The adoption of automated sales tools is a growing trend that shows no sign of slowing down. According to Grand View Research, Inc, the global sales force automation software market is expected to reach roughly 13.82 billion (USD) by the year 2027. Considering that more than 40% of sales tasks can now be automated, it’s no wonder why more sales organizations are investing in automation software.
So, what is sales automation exactly? In short, it’s software that streamlines manual and time-consuming tasks like data entry, report generation, and email communication. You can spend more time on effective selling by moving towards a sales process automation system. This will benefit both sales leaders and their reps.
This article will look at how a sales process automation system can increase revenue and why it can be particularly helpful for sales managers. We’ll also provide some examples of where automation can be introduced within the sales process.
Table of contents:
- Why sales automation?
- The benefits of sales automation for managers
- Where to implement sales automation?
- Additional automation in the sales process
Why sales automation?
Non-revenue-generating activities take 65% of a sales rep’s time. This means that they spend only 35% of their time on selling. Administrative responsibilities — like logging calls, CRM updates, and manually drafting emails — can take excessive time, energy, and attention.
Simple math dictates that less time selling equals less revenue for the company. By automating manual and time-consuming tasks, you can redirect the team’s focus on securing open opportunities.
Additionally, sales managers can reduce the sales tech stack and create a more productive environment for their team by utilizing automation software. Through automation, leaders can establish a beneficial and cohesive sales framework — giving reps the time and space to generate more revenue for the company.
The benefits of sales automation for managers
Sales automation is a great tool for boosting your reps' productivity and ensuring that your focus remains where it is needed most — leading your sales team. Here are a few reasons why managers should incorporate an automated sales process within their organization:
- Realigns focus to the team
Sales leaders are most effective when their focus is solely on their sales teams. When you devote too much time to manual day-to-day tasks, you take away the attention from the reps. This means less time managing performance, analyzing coaching strategies, and implementing necessary improvements within the sales cycle. This lost time can lead to missed opportunities, lack of communication, and other barriers that can impact revenue over time.
- Increases sales success
By utilizing sales automation tools, the sales team can focus more on closing their sales. Plus, the research shows that some automation systems can help increase sale closure rates by 30%, while simultaneously reducing administration time by 14%. So, not only does it increase productivity across the team, but it can also help with closing more deals.
- Improves team efficiency
Is your sales team’s progress being disrupted by scheduling miscommunications? Invest in an integrated calendar tool that will ensure there is never a missed meeting again. Do you spend much time manually drafting individual emails? Try an automated software that creates personalized notes with one click. Narrow in on where your team is struggling the most with productivity and implement an automated resource for a smoother process. Does manually processing invoices and deploying resources to the sales team delay the workflow? Automating the accounts payable processes can increase the accuracy and efficiency of the team.
- Consistency across the sales team
When certain tasks are automated, it ensures that everyone across the team is using best practices when selling. In addition, automation instills fairness and equality when it comes to assigning leads (more on that below!). Consistency throughout the sales process also ensures that data analysis and pipeline reporting remains as accurate as possible.
Sales automation allows you and your team to utilize time more efficiently. This ensures that your focus remains on leading your reps towards higher performance and stronger results.
Where to implement sales automation?
As the sales leader, consider where you can implement an automated sales process to help with your day-to-day responsibilities. These are some examples of where automation could be most convenient:
Having to manually compile, export and email reports can be an ineffective use of time for sales leaders. Instead, an automated reporting tool instantly pulls and sends reports directly to individuals or teams, as often as needed.
Additionally, an automated reporting software that includes an interactive dashboard is a great resource. This allows sales managers to customize their own reports — and through an integration with the company’s CRM, it will also ensure these reports are updated automatically. Having these reports in one centralized location will drastically reduce the time spent manually pulling information from multiple sources.
2. 1:1 Meetings
Consistent face time with your reps is one of the most important aspects of being a sales leader. Preparing for these meetings — whether they are weekly check-ins or quarterly business reviews — can take time and energy.
Automation software can be an asset when organizing these individual sessions. Instead of single-handedly compiling CRM data, progress reports, and past notes for each meeting, automation offers one convenient hub for all necessary information. Some programs even include templates for business reviews, customizable action plans, and additional coaching resources.
3. Lead rotation
Assigning leads manually as they come in is time-consuming. Plus, while manual assignments may work when the sales team is small, they cannot remain sustainable as the sales team grows larger.
In this case, sales automation software can create a round-robin style assignment system, which means leads will be evenly distributed across the team. Some software can filter by geographical location with specific criteria. This will be an extremely helpful tool if you have regional reps!
Automated lead rotation can also ensure that notifications are sent directly to the sales reps when they are assigned a new prospect. (Even better if these alerts can be automatically logged into your CRM). This way, there is a lower possibility of missed opportunities resulting from a breakdown of communication.
4. Lead qualification
With the help of an automated lead management tool, the time spent qualifying a prospect can be shortened exponentially. Instead of researching and verifying each lead manually, sales automation software can create specific filters for prospects — ensuring a cleaner and more productive qualification process.
Automation can instantly determine if a lead qualifies to move through the sales funnel, which then allows sales reps to move through their prospect lists more efficiently. In addition, this improved workflow also reduces the time that reps spend on leads that are less likely to convert.
These examples only scratch the surface of how sales automation can be an effective tool for your sales process. The structure of every sales organization is different, so be sure to implement automation resources where it will best suit you and your team.
Additional automation in the sales process
These are some other areas where the sales process could be automated (and be sure to check out our list of software suggestions!):
These are some other areas where you can automate the sales process:
- Entering CRM Data
Automating data entry is especially important since 20% of a sales rep’s time is spent on administrative and CRM-related tasks specifically.
Common prospecting tools, like LinkedIn, have the ability to integrate with automation software. This can create more efficient lead generation and stronger research capabilities.
Any part of the email communication process can be automated — initial outreach, follow-ups, and confirmations are just a few examples.
Time spent trying to find a mutual meeting time is a common pain point for many sales teams. Implementing an automated calendar booking tool can help schedule and confirm calls with ease.
- Sales calls
Invest in conversation intelligence software — this type of automation can assist in recording and transcribing calls, as well as utilizing AI-based analysis for enhanced performance.
Sales automation tools can be integrated with basic CRM information to execute quick and personalized proposals.
It’s important to remember that sales automation tools should streamline and compliment your current sales process, not replace it entirely. Only use automation where everyone could use the efficiency boost. Otherwise, you will run the potential risk of coming across as less than human with your customers!
Sales automation can have a profound impact on the sales team’s focus and capacity. Studies have shown that sales automation tools can increase sales productivity by 14.5%. Furthermore, implementing a sales automated process can create a more efficient and effective sales team. This can also decrease the amount of missed opportunities and the potential for miscommunication.
Importantly, utilizing sales automation tools allows sales managers to focus on more important things. They can now focus on coaching their sales team and improving the organization’s overall sales strategy. Consider where an automated process could be most effective for you and your team. Investing in these tools will create a more structured and dynamic sales organization, leading to stronger outcomes and higher performance.