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Article 7 min read

Close deals faster with sales process automation

Your pipeline has never looked so good.

By Liz Bauer

Last updated January 19, 2021

Advances in software have made the sales landscape more competitive than ever. Sales process automation, such as data enrichment, has made it easy for reps to find and connect with high-quality prospects. Lead-scoring software is helping boost sales productivity and efficiency, while email automation has made scalable, personalised sales outreach a reality.

And with activity tracking and reporting, sales teams can streamline workflow and quickly adapt to changing customer needs.

The proof is in the pudding: according to the 2020 State of SMB Sales, sales teams who invest in sales process automation tools are 52% more productive, convert 47% more leads, and generate 45% more referrals than those who do not invest in the tools.

To close deals faster and boost sales, you need to invest in sales process automation.

Fast-track lead generation with data enrichment

Over one-third of sales teams find lead generation to be one of the most challenging steps in the sales cycle. Reps can spend hours searching for prospects on social media and company websites, and even then, it’s not always easy to find the right contact information for the prospects identified.

Data enrichment tools help automate this process so reps can spend more time building relationships.

Zendesk Reach, for example, gives sales reps access to a massive database of over 20 million businesses and 395 million prospect records. Reps can use the tool to search for prospects by industry, location, company name and more.

With the click of a button, Reach will display a list of relevant leads based on a user’s search criteria. The tool even provides detailed contact information for those leads, such as email, phone, website, Twitter handle and LinkedIn account.

The best part is, reps can easily import these contacts as new customer profiles in their sales CRM, Zendesk Sell.

Importing data step 1Importing data step 2

With sales process automation tools like data enrichment, your reps will always have a pipeline full of prospects. Your team will spend less time researching new opportunities and more time building relationships and closing deals.

Qualify more leads with automatic lead scoring

Most sales teams use lead scoring models to qualify and prioritise prospects. Lead scoring involves assigning a numeric value to prospects based on predetermined attributes.

For example, let’s say your highest paying customers are sales managers in SaaS startups. In a lead scoring system, those attributes – being a sales manager, working for a SaaS startup – would be given high numeric values. That way, any incoming leads who match those criteria can easily be identified, qualified, and prioritised by reps.

But unqualified leads can still slip through the cracks. And when that happens, productivity plummets. Often this is a result of:

  • Not knowing which attributes constitute a qualified/unqualified lead

  • Forgetting to screen leads for certain attributes

  • Dealing with inaccurate customer data

The solution to these problems is simple: automate the process.

Sales process automation tools will automatically screen prospects for high-value attributes so reps don’t have to. Zendesk Sell, for example, will even analyse historical data in your sales CRM to identify new attributes. That means no more guesswork on what constitutes a valuable lead and less time spent chasing dead-end leads.

Reps can also use Zendesk Sell to create “smart lists”, or groups of similar customer types. With this feature, teams can easily save and track high-priority leads without needing to create customised filter views in their sales CRM. Teams can also use smart lists to send personalised sales outreach at scale.

See how Smart Lists work in Zendesk

Personalise outreach at scale with email automation

Personalizsed sales emails have a higher click-through rate than those that are not, according to research by GetResponse.

But crafting personalised sales outreach to hundreds of leads a day is time consuming and tedious. After all, it can take an average of 14 to 16 emails over 20 days to successfully connect with a prospect.

With sales process automation tools, personalised email outreach is sustainable and scalable.

Remember those smart lists in Zendesk Sell we talked about? Sales reps can use them to create targeted email templates and sequences. Need to follow up with 20 qualified SaaS sales managers? Add them to a smart list and you’ll be able to send a personalised email to all 20 with the single click of a button.

With many sales email automation tools, you can also use merge tags (also known as merge fields) to further personalise email outreach. Merge tags act as placeholders for specific customer information – their name, company name, product etc. When added to an email, they automatically populate personalised information for each email recipient based on their customer profile in your sales CRM.

Personalised email templates (common in sales process automation) can be saved for future use, saving reps valuable time in manual labour. With some sales process automation tools, reps can even schedule emails to be sent at specific intervals (e.g. every five days, or after two days with no response).

The ultimate guide to sales email automation

With email automation tools, it’s possible for reps to send personalised outreach at scale.

Streamline workflow with automatic activity tracking

Reps can spend multiple hours per day on admin tasks alone – logging notes from a customer call, recording emails sent and appointments scheduled, and so on. That’s time reps could be selling or interacting with customers.

With sales process automation tools, these activities are automatically logged and tracked in your sales tool. Sales reps can spend more time with customers and less time on tedious administrative tasks.

And with a sales process automation tool like Zendesk Sell, these activities are tracked in real time. That gives managers complete oversight into how productively and efficiently their reps are performing on a daily basis.

Managers can use Zendesk Sell to view real-time activity dashboards for individual reps or full sales teams. They can view activity history for emails sent, meetings scheduled, sales won, calls made and more. This automatic activity tracking is an effective tool for monitoring the productivity of your reps.

And, for the sales rep, automatic activity tracking makes it easier to focus on high-level, high-value tasks. Reps can focus less on tedious admin tasks, and more on closing deals and building relationships.

Gain actionable insights with smart sales reports

Increasing revenue month after month requires an agile approach to sales. You need to know exactly what’s working, what’s not, and why – and you need to adjust your methods accordingly.

For example, you need to know how leads are progressing through the sales funnel. Where are prospects getting stuck, and why? What was the number one deal loss reason this month compared with last year or six months ago?

Specific insights like these can be hard to obtain without the right reporting tools. It can take hours, or even days, to compile and analyse historical data points like the ones above.

Sales process automation tools track and analyse all your historical sales data for you. With Zendesk Sell, for example, managers can view detailed, customisable reports for multiple data sets, such as:

  • Deal loss reasons: Why sales are being lost
  • Pipeline analysis: How leads are progressing through the sales funnel
  • Deal sources: Where high-value leads are coming from
  • Sales activities: Sales rep activities such as calls made, tasks completed and sales won

Using real time data, Zendesk Sell automatically creates detailed reports like the ones above. The actionable insights they provide allow you and your team to quickly adapt to changing customer needs.

Flexible sales process automation for businesses of all sizes

Many companies are already aware of the benefits of sales process automation. The difference is that, today, this technology is much more accessible to smaller and mid-sized businesses than it was several years ago. Companies like Zendesk are offering affordable, customisable solutions to businesses of every size.

Whether you’re a startup, an SMB or an enterprise business, the right sales process automation tool can help you close deals faster, without breaking the bank. Start boosting sales today with a free trial of Zendesk Sell.

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