When it comes to sales, “automation” is associated with cheapness, low-quality leads, spray-and-pray tactics, and bad results, but there’s another side of sales automation that can save a lot of your time without affecting the quality of your output or your reputation, because it doesn’t involve communication.
You might not realize it, but as much as 20 hours per week of a sales rep’s time is taken up by administrative tasks.
Doing these data entry tasks better doesn’t improve your sales results, whereas communicating better does. So if you’re thinking about optimizing your sales process to get more out of your sales team, you should focus on automating the administrative busy work to let humans do more of what they do best.
Should you automate email outreach?
At its core, sales is the process of conveying the right information to the right people at the right time to spark interest and ultimately convince them to buy your product.
One of the key factors there is getting your message in front of the right people, so the first thing you have to figure out is, “who are the right people?”
The problem with a lot of startup sales teams is that they try to automate their email outreach before they figure out the answer to this question, which means they buy a list of “spray and pray” leads and ultimately reach out to a lot of the wrong people.
The issue with using this approach is that you’ll never discover what the right message is if you’re contacting too many of the wrong people.
But if you can really narrow down who the right audience is first, you can very quickly use email outreach to figure out the right way to speak to that audience.
And there’s no reason you need to do that email outreach manually, because automated emails will feel personalized if your audience targeting is tight enough.
Should you automate data entry?
Yes. Absolutely. No question about it.
Every minute your sales reps spend on data entry, uploading spreadsheets, logging calls, and taking notes is a minute they’re not spending telling people about your product.
Now, that might not seem like a huge cost… but it’s the opportunity cost that’s huge. Because if automation allowed them to spend 10 more hours per week (which is a realistic figure) talking to people about your product instead of mucking around in your CRM, how much more revenue could they bring in for your company?
(Not to mention how much more they’d enjoy their job.)
You can buy software that automates most of the admin work that sales reps have to do. The busy work that doesn’t improve their results. Yes, there’s a cost associated with that, but in most cases, the additional revenue far outweighs the costs.
Automation done the right way.
When you let machines do what machines do best, people have more time to do what people do best, and the impact on your sales is significant.
When your reps are rushing to cram their calls in around all of the admin work they have to do, they never have time to step back and look at the big picture.
They don’t have time to think about new email content that might intrigue prospects, new ways to get introductions to decision-makers, or new angles to pitch your product from.
There’s a big gap between low-quality “spray and pray” sales automation and automation-assisted sales that feels personal and improves your results.
Here are Personas, we’re dedicated to doing sales automation the right way, so feel free to reach out with any questions you have about automating your sales process.