Time! It’s the only thing that’s your own. It is your time, and you can decide how to fill it. But often, it seems like you never have enough time to do everything you want to do daily. So to help you, Hanneke Vogels gives you 22 automations that will save you time in sales today.
Hanneke has divided them into five categories to make it easier for you.
Lead Generation remains an essential task of Sales. But how to make sure lead generation doesn’t take too much time? With these six automations, you can minimize your time and increase the effect:
1. Connect LinkedIn to your CRM to push conversations directly
Many CRMs today can link directly to LinkedIn. If your CRM doesn’t have this, you can always use tools like Zapier. Here is a link to an article on connecting to HubSpot or an article to connect Zapier. And if none of this is possible, send an email to your CRM vendor to get it on the backlog.
2. Use a meeting scheduler for making appointments
We all recognize that scheduling an appointment with a prospect or client is difficult. With a Meeting Scheduler, your customer or prospect can schedule an appointment directly in your calendar. We have compared these tools; check Appointment scheduling: all tools in a row.
3. Connect your meeting scheduler and video conferencing platform
Almost all Meeting Schedulers give you the option of the video conferencing platform of your choice, Teams, Zoom, Google Meet, etc.., directly linked to the appointment. Your customer or prospect will receive an invitation with the correct dial-in information. In our article, Appointment scheduling: all the tools at a glance, states which video conferencing platforms are all accepted with the various Meeting Scheduler Tools.
4. Put your LinkedIn QR code as an image on et home screen of your phone
Within LinkedIn, there has long been a QR code to connect when you have a physical meeting with people instantly. Ideal for networking occasions. You can find it in the LinkedIn App on your phone. At the top, go to the “search” field, click on it, and at the back of the bar, you will see a QR code icon light up:
5. Use a Business Card scanner
Maybe for some already a little old-fashioned, but for others still Business as usual: Business Cards. But it is tedious to type over these tickets to get the data into CRM. Some CRMs already have a built-in Business Card reader; see HubSpot’s version here. But should your CRM not have this, you can download various apps.
6. Set up Google Alerts for your target customers
Every sales know the importance of being relevant to customers and prospects. But what’s going on with your customers? Keeping up with this is a pagan task. Fortunately, you can use tools here. Google Alerts is a perfect one for this. In Google Alerts, you can set what you want to receive alerts about. Put the names of your target customers in there, and you’ll get a notification every time Google finds news. Works better with some larger companies than the proverbial baker on the corner.
Your customer data are the crown jewels of your business. Still, it’s quite a lot of work to keep up properly. These two automations will help you make it a little smoother:
7. Always have Company & Contact Owners agree
With all those free fields in CRM, you sometimes write data like Company and Contact Owner just in a different way. For example, the difference between Stryfes and Stryfes B.V. or Stryfes BV. Then immediately arrange for the sales in your company to be the same for both the company and the contact.
8. Set up communication subscriptions based on input mode
Within GDPR, you have specific rules about when you are entitled to do or not do certain communications. For example, you may not automatically subscribe to someone you give a Business Card to your newsletter. Make sure your CRM automatically uses these rules. So that your sales no longer have to make this trade-off.
Your funnel is often a guide but sometimes a burden. To ensure your funnel guides you, we’ve put together some automations to ensure you’re always up-to-date with your funnel. And you are helping your funnel to be up-to-date with all your opportunities.
9. Create a follow-up task directly when sending your quote
We all know that it’s necessary to take a moment to remind the customer that you haven’t heard back yet about the quote you sent. However, in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, a notable moment often slips in between. The solution is close at hand. The moment you send out an offer, immediately create a task you need to follow up on to see if everything was correctly received and if the prospect has any questions. Now you can just focus back on the following quote and you’ll automatically get a reminder from your CRM that you need to contact the customer
10. Set alerts for deal sizes, so you don’t overlook great deals
In the category of seeing the forest for the trees. Sometimes your funnel is so giant that you don’t have a good overview of all outstanding individual deals. Then set up alerts for yourself for those deals that are worthwhile for you. These can be the most critical deals but also for customers for whom you still want to score something. These alerts keep you alert to these High Prio deals.
11. Create a tick box for RFPs and have all tasks scheduled immediately
RFPs often require you to jump through a lot of hoops. A certificate here and an extract there. But of all these things, a checklist and schedule all these tasks to the different person in charge. That way, you have instant insight into the status of all your requests. If you have, many RFPs use specific software to guide this. The tick-box variety is always in here. You can read more about this tooling on the Bid Management page.
12. Standardize close dates in opportunities on your average lead time
We sales enthusiasts are often optimistic. But sometimes reality and optimism are too far apart. As a result, sales funnels are often set too optimistically. To avoid disappointment and channel the proper attention at the right time, I recommend plotting close dates on your average lead time by default. This usually gives a much more realistic picture.
13. Automatically send reminders for appointments. This prevents no-shows
It often takes a lot of effort to schedule an appointment with a customer or prospect. In addition, physical appointments are usually not around the corner. And for every appointment, you also need to prepare. The appointment must go through to make sure you don’t invest all this time for anything. To minimize no-shows, it is wise to send a reminder a few days in advance. That way, your customer is also reminded about the upcoming appointment and can respond if it cannot go ahead for any reason. Many Meeting Schedulers have things set up for this. See Appointment scheduling: all the tools in a row for options.
14. Create templates for the types of interview reports
Create standard templates within CRM for conversations you conduct within your sales process, such as introductory, orientation, and demo conversations. That way, each Sales knows what information is important and should at least be retrieved within the conversation.
15. Use input fields in your offers, so you only enter the company name once
It is often possible to use so-called input fields within Word or Proposal software. That way, you only have to enter the company name once, and if it needs to be changed, you will only have to make a change once. To learn more about Proposal Software, read: RFP Tools, winning bids without gray hairs.
16. Set links to your commercial playbooks based on the fields completed
Within most CRMs, you can display a specific Commercial Playbook according to the fields entered, for example, the type of offer (affiliated with your services). That way, your Sales always has the correct information to optimize the quotation further and connect it to the issues on the customer’s mind (relevance).
17. Set alerts for missing Decision Makers in a deal
Sometimes you have those deals in your funnel where a Decision Maker is missing. Just because you haven’t spoken to this one yet. To ensure you don’t find out about this when you are already working on the quotation, you can set alerts in the absence of at least 1 Decision Maker. Then Sales knows this conversation must take place before making the quotation.
Communication is often a factor in why things are not quite as we thought they would be. Here three automation to automate your communications and improve alignment.
18. Connect your mailbox and calendar with your CRM
This is possible in almost every CRM. And if not, you can often go a long way with Zapier. But by linking your mailbox and calendar to your CRM, all your customer communications will be related directly to your contacts, and meetings will appear now in the customer view. This way, you will always know the latest.
19. Create templates for the types of interview reports
This is also already under funnel tasks, item 14. But since this is an essential aspect of alignment between the client or prospect and you as a seller, we name him again here.
20. Download the CRM plugin for your mailbox
The plugin of your specific CRM, most CRM, has such a plugin you can perform even more tasks directly in your mailbox that are logged within your CRM. This often saves a lot of switching between CRM and your mailbox.
You can all automate things for your renewals as well. Herewith are our two main automation.
21. A renewal deal for every contract
f you have expiring contracts, it’s a good idea to create a renewal deal in your CRM as soon as you sign a new contract. Depending on your average lead time, it is wise to include this renewal three or, say, six months before the expiration of the contract. That way, you will be notified that you need to get started on contract renewal.
22. Schedule recurring tasks for account management based on a deal
In addition to including a renewal deal in your funnel, it is also intelligent to immediately schedule tasks for the account manager when entering into long-term contracts. So that you can be sure, for example, that an evaluation is done every six months.
There are “only” 22. And setting them up will take you less than 5 minutes each. Just pick three and get started. Invest 15 minutes, and you will earn back a hundred over the next few weeks.