You’re busy; we get it. You’re tired and making silly mistakes; we get that too. What we don’t get is why you’re not incorporating more automation into your everyday sales processes. Give yourself the time of day by doing more, with less. You can automate a lot more than you’d expect.

Don’t be scared of the robots taking over, they come in peace. They’ve come to make your life easier, your customers happier, and your business more successful than you could ever dream of on your own. If you haven’t read our last article about automation, go and do it. If you can’t be bothered, I’ll break it down for you.

Sales automation is the process of streamlining banal, repetitive sales tasks. It makes it easier for salespeople to connect with their customers, get them into pipelines, and subsequently accelerate their journeys along those pipelines to conversion.

Alas, just when you thought you knew everything about sales automation, NetHunt are back with more informational content for your hungry brain. Let’s take a look at which bits of your business you can automate; let’s turn those tedious tasks into tidy ones.

Lead enrichment

Leads can be gathered from absolutely anywhere. Whether they’re from LinkedIn, somebody you met at a conference, or a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend, these are the people that matter. They might buy your goods.

You’ve developed a steady database of leads, nice one. You’ve got names, a couple of mobile numbers, and a handful of email addresses… but is it enough? You need to make sure you’ve got the lowdown on these people to decide whether they’re the type of people you want to target, and how best to target them. Lead enrichment is the process of improving the quality of leads by saturating them with data.

When enriching leads, having access to clean, reliable data is absolutely crucial.

If you don’t automate this process, it’s going to take you a hell of a while to reach the levels of enrichment that an automated platform can reach. Research firm, TOPO, discovered that up to 90% of companies use two or more sources to enrich their data.

Luckily, there are hundreds of lead enrichment robots to choose from.

NetHunt's top tool: Clearbit

When I say hundreds, there are probably thousands. Clearbit is just one tool that allows you to match leads based on specifics such as email domain and company name. From there, you will be given access to a database of up to 85 unique fields of information for a lead, that you can import into your favourite CRM system. Unlike static databases, Clearbit constantly searches and returns lead data so everything stays fresh.

Workflow automation

Workflows are the path a task takes before it is complete. Every time a point of data passes between people or systems, a workflow is created.

These workflows should be followed whenever the task is repeated in the future to maintain full efficiency. They occur across every industry, every day… even when a user doesn’t know it’s occurring.

I think I speak for everybody when I say we don’t want to input data.

Research by Copper shows that workers are wasting 10 hours per week on mundane, data-processing tasks. Workflow automation is technology that uses rule-based logic and AI to automate these manual, repetitive tasks.

The marketing team might schedule their whole social media calendar; the finance department needs a macro to process those pernickety invoices; HR wants a system to onboard new recruits. Workflow is a broad term, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach to workflow automation.

NetHunt's top tool: Integrify

Integrify is a low-code, drag-and-drop workflow automation platform. It helps businesses to build automated processes, design dynamic forms, open self-service portals, and track performance. It’s a simple browser-based tool, but Integrify offer support and consulting to help you on your automating journey.

Pipeline and lead management

A sales pipeline is the visual representation of a sales process, illustrating where leads, prospects, and clients are on their journey through the sales funnel.
Sales managers use pipelines to understand what they need to do next. Their managers use pipelines to configure reports of what’s going on; helping build a clear picture of whether a company is succeeding and what needs improvement.

By automating your sales pipeline, you can offer each lead the attention it deserves.

An automated pipeline allows sales managers to convert more prospects, improve communication between the team, and eventually bring in the moolah. The best CRM systems let you use pre-set pipeline templates, as well as make your own from scratch.

NetHunt's top tool: NetHunt

Okay, yeah we admit it. We like to blow our own trumpets here in the NetHunt office. Why shouldn’t we? We work hard to develop a simple, fully customisable CRM system that suits the needs of any small-to-medium sized business out there.

Our platform integrates directly into your Gmail inbox to give full context for every customer in the pipeline. That includes their communication history, relevant notes, and notable events that can all be added at the click of a button. You can set your sales pipeline so it is relevant to each unique deal, and then keep relevant colleagues up-to-date on where each customer is.

Magical, we know. Have a go with the 14-day free trial and sign up for a demo with our customer success team, today!

Customer service

The customer’s experience needs to be exceptional across the board and so it’s easy to get bogged down in customer queries and complaints. You can put your friendliest, sharpest agent on the ‘frontdesk’, answering calls and typing until their fingers fall off… and they still won’t be able to keep up with demand. In truth, they are only wasting time that they could be spending elsewhere.

Even a simple FAQ section on your website goes a long way to easing some of the stress on customer support.

Automated customer service is customer support aided by a remote help centre, a chatbot, or artificial intelligence. It’s important to keep some human element of your customer service team, so automated support only helps your agents in ordering tickets, responding to simpler enquiries, and generally minimising customer wait times.

The best thing is, customer support robots can run 24/7 at no extra cost!

NetHunt's Top Tool: Zendesk

Zendesk is a simple system for ticket tracking, prioritising, and solving. It gives any working business a choice to connect through web or mobile; Facebook, Twitter, or just about any other channel they want. The chatbot can be scripted to ask all the right questions before connecting to an agent, which helps get the ticket solved as quickly as possible.

The flexibility of Zendesk means it can support any business.

Email campaigns

Like with customer support, there are limits to how far you can automate reaching out. As friendly as they have become, the robots pale in comparison to having a real human to speak to when conducting business. Email campaigns are one way you reach out to your customers, if not the way.

Email automation helps salespeople and marketers hit the right people, with the right message, at the right time... with half of the work. It works when triggers (dates, events, activity) are hit, and pre-set emails are automatically sent to relevant customers or prospects. Unlike manual campaigns, automatic campaigns run in the background whilst you work on the good stuff.

Abandoned shopping cart emails can help recover customers who got lost on their way to the virtual checkout; ‘hey, you… wanna leave us a review?’ emails can help build your company’s profile.

If you were to try and send these emails all on your lonesome, you’d miss them 99% of the time because you’re busy. Bring in the robots.

NetHunt's top tool: Mailchimp

Mailchimp is a cloud-based platform that helps any-sized business automate and manage marketing campaigns across different email clients. It provides AI-powered tools to put your email’s audience at front and centre, with trigger and behaviour-based responses, professional templates, targeted ad campaigns, and, at the end of it all, reports and analytics.

The best automation tools are flexible and simple. They fit around your business, rather than you having to fit your business around them. Some processes need to remain personal to some extent, but some can receive the full robot treatment. Either way, sales automation helps you do more, with less and shorten your sales cycle.

Embrace the robots, they just want to help.

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