Big data technology is incredibly important in many aspects of modern business. The sales profession is one of the areas most affected by data. Companies spent $2.8 billion on marketing analytics in 2020 alone. That figure is growing substantially each year.
There are many ways that big data is helping companies improve sales. One of the biggest benefits is that it can help automate many aspects of the sales process.
Big Data is Helping Improve Sales Processes Via Automation
It requires hours upon hours to establish relationships and constantly communicate with consumers to keep them happy. This could involve phone conversations, appointment setting, emails and much more. That’s a significant amount of time spent learning about your customers and their interests, gathering information, collecting data, and checking up. As your lead and client lists become longer, managing your workflow becomes more difficult.
Keeping track of login details, transaction data, openings, salesforce, goods, services, leads, and clients manually is a massive burden to the employees. Many traditional companies continue to gather data mechanically and run their sales operations using spreadsheets.
Every part of the business is affected by technological advancements, from how we present and scout to how we complete transactions. Due to the benefits of automated technologies powered by artificial intelligence and data analytics, sales staff may now concentrate on the most vital aspects of the sales cycle.
Sales automation is a pot of gold for marketing and sales organizations aiming to increase productivity and profitability. Smart companies are using big data to make it possible. They can get a lot of value from it by using big data to understand the sales pipelines and automate many processes. In this article, we will discuss how sales automation works and how to use automation to optimize your sales process.
Use big data to facilitate automation to save time during the sales cycle
When automating a sales process, it’s important to keep an eye on how well the system is working. You’ll inevitably make some poor judgments and allowing irresponsible blunders like emailing unsuitable responses or using the wrong contact name could damage your reputation.
This is where data analytics is going to come in handy. You can carefully review data to see how different aspects of your funnel are performing, which will increase the ROI of your funnel and help you identify ways to improve efficiency.
You must also ensure that your potential buyers don’t feel like communicating with the robot. If it’s clear that the interaction that’s supposed to be personal has been automated, or if you’re not answering a user’s inquiries or worries accordingly, they could lose trust in your brand.
Therefore, strengthen your existing protocols and technologies with automation. It should support what you’re already doing and make it smoother, not take over entirely. There are a lot of data-driven tools that can make this easier. Salesforce combines data analytics and AI to help sales professionals automate many important processes.
Try to incorporate automation throughout your entire sales cycle, from identification and getting familiar with your prospects to how you interact with them via emails, appointments, or phone conversations. Then, leverage lead assessment and selection to reach out to relevant potentials at the perfect time.
Handle your leads efficiently
Lead generation: By automating your lead generation, you’ll never have to worry about keeping your funnel full of fresh leads. You can control every operation by using cold email advertising, social network sales, personalized promotions, etc., rather than investing hours in attracting prospects.
Lead prioritization: After you’ve generated leads, which is typically the first step in the sales cycle, there’s usually a big pile of them. Now, how can you determine who is truly ready to pay for your goods or services? You must develop a framework of the ideal consumer and specify the criteria by which leads will be scored. You can use artificial intelligence-based lead scoring tools to sort them out. They assist salespeople in prioritizing leads and direct their efforts in the right direction.
Lead enrichment: Having more knowledge of the leads at the hunting stage is always beneficial. When it comes to B2B business, considering the prospect’s organization and what it offers, as well as its vendors and online presence, can assist salespeople in interacting with them effectively. They’ll appreciate the fact that you did your homework before pursuing them, and it will help you make a positive impression on potential clients and close more deals.
Close CRM can assist you in prioritizing leads and boosting income. With easy, user-friendly contact filtering, you can increase your reach rate. Create dynamic Smart Views that match relevant lead data, and then automate email and phone workflows around them. Identify your most promising leads, as well as those that have suddenly gone dark and more.
Nurture clients through email
Email lead nurturing means forming a tight connection between a company and its clients via email. There are many email marketing software that enables you to automate your emails. You can use it at any point of the process, and they benefit both parties in a transaction. Businesses have access to a low-cost, simple, and effective technique of reaching out to their users, and customized, well-timed communication makes consumers feel appreciated.
Email lead nurturing is effective not only for purchases but also for driving open rates, reminding prospects about your brand, providing quick results, and giving a platform to educate and engage leads. It’s a no-lose situation.
Thanks to sales automation solutions, creating drip campaigns is as simple as it seems. Usually, when a new entry for an inbound client is formed, an email is sent to greet them and to introduce the suggestion of booking a product demo. Then there’s a time gap to give the possible buyer some space. After that, they receive a persuasive email that’s supposed to push them into the next sales cycle phase.
Neal Taparia, the owner of Solitaired, a company that makes games for publishers, explains, “Follow up emails are incredibly important. My response rate improves with every successive follow up. However, it’s time consuming. Finding what to automate this allows you to do so much more.”
Close CRM ensures that you stay on top of your pipeline. Take advantage of automatic follow-up reminders, personalized templates, bulk emails, and other features. Send email sequences on a pre-determined timetable over the course of days or weeks. Design unique initiatives for your customers using a range of recommended pre-built features. You can monitor the delivery and reception of your emails, which helps your team assess the performance of each campaign and connect with potential customers.
Automate the scheduling and monitoring of sales calls
This is only useful for people who make a lot of outbound calls, which has become less of a focus for many businesses these days. If you’re still employing telemarketers, this can be beneficial because it eliminates a lot of complications from your operation.
Close’s CRM tool comes with an auto-dialer, but it isn’t necessarily a function that CRMs have. If your CRM doesn’t have an integrated auto-dialer, you can still use call center software that has that feature.
Handle RFP generation
The RFP outlines the project, its objectives, and the funding organization, as well as the tendering and contract conditions. Systems based on natural language processing/generation and robotic workflow control can assist cut the amount of time needed to generate requests for proposals (RFPs) by up to roughly 2/3 while eliminating human error.
For instance, it can analyze the unanswered questions and recommend solutions in a personalized document that you can automatically send to your lead. This type of technology can improve corporate version control and storage of key RFP material while also speeding up RFP response time and productivity.
Post-sales customer journey optimization
There are many reasons to use big data in marketing. One of the most important benefits is that data analytics can help you get a better understanding of your customers’ experiences. You can use this data to improve the funnel and boost customer satisfaction.
You can employ process automation to redefine the user experience and establish a smooth online purchasing, tracking, and dispute management procedure. Brands can utilize data technology to communicate with clients after the transaction in a lot of formats, for example:
Keep an eye on online reviews: In this era of technology, people do not call or write an email when faced with an issue. They use online comment sites and social networks to express their dissatisfaction and notify others. Furthermore, a single social media message can reach tens of thousands of people before a company can respond. A company’s failure to reply can give the impression that it doesn’t care about its customers. Businesses can use social media monitoring to receive notifications of any online comments, allowing them to respond swiftly and hopefully turn a dissatisfied consumer into a repeat customer. One of the tools that can come in very handy for keeping an eye on online reviews is justLikeAPI.
Special deals: Offering a discount on a client’s next order is a good strategy for increasing customer retention. This can be included in the follow-up message or completed at the time of the transaction. Every voucher should be valid for a limited time after the original purchase in order to entice customers to return, at which point they will be given a new coupon. It will not attract every buyer, but those who can’t resist a great offer will return.
Support is crucial
Even the best companies will have some difficulties now and then. Users should be able to seek support in different formats, whether it’s through a site, chat support with client care agents, email, or telephone conversation. The level of service provided to a customer will determine whether or not that client returns. It will also most likely define whether or not you will create a brand ambassador who will promote a company to their peers and social media contacts. Businesses should invest in a mix of automated technical support tools and personnel capable of offering clients prompt, polite responses when they encounter problems because this is a very important part of the sales process.
Characteristics of the best sales automation tools
All of your quotes and transactions are together: Custom quotations can be generated, maintained, and shared straight from your sales automation platform. Enable customers to confirm a section with a single click, transfer money, automatically turn quotes into sales, and send email alerts to sales representatives when offers are taken or denied.
A simple landing page maker: Go with a user-friendly interface that allows you to develop landing pages without knowing how to code. You should optimize your landing pages for smartphones and make them load as fast as possible. If possible, look for a landing page builder that includes first-rate royalty-free photos.
Automate and customize interactions: Take advantage of the information you’ve gathered in your customer database to nurture leads and increase revenue. Send a series of tailored emails using autoresponders, or create nurturing series based on specific activities.
Funnel management: Automated follow-up notifications, modeling depending on potential customer demands and trends, and statistics by product, main source, and other variables can help you simplify your sales process.
Merging with third-party systems: Consider the solution that works with the toolkits you already use. Do you have an online shop? Sync with Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, etc. Would you like to make your financial reporting more efficient? Sync with Xero or QuickBooks.
Visual appearance: The best sales automation tools are only as good as the graphics and design that they utilize. You need to make sure that your templates or slides are easily customizable and that you have the right fonts and images before you release them to your audience. Sales automation tools can be a great way for businesses to improve their company culture, but only if the slides and templates aren’t too difficult to customize. For example, including fonts and graphics is a great way we can make our templates more appealing for clients.
When not to use sales automation
Even though sales automation brings a lot of benefits, it cannot replace humans. AI has not yet evolved to the extent shown in sci-fi films. We’ve only recently begun to witness talking robots.
There are specific activities where software is no match for a person, no matter how advanced machine algorithms are. While AI can assist in making the client experience more personalized, it cannot produce new sales techniques. We use tools to execute rather than create sales strategies.
A fully automated client journey is neither recommendable nor possible to achieve. While chatbots can assist salespeople, they can sometimes feel somewhat impersonal. They can deliver user experiences that are robotic and monotonous. Your customers will eventually prefer to speak with a human over a robot.
Also, have in mind that automation tools are usually sophisticated software. You might not be ready to use them right away after acquiring them – you will have to learn first. Always have a well-thought-out strategy to examine each UI screen of the tools under review. Luckily, there are free trial periods because of this.
Customer relationship management system
CRM system is the most powerful digital tool you can use. These tools use data to help companies built the best relationships with their customers. It’s where most of your user information will be stored, and it will also serve as the hub of your sales pipeline. Everything your workforce must have about buyers can be found in your CRM or CRM-integrated software.
Investing in a CRM and moving your data there should be one of the first steps. If you still work with paper-based data, think about what can be transferred to a new system. This will allow automatic customer data updates and corrections and categorize by demographics or lead qualification characteristics.
Close CRM allows you to keep track of all of your sales operations in one place. Emails, calls, voicemails, assignments, and notifications are automatically arranged, so you always know what’s going on and what to do next.
Everything that requires attention is in your Inbox. Whenever you fulfill a task or return a missed call, that activity will disappear from the list. Close syncs everything you do to Inbox, ensuring you stay on top of your workflow.
Your CRM should speed up your sales process, not slow it down. Close was built with the salespeople in mind – it works the way you do.
Most of the manual processes that employees would have to handle – like altering contact details, arranging meetings, and possible closing deals – are eliminated by sales automation. It maximizes your productivity and performance while also saving your time. As a result, you are free to do business without worrying about administrative responsibilities.
Big Data Helps Automate Sales Processes
There are many great benefits of using big data to improve your marketing strategy. One of the biggest advantages is that it can help automate your sales processes. The tips listed above will go a long ways towards streamlining these functions.