By: Siddharth Wadehra, QuickReach Head of Research
The sales machinery is the heartbeat of every company. Ensuring that you close deals effectively and seamlessly is often the focus of most corporate CEOs. With the crowded marketplace, the ever-increasing cut-throat competition and nimble startups eying the slice of the pie, the sales machinery needs to be at the very top of their game. The smallest of mistakes or the occasional slacking could be disproportionate and often cause expensive implications. A missed follow-up email by the sales associate or simply not investing enough time and effort to cultivate a relationship with a prospect could have the company scrambling to meet the targets by the end of the quarter.
Technology innovations are changing the very nature of how business is conducted. Intelligent automation has crept into almost all parts of the company. As robots and bots take over repetitive non-value-adding tasks that humans were originally tasked with, companies are looking to eliminate inefficiencies and improve customer and/or employee experience. The same is true with the organization’s sales department ---- companies are deploying intelligent automation to make the sales machinery even more effective.
A granular look at a typical sales process within a company includes collecting leads, making cold calls, following up with prospects, and cultivating a relationship with the potential target clientele. It might make business sense for you to automate the mundane paperwork which would allow the sales associates to focus on the human element of the sales process --- engaging with the prospect and developing a relationship with them so that they could focus on closing them in a timely manner.
So, let us take a closer look at the various possible sales workflows which intelligent automation might be able to impact the organization with.
1. Lead management workflow
If you are with sales, you might appreciate the importance of getting to know your leads well and bucketing them appropriately. It is often a burdensome task to filter the noise and the false leads and to bucket them based upon the potential value they might be able to add. This is where automation might be able to support you by streamlining the process and ensuring that the associates are able to verify the leads.
For example, you might be able to integrate your workflow automation solution with other applications that could help you prioritize organic leads coming from your website or chatbot. Couple this with a data mining component that would allow you to sequentially contract the leads as per your priority list.
2. Sales quotation workflow
Generating sales quotations could be tricky, especially when there is custom pricing to offer to clientele with varying needs. Obtaining speedy approvals for custom order pricing entails a seamless communication with operation heads and managers, who might not be always available when you need them. Delaying this might risk the prospect of exploring a similar offering with your competitor.
Based on the internal processes of your company, the workflow could start with the associate entering the details on a form. This form is accessed by all key stakeholders almost real-time and the production might provide their inputs on the pricing. This could almost instantaneously be approved by your manager through an app on his mobile phone and you might not even have to wait for someone to check their emails. Automation of the sales quotation workflow ensures that the approvals could happen on the go over mobile phones and the quotation might be ready to go out to the client in hours and not days.
3. Sales invoicing workflow
Invoicing is one process that is most susceptible to manual errors. There could be a number of things which could potentially go wrong with invoicing --- from a simple typo which could trigger multiple back-and-forth email communication with the customer; to missing out on custom discounts promised to the customer. Depending upon the industry and the size of the company, there could be a hierarchy put in place that could approve or sign off an invoice before it's finally sent out to the customer.
Setting up an automated process is the most effective way to ensure you iron out the possibility of human errors and ensures that accurate invoices are sent to customers in a timely manner.
4. Sales discount approval workflow
As a sales associate, you might relate to the fact that customers are often looking to pocket discounts on the price you have quoted on your proposal. While you might already have the power to waive off a percentage to acquire the customer, in cases where heavier discounts are concerned you might have to get the management involved.
A conditional step in your automated workflow management would be ideal to tackle the situation. An escalation matrix in the workflow would allow a seamless approval process in cases where a deeper discount is requested by the customer.
Significantly Simplify Sales with QuickReach
Automation is proven to boost sales productivity by 14.5%* and reduce marketing overheads by 12.2%*. SalesForce Automation can lead to a 30%* increase in deal closures, and 18%* reduction in the sales cycle, and a 14%* reduction in sales administration time. Automating your workflows is a great way to free up time and make the most of the human aspect of sales rather than focusing on non-value added tasks.
If you are still not sure whether automation in sales is for your organization, enroll in a free 7-day invite-only access here. With pre-built templates, you can roll out the first digital process not just for your sales teams but also for your finance, HR, office admin, and IT departments in a matter of minutes. We are confident that you would be amazed to realize how easy it could be to let processes run seamlessly as your team will not be able to focus more on the things that matter the most in sales.