It can take 8-15 quality interactions with a prospect for your salespeople to close a single deal. It then takes countless hours to manage those relationships and maintain communication with customers to keep them happy. That can 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 lists grow, effectively managing them all becomes exponentially more challenging. The answer to effectively managing all of this communication and data? An automated sales process.
Account data, sales records, opportunities, salespeople, products, services, prospects, and customers—trying to get a handle on all of this information can leave anyone 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. There has to be a better way. Luckily, with the right sales automation CRM, agencies can spend less time on tedious administrative tasks, and more time closing deals and growing the bottom line.
In this article, we’ll cover exactly how you can use Vendasta to create an automated sales process that delivers results, so you can make 2023 your best year yet.
Table of Contents
- What Is Sales Automation?
- What To Look For In A Sales Automation CRM
- The Connection Between Marketing and Sales Automation
- Sales Automation: Where Vendasta Fits In
- Automating Your Digital Sales: 5 Key Areas
- Why An Automated Sales Process Is Important
- Set up your sales automation system with Vendasta
What is sales automation?
Sales automation is the process of streamlining manual, tedious, and time-consuming sales tasks so your team can focus less on admin and more on selling. A sales automation system can eliminate the need to complete many of the administrative and data entry tasks that sales reps, managers, and leaders do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
Using an automated sales process 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.
What to look for in a sales automation CRM
Before we get into how exactly you can use Vendasta’s solutions to create an automated sales process for your agency, it helps to know what sales automation CRMs can actually do, and what you can expect from them. Knowing what to look for in a sales automation system can help you choose the solutions that are best suited to meet your unique needs.
When choosing a sales automation CRM, keep an eye out for these features.
- Integration: When it comes to selecting any software solution that makes running your business easier, integration is the name of the game. Ensuring your automated sales process integrates with your marketing automation, accounting, email, and other digital solutions will minimize the need to duplicate tasks, and maximize the benefits to your agency. Since the whole point of creating a sales automation process is to minimize data entry and other repetitive tasks, prioritizing integration is a no-brainer.
- Customization: Every agency is unique. Variables such as the industry you serve or your portfolio of services can increase the length of your average sales cycle, your customer lifetime value, and more. A customizable sales automation CRM will enable you to automate sales in a way that truly makes sense for your agency; one size does not fit all when it comes to sales automation systems.
- Support: To keep your day-to-day operations running smoothly, it’s important to know that if something goes wrong, you can quickly access the support you need to get up and running ASAP. Look for a sales automation CRM that offers around-the-clock support so that your team can troubleshoot and get back to work quickly.
- Full sales cycle support: Ideally, your automated sales process will cover all stages of the sales cycle. Your sales automation CRM should include support from the prospecting stage, through closing, all the way to the nurturing stage. With a CRM that helps to do the heavy lifting throughout the sales cycle, your team can confidently scale without getting bogged down with busy work.
- High-quality prospecting tools: When it comes to prospecting, quality is more important than quantity. The best marketing and sales automation CRMs will be able to analyze prospect activities to gauge which are most likely to convert so that sales can focus on those.
- Robust contact and lead management: For a CRM to be easily usable, it should be easy to enter, categorize, rank, and access contact and lead information. It should also be easy for different users to view interaction history with contacts so that they can easily get up to speed without making clients or prospects repeat themselves.
- Forecasting tools: Accurate forecasting can empower your business by enabling you to effectively strategize and plan for the future. Look for sales process automation solutions that can use CRM data to produce forecasts.
- Analytics: Reporting and analytics features can provide actionable, real-time insights into sales performance, enabling teams to make data-driven decisions and reach their goals faster.
The connection between marketing and sales automation
Marketing and sales automation are both important functions of contemporary business operations. Recognizing how they work together, and setting up these automation processes to function interdependently, can maximize benefits for agencies.
Marketing automation involves the use of technology to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows, such as email campaigns, social media posts, and lead generation. The primary aim of marketing automation is to increase a business’s ability to reach and engage with its prospects and clients.
Sales process automation refers to the use of tech solutions to automate sales tasks, like lead management, opportunity tracking, and customer relationship management. These types of automation increase efficiency and effectiveness in converting leads into customers and managing customer relationships.
When used correctly, marketing automation generates leads for the sales team, which can then be qualified and tracked using sales automation tools. Marketing automation can be used throughout the sales cycle to stay connected with customers. Similarly, sales process automation tools help businesses close more deals and establish regular touchpoints with active clients. This interplay between marketing and sales automation throughout all stages of the sales cycle demonstrates the value of having both types of automation in place.
The bottom line? Combining marketing and sales automation gives businesses the power to create seamless, efficient processes that drive growth and customer satisfaction.
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—businesses manage their sales processes in unique ways.
Many companies still rely on manual effort and constant repetition of tasks 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 better allocated to growing other areas of your organization.
I think Vendasta is one of those companies that can really help you grow your business, excel your business, and do it based on a foundation that is not new. They've got a good roadmap, and you cannot go wrong with choosing Vendasta.
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 of 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 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.
Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail.
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 that the prospect may have. Then, clarify the potential losses being produced by that unmet need, and map 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 identifies this listing, and the salesperson can point out 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%.
For more statistics on why clients churn check out Vendasta's Churn Study!
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. With just one piece of business information, your sales reps can generate data-rich reports that would otherwise take many hours of research to put together manually.
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.
Vendasta's Award-Winning Snapshot Report Uncovers the Digital Marketing Problems of Your Prospects and Customers and Gives You a Path to the Sale.
Try it out yourself here: generate a snapshot report for your prospect’s local business! Enter your first name, your email address, and the name of a business you’d like to gather insights on. We’ll scan the business and send you a report within a few minutes. We’ll never contact your prospects or clients.
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.
Recommended Reading: Everything You Need To Know About Marketing Automation
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.
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. With Vendasta’s robust analytics, it’s easy to iteratively improve your campaigns and steadily improve ROI.
Vendasta Helps Your Business Automate the Lead Generation Process With Template Email Marketing Campaigns and Software
3. Pipeline Management Tool
WARNING: Vendasta’s pipeline management is notorious for killing spreadsheets, and ridding teams of 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.
4. Prospect/lead tracking tools
The cost to acquire new customers (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 behavior 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.
Our sales automation allows your business to keep track of prospects in real time, monitoring their activity along the way.
Vendasta Helps Track the Activity of Prospects in Real-Time and Uses AI to Determine Buyer Readiness
5. Order management system
Order management is the process of fulfilling, tracking, and managing orders.
This process can involve a lot of collaboration within a business as administrative teams may have to work with finance teams, sales teams, or fulfillment teams to understand and deliver an 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 ever-increasing demands on their time and resources.
Any complete automated sales process must include automating the 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.
Vendasta Helps to Increase Communication Between Working Units During Order Processing.
Why an automated sales process is important
An automated sales process can make the difference between a feeling of constantly running on a hamster wheel and never quite managing to meet your goals, and steady, reliable, and repeatable progress toward those goals. Chances are, there is plenty of time and money to be saved by automating your sales process.
Here are some of the top reasons to 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 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) Imagine how much could get done by those same managers with 2 extra workdays for more productive activities?
- 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)
- Strike while the iron is hot. Timing is crucial, and that is what digital sales automation is all about. Leveraging automation, agencies can target customers at the most relevant stage during their customer journey, thereby increasing the chances of closing them.
Set up your sales automation system with Vendasta
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 on 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. Our team is standing by, waiting to connect with you!