As a smart business owner, it’s natural to be on the constant lookout for ways to improve your customer acquisition and retention. You’ve heard the talk about sales force automation, but you can’t help wondering: Will it really make a difference?

The truth is, automation is not only a great way to automate repeated sales tasks to save your team time, it’s also an essential way to ensure you’re not dropping leads and to focus on closing your hottest leads. According to Occurro, Over 70% of sales people who have implemented automation are achieving their sales quotas, even those “who have historically been under-performers.”

Here are five sales force automation tips from experts that will give you the tools you need to reach the acquisition and retention rates you’ve been dreaming of:

1) Embed appointment scheduling to reduce no-shows

“The most useful sales force automation tools right now are ones that allow prospects to directly schedule appointments with your sales team. The best implementation of this is to sign up for an online scheduling tool, then embed the scheduling form on the page that appears right after a prospect completes a lead form on your site. Your prospect will view scheduling this appointment as the natural next step after completing the form. Then depending on which service you choose, you can use a rules engine (like Zapier) to send a confirmation email to the prospect on the morning of the appointment to ensure that they are expecting your call.”

-Leo Welder, Founder of ChooseWhat.com

2) Use standards for data entry to improve productivity

“As you implement your sales force automation, you’ll get more buy-in from your team if you create standards around inputting the proper data during each contact with a prospect. The standards will make the platform more productive and hold your team accountable.”

-David Radin, CEO & Co-creator of Confirmed Instant Scheduler

3) Send milestone emails to boost retention

“On average, it costs five to seven times more to gain a new customer than retain a current one. Thus, once you get customers to sign up, your focus should solely be on retaining them. At Shipmonk, we use our automation platform to send milestone emails with rewards when a client reaches a certain amount of packages shipped. By proactively staying ahead of issues before they boil out of control, you’re telling your clients that you value their business.”

-Kevin Sides, Chief Marketing Officer of ShipMonk

4) Train a team of leaders to onboard new workers

“Do a live trial with a few people on your team. You’ll often find kinks within your workflow that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. Next, train the trainers so that they are the experts in your organization that people can turn to. Finally, roll out the sales force automation to the rest of your team in waves so the trainers can ensure each group is successfully onboarded.”

-Steve Benson, Founder and CEO of Badger Maps

5) Tailor your automation to your team to improve usage

“Your sales team will only adopt a CRM or sales force automation system if the platform allows them to nurture leads in a way that works best for them. We enable our sales reps (or Business Solutions reps, as we call them) to pause the automation process for a lead once they’ve made contact over the phone and resume automation once the outcome of the lead has been decided. By trusting your team to utilize the platform to their benefit, you are giving them the tools they need to provide value to your business while ensuring your customer service standards are being met.”

-Lena Requist, President of ONTRAPORT

Bottom line – sales force automation is proven to improve customer acquisition, satisfaction and retention. What are your tips for using sales force automation? Share in the comments!

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Experts Tell All: How to Use Sales Force Automation to Grow Your Business
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Experts Tell All: How to Use Sales Force Automation to Grow Your Business
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Five marketing experts share their tips on how to get the most out of your automation software with sales force automation.
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ONTRAPORT
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