Having a transparent lead tracker system not only helps you understand the workings of your business, but it also helps you keep things in check. One of the most important parts of a business is a lead. A sales lead is the first step in any sales funnel and is what a salesperson leans on to bring in results. But, how can he increase his conversion rates? By knowing their leads, their motivation and behavior. And lead tracker does just that, tracks every move of your leads and helps you to react in the right way.

lead tracker

What is a lead tracker?

A lead tracker will help you track the lead as they travel down the sales funnel. Right from the moment of their first contact with your business, you will be able to track your lead. This will give you a detailed insight into what they are looking for and help you to make a personalized pitch to them. A good sales lead tracker will allow to not only understand their interests but also predict their purchase behavior effectively.

But, there are many tools out there in the market. How would you know which one is the best in the business? There are certain features that a sales lead tracker should possess to ensure that you can guide them through your sales pipeline. These features not only help your sales team in selling to the lead, but it also helps your management in making good business decisions.

Features of a lead tracker:

Lead capture automation:

The first step in any sales pipeline is to ensure that the leads are getting captured. A lead tracker application should be connected to all your lead sources, both online and offline. This way, you will ensure that there is no lead leakage in your pipeline. You can connect to your online lead sources such as your website, paid ad campaigns, social media, third-party websites, or even through emails and inbound phone calls.

sales lead tracker

Not just your online leads, but your lead tracker should be able to capture offline leads as well. This could include leads such as the ones you meet at events or trade fairs or even the ones who walk into your office. You can even instantly add leads when your field team makes their daily sales rounds and come across a potential customer.

Having an automated lead capture mechanism not only eliminates the risk of missing out on leads, but it will also ensure that you know where each lead is coming from. You will be able to figure out which source is fetching you the most leads and which is giving you the best ones.

Lead distribution:

Once your leads have entered your lead management software, it would not make any sense to have them just hanging in your system. You need to assign them to the right salesperson so that they can reach out and nurture the lead. But imagine having a manual system, where someone assigns leads manually to each salesperson, one at a time. This method is highly inefficient and highly prone to error.

lead tracker application

A smart lead tracker system will automatically distribute the leads to your team based on various criteria. This could be geographical, product-wise, based on expertise or even on a plain old round-robin fashion. This way every lead is accounted for and the chances of missing out on good leads are minimized.

Lead Prioritization:

A salesperson gets assigned tens, if not hundreds, of leads in a day. This can often get overwhelming and they may end up calling people at random. What’s wrong with that? Well, it’s a bad idea to reach out to your leads in no set order. According to a report by Brevet, 30 – 50% of sales go to the vendor who responds first. The next logical question a sales guy will have is: How do I know who to call first?

sales lead tracker application

That’s where your lead tracker steps in and tells you who to call. Since it tracks the source from which the leads are coming in, you can set priority scores to the leads. A smart system will even be able to assign scores based on their interests, their buying intent, and their demography to assign scores. Your system will automatically create a calling order for your salesperson, and the leads which have a higher propensity to convert will be contacted first.

Website tracking:

The best part of having a website tracker is getting to know what your lead is doing on your website. You will then be able to develop a very personalized pitch to the lead. You can either send them remarketing campaigns or send over personalized offers or even have a more relevant phone conversation with them.

mobile lead tracker

For example, if you are a higher education institute and a lead visits your website. They then navigate to the courses you offer and spend almost 15 minutes on your business courses and then downloads your prospectus. They are obviously looking to join a business course and have evaluated your institute. You can use this information to help them with the admission process.

Lead Nurturing:

95% of buyers chose a vendor that provided content to navigate each stage of the buying process (Source: Demand Gen Report). A good lead tracker will come with a smart lead workflow feature that will help you build a good nurturing sequence. You can then send over relevant emails at the right time keeping your leads engaged.

lead tracking automation

You can set triggers such as on lead capture, on lead stage change or even when they perform the desired action such as filling a form or downloading an e-book. Or you can simply add your cold leads to a list and start sending them educational emails that will enlighten them on the value that you can give them.

Sales forecasting:

For proper sales planning, your lead tracker should be able to smartly calculate what your future sales look like. This can be done by cross-checking with parameters such as the average time to close a sale, the number of deals per salesperson, the average revenue per closure etc.

You can then easily project what your sales numbers look like in the next month, quarter or even year. Better planning means you would know where to invest your money and what targets you should set your salespeople to achieve the desired results.

So, when you are planning on buying your own lead tracker, remember to check for these features, and get yourself a tool that will help you achieve your sales goals. If you are looking for one, why don’t you give LeadSquared a try?

We are always trying to sell something in this competitive world. Sometimes, even without realizing. And we have been doing this for years. Sales has become an integral part of the modern consumer’s life. But what does sales mean to a business? In short: everything.  And the basic component that drives sales for a business is a sales lead.

sales lead - banner

This article aims at dissecting what a sales lead is and how you can bring in an inpour of more leads to your business. To achieve this, you need to thoroughly understand the what, how and why of a sales lead.

Okay, let’s do this one question at a time.

What is a sales lead?

First things first! Let’s define the term we are looking at:

A sales lead is any individual or entity that has come in contact with your business with, or sometimes without, the intention to buy from you. They may not immediately be open to making a purchase, but more often than not, they will have a requirement for the product/service you are offering in the future.”

sales lead - what is a lead

There are two cases here, let me illustrate the same using examples. Just assume that you are a travel business who sells holiday packages.

Case 1: A soon-to-be-married couple is looking for good holiday packages for their honeymoon. Your marketing efforts worked and they came across your website. They navigate to it and explore the many domestic and international packages you have to offer them. They place an inquiry for the one that they really like. Your salesperson calls them and in a couple of days, they have purchased a package for themselves.

This is a sales lead with a high propensity to convert and made a quick purchase, as they had an immediate need.

Case 2: A young office goer who has just started earning, happens across your website. Their colleagues and friends are all posting their various travel pictures on their social media. With some starry-eyed interest, they go to your website and look at all your holiday packages, dreaming of the day they could also plan a fancy holiday. Your salesperson calls them, but they remain elusive and don’t make a purchase. But you keep sending nurturing emails to them. A few years later, when they have the time and money, they remember you and buy a holiday package from you.

This is a sales lead, who at the first contact, had a low propensity to convert, but eventually did buy from you.

Now, if I had to ask you which lead is more important to your business, you’d probably say case 1. But that’s where many businesses go wrong. No, both leads are important. In the second case, in fact, constantly nurturing the lead helped them remember the business when they really need it.

Why is a sales lead important?

Now you know what a sales lead is, the next question is, how important is one for my business. The answer is: very. You always need to get your leads to come to you than reaching out blindly. This is what many businesses do wrong when they are starting up. They decide to purchase contact information and call these leads without any insights. But these are not your leads. They are just random phone numbers.

A contact becomes a lead only when they express interest in your business. This could be them reaching out to you via phone or email, or by interacting with your online presence like your website or social media handles. Of course, cold outreach still works. But even then, salespeople do thorough research before they classify them as a lead.

But, when you have a sales lead that comes to you of their own accord, it is easy for you to figure out what they want. If you have the right tool, you can track them as they move down your sales funnel. See the pages they visit, the emails they send and the conversations they have with you. And you will be able to nail their pain points and eventually convert them into your customer.

Remember, a sales lead is the first step to getting customers.

How do you get sales leads?

Lead generation is the first channel that every business needs to perfect. You have to ensure that the leads know who you are, what you offer and how to find you. Here are some common lead generation methods that will work in getting sales leads into your pipeline.

Social media:

This is the digital era, where everybody and their family is on social media. Use this to your advantage. You have to develop a good social media strategy before going to town. Find out where your target audience is. If you are selling a consumer product, more often than not, platforms like Facebook and  Instagram will be your best bet. But, if you are selling an industrial product, then you should be on LinkedIn where your buyers would also be present.

sales lead - social media

Post relevant articles or posts on these platforms to capture the attention of your potential prospects. Ensure that your message is eye-catching without ever coming across as spammy.

PPC campaigns:

Google AdWords is the bread and butter of most businesses in terms of getting more traffic. You can also run relevant campaigns that ensure that your business comes on top when your prospects search for keywords relevant to you. There are many good ways in which you can optimize your ads for more visibility.

sales lead - Adwords

Not just AdWords, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn also offers options to run paid ads. These platforms are rich in information on your leads such as their demography, their educational qualifications, and their interests. They come with targeting options that you can use to create and reach the right audience for your business. Don’t forget YouTube, which has worked well for many businesses in terms of generating leads as well.

Search Engine Marketing:

Writing articles for search engines never gets old. Make a list of the best keywords that make sense for your business. Then start writing, as much as you can. In fact, this may be the cheapest way you have of generating leads with long-term returns.

When your article ranks for the right keyword, it will bring in a steady flow of leads who visit your page. Just ensure that these articles have a good CTA at the end so that you can ensure they take some appropriate action. This could be things such as leaving an inquiry, or signing up for a free trial or requesting a demo. This way you’ll be able to encourage them to take the next step.

Webinars or Podcasts:

Now, this is a very effective way of generating good leads. Find out the topics that your audience will find interesting and get people to speak for you. If you do it right it can be a real game changer for you in terms of lead capture.

sales lead - SEM

Since most of these webinars and podcasts require you to register for them, you can ensure that the lead has to enter their contact details to join. Additionally, you can convert the live podcasts or webinars into videos and then get people to register to access them.

Networking events:

There are usually many events that are conducted by big bodies in each industry. Find out the ones that are relevant to you and attend them. If you can, then you can even put up stalls in these events and distribute promotional brochures, or educational manuals for your business.

Since the people who usually come to these events or meets are actually looking for the kind of product/service that you provide, this ensures that the leads you collect are relevant.

So what next?

Okay, so you know what a sales lead is, why you need it and how to collect it. What’s left? It’s not enough to keep collecting them, you need to ensure that they eventually become your paying customer. Because that’s the whole point, right? Sales.

To do this right, you have to get yourself a tool that helps you track, manage, nurture and finally convert your leads. Ideally, you should invest in a good sales execution platform before you start capturing leads. Here are just some of the features that you should look for in your platform before making the purchase.

  • Lead capture automation
  • Lead distribution
  • Lead nurturing
  • Lead management
  • Sales management
  • Sales and marketing analytics

Now, these features will help you track your lead as they travel down the sales pipeline from capture to conversion. You can automatically distribute the leads to your sales team based on factors, such as geography, interest, product or just round-robin. You can also segment them into lists and send nurturing campaigns to ensure that you are on the top of their mind.

In addition, you can also keep a check on your team as they go about trying to convert your leads. Detailed reports help you measure your work and figure out what is working for you vs what is not.

There you go! Now you know everything there is to know about a sales lead. If you too are looking for a good sales execution tool to convert your leads, then take a free trial with LeadSquared.

You know what a funnel is, right? It is a visual representation of the way in which your lead interacts with your business. Right from the moment, they learn about your business (prospecting stage) to when they actually buy your product (conversion stage). A funnel gives you insights into how a lead is behaving in each stage, why they are moving to the next stage or even why they are not.

But is there just a single funnel? Let’s explore the different types of funnels there are for a business and how you can manage them effectively.

Sales funnel

Stages of a sales funnel

Conversion funnel

Marketing funnel

Lead funnel

In sales, efficiency is the name of the game.

Creating a super-efficient sales process means minimizing redundant tasks and optimizing for higher ROI.

Fortunately, with sales automation, you don’t have to worry about managing your tasks. You can hit higher quotas with mundane assignments out of the way.

Sounds great. Right?

Well, in theory, it all comes together and seems quite simple.

However, sales automation can be quite tricky and if not done right it can break your sales pipeline. To create a smooth and seamless sales experience, it is key to understand which processes make sense to automate and which processes require a human touch.

Striking the right balance is unfortunately a sore point for many.

On one hand, some business leaders think that complete automation is the way forward while others are skeptical of automation for fear of losing out on personal touches.

So, what’s the solution?

Well, to tackle this, we’ve gone ahead and compiled a comprehensive guide to sales automation in 2022. In this guide, we cover the best practices and use cases where sales automation is critical.

Quick links:

What is sales automation?
6 Sales automation examples you can implement right away!
Sales automation strategy
Best practices
Success story: How 22Yards increased sales productivity through automation

What is sales automation?

Sales automation is the process of using software (e.g., Sales CRM) to eliminate repetitive, manual tasks. It aims at bringing efficiency to the sales process and improving sales team members’ productivity.

According to McKinsey, a third of all sales processes can be automated. Below are some of the processes in the sales value chain that you can automate.

Sales functionActivitiesAutomation potential
Sales strategy and planningSales forecasting, channel sales, resource allocation, talent management29%
Lead identification and qualificationPipeline management, action plans for new and existing customers13%
Configuration, qualification, and quotationQuota setting, configuration of technical solutions, negotiation, contracting43%
Order managementCredit checking, invoicing, order-related service handling50%
Post-sales activitiesRegular follow-ups, handling incoming requests40%
Structural supportReporting, analytics, training, sales support, administrative tasks25%

Source: McKinsey

Now let’s look at some of the sales processes you can automate right away.

6 Sales automation examples you can implement right away!

1. Lead distribution

Lead distribution is assigning leads to your sales reps for discussions and follow-ups. It may be manageable when the lead volume is low. But as your lead volume grows and team size increases, it becomes very chaotic.

Several leads are lost in the process resulting in missed business opportunities. Also, if the distribution isn’t even, some reps may be assigned more leads than they could handle, whereas some would not get even a single lead.

Sales automation resolves this challenge.

Let me give you an example.

Let’s say, you’re a Fintech start-up and offer a range of services to your customers. You may want to distribute leads based on product, vintage, agent availability, location, lead application status, and more. Also, you may want to set up a distribution logic like agent availability or can simply distribute them in a round-robin manner.

Here’s what the sales automation workflow for lead distribution would look like.

Reduce response times with intelligent lead distribution

2. Lead prioritization

If you’re given a choice between mango and durian fruit, what will you choose?

In most likelihood, mango. Right?

Why?

Because it suits your taste bud.

Similar is the case with business leads.

You may want to spend your time and efforts on the ones that match your customer profile.

Lead prioritization is identifying those prospects that are most likely to buy. And there are valid reasons for it. If you don’t pursue them on time, you may lose them to your competitor.

Therefore, lead prioritization becomes yet another important aspect of sales automation.

You can prioritize leads based on:

  • Location
  • Attributes, such as age, gender, job title, and more
  • Buying intent (if someone checks your pricing page has more buying intent than the one that just visited your blog)
sales-automation-what-kind-of-things-can-be-automated

3. Lead qualification

Just now, we discussed lead prioritization based on certain attributes.

You can even give weightage to attributes or quantify them.

Assign a greater number to the most important attribute and a lower number to the less important one.

Then qualify leads by summing up all the scores. The higher the quality score, the greater the chances of conversion.

Let’s understand this with an example.

Let’s say, you sell high-end kitchenware in Boulder. Your buyer persona comprises women in the age range of 40-60, who are working professionals, and based out of Boulder.

And let’s say, you ship your products to nearby areas.

So, you assign a score of 30 to location Boulder, 20 to areas where the shipment is possible, and 0 to other cities. And likewise for other attributes.

A lead, who is a woman from Boulder and works as a VP-Marketing, achieves a higher quality score than someone from Mexico.

This is the idea behind lead qualification. You filter the leads based on the attributes that best match your customer profile.

4. Lead nurturing

Recently, we analyzed the average time to win a customer and found that hardly 5-10% of leads are ready to buy on day 1. 90% of leads require nurturing, support, and consistent communication throughout the sales cycle.

Sales cycle - average time to win customers statistics

Lead nurturing is staying in touch with your buyers until they make a purchase.

Is it easy?

No. It is very human to miss follow-ups when you’ve hundreds of them.

So, is it impossible?

Not at all.

Through sales automation, you can create automated lead nurturing campaigns to stay in touch with your prospective buyers. Moreover, you can send communications through multiple channels like email, WhatsApp, SMS, and more.

The idea is to stay on top of their minds when they want to buy what you sell.

5. Alerts and triggers

There are two aspects to this kind of sales automation.

One, you can send alerts or notifications to sales reps whenever there’s a lead activity like email open, link click, website visit, etc.

And two, you can create triggered communication for your customers. For instance, if they added products to the cart but didn’t check out, send reminder emails with offers and discounts.

6. Reports

Sales reps spend about 22% of their time in general administrative tasks.

Statistics - how do sales reps spend their time

It takes away their time from more sales-centric activities like calling a prospect for following up on the previous discussion.

Therefore, automated reports are a must. Some of the most commonly used reports are:

  • Sales funnel reports
  • Check-in and check-out hour report
  • Lead contacted report
  • Follow-up report
  • Agent activity reports
  • Target vs. revenue reports

Generally, your sales CRM can help you with all these reports. You can read more about the types of sales analytics and reports that can help your business.

If you remember, we mentioned that the success of your sales efforts lies in striking the right balance between automation and human touch.

In the next section, we will discuss four crucial aspects of developing a sales automation strategy.

Sales automation strategy

1. Identify the inefficiencies

While this is true, it is also important to understand which processes need automation. For this, you need to evaluate your current sales process and narrow down the aspects that need fixing. For this,

  1. Identify the points of low productivity, redundancy, and inefficiency
  2. Sketch out a plan of action
  3. Map it with the sales goals you want to achieve through automation

Expected outcome: Improved sales efficiency, reduced operational costs, and increased ROI.

2. Find the balance between automation and personalization

72% of consumers expect brands to recognize them as individuals and know their interests. They want brands to demonstrate this by:

  • Meeting them where they are
  • Knowing their taste
  • Offering something just for them
  • Checking in with them
Personalization statistics

However, many business leaders worry that automation comes at the cost of personalization. Probably why three in four companies are reluctant to implement sales automation even with the latest, state-of-the-art technologies available.

To combat this, you need to figure out the touchpoints that need the human touch and the ones that can be automated.

For instance, consider how you would use a chatbot.

The best use of chatbots would be to handle L1 queries, FAQs, collect customer details, etc. This makes perfect sense since it takes a lot of the monotonous tasks away from your sales teams.

Now let’s take a scenario where a customer has a complex query that cannot be tackled by a chatbot. Here, the right approach would be for the chatbot to hand over all the customer information collected until now to a human. It includes past inquiries, contact information, the status of the complaint, and other pertinent information. The agent or salesperson can analyze this information in no time and proceed to engage with the customer to give the best possible solution.

You see how automation and the human touch were perfectly mapped out at two critical touchpoints of the customer’s journey and how the hand-off can enable a better experience for the customer.

Now, what if the automation was designed in such a way that the chatbot was assigned to handle the complex query from the customer as well?

The situation would have gotten pretty bad, pretty quickly. And the result? Poor customer satisfaction.

That’s why you need to visualize your sales processes as well as your customer journey to understand what needs automating and what doesn’t.

3. Choosing a vendor

This definitely seems like the least of your problems once you’ve correctly identified the challenges with your current processes and mapped out the need for automation.

But trust me. That’s not the case.

Choosing the right vendor to fulfill your automation needs can be a head-scratcher.

Several businesses make the mistake of implementing more than one software to handle processes like customer relationship management and automation.

While your needs could vary depending on the size of the business, more often than not, you can find a single platform that can handle all of your sales and marketing needs.

Remember, every technological investment needs an ROI. And the right way to go about choosing a vendor for your business is to go back to the sketch you made for your requirements and then shortlist vendors who can perfectly understand your needs and provide a solution tailored to meet your demands.

For instance, LeadSquared’s Sales Automation platform is a perfect fit for SMBs and enterprises. The unique CRM solution also caters to several industries, such as healthcare, Edtech, real estate, finance, hospitality, travel, and automotive. It has a number of amazing features that can amp up both sales and marketing automation.

4. Preparing your sales teams

Automation can make your sales processes faster and more efficient. Sure.

But what about your employees?

There is often a misconception that automation can replace humans.

While this is not true, you can expect significant resistance from your employees while implementing automation within your core processes. It also means lower adoption of new tools and technologies.

To keep this from happening, it is crucial to educate your employees and stakeholders about the need for automation. Explain to them that it can actually make their lives easier by helping them save time and hit higher sales quotas.

It’s a great idea to assemble a dedicated team to oversee the implementation and ensure all the people involved are aware of leveraging automation to their advantage.

Remember, maximum adoption ensures maximum ROI.

Alright. It seems like you’re all set to embark on the sales automation journey. To ensure you get the most out of automation, here’s a list of dos and don’ts.

Sales automation best practices

Do: Test constantly

Sales automation is no one-hit-wonder. It takes a meticulous approach with constant and careful testing to drive the desired results. Testing out your implementation brings out the errors that your teams are running into and allows you to smooth out the kinks.

It is especially important to do this together with your automation vendor so that you can work on aspects like:

  • How much time has automation saved you since implementation?
  • Are your employees able to efficiently use the system?
  • How many more leads have you been able to pursue with sales automation?
  • Has your conversion ratio improved since the implementation?

Don’t: Leave everything to automation

Sales and marketing automation definitely makes your life easier. You can set up various parameters based on which you can trigger contextual and personalized communication with your customers.

However, many businesses make the mistake of simply writing out a generic email sequence and then feeding it into the system hoping that the workflow will take care of the rest.

To that, we say – Don’t. Forget. The. Importance. Of. Good. Copy!

Ensure that you study your target list very well. Prepare your sales teams to spend time adding personal touches to their communication. They can easily do it now so that they don’t have to do it when an email or an SMS goes out.

Timing is important. But so is sending out the right communication.

Do: Ensure no information slips through the cracks

Centralizing your sales automation process is important to ensure that there is no loss of data. It is especially important when your team comprises of multiple functions. For example, you may have SDRs who find and engage with quality leads and AEs who close the sales.

There has to be a seamless hand-off of data and a decentralized system with multiple platforms will just make everything more difficult to manage.

Don’t: Go overboard with automated reminders and notifications

Indeed, there is a fine line between timing your triggers and spamming your customers with dozens of notifications and reminders.

Sure, sales automation gives you the freedom to configure notifications and leave it at that. But don’t underestimate the power of timing your intervention. Equip your sales teams to understand and customize triggers and notifications that truly make a difference to the customer as well as for themselves.

Unnecessary notifications and reminders will not only put off your customers but can also hinder your sales reps from being productive.

Do: Keep reviewing your data and records

Sales is a dynamic domain. New information come in constantly. So, it only makes sense if how you sell is also changing, and you’re able to keep up with the latest demands of your clients.

With sales automation, it is easy to define a process and then forget about it. However, this also means that your sales process can get old quite quickly.

Ensure that you periodically review the data stored in your system and your automation workflows. Keep making changes wherever necessary and constantly evaluate what’s working and what’s not. Define proper lists and segmentations to avoid overlap in communications.

Brands that do it right realize gains in many forms. Here’s one such story.

Success story: How 22Yards increased sales productivity through automation

22Yards is an app that aims at helping aspiring cricketers pursue a career in the sport. 

They have over 50,000 players’ info in their database, and as expected, with large lead volumes comes the challenge of managing them. In a nutshell, they faced the following difficulties:

  1. Frequently missed opportunities because of lower sales productivity
  2. Non-personalized customer engagement resulting in slow conversions
  3. Lack of tools to monitor sales performance

They realized automation could resolve a lot of their sales challenges. With LeadSquared, they were able to:

  • Segment leads based on their attributes and sends automated personalized communication
  • Automated workflows to reduce manual work resulting in improved sales productivity
  • Closely monitoring leads and sales activities to improve processes and outcomes.

“None of us had used sales software before. In the beginning, it took some time for the sales team to understand LeadSquared’s functionalities. But the LeadSquared support team helped clear all our doubts. After the initial few weeks, it’s been smooth sailing for all of us.”

Abhilash SK, Head of Operations, 22Yards

Final thoughts

It is no surprise that sales automation, when implemented correctly, can reduce costs, and bring about a huge impact on your sales pipelines. However, standardization is key here.

Standardization of your implementation, evaluation, and review process is necessary to make the most out of sales automation.

Quite often, a customer relationship management or CRM solution is your go-to option for end-to-end automation. It enables you to centralize your sales automation processes. Also, it helps you scale and enhance automation within your organization.

Additionally, data storage and lead management are also simplified.

The result is a win-win situation for your business and customers. Customers are happy with faster query resolutions, timely reach outs, and personalized communications. And sales teams are happier since the automation of monotonous tasks allows them to focus on selling better and hitting higher targets while helping customers get the most out of their product or service.

If you’re looking for a tool to automate your sales processes, check out LeadSquared’s Sales CRM. It helps you create workflows and customer journeys across a range of products and services you offer. The best part? You can do this with absolutely zero code!


FAQs

What is sales process automation?

Sales process automation refers to using tools and technology to automate manual, time-consuming tasks. It aims to free up the sales reps from administrative tasks and focus more on selling.

What is a sales automation tool?

A sales automation tool is software that helps you standardize and automate various sales processes. For example, lead management, follow-up reminders, lead nurturing, and more.

Why is sales automation important?

Sales automation is important to improve sales efficiency and reps’ productivity. It also ensures that teams are on the same page when it comes to lead distribution, lead management, and account management.

What is sales pipeline automation?

Sales pipeline automation refers to automating various processes within sales pipeline management. For example, automatically changing the stage of the lead when they turn into an opportunity or a customer and accordingly updating the lead record throughout the system.

What are the benefits of sales automation?

Some of the direct benefits of sales automation are:
>> Reduced manual work
>> Consistent lead and sales activity records
>> Improved sales productivity and increased sales efficiency

sales-and-marketing-automation-coverWe all know that automation is efficient and error-free, but have you ever considered how sales and marketing automation could make your business more effective?
Sending messages, keeping track of statistics, generating reports…how many repetitive tasks do you complete regularly that would benefit from automation? And what if the automation process was able to identify leads who were ready to move to the next step, or even ready to buy?
Welcome to the wonderful world of sales and marketing automation, where your leads can easily become customers with a lot less effort than you might previously have had to use.

Automating your marketing systems in this way will leave you more time to focus on your overall strategy and fine-tune the parts that need it. You’ll find out what social media platforms your leads use, and what adverts attract them. You can get your advertising targeted to the right place to gain the maximum benefit.

You will also be able to track patterns in the behavior of leads that buy and compare them to leads that don’t buy, which will really let you figure out what makes your customers tick.

This will give you a solid knowledge of who your perfect customer is, and where to find them. You can tailor your campaigns to this perfect customer, and when individuals get in touch, you’ll be able to help them effectively as you know what their background is and will have a strong indication of their requirements.

The types of Marketing Automation

There are multiple dimensions to marketing, and so correspondingly there are multiple methods of automating the marketing process.

The most useful components to automate are within the areas of lead qualification and scoring, visitor tracking (on landing pages and websites), and email marketing.

Lead Qualification and Scoring

Not all leads are created equal, and you know from prior experience that some leads will convert better than others. You may have a particular demographic in mind, such as age, location, and income threshold.

sales-and-marketing-automation-lead-qualification-and-scoringPeople who don’t fit in this demographic may be harder (or virtually impossible) to convert, and so when others enter your sales system that will be easier to convert, you will know where to focus your energy. While it can be a thrill to finally close on the difficult conversions, the easy ones are where the money lies.

Lead qualification and scoring system can be automated to give your sales team the best opportunity to develop the leads that will matter. You can find the leads that most closely match your ideal, and filter out those who provide incorrect information or just don’t fit your demographic at all.

By being able to automatically find the top leads, your time is freed to pursue them, rather than wade through every lead and hope for the best.

Visitor Tracking

By tracking visitors to your page or website, you can build an idea of what the visitor is interested in, and perhaps gain an insight into their thought process.

sales-and-marketing-automation-visitor-trackingThis will give you an advantage when dealing with any inquiries as you will be able to tailor your responses to the lead and give them solutions to their problems more readily. They can progress through your sales funnel or sales pipeline more efficiently than ever before, as a lead will be more confident in the products and services you provide if you can show you understand the issues they are facing and know how to deal with them.

By collecting their details and matching it up with their progress through your system, a picture of the visitor will become clearer. Here’s how it works:

The lead will see an advert on Facebook for a product or service that you supply and then follow it through to your website or landing page. They will fill in a form giving details about them or their inquiry and will then proceed to look at the products or services you have on offer.

The automated system will email the visitor further information about the items they are interested in.

When the visitor checks their email and clicks the link in the email, they will be sent on to the product pricing page, where they will read more information about the items and the pricing structure. At this stage, a salesperson will be notified that a potential customer is viewing this page.

LeadSquared

The salesperson can now become involved, knowing that the visitor has a strong interest in the particular product or service, and knowing how they got to that page. This gives the salesperson a qualified lead to work with.

Email Marketing

Even if this lead does not seem ready to move through a sales pipeline, the interest can be maintained by allowing the automated system to send related products and information to them on a predetermined schedule.

This is one form of email marketing that taps directly into the core product area the lead has shown an interest in. However, alternate forms of email marketing can include an autoresponder sequence that gives advice and recommendations based on a particular product range.

For example, if your lead has arrived in your automation system by looking at an advert for fish tank pumps, the chances are that they need a new pump. However, we can also infer from this that they keep fish – and fish need food, filtration systems, gravel, upgraded tanks, maybe even lighting and heating systems.

sales-and-marketing-automation-email-marketing
An autoresponder sequence could take the lead through a short course on how to look after a particular type of fish, ending up on the best kind of food to give them – and thereby open a door to making a sale on fish food. You can continue to drip feed information by email for as long as necessary, constantly adding to your campaign as necessary.

By tracking the open rate of an email marketing campaign, you’ll be able to establish what works in your market and what doesn’t, and home in on the perfect email campaign.

Automation Builder

Automation builder is an integral part of a marketing automation software. It is often called a journey builder or a workflow builder. With automation builder, you can create a flowchart of how you want to interact with your leads. On specific actions, it can trigger specific reactions. Check out a few examples.

Automation workflow for the education industry

Automation workflow for the travel industry

Travel Marketing automation

Automation workflow for the insurance industry

insurance-marketing-automation-real-time-analysis-of-your-automation

LeadSquared is easy to use, drag and drop sales and marketing automation builder. You can create engaging and conversion-centric customer journeys with ease. You can take a free trial here

Closing a sale is one of the most important parts of running a business but it’s not the only thing you need to focus on. Guiding leads to that final step is just as important, and knowing where every lead and salesperson is within that process can provide great benefits.

There are a number of pre-built solutions for this task and most will provide you with as many statistics as you could ever need. Unfortunately, the reality of the situation can easily get lost in the numbers.

The saying, “you can’t see the forest for the trees” is applicable here – you can see hundreds of trees around you, but you are unable to see the forest they make. Similarly, you can see hundreds of statistics about different aspects of your business, but struggle to relate those numbers to the business itself.

While it’s great to have access to as much information as possible, it’s even better to be able to see it how you want to.

LeadSquared provides robust reporting with all the information you could need to effectively run your business. Just like any other platform, you could suffer from information overload, but fortunately, LeadSquared allows the creation of custom dashboards that show you only what you need to see.

Career School Management - Business Dashboard

But that choice is not made by LeadSquared – you get to choose what information to see, and where you want to see it.

Custom Dashboards

Every business is different and has different requirements, and every business owner is just as unique, if not more so.

On logging in to LeadSquared for the first time, a dashboard is already set up. There is very little information on it as this is your first time logging in and there is nothing personalized to your needs yet. However, simply tapping the button to create a new dashboard sets you on your way.

Building a Sales Dashboard

Dashboards within LeadSquared are built from elements called Dashlets. Each Dashlet provides a link or information relating to a particular aspect of your business as monitored by LeadSquared.

By building a dashboard that includes the reports that you need to see without any excess data to confuse the picture, you’ll instantly feel in control of your business and of your sales process.

In your customized Sales Dashboard you can simply show which resources are bringing sales, which salesperson is making sales, which product is the best seller, where new opportunities may lie, where your leads are within the sales pipeline, sales forecasts, and more besides.

The beauty of it is that you don’t have to see all that information if only some of it is relevant to you, simply put your dashboard together just as you want it.

Robust Sales Reports

Your Sales Dashboard can include multiple reports, but the most useful include facts and figures relating to the amount of income for your business, where it came from, and how much more income is expected in the near future.

One of the better examples of this is the Sales Pipeline report. You might not consciously use a sales pipeline within your business, and might even be wondering what a sales pipeline is. It is simply the process that takes an interested lead and turns them into a paying customer.

sales dashboard pipeline report leadsquared

The sales pipeline report allows you to filter the results by a variety of factors including the salesperson, a date range, where the lead originally came from (via a website? From a PPC ad? Etc), and so on.

The report monitors the status of leads with relation to a number of predefined steps that the salesperson would use to close a deal. This includes making calls, sending emails, scheduling and attending meetings, sending a quotation, etc. The further through this process that each individual gets, the more likely a deal is to be closed.

Based on this information, as well as the current and past performance of the salesperson, statistics can be calculated and shown to provide the most relevant information. The number of deals made during your filtered time period can be shown along with the average sale price of the deal. All of this information can be used to project a sales forecast, giving you an indication of where your business is heading.

Graphs and charts are included to allow you to visualize these numbers over a period of time, giving even greater clarity as to the direction the business is heading in.

The filtering system enables you to compare the performance of members of the sales team, or alternatively by region or location. If one team member or location is underperforming, you are well-equipped to take action to improve the situation before it becomes critical.

Sales dashboard - sales team performance report

Further, you can spend your money where you need to, rather than guessing. The lead source filter shows you where your best-converting leads come from, and you can make an informed decision on whether you want to invest further into a particular source or to concentrate your efforts elsewhere. Even if the investment is not financial, you can establish the best place to focus your efforts to bring in new customers.

Why does your business need reports?

Running a business without tracking and monitoring how the business is performing is like taking a trip to an unknown area without using a map. If you’re lucky you might get to where you want to be, but the chances are you’ll end up broken down at the side of the road in the middle of nowhere without a clue how to get back on the right track.

sales dashboard - weekly performance

Sales reports tell you what is working, and more importantly, what isn’t working. You are given the opportunity to make changes and improvements before you find yourself stuck without options, and you can see where the greatest sources of income are.

This gives you an almost psychic-like ability to predict future income and performance, and you can steer your business in the right direction to make the best of everything you have.

Of course, this only works if you can have the right information presented to you just as you need it, which is something that LeadSquared excels at.