It makes a lot of sense to automate your business – and especially your sales routine. Automation leads to increases in productivity, reduced costs and fewer errors. Take those improvements to an automated sales process and the amount of sales productivity can increase as much as 32 percent, according to a survey of Salesforce.com customers in November 2012.
Here are three approaches to automating your sales process, from the simple to the more complex.
Cutting the Track for Others to Follow
Small business owners are often the main salesperson as they have more knowledge, passion and incentive than employees. And every business owner making sales has thought, “If only I could clone myself I could make more sales.”
Welcome to a driving goal for creating a sales workflow. Once defined, the workflow can be shared with new sales recruits. Sales workflows are more often found in enterprise CRMs however the affordable Capsule CRM has a basic, useful tool.
Capsule’s “sales tracks” are customisable lists of tasks that program the steps in a sale.
The default sales track includes the steps; email customer to qualify the opportunity, hold a meeting with the customer, create a bid document, send the bid and sign the contract with the customer.
The user chooses the number of days from one task to the next, either from the completion of the previous task or from the first step in the sales track.
Multiple sales tracks can be created for different products or types of customers. A salesperson selects the appropriate sales track for each new opportunity in Capsule CRM.
Turning Websites into Pipelines
Small business marketing and sales program Infusionsoft has a neat app for automating many tasks including turning website inquiries into customers. The visual campaign builder can automate internal and external processes, from new hire onboarding to purchase fulfillment.
A user selects sources of leads, such as the company website, and then drags an action next to it such as filling out a form or buying a product. The user can specify that forms filled out on a landing page will trigger templated emails to the visitor at set times.
This automation can be used to offer additional deals, follow up on abandoned e-commerce carts or measure customer satisfaction.
Connecting Sales to the Company
Similar in concept to Capsule CRM’s sales tracks, Salesforce.com takes the drag-and-drop workflow editor to another level. It can create processes among sales, marketing and support staff as well as automating the sales process.
The workflow editor can guide a salesperson through a series of qualification conversations and help recommend next steps based on the profile of the deal. The editor can also fill out orders and put together complex proposals.
The editor can also automate the approvals process for expenses. An expense record can travel through three staff in its journey to the accounts payable office. Salesforce.com can send the approvals through its instant messaging program, Chatter. A manager can approve the expense from within the Chatter window.