Picture this: It’s the 1980s, and the first startup wave is just beginning. Reps are still closing sales via phone calls or in-person meetings. Salespeople regularly work until 10 p.m., pulling long hours to reach daily cold-call quotas of 100 contacts or more. Without Wi-Fi, smartphones, or email to help them wrangle their responsibilities, sales reps double as professional cat-herders.
Despite all of those technological shortcomings, in many ways, your sales forefathers had it easy. Modern sales teams may have tools like Gmail, Slack, and iPhones, but they also experience constant interruptions via those same platforms. The on-demand nature of their jobs requires them to be "connected" 24/7, ready to reply to prospects' quote requests at all hours. Between pursuing clients and juggling administrative tasks such as scheduling and call logging, their schedules make the sales jobs of the ‘80s look like a breeze.
My opinion? There’s never been a better time to work in sales. Sure, the growing demands of the job can seem overwhelming. But advances in sales force automation are reducing the amount of time spent on grunt work, which frees sales professionals to invest their energy where it counts: connecting with prospects.
'TO AUTOMATE, OR NOT TO AUTOMATE' IS NOT THE QUESTION
When companies look into automating their sales processes, they’re often directed to look into Customer Relationship Management. While CRM systems alone are immensely useful in automating sales tasks, the most powerful CRM platforms can open up a world of fully-integrated automation tools to really boost efficiency and alleviate your workload. Let’s examine a few areas where automation is improving the sales process:
Salespeople send approximately 120 emails a day, often with little insight as to whether their messages resonate. Sales engagement platforms enable sales reps to see when prospects view and click on emails, and they provide customizable, time-saving email templates as well.
2. PHONE CALLS
Many sales reps have anywhere from 100 to 300 callbacks in their pipelines, and they may only make it through 25 of those a day (if that). Considering that it takes about 8.4 cold calls to reach a live prospect, that's a lot of time spent on the phone for minimal results. RingDNA and similar dialing apps speed up the process by auto-logging calls and generating local numbers so people will be less averse to picking up when they see an unknown contact on their caller IDs.
Nearly 80 percent of sales calls go to voicemail, and 90 percent of first-time messages don’t receive return calls. Voicemail automation allows you to record a friendly, to-the-point message and deliver it at the click of a button once you realize no one is answering.
To learn the other four tips for increasing sales through automation, please read the full article on the Saleforce blog.