Being able to ‘see’ your sales opportunities is the first step of successful sales. Things you do to actually hold those opportunities are even more important. Research has revealed that 81% of all sales take places on or after the fifth contact between a potential customer and a sales representative, which mean there’s long way to go before getting to the closing point of each sale. Nurturing a lead these days has become just as important as acquiring it in the first place.

The most common way to nurture a lead is follow-up. In fact, it is quite fair to say that all the money hides in one of the follow-up contacts where you finally figure out your customer’s specific need. There are reports saying that for an online representative to build a relationship with a potential customer, the average number of ‘touches’ he has to make can be as many as 16 times. However, sometimes you cannot afford it for every lead since it costs time and human resources. This is why we need the second weapon:  the magic of ‘automation’.

Thanks to the development of modern technology, businesses nowadays have alternatives like auto phone reply, auto email reply, auto message reply, etc. to employing more human employees. ‘Automation’ has been proved to be an efficient and cost-effective way to empower a business, as well as a sales department. While there’s a wide rage of reasons to deploy the automation technology within your sales team, below are the top three to get you started:

  • Free your sales staff from mundane clerical tasks. Daily office tasks such as customer data organizing, reports creating, etc. can be a time killer for many salesmen. Let your automation system do it and leave your sales staff to concentrate on the core parts of your business.
  • Reduce customer waiting time. Set up canned messages, email templates and auto replies to answer frequent asked questions within the shortest time. Save time for both your customers and your sales team.
  • Create better relationship management. With the use of a CRM system, your sales team will be able to track and communicate with prospects and customers, appropriately keeping them in the sales cycle, and successfully addressing their issues and concerns.

To add some value on this ‘automation’ magic, I’m going to turn to another word as ‘Intelligent’. Taking email as an example, auto email reply is only a kind of ‘reaction’ instead of ‘proactive follow-up’. To truly automate your sales process, your email automation system needs to get smarter. It should be able to recognize certain customer moves (such as leaving the shopping cart without finish the payment) and make the corresponding steps (such as sending a reminding email) according to some pre-set criteria all by itself.

That’s pretty much everything about our second weapon, and I’ve actually leaked the last one out here. Can’t guess what’s that? Continue with the series and find out in the next article.

About the Author:

Kevin Gao is the founder and CEO of Comm100 Live Chat, a leading provider of live chat software for business. As a software developer as well as a small business expert, he’s always ambitious to revolutionize the way of online customer service and communication. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn to find out more about him.