Sales Automation

What Is Sales Automation? Pros, Cons, Best Practices and More

When you mention the idea of automating sales, most business owners may second guess the idea and while there is no doubt selling high ticket products or services often requires you to establish trust and authority with your target audience.

However, if used correctly sales automation can become one of the best investments your company can make.

But what is sales automation? What solutions are available on the market and what are the pros, cons and best practices of implementing sales automation within your business?

In this article, we’re going to brand down each of these points in more detail and provide you with some real-life examples of ways you can streamline your sales process using automation.

Let’s dive in!

Sales Process Automation

What is sales automation?

Sales automation involves using software to automate repetitive tasks and workflows within your sales process with the goal of helping your sales team reduce the amount of time they spend on manual tasks on a daily basis.

This can include automating email follow-up, document creation, appointment scheduling or any one of a number of manual tasks that eat into your sales reps busy schedule.

Not only does this increase your team’s productivity, decrease the need for them to focus time and energy on repetitive administrative tasks but it also improves processes and data accuracy within your business by removing the risk of human error.

How does sales automation work?

Sales automation works by creating pre-determined workflows that complete a pre-defined list of tasks over any desired period of time.

For example, if you wanted to follow up with a qualified lead over a period of two weeks you can create a workflow that sends an automated follow-up email or reminder to your sales rep every 3 to 5 days until the lead schedules a meeting? No worries!

Most modern CRM’s including Salesmate, Pipedrive and ActiveCampaign allow you to create workflows just like and they can be personalised based upon the customer or sales rep.

Or maybe you’re looking to create a contract and invoice for a new client you’ve just signed without having to manually add data in each platform? Don’t stress! With sales automation, you can say goodbye to manual data entry once and for all.

By using Platforms like Zapier and Integromat, you can connect your company’s SaaS platforms and automate workflows within your business saving you time and money.

Some other forms of sales automation include:

  • Lead qualification
  • Appointment setting
  • Customer onboarding
  • Payment automation
  • Support automation
  • Review management
  • Sales reporting

What are the pros and cons of sales automation?

Did you know that lost productivity and poorly managed data cost’s companies a staggering $1 trillion annually?

And let’s face it, with more businesses moving online to capture a larger market share this has resulted in most people having to multi-task leading to the risk of human error no matter how many times you’ve performed even the most mundane tasks.

By automating these tasks you can help reduce the risk of human error while also allowing your team to focus on more important tasks that automation can’t do.

It’s important to remember though, that building trust and authority within your industry still requires the human touch so don’t over automate.

If a lead or customer matches a certain requirement, you can set an internal notification for your sales rep to follow up with the lead personally via phone or email instead of sending an automated email to them.

What are the best practices for sales automation?

Before using sales automation within your business, it’s best to determine what exactly are you looking to achieve out of using it within your business.

Some of the most common reasons include increasing data accuracy, reducing overheads and freeing up time to focus on more important things within your business.

With this in mind, here are some best practices you can follow when looking to implement sales automation within your business.

Assess Current Systems

Conduct an analysis of the current platforms you are using within your business and how well they integrate with other platforms and with other popular automation platforms.

If you’re still using a dated CRM solution that doesn’t work well with other platforms on your market maybe it’s time for an upgrade as more than likely it’s costing you time and money.

Map Out Processes

The next step is to map out your entire sales process from start to finish, most CRM platforms support the ability to create a sales pipeline within your business which you may have already started using or you may prefer to use a mind mapping platform such as Miro so you can collaborate with team members and external contractors.

You want to get crystal clear on the entire process in as much detail as this will allow you to determine which steps can be automated and which ones will need to remain manual.

Compare Software Solutions

In the event that your current software platforms integrate well with each other, great!

If the current platforms you are using aren’t going to work well together, you may need to take some time to review some of the best sales automation tools to determine which platforms will work best for you and your industry.

Leading automation platforms such as Zapier and Integromat currently support 1,000s of leading SaaS platforms so chances are these platforms will support your chosen platform.

In-House vs Hiring a Consultant

You’ll need to complete a review if you and your team implement these platforms yourself or if it’s best to hire an experienced sales automation consultant to assist you with the planning, implementation and ongoing management of your automations.

While automating simple workflows may be able to be managed in-house with the help of some training videos or detailed guides, automation can often become more complex when you are looking to automate dozens of processes or complex workflows.

Testing and Documentation

It’s important to remember that automation may not always work as intended so it’s best to complete a few tests runs internally before launching automations or consider having your sales reps or customer support team test the workflows as they may be able to identify something you have missed that they feel is critical to the process.

Documentation and training are also important when launching new automations as it’s critical that you keep your team up to date on process changes that may impact the way they work.

Is sales automation right for my business?

In all honesty, sales automation can be used in just about any business regardless of size, industry or who your target market is.

Some important things to take into consideration before thinking about using sales automation within your business are not to overdo it straight away, even if it’s automating a handful of small repetitive tasks that save you from having to do these on a daily basis you’re off to a great start.

Another important thing to remember is to find the platforms that work best for your budget, while having the top of the range SaaS solutions may seem nice if you’re still small and won’t make use of half of the platform features yet so invest your resources wisely.

And there you have it, our detailed overview of what is sales automation as well as the pros, cons and best practices on how you can use it within your business.

Ready to Streamline Your Sales Teams Workload?

Feel free to check out some of the platforms recommended within our article or take a minute to conduct an analysis of your current systems and process to determine what can be automated within your team’s daily workload, you may be surprised!

Which sales processes are you looking to automate within your business? Let us know in the comments.

Happy automating!

Ways to Use Sales Automation Within Your Business

8 Ways to Use Sales Automation Within Your Business

When it comes to hiring, one of the most important investments you can make within your business is no doubt hiring sales representatives.

Not only can they help scale your revenue quickly giving your access to additional cash flow which allows you to hire across other areas but it frees up your time to focus on other areas within your business.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest time killers even the most experienced sales representatives faced is time lost on repetitive tasks like scheduling meetings, lead follow up and more.

Thankfully, with the help of technology, you can streamline repetitive workflows within your sales process saving your team countless hours in lost time while allowing you to improve efficiency within your business and hire faster

So, with this in mind, we wanted to share some of the best ways to use sales automation within your business and win back your time once and for all.

Let’s dive in!

Ways to Use Sales Automation Within Your Business

Ways to Use Sales Automation Within Your Business - Lead Qualification

Lead Qualification

Being able to generate high-quality leads that are the right fit for your product or service can be challenging and time-consuming.

Matched with having to manually qualify or search for additional data on leads can cost you countless hours of follow-up for little to no return on investment.

With platforms such as Typeform and Lusha you can pre-qualify leads by having them complete condition-based surveys that automatically segment leads based upon their feedback while Lusha can help you enrich existing lead data ensuring your lead data is always accurate.

Ways to Use Sales Automation Within Your Business - Lead Nurturing

Lead Nurturing

Remembering to follow up with every lead can be difficult when you have dozens of new leads arriving each day.

And while selling no doubt requires the human touch when it comes to closing a deal, being able to create automated workflows that take the guesswork out of it for you can save you countless hours in time and resources.

With the help of platforms like Salesmate and Pipedrive, you can build automated workflows that either engage with your leads on a time-based or event-based schedule or trigger notifications to be sent to your sales reps to follow up personally if a lead meets specific criteria.

Ways to Use Sales Automation Within Your Business - Appointment Setting

Appointment Setting

Finding a suitable time for meetings that works for everyone can be a nightmare.

With different timezones, conflicting schedules and more coming into the play it’s easy to get caught up in back and forth email threads leaving you frustrated.

Thanks to platforms like Calendly and tymeshift you can view, plan, and schedule meetings without having to worry about timezones or conflicting schedules ever again. Calendly even automatically adjusts meeting availability to the person’s local timezone and allows you to trigger email and text-based reminders ensuring an important meeting is never missed.

Ways to Use Sales Automation Within Your Business - Customer Onboarding

Customer Onboarding

Proving an easy, hassle-free onboarding process is critical to providing your new customers with a great first impression of working with you.

With the help of platforms like Paperform and Userflow you can create tailored customer onboarding experiences that make the process hassle-free for you and your clients.

Whether it’s getting them to provide brand assets for a marketing campaign, completing an onboarding checklist for your software platform or more you can personalise the experience at every step based upon their unique requirements.

You can then also trigger follow up processes once your customer completes the onboarding process using Zapier or Integromat saving you and your clients time.

Ways to Use Sales Automation Within Your Business - Payment Automation

Payment Automation

Ensuring a streamlined payment processing experience for your customers not only provides you with a healthy cash flow, but it also reduces any friction or doubts a new customer may have when purchasing from you for the first time.

By using platforms such as Stripe and Zipbooks you can streamline your payment processing and invoice creation by creating recurring invoices and offering subscription-based payment engagements so that you or your customer never miss a beat.

You can then also send this data between any one of your platforms to ensure your customer data is always up to date and accurate using Zapier or Integromat.

Ways to Use Sales Automation Within Your Business - Support Automation

Support Automation

Providing top-rated customer support is critical to ensuring a high-level customer experience even after your product or service has been delivered.

However, with so many communication channels and varying customer support demands making it difficult to ensure every enquiry query is dealt with on time you can soon have your work cut out for you.

Thanks to platforms such as Front and HelpScout you can consolidate support enquiries across all platforms into one centralised place while also creating a curated collection of support articles that help answer your customer’s queries avoiding the need to have to reach out to you for common support queries.

Ways to Use Sales Automation Within Your Business - Review Management

Review Management

One of the most powerful sales assets you can have is none other than social proof.

But remembering to follow up with each customer for reviews can be time-consuming, what’s more, how can you be sure you’re reaching out to your most loyal customers to collect a review from?

With the help of platforms like Reviews.IO, you can streamline your reviews collection and publishing process allowing your most loyal customers to share their experience with your brand so that others can discover your brand.

Ways to Use Sales Automation Within Your Business - Sales Reporting

Sales Reporting

Being able to get a birds-eye overview of your most important sales metrics in one central place not only lets you know when you need to focus your attention most, but it also saves you countless time wasted switching between multiple reporting platforms.

By using platforms such as Databox and DashThis, you can build centralised sales reporting dashboards with all of your most important metrics in one place.

You can then also trigger time-based, event-based or goal-based reminders and notifications to be sent to relevant team members for each metric using Zapier or Integromat.

And there you have it, 8 savvy ways to use sales automation within your business to help you increase your team’s productivity giving them more time to focus on what matters most, selling.

Ready to Win Back Your Sales Reps Time?

Feel explore some of the tools mentioned in our list in more detail by signing up for a free trial or schedule a free automation consultation with us today to learn more about how we can help streamline your sales process using automation.

Happy automating!

Pipedrive Review 2021

Pipedrive Review 2022: Compare Features, Pricing & More

When it comes to choosing the right CRM platform for your business, it can seem like a long and tedious process.

Most of them are stacked with features you may never use or can’t be customised to suit your industry and business needs.

However, one CRM that bucks this trend and does it well is none other than Pipedrive.

Founded in 2010, CRM dubs itself as the first CRM built by salespeople, for salespeople and with over 95,000 customers spanning 175 countries and a team of over 800 there’s no second-guessing it definitely a leader within its space. 

But how does it compare to other CRM platforms on the market?

In this Pipedrive review article, we’re going to unpack Pipedrive’s features, pricing and more to help make it easier when it comes to choosing the right CRM platform for your business.

Let’s dive in!

Pipedrive Review 2022

Overview

Having been founded only in 2016, Salesmate can often be considered as one of the newcomers within the CRM space, however, this hasn’t stopped it from disrupting an already crowded market and marking its name as one of the top-rated contenders within the industry.

With a focus on helping sales teams become more productive, Salesmate offers a diverse range of features in a well designed, easy to use platform that doesn’t break the bank.

This unique approach has led to them win multiple awards within their space and is rated one of the top-ranking CRM’s on the market in terms of price, quality and customer service and they have no signs of slowing down in disrupting the market.

Features

Lead and Deal Management

With Pipedrive’s advanced lead and deal management, you can be sure to get the most out of every lead opportunity and save you countless hours of time.

Pipedrive’s visual sales pipeline feature allows you to get a birds-eye view of where each deal is at within your pipeline while also being able to collect, import and add leads directly into their leads inbox making it easier to manage each and every lead.

Pipedrive also includes a built-in web form builder and live chat platform allowing you to generate new leads without the need for multiple platforms.

Communications Tracking

Whether it’s tracking when a lead opens and responds to your email, logging a recent call completed by sales reps, creating a centralised place to store documents and templates Pipedrive has you covered with a host of built-in communication tracking features.

You can also log recently completed activities, schedule meetings and share your availability on the fly with built-in scheduling functionality tailored to your needs.

Workflow Automation

The last thing a business sales rep needs is to be slowed down by repetitive admin tasks that can be automated.

Whether it sending follow up emails, creating follow up task reminders or enriching contact data, when it’s performed 100s of times a day this can eat into precious time and energy that can be used to close new deals and reach out to existing customers.

With Pipedrive’s built-in workflow automation feature, you can build tailored automation workflows that help automate repetitive admin tasks so your team can focus on what matters most.

Insights and Reporting

Being able to get a clear understanding of key metrics is critical to increasing your sales teams productivity and business revenue, traditionally this would require hours of data analysis only to be presented in dreary spreadsheets that don’t tell the whole story.

Thanks to Pipedrive’s advanced reporting capabilities you can get up to date, accurate insights into your most important sales metrics and also set goals for each one so that you can see where you are in terms of each goal and which areas need the most attention.

Privacy and Security

Ensuring your company data is critical is essential and Pipedrive has got you covered with the ability to manage and review your contact, lead and sales data with ease.

From being able to create custom access and device rules to automated notifications when a data security issue occurs and add two-factor login requirements for accounts you can rest assured that your data is secure 24/7

Mobile App and Integrations

Being able to have your sales data accessible on the go is critical to ensuring a streamlined sales process no matter where you are.

With Pipedrive’s native mobile app for iOS and Android, you have access to your sales data whether you’re travelling, at a conference or even on vacation and with direct integration with leading Calendar and Email providers and support for over 275+ leading SaaS apps you can rest assured that Pipedrive works with just about any platform you use.

Pricing

Pipedrive has pricing plans to suit big and small businesses with plans from as low as $18 per month for their essential plan making it one of the most affordable solutions on the market.

  • Essential – $18 month/$12.50 per month (billed annually)
  • Advanced – $33 month/$24.90 per month (billed annually)
  • Professional – $59 month/$49.90 per month (billed annually)
  • Enterprise – $119 month/$99 per month (billed annually)

FAQs

How much does Pipedrive cost?

  • Pipedrive pricing varies depending upon the features you are looking for with plans starting from $18 per month.

Does Pipedrive offer a free trial?

  • Yes, Pipedrive offers a free 14-day free trial to get started.

Can I migrate my existing contacts to Pipedrive?

  • Yes, Pipedrive allows you to import your existing contacts and also has qualified Pipedrive experts who can assist you with migration.

What customer service options do Pipedrive offer?

  • Pipedrive provides support via live chat and telephone for enterprise plans.

Alternatives

Unsure if Pipedrive is the right solution for your business? Here are some other platforms we recommend checking out when choosing the right CRM solution for your business.

Summary

Overall Pipedrive comes out as a clear contender when it comes to providing an affordable yet feature-packed CRM solution that helps increase your sales.

One of the areas that Pipedrive excels in is its continuously growing marketplace which offers direct integration with a diverse range of leading SaaS platforms on the market.

If you’re looking for a low cost yet powerful CRM that is guaranteed to increase your sales teams productivity we highly recommend taking Pipedrive for a test yourself.

And there you have it! Our in-depth Pipedrive review article provides you with an overview of its features, pricing and more to help you make the right decision when it comes to choosing a CRM solution for your business.

Ready to see if Pipedrive is right for your business??

Get started today with a free 14-day trial which provides you with access to all features so that you can explore the platform in detail or let us take care of it for you with our Pipedrive consulting services including account setup, contract migration and more to ensure you get the most out of your sales team.

Happy automating!

Sales Automation Tools

9 Sales Automation Tools to Streamline Your Sales Process

One of the biggest productivity killers of any busy sales team is time lost completing small tasks.

From scheduling meetings to following up with leads, sending contracts and creating proposals their to-do list soon becomes a neverending list of back and forth administrative tasks.

But what if there was a way to streamline these tasks and let machines do the heavy lifting so that your sales reps can focus on what matters most.

Well, with the help of sales automation you can help your sales reps win back their time and say goodbye to repetitive tasks once and for all.

But with so many options available on the market it’s often easy to get lost in which tools actually save them time and increase productivity without costing a fortune.

Don’t stress, we’ve got you covered!

Here’s our list of the best sales automation tools available on the market that will save you and your team time, money and energy.

Let’s dive in!

Sales Automation Tools

Calendly

First up in our list of sales automation tools is none other than Calendly.

Calendly makes light work of scheduling with its well designed, easy to use platform that allows you to share your availability via your own customisable link. What’s more, is you can customise based upon a number of variables including availability, meeting location and more.

You can also trigger automated SMS and email reminders and collect pre-payments for paid events while also converting timezone availability for your visitors making scheduling hassle-free for you and your contacts.

Key Features

  • Ability to schedule unlimited events
  • Send personalised SMS and email reminders
  • Collect pre-payments before events
  • Sync all appointments with your existing calendar
  • Customise your availability as required

Pricing

  • Basic – $0 forever
  • Premium – $10 per user / month
  • Pro – $15 per user / month

FindThatLead

Ever find yourself spending countless hours trying to find quality prospects for your outreach campaign?

You could throw hundreds, if not thousands at paid advertising campaigns or you could take your prospecting game to a whole new level with FindThat Lead.

FindThatLead allows you to search, verify and even get the contact information of qualified prospects with professionals all around the globe using their all-in-one prospecting platform. In just a few simple steps, you can search, validate and start connecting with potential clients with ease.

Key Features

  • Search for business email addresses around the globe
  • Validate existing email addresses lists with ease
  • Find and connect with local business owners by keyword
  • Build and send personalised email outreach campaigns

Pricing

  • Growth – $49 per month (1 user)
  • Startup – $150 per month (4 users)
  • Suite – $399 per month (6 users)

JustCall

Despite the evolution of social media and online conferencing, the telephone still remains a commonly used method of communication when it comes to customer service and sales.

JustCall lets you and your team communicate with ease via its cloud-based telephone platform while offering a host of features that go beyond the traditional telephone. From the ability to register and use local numbers from over 70 countries, to send and receive SMS messages and more, JustCall allows you to take your telephone outreach to new levels. 

Key Features

  • Use local numbers from over 70 countries
  • Create personalised greeting messages
  • Auto-dial and connect calling
  • Voice transcription of calls
  • Advanced reporting of call data

Pricing

  • Standard – $25 per user / month
  • Premium – $50 per user / month
  • Enterprise – Request Quote (Minimum 100 users)

Lemlist

When it comes to preferred sales strategies, cold email generally gets a bad wrap.

And while the days of generic, bulk sending of email campaigns to email lists will probably not only cost you time and resources, it may also lead to your domain being flagged as spam.

Lemlist reinvents cold email outreach with its easy to use, intuitive platform that allows you to build highly personalised email campaigns that nurture and convert prospects into qualified sales leads at scale without the risk of your domain being flagged.

Key Features

  • Create highly personalised email campaigns
  • Ability to split test multiple campaign variables
  • Automate follow up via multiple channels
  • Sync data with your CRM platform
  • detailed reports on campaign performance

Pricing

  • Email Warm-Up – $29 per user / month
  • Email Outreach – $59 per user / month
  • Sales Engagement – $99 per user / month

Lusha

Being able to build a list of accurate leads for sales outreach isn’t easy. Incorrect email addresses, dated profiles and more often lead to you wasting countless hours in sales outreach.

Lusha allows you to build laser targeting lists for prospecting with access to 100 million profiles providing you with accurate sales saving you time and resources while ensuring you are reaching out to the right person within a company every time.

Key Features

  • Auto-enrichment of contact data
  • Filter contacts based upon specific variables
  • Integration support with your CRM and other sales platforms
  • Web extension for easy enrichment

Pricing

  • Starter – $0 per month (5 credits)
  • Professional – $99 per month (100 credits)
  • Premium – $199 per month (300 credits)
  • Enterprise – custom

Salesmate

When it comes to SaaS platforms that help grow your business, having a reliable CRM platform can make or break your business.

Salesmate goes beyond the traditional CRM platforms by offering a powerful, easy to use platform that increases your sales teams productivity and gives them a birds-eye view of every sales opportunity so that they know exactly who to focus on next.

From automating workflows to detailed sales reporting and built-in calling and text messaging Salesmate takes your team to the next level.

Key Features

  • Create automated, personalised outreach campaigns
  • Send SMS messages and make phone calls
  • Trigger activity reminders and sales actions with ease
  • Easily store, track and manage deals and contacts
  • Get detailed reporting on multiple data points

Pricing

  • Starter – $15 per user / per month
  • Growth – $50 per user / per month
  • Booth – $50 per user / per month
  • Enterprise – custom

ScrabIn

Looking to grow your social media reach on autopilot?

Scrab.in allows you to build automated, highly personalised lead generation campaigns through LinkedIn without you having to spend hours sifting through LinkedIn profiles daily.

In just a few minutes, you can have your LinkedIn campaign up and running that automatically searches, engages, connects and messages prospects on auto-pilot allowing you to spend more time in other areas of your business.

Once Scrab.in has done the heavy lifting for you, you can then continue to reach out to the most relevant prospects through more personalised messages.

Key Features

  • Scan and visit 1st, 2nd and 3rd profiles
  • Visit up to 15,000 profiles per month
  • Send automated messages and invitations
  • Export leads to CSV

Pricing

  • Plus – $12 per user (1 plus license)
  • Ultimate – $59 per month (1 ultimate license)
  • Ultimate – $399 per month (8 licenses)

Better Proposals

First impressions count and being able to present a personalised, eye-catching sales proposal that blows your target audience away isn’t always easy.

BetterProposals lets you create professionally designed, interactive proposals that make your proposal stand out from the crowd while also proving you with detailed insights into how each prospect engages with your proposal.

Key Features
  • Create professional, personalised proposals
  • Detailed insights on the proposal engagemnt
  • Automated follow up with prospects
  • In-built signature support
  • Secure payment processing

Pricing

  • Starter – $19 per user / per month (10 proposals)
  • Growth – $29 per user / per month (50 proposals)
  • Booth – $49 per user / per month

HelloSign

Working hand in hand with a high-quality sales proposal is being able to create a seamless contract signing process that makes contracts easy for you and your new clients.

HelloSign makes light work of legal contracts with their easy to use e-signing platform that allows you to create, sign and send legally binding contracts without the need of expensive legal teams or snail mail.

Key Features
  • Create professional, legally binding contracts
  • Send signature requests directly to new clients
  • Pre-created templates for faster sending
  • Adult trail support via time stamping

Pricing

  • Starter – $19 per user / per month (10 proposals)
  • Growth – $29 per user / per month (50 proposals)
  • Booth – $49 per user / per month

And there you have it, 7 top-rated sales automation tools that you can implement within your business to save your sales team time and money and help you grow your bottom line.

Ready to Increase Your Sales Teams Productivity?

Feel free to sign up for a free trial of these tools and see how much time your team has to focus on what matters most, selling.

Which tool are you most interested in trying and why? Let us know in the comments.

Happy automating!