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April 7, 2022

How to Use Sales Automation the Right Way

Written by Karli Stone

Production and productivity are completely tuned to time.

This concept has a lot of implications, but especially so for sales leaders. From meetings booked to the number of customers converted how you manage your time in the sales world makes all the difference.

​​Yet, precious little is being done in the average workplace to make better use of everyone’s most limited asset.

A McKinsey & Company study found that many business leaders are not taking advantage of marketing and sales automation tools and all of their time-saving potential.

In fact, automation implementation in sales is severely lacking. This survey found that out of the hundreds of business leaders surveyed, only 26% are automating a sales or marketing process.

This is an unfortunate statistic because sales automation has the potential to disrupt the entire sales funnel. Early adopters of sales automation consistently report increases in customer-facing time, higher customer satisfaction, 10-15% improvements in efficiency, and a sales uplift potential of up to 10%!

The simple fact is: putting off implementing sales automation is costing you.

In this guide, we’ll go over the benefits of sales automation, show you some examples of sales automation in action, and explain how you can use it to streamline your sales and improve your conversation rates.


What is Sales Automation?

Sales automation is the process of using artificial intelligence (AI) tools to carry out sales tasks that are normally done manually. It’s any software-based solution that helps a salesperson perform their tasks faster, easier, and more efficiently.

Without sales automation tools, sales reps will spend the majority of their time doing tedious, non-revenue generating tasks (i.g. finding contact information, entering data manually, and updating CRMs).

Sales automation frees up sales reps and allows them to spend their time on high-value activities that drive revenue and prioritize the customer experience.

You can use sales automation tools in endless ways. They can tackle a single, specific task or offer end-to-end solutions (like for example!).

Whatever your current sales process looks like, sales automation can better it.

The Benefits of Sales Automation

Let’s look at some of the specific ways that sales and marketing automation can take your sales process to the next level…

Sales automation increase efficiency and productivity

One of the best things sales automation can do for your business is improve your sales and marketing team’s efficiency and productivity.

According to McKinsey, one-third of all sales tasks have the potential to be automated. Just imagine how productive sales reps could be if 33% of their tasks were handled for them…

It also helps prevent burnout among your sales reps. Nothing de-energizes and fatigues sales and marketing teams like hours of tedious busywork. When you implement an automation tool, it not only heeds efficient results but lightens the load of your sales reps and gives them valuable energy to put elsewhere.

Sales automation reduces human error

People make mistakes. No matter who you hire or how they are trained, there will be human error committed in manual tasks.

Even for something as universal as a spreadsheet, it is reported that almost 90% of them contain errors.

Sales automation and AI technology can help you make huge steps towards reducing the negative impact that human error has on your sales. Sales automation software can also help you identify small issues before they become larger and more costly.

Sales automation improves customer conversion rates

Over 41% of marketers say that sales automation is enabling them to generate more revenue and achieve higher customer conversation rates through email marketing alone.

Sales automation technology can help a sales manager set up exactly how they want their customer journey to look. The actions they want to be taken in specific accounts can be automatically triggered and executed, and prospects can be sent down sales funnels that are tailored to their needs.

This relieves sales reps from having to manually nurture prospects and allows them to have highly personalized experiences in no time at all.

Sales automation reduces costs

Money talks…

According to McKinsey, 44% of firms using sales automation and/or AI report a reduction in cost in the departments where it’s implemented.

Even with all the other benefits aside, sales automation reduces your cost, and that alone makes it a worthwhile investment.

Sales automation provides data analysis

An important part of business is testing and optimizing.

Sales and marketing automation tools store vast amounts of data, and many of them precisely track your sales activity and provide helpful sales reports and data analysis.

Automation platforms gather and store hundreds of data points. From measuring sales performance data to tracking marketing results, these data points can help you improve and optimize across your entire sales funnel.

Implementing an automated workflow allows you to easily monitor and respond to changes in customer behaviors, refine customer data, create new data-based campaigns, jumpstart lead generation, and so much more.

An example of successful sales automation

There are some amazing examples of companies using sales automation to completely revitalize their sales process.

Let’s look at one together.

Paper Style’s automated email campaign is an online business that sells custom invitations, flyers, cards, etc.

Their sales practice was to send the same message at the same time to their entire email database. But without any personalization or strategy, their open and click-through rates started to suffer.

Paper Style decided to invest in sales automation. They used data and analytics to create targeted campaigns for an ideal customer profile: brides and their friends.

They established a set of email triggers:

  • Clicking on a wedding link in any Paper Style email
  • Purchasing a wedding or bridal shower product
  • Visiting a wedding-related page on

Any prospect who completed one of these actions was put into a targeted, and personalized email campaign. Using their sales automation software, emails were sent out to their leads not only at the perfect time but with email messaging that met their interests.

The results?

A 244% increase in Open Rate, a 161% increase in Click Rate, and a 330% increase in Revenue per Mailing!

It’s safe to say that Paper Style found a lot of success with sales automation tools…and you can too.

Sales Automation for start-ups

It’s no secret that start-ups and SMBs have less cash and fewer resources.

If you are a small business leader, you might be thinking, “I’m not sure I can afford to invest in sales automation software…”

But, that’s exactly the reason why you should!

Automated sales tools work around the clock for you, at no extra cost. It cuts out the extra tasks that you may not have the budget or the hands for (such as managing customer data, digital sales, social media, email marketing, etc).

In fact, small companies are the leaders in AI spending. They invest in a sales automation solution because it has a high ROI and helps them penetrate their new market.

Here are some additional pointers for start-ups looking to invest in sales automation software:

  • Find a sales automation platform that is easy to manage. There are some platforms that offer expensive and unnecessary features that start-ups don’t need.
  • Prioritize integration capabilities. Invest in a sales automation tool that can seamlessly integrate with your existing technology stack (ex. Salesforce, HubSpot, other customer relationship management platforms, website CMS).
  • Look for intelligence. Sales software should make your business smarter and more adaptable. As a start-up, you have the ability to be flexible and modify your sales and marketing processes more quickly than enterprise companies. Use sales automation to find ways to improve and don’t forget to test, test, test!
  • Focus on how you can use sales automation to improve conversation rates, not just lead generation. Your platform should help you nurture leads in all stages of the sales pipeline and convert those prospects into happy customers.
  • Look for sales platforms that offer you free trials or accounts, that way you can see if it makes a good fit before investing your dollar (Pst! offers free accounts equipped with granular filters, email tracking, sequence automation, and so much more.)

Apollo helps you automate your sales from end-to-end

It seems obvious, but you can’t automate your sales process if you don’t have the tools to do the automating.

Not only is Apollo a sales engagement platform that provides you with intelligent sales automation software, but it gives you all the tools you need to efficiently manage and optimize your entire outbound strategy.

Let’s look at how Apollo can help you crush your sales goals with the most powerful automation features on the market…


Finding qualified leads can be one of the biggest challenges in sales.

It’s reported that almost 69% of sales professionals believe it’s the trickiest part of their jobs.

That’s why is made to seamlessly sync with your CRM.

When Apollo and your CRM software are synced, the information in both apps communicate and continuously auto-sync with each other. When a sales rep makes a sale (or performs any other sales action) in Apollo, it’ll be instantly logged into their CRM.

Say goodbye to hours wasted on manually updating CRMs…

Our other sales automation prospecting powerhouse is the Apollo Chrome Extension.

The Apollo Chrome Extension helps you identify potential customers more precisely than any other platform on the market. It allows you to target qualified prospects, gather contact information, and automate engagement all within a single LinkedIn window.

Want to see how easy it is to put into action? Check out this video on how to add your contacts to a sequence directly from LinkedIn.


Once you identify your ideal prospects, Apollo can help you automate your outbound messaging.

Rules Engine is one of our features that opens up endless sales automation opportunities.

With Rules Engine, you create rules by allocating your triggers and your actions. In other words, you decide exactly what you want to automatically happen and when.

A few examples of some triggers and actions you can set up include:

  • Account updated > set contact field
  • Contact created > add contact to a list or sequence
  • Contact completed the first step of a sequence > create contact task
  • Email sent > wait
  • Email bounced > remove account from list
  • Call logged > finish contact sequence

If you’re looking to take advantage of the benefits of sales automation, you can’t afford to overlook this powerful Apollo feature. Whether you want to send out automated emails or simply better delegate tasks to your sales representatives, Rules Engine can support you.

To learn more about the sales and marketing automation opportunities you have with Rules Engine, check out our Rules Engine blog post here.

Pipeline Management

Pipeline management is the process of tracking and overseeing sales opportunities. A good pipeline manager is constantly monitoring leads, updating their pipeline, and keeping tabs on their team’s sales cycles.

When it comes to managing and planning your sales cycle, there is no better tool than Sequences.

Setting up a sequence allows sales professionals to manage their outbound system from end-to-end. They can set up timed steps (automated emails, phone calls, action items, etc), step triggers, tasks for SDRs, or specific sequence permissions.

With Sequences, your outbound strategy is yours.

Send your prospects down pre-designed and pre-strategized sales funnels and watch your conversion rates surge!

Apollo does even more to support pipeline management automation.

Apollo’s Job Change alerts let users know in real-time when leads and prospects have changed their professional status. This is especially useful when managing your pipeline because contacting a lead in the first few weeks of their new role is one of the most profitable times for selling.

With Job Change alerts enabled, not only are you alerted to new automation opportunities but you can always trust that your CRM is accurate and up-to-date.

We’ll close with this: sales automation is the future of sales.

Forrester predicts that automation tech spending will increase from $11.4 billion to $25.1 billion by 2023. It’s predicted to be one of the most important business solutions in the coming years…

Don’t be the last to implement an intelligent sales automation system. Sign-up for a free account today.

Karli Stone headshot Karli Stone

Karli Stone is a copy writer and content creator living in Los Angeles, CA and a proud University of Washington grad. When she’s not wordsmith-ing, you can find her biking along Santa Monica Beach, following the Seattle Seahawks, or catching a flick at her local cinema.