your productivity and put your mind at ease.