It’s the 21st century – no business should be spending time on tasks like tracking leads or arranging appointments manually. If you’re still wasting precious time on these activities, you’re not harnessing sales technology to its full extent.
You might not think it takes long to book a few meetings or make a few sales calls, but all those hours add up. Besides, a self-sustaining automation system can do far more than a few individuals – without ever getting tired of repetitive tasks.
Some people might be scared at the prospect of an “automation takeover,” but it’s an exciting opportunity for business owners and anyone prepared to adopt a growth hacking mindset. Here’s how you can start embracing the new world.
When to Use Sales Technology
Sales technology is a huge domain, but we want to look at it within the context of growth hacking. Achieving high growth as quickly and efficiently possible requires thinking outside the box, and few things can do that quite like sales technology.
To deconstruct growth hacking, we analyzed the methods of companies that have accelerated their sales in short timeframes. After uncovering many common threads, the Automated Sales Process (ASP)™ was born.
The ASP™ consists of six phases – so far, we’ve examined Attraction, First Impression, Engage & Educate, and Follow-Up. Although it helps to involve sales technology in each of these stages, you need to pay it special attention once the rest of your process is in place.
Digitizing your real-world processes
When confronted with the idea of using automation for the first time, many people treat it as something brand new – totally separate from anything they’ve done already. However, rather than looking at Sales Technology as a process in isolation, it’s more constructive to view it as a process for accentuating and enhancing your existing sales process. It mirrors processes you’ve always carried out, allowing you to do them more efficiently and scale them further.
For instance, instead of painstakingly manually arranging consultations, you could leverage an appointment scheduling app to let customers book consultations online that sync with your calendar automatically.
Or you could switch from quoting and onboarding clients manually one-by-one (oftentimes repeating the same sales script) to sending clients a video walkthrough with digital contract tools.
This can also be an opportunity to introduce something new that you should have been doing all along, but it’s best to work with what you have before you reinvent the wheel.
Need some inspiration? It may be worth checking out what your competitors (or companies in adjacent industries) are doing and “borrowing” some of their implementations.
One of the oldest sales tactics in the book is upselling. There are two main types:
- Upselling – suggesting a more premium product to customers either in place of or in addition to their current purchase
- Cross-selling – suggesting complementary products to customers
Physical stores often place complementary products close to relevant items to encourage more sales and sales reps often look to sell more premium and/or additional items to buyers. You can leverage the same profitable sales tactics online. Using Sales Technology, you are able to offer product recommendations during the checkout process, which lets customers add other items to their basket in a single click – thereby mimicking the upsell and cross-selling methodologies.
There’s a wide range of other upselling techniques used within eCommerce, so look out for them next time you shop online.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Sales technology can also help you with the behind-the-scenes stuff. Customer relationship management (CRM) software – like Hubspot – allows you to track clients and manage your pipeline. They provide many time-saving functions, such as automatic reminders to follow up with a prospect or sorting leads into groups depending on where they are in the sales funnel.
Most people want to know the what is the “best CRM”, but the answer really depends on how you run your business operations and what you intend to use the software for. More isn’t always better – some popular tools have so many features, like Salesforce, have too many features and intimidate users.
Above all, look for a CRM that can connect with your current tools and is user-friendly enough for you to adapt to easily.
What If the Tool You Need Doesn’t Exist?
CRM and upselling are great places to start, but the possibilities of Sales Technology go far beyond these two areas. Once you get brainstorming about how technological tools could streamline your real-world process, you’re likely to meet a simple hurdle. The fact that there’s not an existing tool for everything.
Each business runs slightly differently, and automation is still an emerging field.
So, what should you do? There are two main options – create the tools yourself, or hire someone else to do it.
Making your own tools might sound incredibly complicated, especially if you had no idea what Sales Technology was before encountering this article. Yet you might be surprised at how simple it can be.
It’s often not a case of creating a completely new software but of joining various existing tools together. Many technologies are designed with APIs (which allows various applications to communicate with one another), so you can join them together using a tool like Zapier (e.g., joining an email integration app with a CRM app).
Hiring a consultant can be helpful if you’re in a very complex industry with specific needs and no ready-made solutions for its processes.
Create Your Competitive Advantage Now
If you’ve been studiously going through each stage of the ASP™ framework, you’ll probably be relieved to know that we’re almost at the end of the series. The toughest part of the implementation is already over!
Our final article will be all about referrals and retention – after reading this one, you’ll be a fully qualified ASP™ ninja.
In the meantime, if you just need some help putting automation processes into effect, look no further.
At Deviate Labs, we’ve helped past clients implement new sales technology solutions and even build new tools. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about kickstarting your sales technology processes, get in touch.