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Sales Tips

How to boost your sales by automating communications

March 22, 2019

When your business was just starting out, you probably dealt with every prospect yourself. Your business was smaller and it wasn’t hard to keep up. But it doesn’t take long to find you can’t offer the same approach for your pipeline. To close more leads with less effort, you need sales automation in place.

One wrong assumption about sales automation is that it’s impersonal. In fact, automation can make your business be perceived as more worthy of your prospect’s time and money: your leads don’t have to wait days for a sales rep to finally get back to their inquiry, and your team has more time and energy to focus on their 1-1 conversations.

When done well, automation allows you to complete repetitive tasks faster and more efficiently, increasing sales productivity by an estimated 14.5%. To enable your team to free up time and focus on what’s most important, here are some of the best ways to automate communications with your customers.

1. Get follow-up sequences in place

As automation tools evolve and become even more personalized, it’s never been easier to create lead nurturing and follow-up sequences that are fully-personalized to your recipient.

First things first, it’s important to think about the different ways your prospects can start conversations with your business. As soon as they reach out, you need to be ready to quickly respond on the channel they want to use.

Set up your website’s demo request form to trigger a task for a sales rep to get back to them right away by phone or email. Or, you can even send an automated email immediately to get time booked in the calendar as soon as possible. If you haven’t received a response in two days, make sure your workflow includes at least one more follow-up email.

It’s also worth identifying where leads are getting stuck in your pipeline and making sure you have automation in place here. Some businesses find that leads go cold after receiving a proposal or price quote. This is the ideal time to send gentle follow-up emails and sales enablement materials to help the sale go through smoothly. With a tool like amoCRM, you can also send automated text messages to your leads and monitor how these perform in comparison to emails and calls.

2. Don’t forget about lead nurturing

It’s a good idea to automatically nurture leads that haven’t been contacted in a certain timeframe, such as two to four weeks. Some companies have a very long buyer’s journey, perhaps several months from new lead to closed, which makes it crucial to keep your brand top of mind for your prospects. You can do this with automated nurturing emails.

You also need to be patient, however. Sometimes you can’t rush the decision-making process, but you can have sales automation in place to optimize your chances of winning the deal.

3. Sync your tools

To set up your sales automation for the best results, centralize all of your prospect and customer data to keep your key tools in sync. One powerful first step is to sync your CRM with your email marketing and customer support tools. Once you have your contacts updated in real-time between the tools you use most, you can save countless hours of manual work and optimize your automation.

4. Make the most of live chat

Do you have live chat on your website? It’s one of the most effective ways for your contacts to quickly get in touch with you and have their questions answered. If your CRM doesn’t offer an in-built live chat feature, there are lots of tools out there with integrations. Make sure your live chat messages are stored with all other communication!

A word of wisdom if you’re using live chat: don’t think it only works when your team is online. One of the best ways to automate communication with your contacts is to set up automated live chat messages.

If you use a live chat bot, don’t pretend it’s a real person. That’s only going to frustrate people. Instead, embrace the automation by giving your bot a name (like PieSync Bot) and saying that your team members are currently offline. You can then try to route them to the information they’re looking for, or let them leave a message with their email so you can get back to them soon.

5. Think about your digital ads

How do you communicate with your prospects between interactions? One option is with targeted digital ads. It’s a clever way to stay top of mind as your leads go through the decision making stage of the customer journey. With retargeting, you can show ads to people who have been on your website and engaged with your content (think of the Amazon ads that you see for days after browsing a certain product). Then, you can encourage them to come back to your site with related content and offers to move them along your pipeline.

6. Use data to find the best time to communicate

Automation should make it easier for your sales team to send the ideal quantity and type of messages that your leads want to receive—no more, no less. Just because it’s easier to bombard your prospects with messages on all channels, it doesn’t mean you should.

Always respond to new leads as soon as you possibly can. But for follow-ups, use data to alert your reps when it’s the best time to contact your leads, such as when they’re browsing your pricing or feature pages.

As a team, think about the different ways your leads can engage with your company. For each example, decide how you want to respond: such as with a task to call them, or through an automated email. Consider setting up notifications to let your team know if a lead has been contacted too much or not enough, and keep looking back at your data to optimize your processes.

With sales automation, you can keep your prospects engaged and moving through your sales process, cleverly guiding them from new lead to closed won. You can take the pressure off your sales reps visualizing their pipeline in their head and give them an easy way to stay on top of all of the leads. Your reps can do less repetitive follow-up and more of what they do best: selling.

To get started with automation, make sure you have a CRM in place that gives you the framework to set up automated workflows. Next, think about which tools you can sync to save you time and increase productivity. After these first few steps, you’ll be in the best position to boost your sales by streamlining your team’s tasks and freeing up time for the important work.

Lucy Fuggle
Lucy Fuggle writes for PieSync, the two-way contact sync tool for hundreds of apps. She works with her clients to make their brand matter with a content-rich marketing strategy.

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