Most of us can agree that the concept of automation sounds a little scary. Are robots going to be doing everything? If so, how are we supposed to trust this little dude to get work done for us?
It's trying its best - bless its heart.
When you hear the phrase "Marketing & Sales Automation," do you think of the business equivalent of that robot - just throwing quotes and bad email templates all over the place, hoping at least some make it to the metaphorical cereal bowl that is your customer? Luckily, automation is much more helpful than that.
Continuing the cereal analogy, think of marketing & sales automation more like this: thanks to technology successfully simplifying so many other aspects of your life - hot water ready to go in your shower, not having to hitch a horse to anything to get to work unless you really want to - now you have the extra time to pour your own cereal and milk and enjoy it before work.
Basically, automation frees up your time by knocking out things that don't require a personal touch so you can spend more time personalizing your process and really getting to know your customers, their needs, and how you can help them. Sales is about helping, after all, and the more time you have to dig in to your customers' needs, the more helpful you can be.
What Should I Automate?
According to Jordyn Rector, our very own Business Development Representative, email automation is one of the most valuable tools in sales.
Scheduling emails allows you to send your emails out at a certain time. That way, your message reaches the inbox at the optimal time for your potential client's time zone, industry, and more.
Email templates are also incredibly valuable to the business development team, but don't forget that the purpose of automation is to allow you the extra time to get personal. "Even though you have set puzzle pieces, everyone’s different, and people don’t always fit into the same pieces," says Jordyn. "It’s important to remember the reason for sales automation is to free up your time to customize and personalize."
If you choose to use email templates in your automation process, don't just send out an identical template to every prospect. Spend the time you would have spent typing out the info you share with everyone to research your potential customer and how you can help them personally.
As an added automation bonus, if you’re using the HubSpot CRM, Gmail and Outlook integration automatically track your emails in the CRM. This process ensures that you have a more thorough customer database through HubSpot.
Automation is great for simplifying the lives of your prospects as well. For example, I'm willing to bet that no one on either side of a business development call enjoys going back and forth about when to meet. Providing a meeting scheduling tool that offers prospects a choice of meeting times and only the times your business development team are available takes all the guesswork out of scheduling a meeting.
Another great example of automation helping both sides of the sales process is live chat. Live chat makes it easier for prospective clients to access your team and get the answers to their questions quickly - allowing them to return to the many tasks they have to get done today, too.
Automating live chat to request an email or other contact information when someone activates the chat has two benefits: first, if for some reason you are disconnected during the chat or the prospect is in a rush, you'll have a way to contact them again. Second, it allows the business development team a moment to compose a personalized response to the question without the prospect thinking they've been ignored.
The Boring Stuff That prospects don't see
"Gosh, I sure love changing due dates individually on a huge batch of tasks and adding them to a queue by hand! It takes forever and doesn't give me any facetime with prospects - my favorite!" - No Business Development Person Ever
There are a lot of less-than-glamorous aspects to marketing & sales. Making sure tasks are on schedule and getting done is extremely important, but no one enjoys doing it. That's where automation can come in. Using a tool like HubSpot allows you to change due dates en masse and pop those tasks into a queue quickly, so you have the energy to customize the customer-facing parts of your job. Your clients will appreciate the extra personalization and you won't want to fall asleep at your desk.
In short, the most important part of sales is helping - and you do that through individualized attention for each and every prospect. Automation tools just give you the time to put more energy into getting your prospects what they really need.
Ready to free up your time to better customize your sales tactics by giving automation a try? Grab a HubSpot Sales Demo with Sarah Posnak, VIEO's personal HubSpot manager! Sarah will show you how HubSpot's automation tools can simplify your life and the lives of your prospects. And we can promise they won't fling milk all over your table.