Many owners of IT companies ask themselves the question “how to automate sales?”
To answer this question properly, you need to understand several completely logical aspects, the main of which are:
– Sales automation elements
– Do I need to automate sales?
– Is it possible to automate your sales?
1 Sales automation elements.
To the main elements of the sales automation system, we can include:
– CRM system – the software that allows you to collect, organize, and manage information about your potential customers. In fact, it is the core that unites all the processes of the sales department. The basis of your success.
Both the convenience and the quality of the work of your sales department depend on the choice and configuration of a CRM system because if CRM is not intended for IT sales but, for example, for dentistry, then it is doubtful that you will be comfortable working in it.
There are two CRMs that are most suitable for automating IT sales:
+ The basic version with the minimal package includes a reasonably comprehensive functionality;
– No free version.
+ The free version has a fairly broad functionality;
– It is difficult to carry out integrations to automate the sales process (it is better to use “third-party” tools, such as Integromat or Zapier).
In addition to choosing the CRM, you need to accurately set up the “steps” in the sales “funnel” to fully correspond to your particular company’s sales logic, set auto tasks, synchronize reminders with mail, etc.
And, of course, integrations with lead generation tools play the most crucial role in automating the sales process. They include:
– Tools for automating email newsletters (for example, Lemlist, Mailshake);
– LinkedIn Automators (so far, Expandi is the best tool in its class);
– Forms and chat on the company website.
2 Is it necessary to automate the sales of an IT company?
Here, the key question is two factors:
- the size of your company;
- the number of platforms you use for lead generation.
If you are a small IT company and only use Upwork for lead generation, where the specificity of the platform is that all correspondence is conducted only “inside” the platform, then there is no point in automating because only those clients who answered your message are considered to be “leads” within this platform. Accordingly, you can easily manage them right in the Upwork platform interface and don’t use a CRM system.
Suppose your primary lead generation channel is LinkedIn or email newsletters. In that case, you simply have to organize all the work through CRM because managing such volumes of databases in Google docs is almost impossible.
3 How to automate the sales department?
Answering the central question of the article: “how to automate the sales department?”, we can summarize that:
- It is impossible to automate all the work and completely replace employees of the sales department with tools for automating lead generation: you will still need to reload databases from one tool to another, filter, segment into clusters with different approaches, and perform many other “intellectual,” not “mechanical” work.
For the functioning of the sales department, it shall consist of at least one person – a lead generator. In fact, this is a key position in the sales and marketing department because both the owner and the programmer can “close” a deal with a lead by simply talking to a potential client.
If there is no lead, then everything else does not make sense, so you should always start building a sales and marketing department by hiring a lead generator.
- Before doing the routine work of “cold outreach,” you need to create an ICP (Ideal Customer Portrait) since you need to use a focused approach to search for customers in the West, having created a clear position of the company in the market.
- Despite the increasing popularity of online sales, “classic” approaches still live in the corporate world, namely: meetings, road-shows, participation in exhibitions and conferences. At this stage, it sounds, of course, fantastic (taking into account the pandemic), but the world has already begun to return to “normal” life, and sooner or later, everything will return to “the normal life”.
- If you describe the “ideal” situation of sales automation, then all work with the customer base and mailing should come directly from your CRM. That is, it doesn’t matter which system you choose; the main thing is to integrate with the maximum possible number of third-party tools that you use for lead generation.
Our company organizes the work of sales and marketing departments for IT companies. More than ten years of experience. You can see the reviews of our clients on our Clutch.