What is Sales Automation? A must have strategic guide

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Sales has evolved through the years. The rolodex and file cabinets had to make way over the years for tools enabling sales automation.

Sales Automation is our ability to do sales efficiently. Think syncing data across tools in the cloud, reducing manual account transitions, creating pitch decks automatically and handling client communications personalized at scale.

With the newest developments of AI, we are making a giant leap forward. In this expert article Founders, CEOs, COOs and sales leaders will get a high level introduction to sales automation.

Understand key strategies explaining:

  • What sales automation is
  • What processes you can automate
  • What are the benefits of sales automation
  • How to choose the right sales automation software

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About Megan

Megan Foster is a sales leader and revenue operations manager with 5+ years of experience in high tech SaaS. She has experience in both regional and global sales and marketing teams. She is the co-founder of SlideFill.

What is Sales Automation

Sales automation is the process of making small steps in the sales process automated. It will allow you to decrease repetitive labour-intensive actions, save time and reallocate headcount to what’s most important: talking to clients.

The steps you want to automate are often:

Repetitive sales tasks

One or multiple individuals in your organization have to perform this task more than once per day.

Low value sales tasks

The tasks are necessary to run your business but they are not directly generating value. Think for example data entry in sales pitch decks.

Low risk sales tasks

When the task is performed wrongly, it will not create irreversible damage to your business.

In the ‘Guide to automate revenue generating activities in sales’, you will find an outline of criteria to check and resources you need before automating a sales activity.

Typical examples of sales automation activities are:

Sales automation examples

  • Weekly business reviews: creation of accurate and consistent reporting to measure target attainment and input metrics.
  • Reminder emails: sending an email to clients to remind them about an upcoming meeting or an action they have to take.
  • Lead outreach: reacting on a lead form submission with basic information and the ability to schedule a first call with a sales development representative.
  • Presentation creation: providing personalized data points coming from your CRM in client facing presentations.

To achieve these automation you high level need:

  • Condition: a condition that is met which will signal to your software when to trigger automation
  • Action: an action that needs to be performed by the sales automation software to start creating the output
  • Data input: a form of input (client data, email, presentation) that is part of your automation process.

Example Lead Automation

A lead submitting a lead form can be a condition (boolean). This will trigger an action such as sending an email. The input is a drafted email which will be delivered as output to the lead.

Sales Automation Process Requirements

1. Sales automation requirements © SlideFill 2024

What processes you can automate

Depending on your business and the ideal customer flow, there are many processes you can automate. I live by the rule that you can automate whenever you have to perform the same, identical, action more than three times.

Below you will find an outline of processes that are a no-brainer to automate:

1. Scheduling meetings and reminders

Automation can help you to prevent long threads to find a suitable slot for yourself and your clients to set up a meeting. Tools such as ChiliPiper and Calendly automate the process of finding an available slot. Reminders for emails can be automated in order to give more guidance to your clients and improve attendance rates.

2. Scoring and routing leads

Automatic analysis on the behaviour of a lead can improve your lead scoring model. Ensuring all of your leads get a priority assigned to them. Through lead routing you can assign leads to the best performing reps based upon bandwidth to make sure your sales team is busy.

3. Sending communications

Sales Automation provides solutions to increase your availability and improve the timing of your follow ups. Think emails, chatbots and sequencing. Interacting at scale with clients will become easier when you predefine sequences (a flow of emails) ensuring adequate client engagement to prevent getting ghosted.

4. Entering data

Collecting data in your CRM can be a tedious process. Integrating your customer facing software (such as your website, lead form, demo request form etc.) with your CRM will make it easier for your sales team to understand when someone has high intent and the possibility to convert or upsell. It will help to keep data up to date.

5. Creating presentations

71% of your clients expect personalized presentations and marketing content. Building an integration between your CRM and presentation software will allow you to create data-driven presentations that are always resonating with your clients. They drive 40% more revenue when done well. This is possible through SlideFill.

6. Logging activities

There is nothing that sellers hate more than logging client engagements in their CRM. These are important input metrics for leadership, but a real burden for sellers. Integration of your mail provider and calendar with your CRM can limit call logging to purely updating the outcome of a call.

7. Making business reviews

Companies often have a weekly business review meeting and an operation meeting to understand how teams are performing. The creation of these decks takes a long time. Management or analytics will have to pull the freshest data from your CRM and make a presentable deck. You can automate this process with parameters that automatically update on a weekly basis. This is possible through SlideFill.

8. Prospecting

Automated sales tools can help you find leads by scanning the internet for prospects meeting your criteria. They also allow you to instantly score the prospects, send a communication and prevent duplication in your CRM.

9. Forecasting sales

Automation allows you to use the most up to date data. This will improve your sales forecasting. You can forecast trends, revenue movement and eliminate the need to manually analyse data to get insights about where you will land.

10. Auto-dialling

Auto-diallers are a piece of software reducing the time between sales calls. They enable your team to connect with more prospects and take away the pain of manually dialling each number. You will increase efficiency and increase the time your sellers talk to clients.

What are the benefits of sales automation

The key benefits of sales automation are:

  • Increase in productivity
  • Decrease in cost
  • Uplift in revenue

Productivity is the straightforward one. When reps do not have to do a manual task, it is saving them time.

This inevitably leads to a reduction in cost. You will have the same amount of people available but they have more time available to do revenue generating activities.

Which finally results in an uplift in revenue. When sellers can focus on activities that are generating revenue such as talking to clients, they will be able to close more pipeline and drive more revenue.

Below are some examples outlined.

Sales automation benefit examples

Better lead scoring and prioritization

Lead scoring and prioritization will help your sellers to focus. They will need to spend less effort in manually analysing their book of business. By providing them automatically with the most qualitative leads, you will be able to save time and invest your headcount in the most promising leads.

Resonating client presentations

Sellers will spend less time on creating presentations and updating slide decks with data relevant for their clients. This will help them to always have pitch decks that are resonating with clients. It will save time to create presentations but also increase conversion rate as clients will better understand the opportunity.

Automated client nurturing

Clients can have queries or might become unresponsive. Through automated client nurturing sellers can schedule series of emails to reengage with clients that are becoming unresponsive. Chatbots can help to answer questions faster. A happy client that’s engaging with us, will spend more money.

Faster response times

Customers and leads are used to having an instant experience. They can order on Amazon in three clicks and they expect the same from every business. Automation can help to give instant support to clients and acknowledge the fact that they want to do business with you. It will allow you to put the next action item back on the client, saving time and focusing on having meetings.

Qualitative consistent reporting

Leadership needs consistent reporting to make the right decisions. Decisions require insights. With qualitative consistent reporting they can focus more time on detecting trends and making strategic decisions that are leading to more revenue.

Frequent reminders and tasks

Sellers should be on top of their business. Especially when sellers have a large book of business, things can become tricky. Through frequent reminders of outstanding tasks, you help your sellers move their pipeline to the next stage. They will know when to connect with a client, which clients are at risk to churn and where they can upsell.

How to choose the right sales automation software

When you are bought in, the moment will come where you have to look for the right sales automation solution. This requires careful consideration. Choosing the wrong tool can lead to problems down the patch.

When making decisions around your tech stack, keep in mind the following guidance:

Research integrations

Not all sales automation software integrates with your current technology stack. When selecting software, evaluate how well the software is working with your current stack and what needs to be done to start using the new software.

Put additional focus on the management of data. You want to choose tools that are using the same type of data as your CRM.

Consider ease of use

Ease of use is wildly undervalued. There are multiple elements you need to evaluate to evaluate the ease of use of your new software. Look at the following factors:

  • Time and help necessary to set up the software
  • Training and hours needed to enable your sellers to use it
  • User-friendliness and intuitiveness of the software
  • Documentation and tutorials you can find on the internet
  • Setting up teams, access and permissions
  • Support available for the maintenance of the software

Evaluate analytics and reporting

Lastly, you want to be able to track the success of the tool you are buying. That means you want to be able to see usage, time saved, increase in revenue, decrease in cost, …

It should be easy and straightforward for you to report on the impact of the tool on your organization.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before you head to the conclusion of this article, you can find answers on frequently asked questions related to how you can improve sales automation in your business:

How can Revenue Operations assist in prioritizing automation?2024-03-26T02:44:38+00:00

Revenue Operations (RevOps) plays a crucial role in implementing and prioritizing automation. RevOps can help by assessing the impact of automation across various functions, understanding the business and technical requirements for automation, and collaborating with cross-functional stakeholders to establish timelines and execute the automation strategy.

By leveraging its comprehensive view of the entire revenue generation process, RevOps can effectively prioritize activities for automation based on their potential impact on revenue and cost reduction, ensuring that the most critical processes are addressed first.

Want to know more about: What is Sales Automation? A must have strategic guide

Understand how to automate revenue generating activities in order to save cost while increasing revenue. Read the “How to automate revenue generating activities in sales and revops?” guide.

Find more answers related to Automating Revenue Activities

Discover all frequently asked questions and answers about automating revenue activities.

How to align revenue automation with customer needs?2024-03-26T02:41:33+00:00

Organizations can ensure that automated revenue generation aligns with customer needs by leveraging customer data and feedback to personalize and optimize automated processes. By analyzing customer behavior, preferences, and interactions, organizations can tailor automated sales and marketing activities to meet specific customer needs.

Additionally, implementing customer relationship management (CRM) systems and integrating them with automation tools can provide valuable insights into customer preferences and buying patterns, enabling organizations to align automated revenue generation with customer needs. Furthermore, soliciting feedback from customers and incorporating it into the automation strategy can ensure that automated processes are customer-centric and drive value for both the organization and its customers.

Want to know more about: What is Sales Automation? A must have strategic guide

Understand how to automate revenue generating activities in order to save cost while increasing revenue. Read the “How to automate revenue generating activities in sales and revops?” guide.

Find more answers related to Automating Revenue Activities

Discover all frequently asked questions and answers about automating revenue activities.

How to choose the right sales automation software?2024-01-28T07:01:03+00:00

Choosing the right sales automation software requires careful consideration:

  • Research integrations: Ensure the software integrates well with your current technology stack, particularly your CRM.
  • Consider ease of use: Evaluate factors like setup time, training requirements, user-friendliness, and available support.
  • Evaluate analytics and reporting: Choose a tool that provides easy and straightforward reporting on its impact on productivity, time saved, and revenue increase.

A conscious decision based on ease of use, integrations, and reporting capabilities will ensure that the chosen software aligns with your business needs.

Read the sales automation expert guide.

Find more answers related to Sales Automation

Discover all frequently asked questions and answers about Sales Automation.

How to measure success in automated activities?2024-03-26T02:42:15+00:00

Organizations can measure success of automated revenue generating activities through various key performance indicators (KPIs) such as conversion rates, customer acquisition costs, and customer lifetime value. By tracking these metrics before and after implementing automation, organizations can assess the impact on revenue generation.

Additionally, organizations can analyze the efficiency gains, cost savings, and error reduction achieved through automation. Furthermore, feedback from sales teams and customers can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of automated processes. By regularly monitoring these metrics and gathering feedback, organizations can measure the success of automated revenue generating activities and make informed decisions for continuous improvement.

Want to know more about: What is Sales Automation? A must have strategic guide

Understand how to automate revenue generating activities in order to save cost while increasing revenue. Read the “How to automate revenue generating activities in sales and revops?” guide.

Find more answers related to Automating Revenue Activities

Discover all frequently asked questions and answers about automating revenue activities.

How to start implementing sales automation?2024-01-28T07:05:50+00:00

When you want to start implementing sales automation successfully, follow these steps:

  • Decide which sales processes to automate: Map out your current sales processes, identify repetitive steps, and work with stakeholders to plan the automation process.
  • Select the right sales automation software: Choose a software based on ease of use, integrations, and reporting capabilities. Calculate the expected savings and assess the value for your business.
  • Start reporting on your increased productivity: After implementing automation, track improvements and measure the impact. Showcase the positive results to justify the investment and consider further expansion if the results are favorable.

Read the sales automation expert guide.

Find more answers related to Sales Automation

Discover all frequently asked questions and answers about Sales Automation.

What are benefits of sales automation?2024-01-28T06:42:48+00:00

Sales automation is the process of automating small steps in the sales process, reducing repetitive tasks, saving time, and reallocating resources to more crucial activities like client interactions. The benefits of sales automation include increased productivity, decreased costs, and an uplift in revenue. When sales reps focus on revenue-generating tasks rather than manual ones, the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the sales team improve.

Sales automation enables the automation of tasks such as scheduling meetings, lead scoring, sending communications, data entry, presentation creation, logging activities, making business reviews, prospecting, forecasting sales, and auto-dialing. This allows businesses to streamline their operations, enhance lead prioritization, and create personalized presentations, resulting in better client engagement and increased revenue.

Read the sales automation expert guide.

Find more answers related to Sales Automation

Discover all frequently asked questions and answers about Sales Automation.

What are challenges with automating in revops?2024-03-26T02:42:01+00:00

Implementing automation for revenue operations can present several challenges, including the integration of automation tools with existing systems, ensuring data accuracy and consistency, and managing change within the organization.

Additionally, identifying the most suitable automation tools and technologies for specific revenue generating activities can be a complex task. Furthermore, resistance to change from employees and the need for training and upskilling to effectively utilize automation tools are common challenges. Moreover, maintaining data security and compliance while automating revenue operations is crucial. By addressing these pitfalls proactively and involving key stakeholders in the implementation process, organizations can successfully navigate the complexities of automating revenue operations.

Want to know more about: What is Sales Automation? A must have strategic guide

Understand how to automate revenue generating activities in order to save cost while increasing revenue. Read the “How to automate revenue generating activities in sales and revops?” guide.

Find more answers related to Automating Revenue Activities

Discover all frequently asked questions and answers about automating revenue activities.

What are long-term implications of automating revenue?2024-03-26T02:41:10+00:00

The long-term implications of automating revenue generating activities for an organization are multifaceted. Automation can lead to sustained improvements in efficiency, productivity, and revenue generation over time. By streamlining processes and reducing manual effort, organizations can achieve long-term cost savings and resource optimization. Moreover, automation enables organizations to adapt to changing market dynamics and customer expectations, fostering agility and competitiveness in the long run.

Additionally, the data insights derived from automated processes can inform strategic decision-making and drive continuous improvement. However, organizations must also consider the long-term impact on workforce dynamics, skill requirements, and organizational culture as automation becomes more pervasive. Proactively addressing these implications can ensure that the long-term benefits of automating revenue generating activities are maximized while mitigating potential challenges.

Want to know more about: What is Sales Automation? A must have strategic guide

Understand how to automate revenue generating activities in order to save cost while increasing revenue. Read the “How to automate revenue generating activities in sales and revops?” guide.

Find more answers related to Automating Revenue Activities

Discover all frequently asked questions and answers about automating revenue activities.

What are sales automation examples?2024-01-28T06:48:03+00:00

Certainly! Some sales automation examples include:

  • Scheduling meetings and reminders: Tools like ChiliPiper automate the process of finding available slots for meetings, improving attendance rates through automated reminders.
  • Scoring and routing leads: Automatic analysis enhances lead scoring, and lead routing assigns leads to the best-performing reps based on bandwidth.
  • Sending communications: Automation solutions like chatbots and email sequencing improve client engagement by predefining communication sequences.
  • Entering data: Integrating customer-facing software with CRMs streamlines data collection, making it easier to understand high-intent leads.
  • Creating presentations: Integrating CRM with presentation software enables the creation of data-driven, personalized presentations.
  • Logging activities: Integration of mail and calendar with CRM reduces the burden of manually logging client engagements.

These activities involve conditions, actions, and data input to trigger the sales automation software effectively.

Read the sales automation expert guide.

Find more answers related to Sales Automation

Discover all frequently asked questions and answers about Sales Automation.

What benefits come from automating revenue activities?2024-03-26T02:44:47+00:00

Automating revenue generating activities offers numerous benefits. Firstly, it can significantly increase efficiency and productivity by reducing the time and effort required for repetitive tasks, allowing sales teams to focus on high-value activities. Automation also minimizes errors, leading to improved accuracy and consistency in processes.

Additionally, it enables better data management and analysis, providing valuable insights for decision-making and strategy development. Ultimately, automation can lead to increased revenue and cost savings by streamlining operations and maximizing resources.

Want to know more about: What is Sales Automation? A must have strategic guide

Understand how to automate revenue generating activities in order to save cost while increasing revenue. Read the “How to automate revenue generating activities in sales and revops?” guide.

Find more answers related to Automating Revenue Activities

Discover all frequently asked questions and answers about automating revenue activities.

What can I do with SlideFill?2024-03-27T05:35:13+00:00

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What factors to consider when deciding to automate?2024-03-26T02:42:53+00:00

Several factors should be considered when deciding whether to automate revenue generating activities. Financial cost is a key consideration, as the investment in automation tools and technology should align with the expected return on investment. The difficulty of automation is also important, as complex processes may require more resources and expertise.

Additionally, the opportunity cost of automation, such as the potential benefits of reallocating resources to other revenue-generating activities, should be evaluated. By carefully weighing these factors, organizations can make informed decisions about which activities are best suited for automation.

Want to know more about: What is Sales Automation? A must have strategic guide

Understand how to automate revenue generating activities in order to save cost while increasing revenue. Read the “How to automate revenue generating activities in sales and revops?” guide.

Find more answers related to Automating Revenue Activities

Discover all frequently asked questions and answers about automating revenue activities.

What is the impact of sales automation on productivity?2024-01-28T06:52:05+00:00

Sales automation directly impacts productivity, cost, and revenue in several ways:

  • Better lead scoring and prioritization save sellers time by providing them with the most qualitative leads.
  • Resonating client presentations reduce the time spent creating presentations, increasing conversion rates.
  • Automated client nurturing helps reengage with clients, leading to increased client satisfaction and spending.
  • Faster response times through instant support enhance the client experience and save time for both clients and sellers.
  • Qualitative consistent reporting allows leadership to focus on strategic decisions, leading to more revenue.

Automated reminders and tasks also help sellers stay on top of their business, ensuring pipeline progression and identifying opportunities for upselling. The impact of sales automation on productivity shouldn’t be underestimated.

Read the sales automation expert guide.

Find more answers related to Sales Automation

Discover all frequently asked questions and answers about Sales Automation.

What role has data quality in automating revenue?2024-03-26T02:41:41+00:00

Data quality is paramount in the effectiveness of automated revenue generation. High-quality data ensures that automated processes are triggered accurately and that the outputs are reliable. Poor quality can lead to errors in automation, impacting customer interactions, sales forecasting, and decision-making. Therefore, organizations must invest in data quality management practices, including data cleansing, validation, and enrichment, to ensure that the data used for automation is accurate and up to date.

Additionally, establishing data governance frameworks and leveraging advanced analytics can further enhance the effectiveness of automated revenue generation by ensuring that the insights derived from automated processes are reliable and actionable. Therefore, quality plays a crucial role in the effectiveness of automated revenue generation, and organizations should prioritize data quality management to maximize the benefits of automation.

Want to know more about: What is Sales Automation? A must have strategic guide

Understand how to automate revenue generating activities in order to save cost while increasing revenue. Read the “How to automate revenue generating activities in sales and revops?” guide.

Find more answers related to Automating Revenue Activities

Discover all frequently asked questions and answers about automating revenue activities.

What sales processes are suitable for automation?2024-01-28T06:56:45+00:00

Sales processes that are repetitive, low-value, and low-risk are ideal for automation. A good rule of thumb is to automate when the same, identical action is performed more than three times.

Before automating a sales activity, assess criteria outlined in the ‘Guide to automate revenue generating activities in sales.’ This guide provides insights into the conditions and resources required for successful automation.

Processes like scheduling meetings, scoring and routing leads, sending communications, entering data, creating presentations, logging activities, making business reviews, prospecting, forecasting sales, and auto-dialing are common candidates for automation.

Read the sales automation expert guide.

Find more answers related to Sales Automation

Discover all frequently asked questions and answers about Sales Automation.

Which activities to best prioritize for automation?2024-03-26T02:42:27+00:00

Prioritizing revenue generating activities for automation requires a strategic approach. High-volume, repetitive tasks that consume significant time and resources are prime candidates for automation. This may include lead scoring and routing, data entry and management, and sales performance tracking.

Additionally, activities with a high impact on revenue and low risk should be prioritized for automation, as they offer the greatest potential for value creation with minimal risk

Want to know more about: What is Sales Automation? A must have strategic guide

Understand how to automate revenue generating activities in order to save cost while increasing revenue. Read the “How to automate revenue generating activities in sales and revops?” guide.

Find more answers related to Automating Revenue Activities

Discover all frequently asked questions and answers about automating revenue activities.

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Conclusion

What’s next for you

There is no question that companies leveraging sales automation will do better and grow faster than those ignoring it. If you are not yet, you should start embracing automation today.

To get you become a better sales leader, we have outlined three next steps you can take today:

1. Decide which sales processes to automate

Map out your current sales processes. Find steps that are repetitive and consuming a lot of time. Research how easy it is to automate the process and work with relevant stakeholders such as Revenue Operations to create a plan to remove the manual step.

2. Select the right sales automation software

Make a conscious decision about the sales automation software you want to use. Decide based on easy of use, integrations and reporting capabilities. Calculate the savings the software will bring and how much these savings are worth for your business.

3. Start reporting on your increase productivity

Once you have automated steps in your sales process, ensure you have adequate reporting on the improvements. You want to measure the impact of your new software and showcase that you have made the right investment decisions. Consider further expansion when results are good.

Looking for more ways to increase profitability?

Download our free eBook:

Revenue Operations Explained: 7 Proven RevOps Strategies to Decrease Cost and Increase Revenue

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This article does not contain any promotional or paid placements.
Views are personal and not affiliated to employers.
No generative AI was used to write the article.
All examples are illustrative and fictional.

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