Here’s a shocking truth: salespeople spend barely a third of their time actually selling. In other words, the average field sales rep making $52,350 per year is being paid $33,547 for activities they were not hired to do.
So what are they doing with the other 64% of their day?
According to studies, they spend about 18% of their time using complicated CRM systems, while 10% of their time is spent on spreadsheets doing tasks they wish the CRM could handle. And compared to selling, reps are spending almost as much time creating branded sales collateral because they can’t find or don’t have the materials they need.
To tackle the time management issue, companies are turning to sales automation tools to help alleviate many of the manual tasks that bog down the sales process:
1. Boost the Customer Experience
Customers expect a pleasant, consistent experience.
Automation tools like chatbots and content curation can provide a consistent, timely customer experience that tailors each interaction to the customer. This removes the manual involvement from the sales rep without sacrificing the personalization aspect and ensures engagement with each customer in a timely manner.
2. Qualify and Score Leads
With the little time sales reps do spend selling, they need to focus on their best opportunities. Automating lead scoring and qualification can help reps to spend less time on junk leads and focus on the ones that are ready to buy.
For example, automated lead qualification and scoring can assign a score to each lead based on their behaviors. Leads that perform top of the funnel activities, such as signing up for a newsletter, are considered “marketing qualified” and can remain with marketing until they indicate a readiness to convert, such as checking out pricing or requesting a demo.
3. Improve Time Management
Sales reps who can manage their time are top performers.
Time management is a fundamental component of successful selling, yet many reps struggle to create and follow a consistent time management philosophy. Those that do spend nearly 19% more time selling, which often makes them top performers.
By removing many of the administrative tasks, such as spreadsheets and CRM, sales reps can automatically get a boost in time management and have more time to spend with customers.
4. Prioritize Follow Up
The majority of sales calls require at least eight cold call attempts and five follow-ups after the first meeting, but many reps stop after just one attempt. Though this could be for a number of reasons, it’s important not to let any opportunity fall through the cracks. Automating the follow-up process can ensure that no potential client is forgotten about.
5. Maintain Sales Consistency
Automation thrives on a set, consistent system that ensures each salesperson is performing the same activities in the same manner, which also leads to predictable results. Building predictability into the sales cycle can set the stage for each rep to succeed and removes much of the guesswork from the sales process.