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Customer Lifecycle Success Requires More Than Just Automation



Sales automation is a type of software that automates monotonous, manual operations so that you and your sales team can focus on completing deals and being paid.

Sales automation technologies can be used to

  • Follow-ups can be automated.

  • Keep track of your sales pipeline.

  • With a repeatable and scalable approach, you can easily train new sales team members.

  • To avoid awkward encounters, send invoices and payment

Your sales automation software becomes even more powerful when integrated with marketing automation, allowing you to get more time back while growing your business.


Sales funnels that are automated


The series of processes that prospects must go through to become a paying customer is referred to as your sales funnel. The stages of a company's sales funnel might vary, however the following are the most common:

  1. Awareness

  2. Consideration

  3. Decision


You may generate a flywheel effect by using a sales automation tool to automatically bring in new leads and move them through the decision step.


What is sales process automation and how does it work?


Here are some examples of sales automation to help you simplify each stage of your funnel:


Awareness


The idea is to generate some form of asset that catches your target audience's attention. Most importantly, you would like to obtain their email address. Making a lead magnet, such as an e-book or templates that people can use, is one of the greatest methods to do this. Prospects will need to enter their information before being able to view the content, which will be hidden behind a form on a landing page.


Remember, your lead magnet must be relevant to your product or service. If you work for a design software company, for example, your lead magnet should be related to design in order to attract the correct leads.


Consideration


At this point, you should have a list of leads in your funnel, as well as all of their email addresses. To stay top of mind and educate leads on your product, set up an automatic email nurture series to send at regular intervals. Don't be too pushy or “salesy” at this point; there will be time for that later.


Because you'll know your leads are interested in content, your first one or two emails could include links to blog posts on a related topic. The third and fourth emails might then begin to expose them to your product by providing a high-level summary of its advantages.


Decision


“The sale is done at the end when someone takes out their card and swipe. In order to come to the end, you need a healthy amount of opportunities.” - Luca Doan, CSC Account Manager at Amazon Web Services (AWS)


Now is the moment to complete the transaction. Your leads have expressed an interest in your content and have completed the entire nurture process. The final email in the series should be the hard sell, with something to seal the purchase, such as a product demo, a free consultation, or a special discount.

Because this sales automation example won't work for everyone, if some leads don't convert, you may design a second nurturing sequence for them and contact them again in six months with a different offer.



Integrating Sales Automation with a Customer Relationship Management System (CRM)


Finding the correct CRM to manage and trigger your sales automation is the key to saving time and increasing productivity. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It stands for customer relationship management, and it's a sophisticated system that brings all of your sales leads and customers' data together in one location.


A customer relationship management system (CRM) can assist you in laying the groundwork for a successful sales automation process. Details such as an email address, client type, purchase history, current sales funnel stage, and how often someone opens or click



How can a small business use online sales automation?


“Human-to-human interaction and automation in sales do not have to be mutually exclusive.” - Luca Doan, CSC Account Manager at Amazon Web Services (AWS)


Sales automation software or CRM can help your small business in a variety of ways. Sales teams can use their CRM to manage their sales funnel and email marketing, for example, which streamlines the sales process.

Sales automation software can automate some of your everyday duties and combine other programs into one single spot, allowing you to focus on generating more leads and growing your business.


Here are a few examples of how you can do it:


1. Make a record


22.9% of respondents still manually collect contact information in-person or over the phone. This process can be easily automated to save time.


Having a sales automation system in place in the form of record creation generates a new contact record whenever a form is populated by a lead or when a business card is uploaded into the system, saving sales representatives from having to manually input all of their new data each time. Once those records are created, they can be tagged and segmented for easier record keeping and reporting.



2. Communicate with clients and prospects


“The sales process from picking up the phone, following up, and sending email updates takes a considerable amount of time and has to be done over and over again.” - Luca Doan, CSC Account Manager for Amazon Web Services (AWS)


Another excellent example of sales automation is the ability to nurture client connections by staying in touch and sending out material via marketing or personal email sequences.


Customers will not feel ignored if sales staff programs their business line to leave automated away messages while they are attending to another client or have activated "do not disturb" mode after logging off for the day. Another alternative is to use a CRM with text messaging features to send customised text messages with appointment reminders and information.


3. Create templates and automation for email


The ability to populate pre-designed email templates can save sales rep hours of time. CRM can provide a large library of templates to pick from, all of which correspond to a number of different circumstances, making it easier to target the correct audience.


4. Plan ahead of time


Scheduling meetings with leads is one of the more than 30% of sales activities that can be automated.

Using a sales automation platform's scheduling and appointments tool ensures that nothing slips through the cracks. Whether it is a new client consultation or a follow-up meeting, sales staff can avoid mistakenly double booking or skipping appointments with easy scheduling. Gone are the days when communications were sent back and forth to get an agreement on a meeting time.


5. Gather and report information


Sales reps can get a bird's eye view of sales conversions, form completions, email open rates, click-through rates, marketing and campaign performance, and contact engagement by using automated sales analysis. Instead of sifting through mountains of data, use the sales reports tool to keep track of lead and product income, activity history, orders and billing, and more.


6. Invoicing


You may develop an automated selling system that accepts credit cards, issues bills, and tracks that is paid with automatic payments and invoicing. Even when your sales people are unavailable, your business may automatically take payments and send invoices around the clock. You can even avoid bill collection by sending courteous automated reminders and letting the payments come in on their own.


“Run the tools you pick as an experiment process. If it works for you - keep it. If it doesn’t, switch it up. Different providers come with very similar solutions and only one will work for you.” - Christoph Burkhardt, CEO of OneLife and Founder of TinyBox Academy



Why does consumer behaviour matter?



“Sales automation started on the side of the companies but is shifting to the customer's side, where they start automating everything around them.” - Christoph Burkhardt, CEO of OneLife and Founder of TinyBox Academy


Automating the sales process is the key to increase sales productivity, performance, and revenue, but that alone is not enough. Understanding consumer psychology has become a huge market today. People study consumer behaviour to generate insights and use these insights to help a brand or company grow.


“The world has changed and naturally, customers’ expectations have changed as well.” - Christoph Burkhardt, CEO of OneLife and Founder of TinyBox Academy


Consumers flock to a company or brand that not only solves, but also communicates, consumer problems in real time. Rather than wasting money on unnecessary goods, they prefer to make investments. Most customers assume that every purchase they make should provide them with some benefit. As a result, consumer behaviour insights are derived from the marketing plan of a company.


Understanding consumer behaviour matters because of the following:

  • It helps reinforce positive beliefs associated with products and services.

  • Shape emerging and new habits

  • Sustain habits associated with consumer purchase and buying decisions

  • Align messages to a consumer’s mind-set

  • Analyse consumer beliefs and behaviour at a granular level


Studying consumer buying behaviour is extremely vital for marketers, especially in today’s digital age. Marketers can easily use consumer behaviour insights and data to understand the expectations that consumers have, their preferences, and what helps a company retain a consumer.


Make the most of human contribution


Instead of focusing on how automation can save you time, you should focus on how it can make things easier for your consumers. It can achieve both if done correctly, but customers can tell when the focus is on lowering costs or saving time, and they do not like it.


“The whole team needs to understand the whole process; however, not a lot of teams are used to working this way yet. Different people use different tools, but in the end, everyone needs to look at the same data.” - Christoph Burkhardt, CEO of OneLife and Founder of TinyBox Academy


Encourage your sales team to evaluate and perfect the automated process once a week. What can be added, and what can be removed? Is it possible to tweak the phrasing or messaging to make it feel new? Is it possible to add another level of segmentation and personalization?


Do not be a business that pushes clients away and keeps them at arm's length in order to avoid actual engagement. Instead, use automation to help your consumers receive rapid answers to their problems and reach a live person in the simplest way possible when they need it.


Watch or listen to the dialogue “Automation in Sales” on YouTube and Spotify




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