It’s no revelation that sales automation is both useful and effective. Most everyone would agree to this fact. What is surprising though, is how few sales teams are actually using it.
While more than 30% of sales activities can be automated, organizations will admit that their sales and marketing functions are automated far less than other areas of their business. A recent survey by McKinsey found IT and finance functions were automated most (48% and 44%), with sales and marketing (26%) falling somewhere in the lower middle of priorities.
Sales software like CRM enables this automation to some extent, but integration with other applications is what really supports fully automated experiences. As an iPaaS integrator, we’ve seen businesses connect all kinds of varying tools in an effort to put more intelligent automation practices in place. Here are five ways integrations can be used to boost sales automation.
#1 Automating the Order Management Lifecycle
A CRM is a natural sales automation tool. While the functions of the CRM support the front-end of the sales process, an ERP or ecommerce software usually takes over to handle the back-end.
Integrating the CRM with the ERP or ecommerce gives sales a competitive advantage when it comes to automation. Now, instead of visibility ending in the CRM, sales is able to monitor the complete order management lifecycle, automatically.
Real-time data on order status is transferred between the solutions. Order fulfillment is more precise, with sales able to see how much of something is in stock before making promises to customers. Plus, sales now has the opportunity to track the fulfillment of the order and ensure their promises are kept and their customers are happy.
#2 Simplified Contact Creation
Many sales reps are still adding contacts to their CRM by hand when they could be automating it. Workflows between a CRM and marketing automation create and edit records for leads who are qualified based on set criteria.
What’s particularly useful for sales automation is that, in addition to the contact getting created without manual intervention, the data populating the CRM give sales the proper insight to start working the deal. Data related to the contact’s actions explains where the lead came from, be it a webinar, a website form, an event, etc.
#3 Streamlined Quote Management
When sales is ready to close a deal, they want to get their potential client the appropriate paperwork as soon as possible. One of the most popular integrations for this is a connection between the CRM and a document management solution like Docusign or HelloSign.
Sales teams already use the CRM as a primary source of customer data, so all their known information about the client is stored there. Instead of copying and pasting relevant details into the document management solution (and risking errors), key details are pulled into the quote, proposal, or contract via the integration.
Managers or legal teams can be looped into the automated workflow for preemptive approval of the document before it goes to the client. In addition, this sales automation can enable timed reminders to the rep, so they remember to follow up if the client isn’t responding.
#4 More Efficient Prospecting
LinkedIn Sales Navigator helps sales professionals prospect more effectively by offering an expanded view of LinkedIn members and their behaviors. We often see sales teams connecting LinkedIn with their CRM to sync those insights into CRM profiles. This data enrichment strategy is a useful sales automation that helps teams maximize their Sales Navigator usage.
#5 Making Communication More Intuitive
Sales’ internal communications are just as important as external communications with customers and prospects. Every team will utilize their own internal communication channels to get this done. Integration with Slack and a CRM seems to come up most often, as teams look to automate workflows related to that communication.
For example, triggering Slack direct messages to update sales reps when their contact is starting a free trial of a new product. Notifying reps on channels they’re already using day-to-day is convenient and proves effective for many clients looking for improved sales automation.
There are many creative ways for a business to apply integration and improve sales automation. The above examples represent just a few of the many applications we’ve designated for our customers.
Because StarfishETL is an iPaaS solution, it can connect anything to anything, so the potential configurations you could perform for sales automation can be just as unique as your business.