June 10, 2019
[THE SECRET]: how to automate the sales process in 2019?
Nowadays, the sales team spends barely a third of their working day selling. The rest of their time vanishes in tasks such as scheduling calls, meetings, classifying potential clients or writing mails. What if there was a way to substantially reduce what those cumbersome tasks consume?
What if Amazon in the beginning had to manually look for those who bought a book, then write an email and finally send the product?
Basically, there were two doors:
Hiring thousands of employees around the world (not very feasible for those who started in a small garage).
- Find that "magic" formula to become one of the five largest market capitalization companies on Wall Street.
Yes, he decided to open door B
What are we talking about?
The question is wide. The answer is much simpler: automation of the sales process.
By the way, that brief introduction about Amazon dethrones one of the myths of sales automation: it's not just for big companies.
Automation of the sales process sounds like Mandarin
The way we communicate has evolved and, obviously, also the way in which brands sell their products.
XXI century. The client wants a tailor-made suit and making it requires going beyond breaking the ice.
We need to build relationships of trust, where social networks play a leading role in knowing preferences and consumption habits.
Oh! But answering 100 messages from prospects in a day sounds exhausting. How do we do it efficiently?
Here comes the MAGIC: automation of the sales process 😎
What is it?
The automation of the sales process allows optimizing the work of the commercial force, streamlining routine tasks that waste a lot of time without generating added value.
Speed up tasks = + Productivity!
By establishing circuits in which automatic tasks are performed with the right tools, the final results of a company are influenced, increasing the benefits.
It is very obvious where this is going ...
And that is why the next step is to show a before and after. It is to point out why this path is so necessary.
Old sales model versus automated sales model
Bear in mind! We are not talking about robots that are going to take away work from anyone, but about those labor processes that absorb so much time of our workers without implying selling more.
In 2017, a HubSpot study set off alarms...
A seller of a company spends only one third of his workday selling.
And the rest of the time?
The answer is not Facebook and Instagram.
The rest of his time vanishes in administrative tasks such as scheduling calls, meetings, classifying prospects or writing mails.
In fact, as salespeople we used to distribute time like this in the past:
- 10% on breaking the ice with a prospect.
- 20% to show an extensive catalog of products and services (And with luck, he would take a needle in a haystack).
- 30% to reach an agreement and deliver the product.
- 40% in closing the sale definitively.
And in the XXI century this small scheme has changed:
Now 40% focus on creating relationships of trust, 30% on detecting a problem to solve or a need to satisfy, 20% on showing one or two products based on the analysis of previous responses and, finally, 10% on closing.
Why is this so different?
Basically responds to three reasons: the pace of the sale is increasingly vertiginous, sales processes have migrated to mobile devices and, finally, omnichannel: a customer can make a call, go to the web, chat, send a WhatsApp , and close the sale in a different channel.
How many times have we not seen this in our company?
Are you or your business able to follow up on such a process? 🤔
But beyond any change in trend, the automation of the sales process is a way to increase the efficiency and productivity of your employees.
Why do we talk about automating the sales process?
If we transform communications and we are more effective to sell, everyone is happy.
By providing follow-up tools to the client -or to the prospect- that facilitates the conversion.
And here is the key...
The main benefit of automating the sales process is the increase in the generation of prospects and the ability to generate a relationship that leads to a purchase.
In 2018, Martech Today estimated that by 2023 companies will invest about 25,100 million dollars per year in automating the sales process.
According to Strategic IC, companies that have incorporated some kind of automation in their processes have increased their profits by 10% in a period of 6 to 9 months.
And if you are not yet convinced, remember that the world of business is based on a natural law: renew or die.
The longer the customer stays in each phase of the sales funnel, the more doubtful he will be: about you, about your product, about himself, about the purchase. Nobody wants to leave nothing to drift.
The big companies found the formula. Someone finds something that he likes and in hours he can be in front of that person. They have not been able to doubt. They did not have the opportunity. They wanted something and they have it.
What should we start by automating?
Well, the salespeople waste their time writing emails, classifying prospects, scheduling meetings or making calls. We said it at the beginning.
Two very simple examples:
Your website is that office that works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and it is important to turn it into a MACHINE to create potential clients.
Lead magnets can be offered, or incentives for your visitors to leave their mail. Free demos, special reports, downloadable eBook. It is very simple.
The second one. Surely you have learned what kind of information your potential customers ask for: price, delivery date, models, and colors, among others.
Do you have that information prepared in advance?
For example, you can develop templates, one of the features of the Sirena app that allows you to respond with predetermined messages to the most common requests without wasting their time.
And we can go much further...
What if you have prepared a PDF with your company's information in advance to send it by email when someone asks for it through your website?
But not everything ends when we sell.
Maintain contact with your customers through email marketing campaigns, which are 100% automatable with newsletters.
But let's go to some concrete cases...
How do we displace the sellers' agendas?
When Sirena was born, our first customers were dealers and, quickly, we noticed a pattern: all sellers followed their prospects through the use of agendas.
Yes, handwritten agendas...
It happened with many of our clients, even in large companies such as Lifan, which solved the problem when Sirena was implemented in its dealerships.
The logic was this. A person arrived, one of the vendors would smile and attend to him. They recorded their information in an agenda and they followed it up. They were not used to digital processes.
This is how they started to implement social networks or Mercado Libre and the problem was different: too much information in too many channels.
They needed to have everything unified so that sellers could have a more efficient management of their time and resources.
Our app not only fulfilled that task, but also allows us to distribute the prospects equally in the commercial force.
And before we forget: we shifted the agenda, because now sellers, with just one click, can make calls, send a WhatsApp with custom templates, generate reminders or schedule visits.
What should be your challenge then?
Challenge of 2019: align everything
Let's talk about some benefits of automating the sales process...
Integrating the marketing team and the sales team is one of the main problems that today's businesses have.
And that's when the automation of the sales process comes in, as it can align the two departments to increase ROI.
The reality is that... This is a very common situation for businesses that don't yet opt for a digital transformation.
Another process that is quite manual today is the assignment of tasks to the sales team.
Pablito is in charge of calling the client who asked for a budget on Monday, Juani has to answer questions by mail and Matías will schedule meetings for next week (Sigh)...
Now imagine doing it through automation software.
And what's the point of all this?
Automation software can help monitor orders and send personalized messages to potential customers.
In fact Usabilia, a company in charge of obtaining feedback of the user's experience to improve the usability of web pages and apps, discovered that 45% of the buyers on the Internet tend to buy in sites that offer some kind of personalization in their purchase.
Did you know that it is right in personalization where the automation of processes in a company stands out most?
You can create and send messages for the different stages of the purchase funnel, help them in that way and promote the increase in sales between people closest to making a decision.
An example: Mercado Libre sends a reminder email to users who have left a product in the cart, but have not specified the sale. Very good reclosing technique.
Automating the sales process step by step
- Potential clients
Both forms and chatbots seek to simplify the user the way to contact your company.
And yes, they suppose an increase in the rate of conversion with respect to the traditional ones - and in way of extinction - telephone calls or sending of electronic mails.
In fact, the Spanish National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) revealed a trend: 57% of users prefer to communicate with a company through instant messaging apps, such as Whatsapp, Telegram or Messenger.
This, of course, is driven by the immediacy that we all prefer in the answer (one more point for chatbots!).
It is VERY common to hear these scenarios:
- "I get many leads from different places (unidentifiable origin) and I can't distribute them properly among my sales team."
- "I don't know how to make the leads in one place."
And believe us: the solution is actually quite simple.
- Sales email
Cliengo, a developer of one of the most famous chatbots, revealed that sellers spend 21% of their time writing and sending emails.
What if they could reduce that time to dedicate it to other commercial management tasks?
The problem is that if a mail does not have the ideal subject there is a risk that the mail will be lost in the inbox (even in Spam!).
How to automate the sending of mails?
As in WhatsApp, there are email templates. Some tools that allow you to store these templates are: Hubspot or Salesforce.
- Prospect follow-up
According to IKO System, the platform for capturing emails, the response rate of the first mail sent to a prospect is usually 18%.
And another study, this time of Yesware, dedicated to the productivity of sales, revealed that only 30% of its respondents (shops), insisted after the first mail without getting answers.
Do you see the problem?
They say that perseverance makes the teacher, right?
Hence, it is key to build a chain of mails prepared to automatically detect what the user's actions are and take actions accordingly.
- Scheduling meetings
Skype and, of course, webinars are ways to schedule digital meetings. The variety is virtually endless: EventBrite, Calendly, Google Calendar and... ahem... Sirena, of course.
Yes, you have to put aside that cumbersome process of sending emails to a potential client to see when you can meet, what is their availability or what their preferences are, it could be automated.
According to Event Success Formula Report, 91% of marketing executives of large companies say that automation is crucial when it comes to being successful in events.
- What about reports?
Writing a report manually can be a nightmare.
The worst thing is that what really matters about a report is not the numbers, but the analysis behind it.
But what about Google Analytics?
It is a free tool with great versatility. And in that sense, the dynamics of Google Data Studio, which graphs everything incredibly, is also useful.
And, again, we do not want to show off, buuut Sirena also allows to build performance reports for sales and marketing campaigns.
And here goes the key to automation
Have you ever encountered a business that you had to call over the phone to make the payment?
The number of people who get off the train in this phase...
Sure, customers are likely to call you to make sure there's a real company behind them, but why not charge them right away?
In addition to unnecessarily lengthening sales times, most customers are lost...
What if the product is premium?
There is always the possibility of generating a reservation, as travel agencies do in their web pages with the excuse of offering the most personalized solution possible.
What about the delivery?
If it is digital it is enough to say that it should be automatic and instantaneous. If it is physical, the client should know that everything is going well, that his money has a counterpart.
Again, the Amazon model. Your order has been confirmed. Your order is being prepared. Your order has been sent. Your order has been sent, can you confirm it?
But we turn to one crucial aspect: how do we automate the sales process in practice?
How Sirena is key to the automation of sales?
It is clear that the client is increasingly demanding and more knowledgeable of their environment, wants to be treated directly, quickly and with a personalized treatment.
He wants to fall in love with the brand.
It is not a matter of buying a product, but of creating a relationship of loyalty.
What does Sirena do to achieve this goal?
- It allows reviewing all communication and sales channels.
- Organize leads in one place.
- Supervise communication with each potential client.
- Perform a more accurate calculation of the return on investment.
Sirena allows you to integrate and automate all communication channels (omnichannel) in one place.
In fact, Sirena is what we would want if we were sitting on the other side, on the consumer side.
In addition, it has a version for Android or iOS devices that allows sales managers to communicate with their customers through their favorite channel, as well as a social network integration engine and is ideal for communicating via WhatsApp Business.
Do you remember the tasks in which a salesperson wasted more time?
Schedule calls, meetings, classify prospects or write mails. Everything is automatable from Sirena, through reminders or labels to leads.
And what about after the automation of the sales process?
Maybe we should have said it before, but implementing the automation of the sales process is not synonymous with saying that you are going to put your business on autopilot.
So, after automating the processes, you should invest your time saved in:
- Focus on designing marketing or advertising campaigns.
- Improve the productivity of your employees.
- New ideas to develop products or services.
- Dedicate more time to serve your customers.
- Create downloadables, brochures, infographics or eBooks that serve to convince your customers.
- Invest more time in closing sales or explaining doubts to potential buyers.