This is the blog transcript of our video “How to Create an Automated Sales Process”. If you’d like to see more of our videos, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel here.
Sales is hard.
Cold outreach, follow ups, making sure that nothing falls through the cracks…it’s tough, there’s no question.
But what if you could automate the process to make it easier?
Hey everyone, I’m Ian Campbell, CEO of Mission Suite. Before we jump into today’s video, do me a favor and hit the subscribe button and ring the bell so that you’re notified whenever we post new videos.
I’ve been helping my clients automate their marketing and sales processes for just over 10 years now with Mission Suite. And I’ve been helping them build out those processes since long before that.
What I’ve come to learn in all of this time helping to develop sales and marketing processes is that if they rely on human execution, they’re intrinsically fallible.
No matter how good the intention of a sales rep or a business owner, if they have to be the ones making sure that the sales process is being executed properly, it’s more likely to not go the way you were hoping it would.
Follow ups are forgotten, deals are deprioritized and sometimes ignored, and sometimes we just don’t feel like picking up the phone.
I’ve personally been guilty of all of these things and have seen first hand just how easy it is to ignore a sales process when I’m managing it myself.
It’s human nature – we work closest to the dollar, we focus on building our network, we prioritize anything else than the stuff that we don’t want to do at any given time.
It’s human nature. It’s human error.
Unfortunately, that’s not good enough when it comes to building a business. When it comes to building a business, this stuff HAS to get done. Human nature can’t be an excuse.
How do we build a sales process that’s immune to that kind of human error?
Well it’s really not possible to make a sales process 100% immune to human error. But we can get pretty close using automation.
Building an automated sales process is something that can help you make sure that follow ups aren’t missed. An automated sales process can help you make sure that phone calls aren’t forgotten about. An automated sales process can help you build in some peace of mind that, as long as your team is well trained on that process, you know that the process will be executed.
So how do we build out this automated sales process? Well let’s dive in.
First, you have to know your sales process.
This one can’t be a surprise as a first step. If you don’t know your sales process, then there’s nothing to build and nothing to automate.
I’m not going to spend too much time on this step because, well, it seems like a given.
Obviously not everyone is going to ge a natural when it comes to building out a sales process though. If you need some help building out your sales process, get it.
There are a ton of great resources out there that you can look up. Personally, I’m a fan of simply developing a repeating three step pattern – call, email, LinkedIn – and repeating it four or five times.
It’s important to make sure that you change up the messaging in the email and LinkedIn messages. No one wants to see the same “I just left a voicemail and thought I’d follow up with an email” five times over.
Change it up a bit and look for ways to add some value in those messages. People will be much more responsive to it.
If you do want some help in building out your sales process, check out The Community Table, a virtual panel conversation that I host with Dean Isaacs, CEO of The Vantage Group. We talk a lot about sales process in those sessions, and Dean’s a great resource with a lot of experience.
Second, make sure you have a great CRM.
Mission Suite might fit this bill.
A great CRM is important because that’s what’s going to actually manage the automation of this sales process.
Your CRM is what’s going to remind your sales team when it’s time to make the next phone call. Your CRM is what’s going to automatically send the follow up email and tell you whether or not they read it or clicked on the link. Your CRM is what’s going to manage this entire process, give your team a place to track the progress and results, and give you a place to look at those results to help you see what’s performing.
So how do you know if you have a great CRM?
Well any CRM will of course allow you to manage your contacts, track activity history, and track opportunities.
A great CRM will also have the ability to automatically send emails from inside the same system based on your interactions with it. A great CRM will show you whether or not your emails have been opened and links have been clicked. A great CRM will do all of this without having to connect with other platforms so that the effort that it takes to manage it is minimal.
Sure, you can run an automated sales process without a great CRM, but it’s a bit more difficult and a lot more clunky to set up. Regardless of the CRM that you ultimately choose, it’s worth finding one that does automate all of that for you.
Third, know what the trigger is for your automated process.
Automated processes need to be triggered by something – whether that trigger is simply being added to your CRM, or something with a higher touchpoint like an initial phone call, you need to know what that expectation is.
Personally, I like to have the completion of that initial phone call be the trigger point. It makes it easier for the salesperson to filter out the junk from the process from the get go. Plus, it gives that salesperson a bit more control over the people who may go into the process, as well as more responsibility for prospecting.
I know, you’re probably thinking that the entire reason that we’re automating this process is to take the responsibility off of the sales person, but there’s a lot of value in the prospecting process, especially if you want that person to grow in their job or up through the ranks of the company. They have to learn how to prospect, who a good prospect is and how to identify that quickly and effectively.
Making that prospecting process a manual one is really effective as a training tool.
Once that initial call is made, however, the automation can take over. From there, you can let that automation remind them when they need to follow up. You can let the automation send the follow up emails.
All of that task based stuff is the stuff that tends to slip through the cracks and if you’re using a great CRM, it never will again.
How much of your sales process do you automate?
Let me know what you think about automating your sales process down in the comments below, and while you’re there, give this video a like so that we know you’re getting something out of it.
Fourth, prep the emails and messages you’ll be sending.
This is another place where it’s best to take the guesswork out of the process.
Either prep those sales messages that are being sent out over email and through LinkedIn on your own, or work with someone to do it for you. But either way, you want these messages to be a consistent experience for your prospects from salesperson to salesperson.
It’s really helpful for those salespeople to not have to think about what they’re going to say in an email or in a LinkedIn message, and if it’s all prepped for them, they don’t need to.
Include the text for the LinkedIn message in the activity reminder to send it to that contact so all they have to do is copy and paste it into the messenger, customize it to make sure it’s personalized and then hit send.
It’s going to save them time, and because it’s just a part of the process that’s laid out for them already, it’s going to be more likely to get done.
And the emails, well that’s even easier. I can’t tell you how comforting it is knowing that no matter what, the follow up emails that I need to send are going to be sent out without me having to think about them.
Making sure that all of that is taken care of for your team is a huge step toward their success.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to refine the process along the way.
As you implement this, you’re going to learn different things that work for your team and for your prospects.
You’ll get to see what emails are getting opened and what aren’t. Is there an email that you’re sending out that isn’t getting opened by your prospects? Change up the subject line.
Are your links not getting clicked? Change the content in your email. Still not working? Change up the design.
The whole idea of managing this with a great CRM is that you’ll have insight into these results so that as you go through this process, you can make tweaks and changes to optimize your results.
Your goal here is to set you or your sales team up for success so make sure that you don’t just set it and forget it. Find out what’s working and, more importantly, what’s not working, and make refinements accordingly.
To automate your sales process, you need a great CRM in place. Mission Suite might be the perfect option to help you and your team automate your sales process.
If you’re interested in taking a look at how Mission Suite works and how it can help you grow your business, check out the links in the description below.
Hey I hope you got something out of this video. And if you did, go ahead and give it a thumbs up and maybe a share so that others can see it too. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our channel and ring the bell so that you’re notified whenever we post new videos and while you’re at it, check out these videos too!
We’ll see you next time around!