Getting customers through the sales funnel can sometimes be an arduous task. It can also be difficult to juggle multiple prospects at different stages of the funnel, which is why it’s important to automate what you can.
Automating your sales process doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, either. Installing chatbots on your website to answer questions or reusing email templates for cold outreach are easy-to-implement solutions that can speed up your operations.
Below, 10 Young Entrepreneur Council leaders shared their best strategies for how to save your sales team time and effort in the short and long term through automation.
1. Operate From A Shared CRM
Invest in a customer relationship management (CRM) system that your entire team can access and see which customers are at which point of the sales process. This way the team can see who is a prospect, who is at the quote level, order level and so on. This saves time because everyone can check the system at all times and it allows the company to track customers easily and stay on top of close rates. – Lisa Collum, Top Score Writing
2. Save Your Email Templates
While it is incredibly important that you don’t bombard your customers or clientele with messaging, having email templates on standby will save you so much time. You would be surprised by how much time is lost just from formatting emails. Maybe not individually, but over time those moments build up, and you end up losing time that could have been spent building your brand. – Nick Venditti, StitchGolf
3. Invest In A Scheduling Tool
A lot of time gets wasted scheduling calls and setting up links for meetings. You can automate this aspect of sales and make it convenient for all parties involved by investing in an appointment scheduling tool. Such a tool will automatically generate meeting links, send reminders and manage time zone differences to save you time and effort. – Blair Williams, MemberPress
4. Prequalify Your Leads
Your time (and your team’s time) is valuable. If you generate most of your sales online, there are many effective ways of ensuring a potential customer meets your minimum criteria. Design your sales funnel to capture as much qualifying information as possible before jumping on a call. For B2B, a contact form requesting annual revenue, number of employees, etc. saves precious time. – Mark Stallings, Casely, Inc.
5. Create FAQs and YouTube Videos
Our criminal defense law firm is small, so we don’t have many people selling our legal services. Our business is also like a plumbing company because when people have an overflowing toilet, it’s similar to when they get arrested for a crime—they need help now! If we can’t answer their questions immediately, FAQs and short YouTube videos help them and our credibility. – Givelle Lamano, Lamano Law Office
6. Implement Chatbots
You can automate your sales process with chatbots. We use a combination of chatbots and live agents to help customers when they come to us with questions or concerns. The chatbots can help provide resources (like blog posts), bring users to product pages and even show reviews. Automating this part of our sales process saved us time and increased our profits basically overnight. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
7. Combine Manual And Automated Processes
I believe in a combination of both manual and automated processes for the best results. We try to identify commercial customers through an automated algorithm but still have someone review them to filter out irrelevant ones before making the final determination. – Shu Saito, All Filters
8. Automate Cold Email Sequencing
Automated cold email sequencing, in defined audiences, is an industry standard. There are many schools of thought on the efficacy of the cold email, and it is rare that the email alone is what captures business, but the combination of a good list and a great email sequence can get results. Too much focus on the top of the funnel, on cold emails in particular, is going to be a waste of time—automate! – Matthew Capala, Alphametic
9. Leverage Artificial Intelligence
One way to automate your sales processes is to use CRM tools that leverage AI. When your business starts growing, you’ll get so much data that it’s simply not possible to keep up with conventional tools. And such data can be too valuable to ignore too. Making use of AI can help you find patterns and trends in your customer interaction and get the information you can leverage to create better user experiences. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
10. Have Subscribers Self-Segment
One excellent way to automate your sales process is to allow new subscribers to self-segment before joining your email list. We like to include optional questions on our signup form to determine what kind of products, services and content users may want to see in the future. This form of automation has helped us develop targeted email lists that are jam-packed with qualified leads. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC