As a concept, automation is one of the most important ideas out there.
This goes doubly, if not more when it comes to your business and its sales.
Today's sales automation tools have the same impact on a business's sales as manufacturing automation and the invention of the assembly line. It’s no exaggeration to say that without the use of sales automation tools, your business may be losing out on far more than you might imagine.
Just take a look at some of the ways sales automation can benefit your business.
The unlimited potential of automation tools in conjunction with sales is massive. Thirty-six percent of a sales rep's time has to do with the actual sale - the rest is the monotonous admin tasks automation tools help with.
While great businesses should definitely still utilize the human touch, incorporating good automation tools can actually enhance this essential part of doing business. The idea that automation means a lack of personalization is very much an antiquated notion.
The best automation tools help you collect, analyze and interpret data about your customers that can help you provide a more useful and personal experience.
Best automation tools to boost your businesses sales
Increased employee productivity, efficiency, and flexibility are all common components of good automation tools. The tools you incorporate and integrate with your business should help you not only boost your sales but improve the way in which your work processes work.
There are a variety of automation tools out there, some of which may be more suited to your needs than others. The list we’ve devised below includes some of the best options out there for a variety of business needs.
Not every business requires the same things, so choosing the right option goes a long way when it comes to boosting your business's sales.
1. Pardot for lead generation
Lead Generation is one of, if not the, most important aspects of sales.
Lead generation and acquisition are the foundation of a successful sales funnel.
Tools like ClickFunnels are well-known for helping businesses build their sales funnel. If you're running a small business that’s looking to develop your sales funnel starting with your lead generation, you may be considering some ClickFunnels alternatives for a side business.
That’s where Salesforce Pardot comes in handy.
By automating the repetitive tasks that goes into acquiring leads, Pardot ensures your sales team can focus on the more human side of sales while ensuring quality lead acquisition.
Pardot can help you design attention-grabbing, quality landing pages, effective Call-to-Action buttons, and high conversion-orientated lead magnets. Nurturing leads is also crucial to lead generation and acquisition which is another thing Pardot excels at.
Pardot is a dynamic, forward-thinking tool that can help get your sales team to perform at their best. The sales process all begins with the leads your business finds which is what Pardot has been specifically designed to improve.
2.Scribe for customer onboarding & training
Closing the deal is just step one. You need to build trust, encourage independence and keep up communication in your customer relationships.
The best way to do that? By making sure your clients understand how to use your product.
Scribe is a step-by-step guide generator that writes your process documentation for you. That means you can capture workflows, show how to troubleshoot issues and highlight your best features — all at the click of a button.
Here's how it works.
- Download and turn on the Scribe extension.
- Go through the process that your client needs to learn (it can be as general as launching a zoom meeting or more specific, like accepting customer tickets through Zendesk).
- Turn off the extension. In seconds Scribe will create written instructions — complete with text and annotated screenshots.
Here's a Scribe in action.
And with Scribe's newest feature, Pages, you can combine several Scribes with images, video and more. Here's a Page that ramps up Asana customers.
3. Salesforce CRM for customer relationship management
A quality CRM (which stands for Customer Relationship Management) is essential for increasing your business sales.
CRM software allows you to store various types of customer data that can provide you with insights to improve and inform your sales and marketing. A good CRM also enables you to provide better customer service.
As a brand, your customers are everything.
Using good CRM can track multiple types of customer behavior through your various channels. It is then capable of using these insights to inform your sales reps about how to go about responding to your customer's potential and current needs.
Being able to take a holistic approach to your customer's details and their needs will improve your sales massively.
Salesforce is one of the best-in-class options out there. Offering you everything from lead management, sales forecasting, and pipeline tracking, Salesforce has everything you need to make faster, smarter sales.
When you’re looking to maximize your sales results, the ability to see your lead's activity, history and details from click to close is essential. When it comes to that, Salesforce is a definite must-have.
4. Zapier for third-party tech integration
Zapier is one of the most useful automation tools out there.
That’s because it’s uniquely designed to automate workflows between various other apps or software tools.
Zapier requires no coding knowledge and has the ability to integrate well over 5000 different apps. From Slack to Trello and Facebook or Mailchimp. When you’re operating a modern business, having the technology to make everything work smoothly together is a major advantage.
Third-party integration, workflow customization, and automation, an intelligent auto replay system as well as the ability to perform multiple “zaps” at once, make Zapier a must-have tool for any business.
Especially for businesses that are trying to take a tech-forward approach to solve their business needs.
In an industry that’s based on convenience, Zapier is a must-have tool.
5. ActiveCampaign for email automation
Email marketing offers some of the best ROIs of any form of marketing technique out there.
For every $1 spent, you get as much as $36. With that kind of yield, if you aren't already making use of email marketing, you’re going to be kicking yourself.
Especially given the convenience and power of ActiveCampaign.
While Mailchimp may be a bit more well-known, ActiveCampaign is countering that popularity by being much more powerful, user-friendly, and holistic than its more famous counterpart.
Here’s a short list of some of the benefits of ActiveCampaign:
- Offers over 250, clean, well-designed, and mobile-friendly templates that are available across all plans
- The ability to segment contacts using tags and custom fields that can be added or removed automatically. It even offers the unique ability to segment contacts based on the link or image they click
- Lead scoring capabilities based on the actions of your mailing list
- The ability to build complex workflows, automations as well as data tagging
- Detailed reports with everything from email performance, links clicked, geolocation and more
It also comes with a built-in CRM which can help you save if you’re thinking of purchasing a dedicated CRM package.
Ultimately, if you're looking to reap the benefits of email marketing automation, ActiveCampaign should be at the top of your list.
6. Slack for internal business communication
Slack is one of the more well-known messaging tools that businesses use to make internal communication better.
Slack is a cloud-based messaging tool that’s designed to help businesses effectively communicate with teams of employees.
On the whole, Slack has three main benefits over conventional email communication:
- A focus on transparency and collaboration: It enables users to see all messages and conversations in one place. This makes catching up on notifications or announcements easy and builds trust
- Highly flexible: Slack allows users to customize notifications so they’re only alerted of relevant information
- Integration orientated: It’s capable of integrating with hundreds of different tools and software which allows information and data to be shared much more easily
- Automation based: A variety of features allow you to do things like set meetings, tasks, and program bots to make managing your workflow simpler
Slack is also incredibly secure, making use of various data encryption techniques to guard and store your team members' conversations.
The simpler and easier it is for your team to collaborate on projects without feeling bombarded with irrelevant info, the better their performance is going to be.
7. Calendly for meeting scheduling
It may sound basic, but having a tool that allows you to effectively organize meetings digitally and build an online schedule is extremely useful.
The more effectively you’re able to manage your schedule, the better organized your week and operations will be.
This allows you to plan and orchestrate every aspect of your business better. Especially since Calendly can be integrated with a variety of virtual calendars to help keep you up to date no matter where you are.
If you have a business that’s already doing well, you know how confusing the many sales meetings, presentations, and lead follow-ups can become if you’re not organized. Not to mention whatever internal business plans you’ve got going on.
A missed meeting or deal can come at a great cost to your business.
The sheer ease of use of Calendly makes it well worth a try. All you need to do is send a link, have your client select a convenient time that suits both parties and Calendly provides email reminders to keep you on track.
It even gives the user the ability to set preferred times and dates while making sure you don’t have any conflicting meetings.
Low cost, easy to use, and highly effective, Calandely is a must-have automation tool for any business looking to scale up.
Sales automation tools: The final result
Sales is one of the most important aspects of any brand.
If you’re selling a product, you need to be doing everything possible to ensure it, and your sales team, succeed.
Often, that can involve complex marketing and advertising campaigns and cost-cutting efforts to reduce the cost of production. These are effective methods, but not nearly as effective as relying on automation tools.
Good automation tools help your sales team by eliminating time-wasting tasks, keeping them informed, and providing the types of structures they need to succeed. It’s not about eliminating the human side of sales, but rather enhancing it.
The tools we’ve selected in this article are based on this principle.
Remember, if you focus on helping the people who sell your products, increasing sales is just a matter of time.
About the Author
Ryan Fick is a Cape Town-based, internationally raised, opinionated writer who is passionate about politics, and social justice and a firm believer in the link between "Amandla" and "Awethu". With a background in Journalism, Travel, and all-around Content Writing, as well as a burgeoning interest in all things SEO. He is a perpetual knowledge seeker who knows enough to know he doesn’t know it all.