2020 is a new year and a new decade. The old way of hiring people in order to increase sales is over, and the era of using technology and automation to grow is here. Before you add someone new in sales, find out how technology can help you leverage your existing resources. Marketing applications have evolved to a point where they can give you a huge advantage in the marketplace without requiring you to hire new staff or ramp up your spending.
The key here is personalized automation. Let’s break this down – Automation uses technology to process those repeatable tasks that are normally done by someone on staff. Personalization means tailoring your message based on what your customer or prospect has done, is interested in, and where they are at in the process. Furthermore, personalizing means initiating follow up from a person, not a marketing email.
Here’s an example – it’s trade show season. Rather than trying to remember to follow up with everyone you meet, you can use an app to follow up with a personalized message to individuals – without lifting a finger. You can use your phone to scan their business card, and all the follow up messages are automatically queued up, delivered, and if they open your email or go to your website your sales team will be notified for further engagement. Pretty amazing.
What is the result of doing this? According to an extensive survey done by GetResponse, the biggest benefit is time savings – allowing your team to do more in less time:
How do companies get that benefit? By segmenting and personalizing your message. This survey done by Liana Technologies illustrates this advantage:
Once you have the right message into the hands of the right prospect, automation can also help your salespeople get follow up done. In our experience working with manufacturers and ag companies, it takes at least 3-5 “touches” for a prospect to become a customer. Most companies find that selling something new to an existing customer is less time intensive (maybe 1-3 touches), but getting outreach done is still a challenge. Using automation can ensure that each of your touchpoints happens every time!
We believe that the revolution is just now picking up speed in using these tools to help companies. Studies show that the wave has gained steam – well over 60% of companies are already using these tools. Here’s a chart from back in 2015 that shows where things are heading:
If you haven’t implemented the tools listed, now is the time to begin your search. Using automation and digital communication tools for sales and marketing is a simple way you can grow substantially without ramping your costs up significantly.
How to Begin
We recommend the following first steps to improving automation in sales/marketing:
- Start with the process – If you haven’t done a process map recently, take some time to diagram your current marketing/sales process.
- Identify repeatable steps – From trade show follow up to opportunity management, identify areas in your process that are manual and could be candidates for automation.
- Look at what’s available – Spend some time to look online at what marketing, CRM, and other tools are available to help improve the process. Talking to your existing providers is a great start as well – your ERP/accounting system vendor may also have suggestions. You can also drop us a line and we’ll assist with helping you through the process.
- Identify and automate low-hanging fruit – Find whatever process is costing you the most time and begin automating it. Simple is best – it is often the little things that make a big difference.
- Measure & improve – continuous improvement is a key tenant to really getting the most out of your automation investment. Tools and capabilities change, and so will your team.
Where do I go from here?
Need a starting point? Schedule a 1:1 consultation to review how you can take advantage of new tools to grow your business!