Seven steps of outbound sales you should automate for a better ROI

byGuido Croce

B2B salespeople are busy, so any time-saving automation is welcome. Unfortunately, a lot of their time is spent on tasks that could be automated such as cold outreach. At hubsell, we have gone through the process of automating sales to free up time for more relevant tasks. So, in this post, I want to share seven steps of outbound sales that you can automate.

Before I start breaking down each topic, here is the list of them for reference:

Where salespeople spend their time and where it should be spent

Seven steps of outbound sales to automate

  1. curation of data
  2. cold outreach
  3. following-up
  4. scheduling meetings
  5. organising and scoring leads
  6. giving demos
  7. contract creation

Where salespeople spend their time and where it should be spent

“66% of sales representative’s time is spent on repetitive tasks related to data acquisition and outreach” – Hubspot

Here are main stages of outbound sales where salespeople spend most of their time:

  • prospecting
  • outreach

Creating a customer profile, finding ideal companies, making lists of decision-makers, and gathering their data are tasks that occupy a good percentage of salespeople’ time.

On the other hand, reaching out to customers by creating personalised messages and sending them manually also takes up a lot of the time.

If on average, 66% of salespeople’s time is spent in the tasks mentioned above, then only a small percentage of it goes to human-related and bottom of the funnel tasks (which should have the majority of it). Those tasks are the ones that a machine cannot do, such as negotiation, demo giving, objection handling, etc.

Now that I have discussed where salespeople spend their time and where it should be spent instead, let’s discuss how to automate the following sections of outbound sales.


1. Curation of data

The curation of data requires you to create a customer profile, find ideal companies, make lists of decision-makers, and gather their data.

Why should you automate it

Creating a customer profile is not automatable, but it is not recurrent and does not take much of your time.

Finding and gathering data on decision-makers of ideal companies should be automated. That is because it uses up a lot of time. And there are specialised companies that provide better quality ready-to-use data.

Solution

Create an internal team whose focus is prospecting or partner with a reliable data provider that is GDPR adherent.


2. Cold outreach

The process of cold outreach consists of creating templates, choosing channels, and reaching out to prospects

Why should you automate it

Manual one by one creation of personalised messages and outreach is nor viable nor scalable. And it requires more employees and salary expenditure.

Solution

Incorporate a tool that allows you to create messages with placeholders. And enables you to cold outreach to your prospects through multiple channels.


3. Following-up

On average you need to follow-up in your campaigns three to eight times to get a reply from a prospect.

Why should you automate it

The time spent manually tracking prospects responses and sending follow-ups is an inefficient use of a salesperson’s time.

Solution

Invest in a tool that tracks the reaction of the prospect to your message. And sends the right follow-up at the time of your choice automatically.


4. Scheduling meetings

Scheduling a meeting usually requires back and forth messaging to find an ideal time for both parties.

Why should you automate it

Prospects may lose interest in the process of arranging an ideal meeting time, which will lower conversions.

Solution

Use scheduling software such as Calendly or similar for prospects to easily book a call with you when you are free.


5. Organising and scoring leads

A salesperson organises and scores leads to keep track of their progress down the outbound funnel.

Why should you automate it

Doing the tracking and scoring of leads manually is time-consuming and unreliable. That is because of the high influx of leads that B2B companies receive.

Solution

Invest in a CRM to organise your prospects’ conversations with you and track their progress through the funnel.


6. Giving demos

Giving demos is crucial to converting SQLs into customers. And its goal is to show what the product can do for the prospect practically.

Why should you automate it

Creating a demo template allows the salesperson to improvise with the prospect while staying close to the guidelines. That makes a demo structured but also personalised.

Solution

Create a structure that you want to follow every time you give a demo. You can also record it to see how you handled the prospect and where you could improve.


7. Contract creation

Contract creation requires lawyers and decision-makers to be in constant contact to customise the contract clauses.

Why should you automate it

Automating part of the contract creation decreases friction between the parties and it speeds up the process.

Solution

Implement software that creates online legal contracts which are updateable and signed easily by both parties.


Conclusion

A lot of time can be saved in the process of outbound sales. Hopefully, this article has taught you which steps of sales can fully or partially automated so that your salespeople can spend time on human-related tasks. Here are the key takeaways from this post:

Where salespeople spend their time the most

  • prospecting
  • reaching out to prospects

Where salespeople should spend their time

  • human-related tasks that a machine cannot do

Seven ways to automate your outbound sales

  1. Curation of data – create an internal team for prospecting or partner with a reliable data provider
  2. Cold outreach – incorporate a tool that automates the initial outreach process
  3. Following-up – on average you need three to eight touchpoints to get a reply, and a tool can automatically do that for you
  4. Scheduling meetings – use Calendly or similar software for prospects to easily book a call with you
  5. Organising and scoring leads – to organise your prospects’ conversations with you and track their progress through the funnel, use a CRM
  6. Giving demos – create a demo structure for your salespeople to follow while adapting it to the prospect on the spot
  7. Contract creation – use software that allows both parties to alter and sign virtual legal contracts


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