Every manager wants their sales team to do one thing—sell more—but this is often easier said than done. Truth is, to be effective selling to today’s informed buyer, your sales team has to wear a lot of hats, and this boosts their workload dramatically.
If you want your sales team to prioritize active selling over everything else, then you’ve got to enable them to be as efficient as possible. In today’s world, that means relying on automation to cut out the busy work that can otherwise eat into your team’s day. Here are 5 sales enablement tasks that you and your team can automate so that they can spend their time on the higher-value task of closing deals.
1. Using email templates to draft emails.
If you aren’t already using email templates to draft your emails, then this is a great place for your sales team to start saving time and energy. Some CRMs provide you with the capability to build a database of email templates that you can use to streamline your outreach efforts. Just choose a template, customize the content so that it fits the lead you’re pursuing, and click send.
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What if you don’t like any of the templates that come preloaded in your CRM? You can usually build your own email and save it as a template for future use. Use this option to create a template for any email that you find yourself sending regularly. This way, instead of spending half a day writing and rewriting emails to prospects (or searching in your outbox for an old email that you can use again), all you have to do is find the right template, personalize it a bit so it doesn’t read like a form email, send it, and move on to your next prospect.
2. Deploying a CRM that automatically logs phone calls and emails.
Oftentimes, salespeople are tasked with logging any communication that they have with a client—be it a phone call or an email. Even if creating a record for each interaction only takes 5 minutes, this can add up to hours of work over the course of a month, and days over the course of a year.
You can solve this problem by deploying a CRM or sales extension that automatically logs your emails and phone calls into your CRM. The HubSpot Sales extension, which integrates with Gmail, Outlook, and some other email providers, is one example of such a tool.
3. Scheduling meetings automatically.
How much time does your team waste trying to schedule meetings and calls with prospects? Chances are, quite a lot. Finding a time that works for both the salesperson and the prospect can take a lot of back and forth, eating into your team’s productivity. And if you need to reschedule? Then you’ll have to go through it all over again.
Quality CRMs try to offer some sort of automatic scheduling tool that you can embed on your website. These tools sync with your personal calendar, giving your prospects the ability to schedule a meeting with you automatically—they can view your availability, select a time that works for them, and voila: The meeting is scheduled in your calendar. By putting the power to schedule meetings in your prospects’ hands, you’re cutting out the back and forth so that your team can spend more time selling.
4. Upgrading to automatic reports.
Using Google Sheets or Excel spreadsheets for your reporting when your company is young makes sense: If it’s just you and a few other employees, you probably don’t want to invest a reporting software.
But having accurate reports is essential, especially as you start to grow. They can tell you everything from how close you are from reaching your goals to how productive you reps have been to everything else in between. If you’re not analyzing this information, then there’s no way for you to improve upon it.
Running reports in Excel and Sheets is possible, but it’ll be time consuming—that isn’t what those programs were built to do—and setting up an automated system may be all but impossible. But if you’re using a CRM, there you likely have a reports dashboard that you can use to create, automate, and generate reports, whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly. This not only saves you time, but also a lot of frustration, and daily or weekly reports make it easy for your team to see where they need to improve to hit their goals.
5. Let your CRM prioritize your leads for you.
We all know how important it is to prioritize your outreach efforts. Doing this effectively means that you can target the leads who are most likely to buy, ensuring that you’re spending your time wisely. But prioritizing leads manually can take a lot of time and effort, which you could be putting to better use.
By using a CRM that utilizes an automated lead scoring system, your leads will be assigned scores based on the criteria that you think makes them worth pursuing. This, in turn, makes it easier for you to identify which leads are closer to making a decision. Someone who subscribes to your blog and who visits your pricing page, for example, is likely much closer to making a decision that someone who has visited your site just once or twice in the past month—making it worth your time to reach out to them.
Automation Done the Right Way
There’s no doubt that automation can be a perilous prospect if it’s done poorly. Canned email responses and autodialing probably do more harm than good when it comes to establishing a healthy relationship between you and your buyers. But automation done right can be a powerful tool that enables your sales team to sell better, smarter, and faster.