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What you should really automate in sales

3 min readMay 30, 2019

Sales automation is one of the key factors that will contribute to the success or failure of your team in the next few years. Sales teams require an ever-increasing amount of data in order to make themselves, as well as departments like marketing, support, and product successful. The majority of this data collection has fallen on sales reps, who would rather spend time selling instead of recording data into Salesforce.

Sales force automation is designed to improve sales reps’ productivity by using applications and programs to perform various processes and tasks. The result is reps spend less time performing administrative work, such as inputting information, and more time selling. Ideally, this leads to better data quality and more revenue.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Quite often sales teams either over-automate or automate the wrong things and actually cost themselves sales. Ringless voicemail drop, autodialers, predictive dialers, and even some email automations promise to automate sales outreach so reps can focus on leads they are in contact with, may actually turn off prospects and ruin potential deals.

You must introduce automation into your sales team, but you should never automate the actual interactions between reps and prospects. Here’s what you should really automate in sales.

Automate Routine Sales Activities

The very first thing you should automate in sales are repeated, routine actions like activity recording and call data. When properly integrated with Salesforce, sales dialer applications can record what calls are placed, to who, when, and the outcome to your CRM. When layered with a sales cadence tool, the outcome becomes even more powerful. The automation of these basic activities not only alleviates the amount of administrative work each rep performs, it guarantees that all data will be complete and accurate within Salesforce.

Automate High-Priority Lead Notifications

When it comes to inbound leads, response time is absolutely critical. Corporate spending on advertising has sold to over $22 billion per year, and it’s up to sales teams to recapture every penny. Speed alone is the most critical component of connecting with any inbound lead submitted on your site. In fact, one study found that if it takes longer than 5 minutes to contact a lead, the likelihood of reaching them plummets 100x.

Therefore, you need to automate your inbound lead response so your reps can be as fast as possible. The key is not automate the actual connection, as a standard email may actually turn off the prospect. Instead automate the path to a response. Reps should immediately be notified when a new lead is captured, and the automation should show them contextual data around what the lead saw, notes they provided, and how to get in touch with them so they can call as soon as possible.

Automate Lead Enrichment and CRM Cleanliness

Reps should not spend time scavenging the internet for essential lead information before every call, nor should they waste time dialing the wrong numbers or emailing incorrect addresses. The right sales application will automate lead data enrichment and CRM cleanup and save valuable time from both an admin and outreach perspective.

Automate Basic Nurture Campaigns

Not every lead a sales rep gets is the best fit, which necessitates the need for nurture campaigns in order to keep that contact informed, up to date, and ensure that your company stays top-of-mind if a need arises.

These leads do not stand a chance of generating revenue within a reasonable amount of time. But, are still worth keeping in touch with in case something changes. Therefore, they are not worth a reps’ time. Using a marketing automation tool, outreach to selected contacts messaged with little to no effort from sales reps. If the lead becomes interested, they then are systematically passed back to the rep.

Automate Some Sales Coaching Activities

Internal processes can be automated internally as well. When it comes to sales calls, a team of even three reps simply generate far too many calls for a single sales coach to monitor, much less capture a key coaching moment. A sales coaching platform with AI can actively listen to sale calls and notify both managers and reps when a coaching moment has occurred. Then, the reps and managers can review the call together to improve sales call performance. Furthermore, the reporting provided by these platforms allow managers to identify a potential issue before it happens to it can be remedied before it leads to lost sales.