How workflow automation can make inside sales teams more productive
As an inside sales rep, we want ourselves to close all deals and build connections with prospects. But it can be challenging and distract us from what we really want to accomplish.
That’s where workflow automation comes in.
Workflow automation is the process of finding tasks performed by a team and automating them with technology. This type of automation is a great way to accomplish tasks and produce consistent results.
Workflow automation as a sales opportunity has been talked about since 1989. Back then, most sales were done over the phone, and while that's still a prominent avenue—email has soared to the top as a channel for sales as well.
In recent years, we've seen sales teams that include text messaging in their prospect interactions succeed more, which is why we've built the SMS feature into our sales platform. And our most recent move was to include video calls with our native Zoom integration, so you can now take video calls directly from your CRM.
Just take a look at this workflow set up that was referenced in the Harvard Business Review:
That’s how far we’ve come.
According to McKinsey: “45 percent of the work people are paid to do can be automated” by adapting current technology.
Thus, as an inside sales professional, workflow automation can help you become a more productive individual. And with the power of workflow automation solutions, there's no reason an inside sales professional needs to spend their time on repetitive tasks.
But, how can you make your inside sales team more productive with workflow automation?
Workflow automation = Fewer human errors
There is one thing a company can’t escape: human error. It’s hard to predict, but when it happens, leaders spend time and money fixing it.
Human error is hard to eliminate in our jobs, but workflow automation can make it avoidable.
Inside sales professionals work more closely with the data inside a CRM. And it is important that automated processes can provide support for inside sales reps and their work.
Years before technology, sales reps depended on a Rolodex or the phonebook. But given the advancement of technology and what it can do, that’s no longer the case.
Automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency. -Bill Gates
Inside sales reps are able to stay on track and be more aware of the work that needs to be accomplished. For example, workflow automation can help to import prospects into your CRM and instantly connect or work on sales tasks, while you wait for a prospect to answer.
By automating your workflow, you can reduce errors, boost productivity, and allow people to focus on other tasks that you actually need people to accomplish.
Send personalized emails automatically
As an inside sales rep, you want to be connected to your prospects and customers. Email automation can help you send a personalized message to the right people at the right time.
Email personalization is when you tailor content using the data and information you have about the recipient.
Although to do this, you need to prospect effectively. You need to gather data on potential leads, create targeted content, and write and test emails. Automating personalized emails should come after these preliminary steps.
Have an email template that incorporates content associated with each contact. Include information about the company (i.e., recent news) on them. But don’t get too personal, or you might scare them away.
Use technology to store these email templates and automate them by scheduling multiple attempts at once. But don’t go overboard with automation! You want to have enough time to research and personalize each email for each prospect even more.
Keep creating new templates and sequences for different stages of the sales process, and you’ll be a prospecting machine that will lead you to close more deals.
Thus, email automation allows you to monitor every step of your interaction with a prospect and where you need to take it to the next level to optimize your sales efforts.
Automate repetitive sales tasks
Who wouldn’t want an extra hour or two each day? We’re all searching for that bit of time or trying the latest productivity hack.
The simplest way to save you time is to rid yourself of repetitive sales tasks. Think about all the work you manually do. From sending emails to entering contact information to data entry. But with automation, you can make things easier and never have to feel overwhelmed again.
There are many resources out there that can help you with this. But the critical thing to know is that you need a CRM that has automation features that are simple and work for sales teams.
Sales automation isn’t looking to take over the sales process. Automating some tasks gives you time to focus on what you are good at: selling.
Voicemails, email follow-ups, and arranging meetings are some areas that you can automate to save time.
Take the time to think about what sales tasks take up the most time.
Sales automation creates more time to focus on things that are imperative to success. And it can help you reach your quota faster and free up time to focus on other work.
Streamline your team’s sales processes
Your inside sales team's sales process is a key asset. You've created it so that you have a process for everyone to follow.
A sales automation tool can make your sales process better by streamlining tasks and freeing up time to spend prospecting and generating leads.
For example, a follow-up email a sales rep sends after a conversation, can become a hands-free task. Some of the work that the inside sales rep inputs after communicating might be logged automatically, so they can move on to the next prospect and be a step closer to closing the deal.
Sales automation tools enable you to monitor the movement of your prospects throughout the sales process so you know what steps were taken to close the deal.
When you make your sales process automated, it will save your team time and they can focus on selling.
Wrapping it up
Workflow automation saves time and reduces errors, both of which are important. More importantly, automating workflows allows inside sales professionals to spend their time, skills, and energy on high-value work.
As an inside sales rep, if you don’t incorporate workflow automation into your sales processes, it will take you longer to prospect and close deals. It'll also keep you at your desk longer and away from your family.
Get moving and stop wasting time doing repetitive work. Maybe one day you’ll be able to just sit back and have workflow automation do everything for you. Who wouldn’t want that luxury?
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