The goal of each business is to make a sale. Moreover, successful businesses are constantly looking for new ways to enhance their sales efficiency and boost their productivity as much as possible.
What can help you achieve this is a carefully constructed sales pipeline. This is a well-organized visual representation of the journey a potential customer makes, which encompasses several stages through which a buyer moves — from discovering your business to actually purchasing your product or service.
The sales pipeline helps you predict your business revenue and gives you an insight into how functional your business is and which strategies you might want to keep or discard.
Now, how about making the process even more efficient?
Yes, this is possible, and it is done through sales pipeline automation.
What is Sales Pipeline Automation?
Sales pipeline automation is a time-saving tool that helps reduce human error and sets you free of repetitive tasks done manually. Imagine you could focus solely on closing sales and bringing in more revenue, putting into practice your existing sales rep skills and leaving the rest to software. This is exactly what sales pipeline automation allows you to do.
The sales pipeline stages are as follows:
Closing a sale
When the sales pipeline is automated, the sales pipeline stages remain the same, but they are now handled differently, requiring less time and human effort.
Let’s look at the benefits of sales pipeline automation for each stage.
With an automated prospecting process, a record of a new lead is created as soon as a potential prospect fills in your online website form offering free educational material, free consultations, etc. This is especially an important step in appointment setting companies. A sales representative is then automatically assigned to the identified lead and reminded when to make a call or send an email.
After the sales rep is automatically reminded to make a call to the new lead, the outcome of the conversation is recorded, and based on it, and the automation software can send emails and set reminders for the sales rep to contact the lead once more if needed. The emails may contain options for when the information would like to be contacted, educational material, helpful industry-related tips, etc. This stage becomes quite an effortless way to nurture client relationships.
At this stage, a new lead can potentially be turned into an actual prospect. Therefore, what happens after free consultations is crucial.
The automated engaging stage allows for the sales rep to log into the software whether the lead is qualified or qualified but not ready to purchase at the moment. Another option may be that the information is not interesting after all. Now, the automation software can send different emails to these types of leads.
If the lead is qualified, the software can send them the documents needed for the sales to be completed. In case the information is not ready to buy just yet, the software can still help your business stay in contact with them by sending a monthly newsletter or reminding the rep to reach out to them at a different time in the future. Lastly, if the lead is not planning on becoming a buyer, the sales rep lets the software know the communication should be discontinued.
The process of the sales rep determining whether the lead is actually qualified to become a buyer based on their budget, needs, authority, and timeline can also be made simpler with automation. This can be done through automatic collection and analysis of the collected information through more elaborate online forms. Think about adding more fields to your form reflecting what your idea of a qualified lead is.
If the lead is qualified, they are sent the paperwork for creating a proposal. Automated software can once again be of help by reminding the sales rep to make a call to the prospect if a certain time has passed and the prospect still hasn’t returned the paperwork.
Closing Sales and Follow-Up
This stage is quite simple. A proposal is sent to the prospect to close the sale. There is not much a sales rep can do at this point but simply wait for the response.
In case the conversion has been successful, and your prospect is now your customer, the automated software can send them welcome emails. However, if a less fortunate scenario takes place and your prospect rejects the offer, periodical check-in emails can be sent to the lead, who you still might not want to give up on.
If you are looking to improve your sales pipeline process and have it result in a higher number of conversions and quite considerable revenue, think automation. Modern technology allows you to save time and work to the best of your irreplaceable human abilities, while automated software can deal with the rest.