Today, over 50% of companies are using sales automation tools to assist with their daily tasks.
With strong demand for more powerful sales tools, a growing number of services are supplying unique CRM integrations and apps to help businesses big and small.
On one hand, this is excellent for small businesses. The increased competition is giving us more tailored services and better pricing, making it easy to find solutions at any scale.
But in an ever-growing sea of choices, how do you know you’re not missing out on even better solutions with even higher ROI?
We know it can get confusing, so we’ll help you get started by showing you what sales automation can accomplish for your business and some of the most cost-effective tools that small businesses are using to grow.
What Can Sales Automation Do For You?
Any sales automation tool, if used correctly, will save you time. Certain tools reduce the number of keystrokes throughout the day, others will take care of finding leads, and some can even train you on how to talk to prospects. There are hundreds of ways they can help you throughout the buyer journey.
Time-saving translates into several tangible benefits that show up in your metrics. Sales automation’s most basic advantage is that it gives you more time to work with leads and build stronger connections. But with current software, these tools can even do the connecting for you.
When you start using a sales automation tool, no matter how small its role, you’ll start to see one or more of the following benefits:
- Increased revenue
- Improved lead generation
- Streamline sales processes
- Faster sales cycles
- Higher close rate
- Better customer retention and lifetime value
Identifying your goals is the first step in finding the right automation tools. When you know your vision and where you want to succeed, you’ll find the solutions to get you there.
Large CRM solutions like Salesforce cover a wide range of tasks that pop up during the sales process, so they can make the job easier for almost any company. But for a smaller business, it’s probably more power than you need to meet your goals, and it’s likely less cost-effective to run. Smaller solutions built to scale will give you the versatility you need at a much better price.
Making Better Systems
At Online Marketing Muscle, we’ve found that small businesses that have made the leap to 7-figure earnings and beyond use efficient, long-lasting systems to manage their operations, marketing, and sales. One of your greatest allies in building and executing those systems is sales automation.
With flexible sales automation built around your goals, you have a potent and consistent feedback mechanism. Sales tools give you dependable insight into your practices and processes, highlighting your strengths and guiding you through your weaknesses. Once you start using sales automation software, you’ll find shortcuts to success without having to look for them.
10 Sales Automation Tools to Use Now
Before talking about sales automation, we have to point out that these tools may not be the same as those you use for marketing automation; some can double as both though. Any business needs to be active in some way online… period; Using their website and social media pages to raise awareness, talk with customers, and offer value to drive interest.
Sales automation tools connect many of your marketing automation efforts to your sales conversations. It helps you in your role as a salesperson to reap the benefits of what marketing automation provides.
Marketing automation fuels awareness and interest, moving leads through the marketing funnel. Sales automation pushes a larger number of leads through the sales process without overwhelming you and your team.
This list of sales automation tools can start paying off for your small business immediately… that means today if leveraged properly. There is no end to the number of viable alternatives to this list, and no, you may need all of them. Some overlap in functionality. And depending on your scale, others may be better suited for you than the ones offered here. However, if you’re aiming for high ROI, you can’t miss with these ten sales automation tools.
Have you ever gotten caught up trying to schedule a meeting or phone call, sending several messages to find a good time that works for you and your customer? Do you realize how much time that takes up each week?
If you’re new to sales automation, Calendly is a great introduction to how it can transform your time management. The easy-to-use scheduling tool replaces the manual back and forth of setting up a time to talk.
Even if you’re a one-man operation, you likely maintain a schedule to keep all of your appointments in line. With Calendly, you don’t have to end your sales emails with “Would you be available to talk next Tuesday?” Instead, you give them an interactive scheduler where they can pick the date and time and it automatically gets added to both your, and their calendars.
Because it syncs with all of your calendars, you can make sure you don’t double book yourself. You also have control over scheduling your meetings the best way possible. You can set certain dates for specific meeting types, create rules around your availability, and send automatic reminders and thank you follow-ups to your prospects.
The basic service is free but there are more levels of advanced solutions for more control and support. If you’re a consultant, sales automation tools like this can even be added to your website so that any incoming contacts can schedule a discovery call.
Visitors coming to your website usually have at least a slight interest in what you offer. In the early buying decision stages, they’ll often visit and leave to search elsewhere without giving you a chance to engage them. You can invest in remarketing tactics to boost the frequency of your ad views, but we know that a sale often involves a more hands-on approach.
If you want to get the most out of your website traffic, Leadfeeder can get you the information on users who could be potential leads.
The service starts by finding company and contact information about the visitor, as well as their company’s behavior. It then qualifies leads automatically, paring down visitors to only real companies and segmenting them according to filters that you set up.
Once you have sorted and scored lists of potential leads, Leadfeeder Contacts even helps you find decision-makers. Of course, all of this syncs with your CRM for a seamless workflow.
If you struggle with speeding up your outreach, Leadfeeder is a whole new route to get leads into your pipeline. It’s a huge time saver because it finds leads who actually display awareness and interest and gets you to the right people. You won’t have to spend as much time with other marketing activities or waiting on the phone trying to get the right decision-maker.
Sometimes, your pipeline needs a shot in the arm to get it back on track. Lead generation is a growing industry, as brands seek outside help building lists from software services and lead generation companies. One of the leaders among them is Uplead, a B2B database full of valuable sales leads.
A lot of the tools that you use can get you mountains of raw lead information, but it doesn’t do you any good if there’s no relevance to what you offer. With Uplead, you use a wide range of filters to build buyer personas, so you know that they’ll only deliver leads that might use your service.
Uplead offers clean lists, promoting itself as the only prospecting company that can deliver at least 95% data accuracy. You won’t waste any effort on poor product fits or bad contact information.
Keap is a tool that small businesses can use for every stage of the sales cycle. It handles the workflow jobs of similar CRMs, like sending texts or emails, and it has a wide range of integrations.
The platform is incredibly robust, helping you capture and segment leads, run campaigns, and track results. A key advantage is that it can manage your payments as well, taking care of all your invoicing and processing.
Keap is scalable, giving you a simple way to manage the increased lead conversion that the service provides. If you want an intuitive tool that can take on an entire organization’s workflows and daily tasks, Keap will deliver a high ROI.
5. Agile CRM
Agile CRM is a small business starting point, and it’s free to use if you have a team of ten or fewer people. The tool isn’t as broad as some of the other CRMs out there, but if you want an easy-to-use platform, Agile CRM is a great fit.
Like many CRMs, you can integrate your email, support programs, social media profiles, and much more to manage all of your sales and marketing. They allow you to manage your contacts and your pipeline, automate phone calls, and handle your scheduling all in one place.
It takes several points of contact before a buyer makes a decision, especially in B2B sales. Reply.io takes over the labor-intensive task of managing conversations across several channels.
Reply helps you in several areas, like supporting your email marketing activities. To start, their Chrome extension helps you find and add prospects’ emails from LinkedIn. The service can then manage your engagement across emails, calls, texts, and LinkedIn.
Beyond saving you time, Reply can also improve your messages with insight from AI that scores your text and tracks your results. You’re able to A/B test messages and tweak your messaging sequences to improve your close rate and speed.
New ways to communicate online are always emerging, but small business owners agree that email is still the most important tool for earning sales. Several brands offer email marketing automation, but we like MailChimp for its easy-to-use interface and growing number of services.
MailChimp manages your customer data and marketing tools on a single platform. With their tools, you can set up emails, social media ads, landing pages, and more. You even get help in designing messages that boost your brand image and improve your outreach.
HubSpot is an expansive service that offers marketing and sales solutions. Their HubSpot Sales service is like a personal assistant, logging and managing messages and data, giving you more time to sell. They automate your sales reps’ tasks, keeping them on top of new leads and necessary follow-ups.
The starter service is free, making it perfect for small teams and entrepreneurs trying to free up selling time.
You need to connect to sell, and connection starts with knowing your audience. With a tool like Crystal, you don’t have to rely on your own intuition to figure out the right angle. Instead, you have AI that tells you what to say.
Whether you’re in the initial discovery stage or late negotiations, Crystal uses the DISC model to understand customer behaviors and personalities to hone your messaging. You’ll be able to fluidly drive deals forward and keep customers interested at every stage, resulting in a much better close rate.
Crystal works backward too, helping you build a better team. With their insight, you’ll have a better idea of quality sales personalities to take to your hiring process. During training, you’ll have effective strategies to share with your team.
Pipedrive is a low-cost web-based CRM to keep track of deals, manage conversations with leads, and handle many of the day-to-day tasks. The interface is easy to understand, showing how your leads are moving forward and what activities you have coming up.
Pipedrive can manage scheduling, lead generation, and other busywork, and they follow up with results and analytics to help you improve your process. According to them, users average 28% more closed deals after one year of using the sales process automation service.
Try Sales Automation Tools Now
These sales automation tools will have an immediate impact for small businesses trying to grow their customer base. But you also don’t need to stop with this list. Take advantage of free trials and demos to find the service that can take your business to the next level.
If you’re ready to drive more business with sales automation, the Online Marketing Muscle team is here to help you get the most out of your investment. As a Keap Certified Partner, we show you how to leverage the most versatile and cost-efficient small business automation services available. Contact our sales experts to learn how we can create a custom solution to bring your service to a broader market.
Have a favorite sales automation tool that is helping your small business grow? Let us know by leaving a comment below!