Are you ready to compete with the big boys?
It might seem difficult and scary (yes, it is) but you need to let go of your limiting beliefs and embrace sales automation if you want to grow your business exponentially.
More importantly, you can’t continue to handle every task manually and expect to stand tall with successful brands.
The truth is, one of the reasons why you’re not maximizing sales is because you’re trying to do it all by yourself using your instincts and a poorly-executed strategy.
Sales automation is a powerful way that enhances sales representative’s productivity, increases the sales rate and improves revenue. Sales automation process eliminates time-consuming tasks related to sales. This process is designed for sales professionals to eliminate much of the tedious work, can cut down thousands of wasted work hours while improving productivity.
If you wish to stay in the game against the competition, you need to streamline the business processes with the help of Sales automation. The sales team can now focus on selling to generating leads with this technology.
The growth of sales automation
SFA is becoming more and more popular among businesses. A research conducted by Frost & Sullivan, a business consulting firm involved in market research, projects that the SFA (Sales Force Automation) market will rise to $4.13 billion by 2018.
This prediction is not at all impossible. Sales automation opens a wide range of possibilities. It can offer more leads, conversions, and sales with less work. And this is not just another vague promise.
This opportunity that sales automation offers is already proven. In fact, data from Lenskold Group revealed that 63% of companies outgrow their competitors with marketing automation.
According to Aberdeen Group, companies that use sales automation achieve higher conversion rates of 53% and higher annual revenue growth rate of 3.1%.
While there’s no doubt that sales automation can give businesses a lot of advantages in the industry, many marketers are still thinking twice about giving it a shot—especially for those who lack the technical expertise or those who don’t have enough budget to hire a dedicated team, sales automation can be quite overwhelming.
To help you get started, here are the seven secrets on how businesses use sales automation to get leads and increase their revenue:
1). AI-based Salesbot
Artificial Intelligence is not science fiction, not anymore. With the advancement of technology, businesses are no longer fighting battles in a conventional way.
Technology has introduced the digital way to manage businesses.
Artificial Intelligence is widely considered as the next game-changer in businesses.
As such, more and more companies are deciding to opt for the option that utilizes the abilities of artificial intelligence.
In fact, approximately 38% of businesses are using artificial intelligence and the number will increase up to 62% by 2018. This only shows that AI is not just a trend of the day. It will last until the future.
Essentially, if your top priority is to convert leads into customers, then AI can help you.
How can artificial intelligence help you in your business, anyway? Artificial intelligence can help businesses in a lot of ways, especially in managing customers.
a). Email Content Curation: Most businesses spend hours composing weekly emails to customers. The problem is it is almost impossible to deliver a personalized email to every single one of your customers.
This is the part where artificial intelligence comes in.
AI’s algorithms can track down a subscriber’s email browsing data to analyze how the individual interacts with your content.
This allows the AI to detect hyper-contextual content to create personalized emails based on analyzed data.
b). Improved Customer Experience: With a chatbot, artificial intelligence has improved customer experience big time. Here are a few points that show how customer service bots serve customers better:
i). Personalized Packaging: Customers, in general, crave for personalization. Whenever they visit a website, a personalized theme and style would always be an attraction.
In the past, human customer reps tried to cater to customer needs individually. However, it was difficult. With a chatbot, personalized packaging is easier and more possible.
ii). Fix Problems: Chatbots can fix problems – even before customers can realize they exist. This is because bots are designed to proactively create a smart experience for the user, while at the same time, addressing the path of sales.
iii). Sales Streamline: Even after getting a customer to take action, it’s still important to guide them throughout the whole process of purchasing.
Live chat representatives can sometimes complicate things. A chatbot, on the other hand, can streamline the entire process and ultimately, improve customer experience.
2). Smart Chatbots
“In the long run, I think we will evolve in computing from a mobile-first to an AI-first world.” – Sundar Pichai, CEO at Google Inc.
As said, a lot of companies are using artificial intelligence to handle customer management and IT tasks.
A study conducted by the Harvard Business Review of 13 manufacturing and service industries in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America, revealed: “that they are using AI much more frequently in computer-to-computer activities and much less often to automate human activities.”
The customer service representative that you’ve just recently chatted might not even be an actual representative.
It might have been a bot but you didn’t realize it. Smart chatbots are so intelligent, that you might have a hard time recognizing one from a human representative.
While artificial intelligence is undoubtedly smart and proficient, not all AI-backed programs are capable of these features.
In fact, there are quite a few AI-focused companies out that has over the years supported small businesses with smart chatbots.
For example, acquire, a company that provides Artificial Intelligence salesbot has implemented a comprehensive chatbot that can help you collect a customer’s information including their name, contact number, email ID, and other details which, in turn, allows you to formulate personalized sales strategies for each target audience.
There’s a common misconception among SaaS Startups and B2B companies—they think that sophisticated chat \bots will completely replace humans in the nearest future. In fact, an Oxford University Study predicted that 47% of jobs could be automated in 2033.
But I think differently—I see both chatbots and humans working together seamlessly to help brands communicate better and deliver stress-free customer service experience.
“Machine-to-machine’ transactions are the low-hanging fruit of AI, not people-displacement,” says Satya Ramaswamy.
3). Enhanced Relationship Management
While most customers mainly look at the quality of the product or service to take action, some customers opt to go for a brand because of the relationship management—especially when each of the four stages of the entire process is addressed.
This goes the same when customers break off deals.
This clearly shows how unpredictable purchase decisions can be in a variety of factors. Customer support, for one, is a huge factor.
Today, chatbots are widely used by businesses (like American Express, H& M) to handle customer support. This is because these AI-driven assistants can manage customer service questions. Read more in this whitepaper.
By using Ai-driven assistants, you can have your sales reps to focus on more complex tasks and handle the in-depth customer service issues.
4). Saturate the Top of the Funnel
Sales funnel is the process of narrowing, analyzing, and following up the sales leads—from creating awareness about your brand to inspiring the lead to finally taking an action (e.g., buy your product, register to attend your webinar/event). The top of the funnel is your foundation in the entire process. If you don’t have the means to generate awareness and produce leads, the entire funnel can collapse along with your business.
To cope with this problem, businesses arm themselves with expert sales teams. However, “only 27% of the leads that enter a company’s marketing funnel is “sales ready.”
Interestingly, if you’re marketing to businesses, then rejoice because 90% of business buyers will find your business when they’re ready to buy—hence, keep acquiring and nurturing leads at the top of your funnel because you’ll convince them later.
This illustrates why sales automation is a necessity for businesses. Using AI software makes it easy for companies to send a lot of leads to their sales funnel, which is difficult for humans to achieve.
Intelligent algorithms by an AI software can match a company’s customer profile to create an ideal list of prospects who are likely to be “sales ready”.
With the use of a sales automation tool that tracks leads as soon as they enter the funnel, prospects can be sorted accordingly into appropriate nurture campaigns, touting customized outreach on the basis of the lead’s demographic information and actions.
All these explain how sales automation allows businesses to formulate a better means to manage leads and convert potential customers into loyal, dedicated followers.
5). Know your customer details
Sales automation stores every customer details in the system. The organization can retrieve minute details of each and every customer’s whenever needed. They can get details regarding the purchase, a customer has made, the reason for their last call etc.
When a customer calls to discuss a problem, it is not necessary that the same representative will pick the call every time and will handle the problem of that customer. With the sales automation tool anyone can answer the call and pick up where the last conversation left off, this will save the time of customer as well as of team as the customer will not need to explain the issue again to the new customer representative. This way you can delight your customers and can improve customer service and generate more leads.
6). Meet newly defined customer expectations and deliver seamless customer service
One of the biggest challenge businesses are facing is to fulfill continuously changing customer expectations. In this competitive world, it is important that you offer frictionless, consistent service to your customers. Delivering best service will help you to retain old customers and attract new customers.
Sales automation software helps you to connect with customers and helps to fulfill all their expectations and this will ultimately delight your customers and as a result, your business will grow exponentially.
Moreover, sales force automation helps in resolving customer issues at the speed of light. It stores and manages service cases which will help to make better decisions and deliver seamless customer service.
7). Organized sales teams
With the help of Sales automation, sales manager have direct access to all their customer-related data, sales figures, customer complaints, each sales representatives activities. This will help in measuring success and sales revenue. Management will work quickly based on real-time information.
Through automation, the sales process becomes fast and the sales team can use one system to manage all the activities. They can store and organize the data and can access it from any device they may have by simply log in from anywhere.
Sales Process Automation explained step-by-step
Step 1: Define your goal
Define your objective in terms of a tangible goal. Like for a SaaS Vendor, it can be when a visitor book a demo or schedule a meeting.
Step 2: Map Your Customer Journey
A sequence-based sales bot can help you define the next course of action. You can map out your entire user journey and instruct your bot to take appropriate action at every stage, you can even A/B test the process.
Step 3: Segment customers who opt out of the chat
For visitors who opt out of the chat, you can segment customers based on behavior, location, usage, and individual profiles and then send them a targeted message.
Step 4: Assign People that will take it ahead
Define who will be responsible to take the conversation ahead, once the conversation qualifies as a potent one. Who are the best individuals to handle the tasks?
Step 5: Implement the Process
Once you program your sales bot, the next step will be to implement it. Practice A/B test to measure your sales bot performance.
Step 6: Monitor the Results
Quantify the performance of your sales bot in terms of conversion and revenue goal. See where automation is working and where human elements still matter.
Step 7: Measure Value
Identify the potential phases of the sales lifecycle where automation can be incorporated. After all, if you are investing in sales automation, you need to fully optimize it.
Artificial intelligence is a broad term, but with respect to sales automation and customer service, it offers a lot of benefits, thus giving you a competitive edge over your competitors.
AI trend will last for centuries. And the good news is, you don’t have to invest a fortune into it. You can start with the AI chatbots and use it to automate customer service, and then scale from there.
If you want to stay ahead of the game, you must develop a comprehensive and strategic plan on how to significantly utilize AI to improve your customer service operations and other processes in your business.
With these three secrets of sales automation, you have been armed with the exact tools that Fortune 500 companies use to build thriving brands even in the midst of intense competition and economic downturns.
The question is, will you take an action today and implement one of them, or will you feel excited about these secrets and go your way? The choice is yours.