These days, almost any workflow process can be automated. However, many people are still using traditional and manual systems to get things done. With sales, this can especially slow you down. These tips can help you better understand automating your sales pipeline and help you boost your conversions.
Automation can be an intimidating transition for many business owners. There are so many different tools out there, and it may feel like they’re over-complicating your workflow processes instead of simplifying them. However, sales is an especially complex aspect of your business. It’s a fragile ecosystem. The relationships between your clients and sales reps need to be nurtured and maintained for the long haul.
Many consider manual processes to be outdated. This isn’t necessarily the complete truth. There are pros and cons to running sales manually. But, is it worth losing out on potential sales to your competitors just because they’ve automated their sales pipeline?
Let’s start by explaining how it works.
The Sales Pipeline Process
Since every business is different and runs on its own unique terms, this will look slightly different for everyone. Most are similar enough to compare at a surface level, though.
It typically looks a little like this:
- The leads. Here, your team works together to generate the leads that you hope to convert to sales
- Their attention. Once you have the leads, your teams will meet with them. From there, they’ll establish relevant content to send them. Ensuring that relevant content is sent to leads will grasp their attention between the conversion process
- Their commitment. This is usually where your lead will begin to make their decisions before a purchase is made. They may need a bit more persuasion at this point
- The sale. Finally, this is where discussions about pricing will begin and the purchase becomes finalized
The key to each of these steps is to have you or your sales team remember to send relevant content to your lead throughout the process.
The Truth About Manual Sales Pipeline Processes
The reason that the manual sales pipeline process is so broken is simplified by the fact that it is overcomplicated. In fact, it’s complicated to the point where it may be holding you back. Business owners are so set on running their sales pipeline manually because:
- There is a misconception that all automation tools are pricey and over their budget
- There is a false perception of how complex their pipeline process is in comparison to the need for automation
- There is a strongly held belief that their specific business won’t work with automation
- There is simply a resistance to change in terms of implementing new technology
While these concerns are valid, it’s important to understand how continuing to use a manual sales pipeline may be slowing you down.
Obviously, you love your sales team! You hired them because you recognized their efficiency and dedication to converting leads. However, your team is still human. They’re going to make mistakes. These mistakes may include:
- Your team could be overloaded with details to remember. There’s only so much data storage in a person’s mind. Keeping track of every detail for every sale can become daunting when it’s all held in your team’s heads.
- They might forget certain things. It’s almost impossible for anyone to be able to remember every follow-up call and to send out relevant content to your lead.
- There isn’t a clear way to organize metrics. With automated systems, metrics are closely and accurately measured. Since each part of the sales process is accounted for, none of your metrics have room to get lost in translation.
Automation is the only way to have completely accurate recordings of the sales process. An automated sales pipeline would help by:
- Notifying your team to follow-up with leads. This takes the pressure off of your sales representatives in regards to remembering every little detail.
- Alerting your sales representative with what content needs to be sent out. For example, this can include emails or brochures.
- Organizing the sales pipeline process becomes foolproof because it’s all located in one place. At the end of a sale, your representatives don’t have to rely solely on what they remembered to write down, because all of that information is held within the tool.
- Contacts become automatically generated. Your sales representatives would typically only be responsible for filling in smaller details within contracts for applicable sales.
Using an automated tool for your sales pipeline processes greatly reduces the risks and potential mistakes. It’s all in the organization. When everything is in one place, it is much harder to lose track of the fine details.