Process Automation Sales Management + Leadership Sales OperationsHow To Develop Sales Automation Developing sales automation within your CRM platform can do more than just remove the burden of busy work that is bogging down your sales team. It can also help to improve sales results and strengthen client relationships. TIM HARRIS | May 28, 2019 Even with all of the advancements in technology, teams are forced to choose between menial tasks & building customer relationships. If you ask your sales team what they do for a living, they probably won’t say “manage emails” or “do data entry.” In reality, however, they likely spend a majority of time in their inbox, updating records in CRM, or conducting menial tasks rather than connecting with customers. The challenge is that long to-do lists leave insufficient time for customer connections. In other words, reps spend quite a bit of time on administrative tasks at the expense of fostering the trusted relationships their customers expect. Yet, we believe that high-performing reps would rather spend time doing things like making connections, understanding their customers’ needs, and nurturing a pipeline of new opportunities. However, before you move forward with building sales automation within your CRM platform, you should follow a few best practices to ensure you are adding something that is beneficial to your sales process and the enablement of your team members. Evaluate Your Sales Process Sales automation eliminates the repetitive processes from a sales professional’s day and allows that professional to focus more on making connections with leads and developing relationships with customers. However, settling on a sales improvement strategy cannot happen until you understand what parts of your sales process need to be automated. You need to evaluate your current sales process to find the areas where automation will make your entire sales staff more effective. It is 2019, it is time to leave tasks to the machines. Set Expectations Once you have identified the opportunities for improvement in your own sales process, you can then begin to set automation expectations for your organization. First, you define the areas you believe will be improved by sales automation, set clear metrics for success, and then use that information to direct your efforts towards adopting technology that solves a problem or improves your efforts. Key sales statistics will give you the information you need to gauge the effectiveness of your sales automation system. Most automation revolves around manual processes such as sales outreach, targeting or lead identification, data capture, the logging of activities, or reporting. Pilot The Process Before implementing any new enterprise-wide solution, there needs to be a pilot program that identifies any problems and increases efficiency ahead of the full roll-out. Using measurable success metrics rolled-out within a cross-section of your team, you can help identify how this solution will support the bottom-third performers in comparison to your top performers. With a pilot program, you can see precisely how the automation platform interacts with your CRM and make any improvements before full adoption. Identify Key Users Your pilot group should consist of productive and tech-savvy sales professionals in your company but should still represent a cross-section of both the experience levels and the roles that will be impacted by the change. These are the people who will explain the system to the rest of your sales staff and get your company to buy into the idea of sales automation. It is critical to have the right people within your organization included in any pilot. When looking to successfully implement automation technology, these are sales professionals who understand the value of cutting down on the administrative tasks that cost the company money, and they should be able to present the real value of an automation solution in terms everyone else will understand. This will also help you vet out the differences between a functionality or process problem compared to something that could just be a hiccup in the user or agent experience. Measure & Share Results Results are all about looking at the metrics, seeing an increase in efficiency and also in employee experience. Success metrics are excellent indicators of the effectiveness of a program, but using those metrics throughout the onboarding process to get the company to adopt the plan is vital. Companies tend to add technology to help their sales teams and not bog them down or over-complicate their jobs. Make sure your technology stack is making life easier for your sales team to complete their daily tasks and outreach. PDCA For Increased Efficiency Once you implement sales automation throughout your sales process, it needs monitoring to identify issues and improvements. Integrating a sales automation into a sales organization is an ongoing process that requires a constant check of the established metrics, feedback from users, along with regular meetings between the sales staff and management to discuss ways to make the system more effective. When it comes to sales engagement automation, a system such as DialSource Denali works best because it operates natively within the CRM platform. A native system like this will enhance CRM functionality, increase security and leverage the powerful features of CRM platforms such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365. The result is that sales staff are free to use their skills to enhance revenue returns with current client relationships, focus on adding more clients and collect critical client information that will strengthen the bond with your customer base.