November 11, 2021 Sales Automation 101 Written by Karli Stone Time is your most important business resource. Yet, a McKinsey & Company study found that many business leaders are not taking advantage of sales and marketing 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 process in sales and marketing. This article will go over some of the benefits of sales automation and how Apollo provides you with the sales automation software that helps you close deals on autopilot. [lwptoc] What is Sales Automation? Sales automation the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) tools to carry out sales tasks that would normally be carried out manually. It’s any software-based solution that helps a salesperson perform their tasks faster, easier, and more efficiently. Before sales automation tools, sales reps spent the majority of their time doing tedious, non-revenue generating tasks (finding contact information, entering data manually, updating customer relationship management platforms (CRMs) manually, etc). But with sales automation, sales reps are freed up to spend their time on high-value activities that actually 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! Whatever your current sales process looks like, there is surely a way that 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 increases 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 manual tasks were handled for them! It also helps prevent sales rep burnout and gives them the valuable energy to put elsewhere.Sales automation reduces human error. People make mistakes and implementing an automated workflow can help make huge steps towards reducing the impact that human error has on your sales.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 software helps sales managers create more personalized experiences for their prospects, and in turn, supports their leads in becoming happy customers.Sales automation reduces costs. 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 costs, and that alone makes it a worthwhile investment.Sales automation provides data analysis. 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. Sales Automation for Start-Ups It isn’t a secret that start-ups and SMBs have less cash and fewer resources. A sales manager for a start-up might be thinking, “I’m not sure I can afford to invest in sales automation software…” But, that’s EXACTLY 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). If you’re a start-up looking to invest in sales automation software, here are some things to consider: 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 have the need for.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! Apollo.io offers free accounts equipped with granular filters, sales force automation software, email tracking, and so much more!) How Apollo Can Help You Automate Your Sales It seems obvious, but you can’t automate sales if you don’t have the tools to do the automating! Let’s look at how Apollo can help your sales and marketing teams automate throughout all stages of the sales funnel… Prospecting 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 we’ve built Apollo 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. Now that’s sales productivity! You can also use sales automation to prospect with our 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 straight from LinkedIn! Messaging 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! Here are a few examples of some triggers and actions you can set up: Possible TriggersPossible ActionsAccount CreatedAccount UpdatedContact CreatedContact Did First Step of SequenceEmail SentEmail BouncedEmail UnSubscribedCall LoggedWaitSet Contact FieldAdd Contact to Lists/SequenceFinish Contact SequenceCreate Contact TaskSet Account FieldAdd Account to ListsRemove Account from List 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 blog post here! Pipeline Management A good pipeline manager is constantly monitoring leads, updating their pipeline, and tracking sales performance. Apollo can help with this too! 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, specific sequence permissions 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 a profitable time for selling! With Job Change alerts enabled, not only are you alerted to new sales engagement opportunities but you can always trust that your CRM is accurate and up-to-date. Forrester predicts that spending on sales automation technology 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. Sales automation is the way of the future. Don’t wait to implement it. Try out Apollo today for free! Karli Stone Karli Stone is 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.