5 Innovative Ways to Automate Your Sales Processes This Year
The chatbots are coming, the chatbots are coming! So is software that can monitor social media for mentions of your company -- and so much more.
B2B companies of all sizes have discovered how sales automation programs can make tasks more efficient and effective. However, there's still room to get additional value out of your pwn investment in sales automation techniques.
Here are several unique ways to expand your automation strategy in 2017, to improve your sales processes for both your customers and sales professionals.
Maximize upsell/referral opportunities through post-sale correspondence.
B2B-focused organizations can learn a lot from their B2C counterparts: For instance, innovative companies like Amazon are often able to increase their upselling and cross-selling opportunities by employing sophisticated algorithms to recommend additional products for returning customers.
It's a remarkably simple idea, even if it's based on the analysis of complex data: Find new ways to add value to your customers' lives while simultaneously encouraging them to buy more. During the first quarter that the system was in place, Amazon reported a 29 percent revenue increase over the same period the year before.
What Amazon also discovered, and what B2B organizations can learn as well, is that you can use this data to drive interest even when the customer isn't browsing your site. If you've purchased anything from Amazon recently, you've probably noticed that the retail giant also includes item recommendations in the confirmation email you receive following an order.
This is a great strategy to drive additional revenue, but you don't have to use your confirmation and thank-you emails solely for upselling. You can also auto-populate links to various pieces of content, or include product support information that is relevant to each customer's purchase.
Maintain a bird's-eye view of social media chatter.
It's never been more important to monitor what your customers are saying about their experiences with your company on social media channels. Most B2B buyers belong to multiple social platforms, and they are especially likely to start conversations there if they have a decent number of followers, as it's a way to encourage the companies they deal with to listen.
To turn this phenomenon into a positive for your organization, utilize software that can monitor various social channels and alert sales representatives to opportunities to serve prospects and customers online.
Personalize user profiles and customer-maintenance pages.
B2B-focused brands are going all-in on personalized sales strategies, as data suggests that some organizations are increasing conversion rates by up to 36 percent simply by employing personalized content throughout the sales funnel. But while many sales leaders see the benefits of big-picture personalization in B2B sales, they often forget that delivering a personalized experience is just as much about the small touches.
When a prospect or customer creates a profile on your website, make sure that it is immediately populated with information that is relevant specifically to that person's experience. This should include basics like the person's name and company info, but also should be extended to incorporate product recommendations, support materials, content and order history.
Automate coaching activities to boost your mid-range performers
Sales automation isn't beneficial just when it's used to directly improve the experience your customers have. You can also use the same principles to help motivate and coach your sales reps, and encourage them to reach new heights.
Contemporary software solutions make it easy for you to record and analyze the specific habits of your highest-performing sales reps, and then replicate those techniques with other team members in your organization. This robust data analysis can also help you devise new strategies for optimizing your reward structure for each individual rep across various stages of the sales process.
Incorporate chatbots in value-added ways.
Don't worry, though; they're coming to assist salespeople, rather than replace them. Obviously, there are many interactions with a customer where AI alone is insufficient, but that also means there are some instances where it's perfectly adequate.
Many times, customers come to a website looking for a quick answer to a simple question. Chatbots can help direct them to a particular section in the FAQ, or help pull up a piece of content that can illuminate an issue for them. When these kinds of interactions are handled by automation, it frees up sales reps to focus more on core activities related to sales and CRM.
Obviously, there are many interactions with a customer where AI alone is insufficient, but also some where it's perfectly adequate.
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