It can take 8-15 quality contacts with a prospect for your salespeople to close a single deal. It then takes countless hours of time managing relationships and communicating back and forth with customers to keep them happy.
That could include: phone calls, meetings, emails, and even text messages.
That’s a lot of time spent getting to know your customer and their needs, writing notes, logging data, and following up. And as your prospect and customer list grows, the management becomes exponentially more challenging.
Account data, sales records, opportunities, salespeople, products, services, prospects, customers—trying to get a handle on all of this information leaves most feeling overwhelmed. And even though Microsoft excel was invented in 1985, we still see many Traditional Media Companies and Enterprise Businesses using spreadsheets to manually enter data and manage their sales processes.
Data entry is killing your business, slowly but surely.
What is Digital Sales Automation?
Sales automation is the process of streamlining manual, tedious, time-consuming tasks in the sales process so your sales team can focus less on admin and more on selling. These are mostly administrative and data entry tasks that sales reps, managers, and leaders do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
Automating the sales pipeline is a practical way to use technology to improve your sales results. Sales automation saves businesses time and money—both of which are invaluable to businesses.
Thousands of companies around the world are automating their sales processes with Vendasta’s sales automation solutions. This post is designed to show you how Vendasta’s sales automation works and how it can benefit your company.
Sales Automation: Where Vendasta Fits In
At Vendasta, we help businesses stay ahead of manual data entry, and optimize their sales process with an automated system that works seamlessly with everyday business operations. Digital sales automation is here, and we can show you how it not only helps you grow your bottom line, but also saves your team time and makes your organization more effective.
Vendasta deals with thousands of businesses, all of which rely on different techniques to stay on top of their sales process. We have seen it all, from spreadsheets to manual filing—people manage their sales processes in unique ways.
Many companies still rely on manual efforts and constant iterations to track their sales pipeline. These companies are falling behind. For large enterprises, this manual processing or data entry can amount to millions of dollars of time spent—time that could be allocated in growing other areas of your organization.
Automating Your Digital Sales: 5 Key Areas
There are five specific areas that companies should examine to fully automate their digital sales processes. These key areas outline the components of a successful digital sales management transformation, taking a company from manual processing to automated control.
1 – Automated Marketing Needs Assessments for Client Prospecting: Start generating a meaningful first contact with prospects. Spark conversations with prospective clients with automated marketing needs assessments.
2 – Marketing Automation: Automating marketing outreach is an essential component to building relationships and saving time.
3 – Pipeline Management: Get rid of manual data entry and strengthen communication in your organization by assembling your sales pipeline to be track and manage opportunities within one automated dashboard.
4 – Prospect Monitoring/Lead Tracking: Automatically follow your prospective clients every move and track their engagement with your business in order to appropriately time sales pitches and outreach.
5 – Order Management: Fulfillment teams need a channel to automatically manage/approve sales orders seamlessly without tracking salespeople down for order statuses.
1. Automated Marketing Needs Assessments for Client Prospecting
For any sales process to begin, you need a compelling message to get a conversation started with a prospect. Start the conversation by highlighting an unconsidered need, underlining the loss, and mapping your solutions to that need. Bring data into the equation to determine the unique pain points of your prospect.
Example: A client does not have their listings claimed, and the address to their business is actually incorrect online. The Snapshot Report outlines this listing, and the salesperson can point out/identify the discrepancy with their client offering them a listing solution to fix their problem immediately.
Identifying the needs of SMBs with needs-based selling and providing relevant solutions increases client retention by 30%.
With Vendasta’s award-winning Snapshot Report, your company can send an automated needs assessment to any of your prospects. This report scrapes the web for information about your prospects and evaluates the state of your prospects’ online presence.
Prospects will be intrigued to review their reports with a sales rep, and your reps can start selling them solutions to improve their online presence. With Vendasta’s automated Snapshot Reports, your business can generate reports for all of your prospects and send email campaigns with the report directly from the Vendasta platform.
Using the Snapshot report and campaigns, we’ve really been able to reach a segment of businesses we haven’t talked to before. Since implementing Vendasta’s platform, we’ve seen over a 1500% increase in the number of accounts that we’ve been able to contact about digital solutions.
Digital Products Manager, Swift Communications
2. Marketing Automation and Email Campaigns
Simply put, marketing automation is software that automates your marketing tactics. Sales and marketing go hand-in-hand, so part of the digital sales automation process involves automating your marketing strategy.
What’s unique about the Snapshot Report is that it is paired with [Vendasta’s] marketing automation system, which is built into [Vendasta’s] software. Users can send out the Snapshot report with pre-tested and pre-written content through Vendasta’s email marketing system. The system then informs sales reps of their hot leads when their prospects are opening up and clicking around the Snapshot Report.
Director of Enterprise Sales, Vendasta
Vendasta’s platform allows your company to manage email marketing efforts within our software.This allows you to prospect, connect, and track activity for all of your business’s email marketing campaigns.
Send automated campaigns to prospects that are prepared from a variety of recommended pre-built email campaigns, or create custom campaigns for your clients. Vendasta’s platform then tracks the delivery and receptivity of the email campaigns, which helps your team understand the success of each campaign and reach out to interested prospects.
3. Pipeline Management Tool
WARNING: Vendasta’s pipeline management is notorious for killing spreadsheets, and ridding teams from manual data entry. Goodbye spreadsheets, hello pipeline management.
Spreadsheets are cumbersome and difficult to manage when businesses are looking to scale business operations quickly.
Pipeline management takes the manual work that many businesses have to endure and automates much of the sales process. Vendasta dashboards give a comprehensive analysis of the progress of your sales team, something that spreadsheet tracking lacks.
Vendasta’s Sales & Success Center will help you organize your account data and sales information into one user-friendly platform. Sales & Success Center gives sales leaders the ability to quickly assign leads, manage a team of salespeople, and know who’s doing work.
For salespeople, Sales & Success Center provides a robust dashboard for managing daily sales activity and getting alerted when prospects and customers are engaging. This helps your team stay focused on the low hanging fruit and close more deals quickly.
Director of Enterprise Sales, Vendasta
4. Prospect/Lead Tracking Tools
The cost to acquire new customers/clients (CAC) can be extremely high when businesses are using outdated sales processes to manage their sales pipeline. Following leads and examining prospects closely during the sales process can be extremely taxing for sales professionals.
Furthermore, a salesperson may have to log into various tools including email marketing software just to track the status of their outreach with a potential client. Prospective customer behaviour is hard to track without the help of integrated software. If you aren’t tracking activity in real-time, you might be missing out on potential sales. The longer you take to track leads, the worse your sales team performs.
A lead should be contacted in the first 5 minutes of activity. When comparing a 5 minute contact to leads contacted in 10 minutes, Vendasta has examined an 80% decrease in the chance of qualifying a lead. (Vendasta Data 2018)
Vendasta allows for the automation of prospecting and real-time alerts of prospect activity. Salespeople can focus their attention on the clients that are MOST ready to buy. Ultimately, this lowers CAC for any business and closes deals at a much more efficient pace.
Start understanding which of your prospects are engaged in your sales process and which prospects are not. The example photo above shows a hot lead, with a 3/3 hotness rating which indicates this prospect is VERY engaged with your marketing content.
Don’t have your sales team wasting time pounding pavement and knocking on doors. Vendasta’s lead tracking tool allows your business to track the engagement levels of your prospects. The more engaged the client, the more likely your sales team is to have a meaningful conversation and the potential to close the deal increases significantly.
Our sales automation allows your business to keep track of prospects in real-time, monitoring their activity along the way.
Paired with artificial intelligence (AI), or what we refer to as “intent mining,” our platform determines a prospects’ intention to buy simply by observing their interaction with our system and the marketing materials they’ve received.
Based off of activity trends, our system informs your sales team when a prospect is most likely a prospect is to purchase or close a deal. This is done with the “hotness” rating within Vendasta’s Sales Center.
5. Order Management System
Order management is the process of fulfilling, tracking, and managing orders.
This process can involve a lot of collaboration at a business as administrative teams may have to work with finance teams, sales teams, or fulfillment teams in order to understand the order. Orders have many moving parts, and often a variety of stakeholders, and it is important to properly fulfill and track these.
Order management gets increasingly difficult for businesses that are scaling fast. Manual tasks pile up, and teams can drown in a cycle of high demand with tireless effort to fill orders.
Part of digital sales automation must involve automating your order management processes.
Vendasta’s order management solution is built into the same platform that provides businesses with a comprehensive CRM, robust analytics and prospecting tools, and marketing automation. This platform allows your sales teams to work in the same environment as your fulfillment teams and helps to increase communication during order processing.
Why Should You Automate Your Sales Process Today?
Automating your sales process is not something to sit around and wait on. There is plenty of time and money to be saved and manual processes to be eliminated from your current approaches. Why should you make the switch?
- Sales reps are spending their time on manual data entry, not selling. Nearly 20% of sales reps say they spend upwards of 2 hours a day on manual data entry. (State of Inbound 2018 – Sales Research)
- Human error. Humans naturally make mistakes, and often unintentional mistakes with data entry can go unnoticed. This can greatly impact a company, as they look to resolve mistaken efforts to discrepancies or miscommunication with clients.
- Managers aren’t managing. 9/10 managers spend time on administrative tasks, which are not essential to their core job functions. Those tasks include tasks such as providing status updates, filling out forms, requesting support and updating spreadsheets. Managers spend roughly 2 days of their workweek on manual task administration. (Engage Customer – SurveyNow Data)
- Spreadsheets reduce productivity. SurveyNow Data shows that nearly 50% of respondents agree that using email and spreadsheets for managing work reduces productivity at their companies. (Engage Customer – SurveyNow Data)
Vendasta helps businesses transition their sales processes, to a more automated approach. Giving sales teams more time to sell, managers more time to manage, and companies a more productive output from their sales teams.
All of the products and services that are used to automate the various components of your sales process can be accessed in ONE platform. This means ONE sign-on, without having to bounce between various sales and marketing tools login pages.
Get started with implementing smart technology to facilitate your sales process immediately. Vendasta’s sales automation will allow your business to acquire new clients, identify existing sales opportunities that are ready to purchase, and integrate your current sales pipeline into our dashboard services.