Sales management is essentially a numbers game. The number of sales you make each month is often directly proportional to the number of prospects you draw into your sales funnel. There are of course other constraints here – when the quality of your lead dips, the conversions see a fall as well. The rule of thumb when it comes to managing your sales process is to increase the number of leads captured without impacting their quality.
One of the best ways to do this is through automation. A large chunk of the lead capturing process is rather monotonous and can be automated. For instance, do you need your SDR (Sales Development Representative) to be manually emailing every prospect when the same process can be handled by emailing software? Similarly, do you need your SDR to manually look up and call each of the numbers in your pipeline when this can be done by software? In this article, we will take a look at some of the most effective ways to automate your sales lead capture process and thereby improve the efficiency of your sales conversions.
Email is often regarded as a poorer alternative to picking up the phone and calling your prospects. However, the fact that it can be automated makes email outreach extremely lucrative. This is especially true when you consider sales management a numbers game. The objective of email outreach is to not sell your product. Rather it is to tell them why you are a trustworthy person (or company) and create an appointment for the actual sales process. This outreach does not require too much personalization except for perhaps the name of the recipient and details about the organization. Automated followup is another important reason to use email outreach software.
`An effective automation procedure here will involve tying your Salesforce or other CRM tool with your email management tool. Most of the leading CRM and email management tools come with their own APIs. This makes it easy to automatically pull every new inbound interest to your email outreach tool to send an appointment request. If you are looking at cold outreach, then you may tie your email marketing platform with a sales database like DiscoverORG or ZoomInfo. This way, you may automatically pull in new contacts that reach your audience profile from these databases and directly reach out to them via email. Aweber is the most popular email marketing service according to user reviews on CrowdReviews.
Cold Call Automation
Email is not everyone’s cup of tea and many SDRs prefer cold calls to email outreach. There is nothing wrong with this except that looking up the details of every new prospect, calling them, making a sales pitch, hanging up and repeating this process all over again for the next prospect is extremely exhausting and time consuming, if not ineffective. Not all contact information that you glean from third party sources is legitimate and this means that time could be wasted on calling numbers that are not even valid.
Cold call automation is an extremely effective way to reduce SDR fatigue and improve the outreach process. This is how it works – SDRs feed a database of prospective customers to auto dialing systems. These software applications automatically pull up the contact details of a prospect from the database and connect the SDR to them. If the number is not reachable or if the recipient hangs up, the dialer automatically picks the next number from the database to call. From an SDR’s perspective, a lot of manual tasks that cause fatigue are done away with and their task is only to press a button and wait for the next prospect to come on the line.
SDRs may also go one step further and invest in voice drops. These software applications do not need the caller to hold on line when prospective customers are called. Instead, SDRs may leave a pre-recorded message into the voicemail of each of the prospects in the list. From a conversions perspective, this is a lot less effective than talking to a prospect. But if you have a seemingly infinite list of prospects to reach out to, then voice drops may be a great alternative.
These sales enabling software applications also routinely come with a number of other features. One popular feature is localization – studies have shown that prospects are more likely to return calls that are made from local numbers. These auto-dialers can track the location of the recipient and use a caller ID that is local to this recipient. Five9 is one of the more popular auto-dialer tools and enjoys a crowd score of 46.4 on CrowdReviews.
Context plays a very important role in sales and marketing. A prospect who bounces away from your website after looking at your Features page perhaps did so because your product did not seem to meet the specific needs of their business. Similarly, a prospect who bounces away from the pricing page did so because you did not fit their budget. It is the job of an SDR to be put these customer events into perspective while crafting a sales pitch. The actual inbound inquiries that your business receives are just a fraction of these overall prospects list.
Inbound automation widens your leads pool by bringing in prospective customers who did not explicitly express interest but bounced away prematurely because of various reasons. This can be done by tracking specific events on Google Analytics (or any other analytics tool that you use) and integrating them with your CRM software. You could, for instance, bring all visitors who reach the pricing page and bounce into one group and pass them to your Salesforce or directly to your email outreach platform. This can either be done through custom integration of their APIs or with the help of services like Segment. In both cases, automation helps in capturing a wider pool of leads that previously did not exist. The entire process from capturing relevant leads via Google Analytics to email outreach and followup can be made completely automated so that no human intervention is necessary.
Long time sales managers may balk at the idea of removing personalization in favor of automation, and they are perhaps right to feel this way. Automation removes the personal connect that SDRs make with their prospective clients. If you are a business with a very small customer pool, then it still makes sense to approach your business the traditional way. But if you are in a business where the customer pool is large, then it is not wrong to approach sales as a numbers game and make your process more efficient through automation.
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