How HubSpot Helps with Sales Automation
Imagine your company is like a campfire. You, your employees, and your current clients are all sitting around the blaze, enjoying its protective warmth from the cold of the forest night. Everyone else—your potential prospects—is out there in the woods, interested in sharing in the warmth of the fire but not sure if they can trust you.
These people are watching you from a distance to learn more about you before they decide to join in. They may even speak with you from afar. Eventually, if they feel comfortable enough, that prospect will come close enough to have a one-on-one conversation before being admitted to the fire circle.
That’s the buyer’s journey in a nutshell.
It starts with marketing, where the prospect hangs around the edges of your campfire, consuming your content from a safe distance as they consider your company and your offerings.
Then, if they’re still interested, they move into your sales process, when they speak with an individual to make the choice to join your campfire or not.
As you can see, both marketing and sales are important in this process. You can’t sing kumbaya with your customers without a seamless marketing and sales process.
If your marketing is fully automated, your prospect will expect a similarly smooth sales process. So if your salesman forgets important details or misses calls, your prospect will run for the hills faster than a frightened mountain goat.
How do you create an automated sales process that feels frictionless for even the most skittish of prospects? Contrary to popular belief, the key isn’t hiring better salespeople––it’s using the best software available. And it all starts with a high-quality Customer Relationship Manager, or CRM.
Sales Automation with a CRM
I’m always amazed at how many business owners don’t have a CRM. It’s such an easy-to-use tool, and it can make the difference between closing the deal and your customers walking out into the cold.
A moderately-skilled salesman with a basic CRM will outperform the best salesman with no CRM every single time. Why? Because sales automation (by way of a CRM) feels good to our brains and improves the sales experience for everyone—client, salesperson, and you, the owner.
Using a CRM means you’re approaching your sales in a professional and organized manner. Not only is it easier on your customers (because who likes a confusing, muddy experience with a company?), but it’s easier on your team as well.
No more wondering who contacted what prospect—or if they’ve been contacted at all. You can quickly access records of all prospect communications, enroll leads in automated email series, and filter them according to how good of a fit they are.
There are a ton of CRMs available out there. Some cost thousands of dollars per year, and others are completely free. While not all CRMs are created equal, all you need to get started is the system. For some businesses, the free versions are more than enough to get going. Others might need a more complex system to keep their sales department running smoothly.
Although I’ll highlight HubSpot’s free CRM in this article, I’m not here to sell you on anything other than the idea of getting a Customer Relationship Manager. You should evaluate your options and choose the best one for your business. After all, you know your sales process better than anyone.
Why Sales Automation Is So Important for Customers
The more comfortable your sales process, the more likely leads will convert into paying customers. Without a system, however, too many details fall through the cracks. Salespeople have so many conversations that it’s impossible to remember them all.
“Who was I supposed to call on Thursday?”
“Oh, shoot, I forgot to send that email to that lead.”
“How do we know each other again?”
To the client, these are all red flags. Get enough of red flags, and your leads will disappear into the night before they ever reach the fire.
Here’s an example of how this might look in action. Your salesperson meets a prospect at a conference. Their conversation goes like this:
Prospect: “I’m definitely interested in your product, but I have to focus on hiring right now.”
Salesman: “How long until you’re finished hiring?”
Prospect: “We plan to wrap up in three months.”
Without a CRM, that salesperson has to hope they remember to call in three months and remember why they’re calling, or they have to rely on the reminder app on their phone, which is rarely systematized with notes and next steps.
With a good CRM, they can take notes from the conversation and store that information in a complex database. Their note could say something like:
Wrapping up hiring in 3 months. Interested, but wants to wait until then—is struggling with hiring.
Then, in three months, the CRM will give the salesman a reminder to reach out to that prospect along with the notes for next steps.
He can reach out and say, “I hope all is well. How’s your hiring process been going? Find some good candidates?”
That feels so much better—for both the salesman and the prospect—than just saying, “Hey, what’s new with you?” It also creates a seamless transition into a warm lead conversation, which makes the salesman more likely to use the CRM, and the prospect more likely to buy.
Let’s take a look at some of the other tools in a high-quality CRM, using HubSpot’s free CRM as an example.
Sales Automation with a CRM: Your Own Sales Robot
In essence, sales automation with the help of a good CRM is like having a robot assistant that you can delegate almost all sales minutia to (i.e., the last things any real live salesperson wants to do).
Imagine a world where instead of writing unique sales emails to leads depending on where they are in the buyer’s journey, you have a “sales automation robot” that sends those emails automatically.
Not only that, but it has seven more emails already teed up and ready to go based on the actions that lead did or didn’t take (such as make a purchase, schedule a call, or leave their shopping cart empty).
And the best part: all of this happens without you or your sales team doing a single thing.
Then you can focus your time talking to warm and hot leads who have already been moved through the sales process by your automated “robots.”
Instead of your sales team having to take rejection after rejection from cold and lukewarm leads, it’s the robot who takes the rejections, and your real live employees can skip the constant rejections and focus on making sales.
How does that “robot” work?
Along with recording, organizing, and analyzing prospects, leads, and customers in a CRM, HubSpot sales software can help you with:
- Email Sequences––Rather than letting prospects slip through the cracks, you can put the prospecting process on autopilot with email sequences.
- Email Templates––There’s nothing more annoying than repeatedly writing the same emails. HubSpot allows you to turn your salespeople’s most effective emails into templates.
- Email Tracking––You can know when your leads open an email, download an attachment, click a link, and more so you can send a perfectly-timed followup.
- Meetings––HubSpot has a fully integrated meeting calendar that works with Google Calendar and Office 365.
- Email Scheduling––You can set up specific times and days to automatically send out emails (or let the HubSpot robots deliver the email at a time when the prospect is most likely to engage).
- Documents––You can see who views your documents (such as contracts), along with how many pages they’ve read and their page view times.
- Calling––Log calls to your CRM automatically and record them with a single click for future reference.
- Reporting––Get customizable reports for metrics as granular or as high-level as you want.
- Predictive Lead Scoring––You can prioritize your outreach based on each prospect’s likelihood to become a customer.
- Video Emails––This is a big one. Imagine this: instead of sending a text-heavy sales email, your salesman records a personalized video for your prospects, and spends less time doing so, too. With a few clicks of a button, you have an engaging personalized video email with first class branding.
I can tell you from experience: Video emails are opened over 90 percent of the time, and they are the future of sales automation.
With these tools from HubSpot, you can let the robots focus on keeping your prospect pipeline flowing, while your salespeople can focus on closing leads.
Speaking of sales processes, if CRMs are such an essential aspect of a successful business, why aren’t more people using them?
It all boils down to one word: insecurity.
Why Do Salespeople Resist CRMs?
There’s nothing more frustrating than spending a bunch of money on a Customer Relationship Manager, only for your salespeople to ignore it completely.
You want to grab them by their shirt collars and scream, “You know I got this for you, right? Don’t you want to make more money?!”
But, quite often, an entrepreneur will invest in a solid CRM and have nothing to show for it because their team refuses to use it. So why is it so difficult for a salesperson to use a CRM?
Salespeople resist CRMs because good CRMs expose mediocre and poor salespeople.
CRMs don’t just reveal data about your customers and your prospects, and the value of each. They also reveal data about how you’re using those leads, whether a salesperson is using your sales process, and statistics on how many of those leads are being closed.
When the light of that data shines on salespeople, there’s nowhere to run. Like a panicking performer trying to outrun the spotlight, the data will catch up to bad salespeople no matter where they hide.
Nothing I tell you for the rest of this article will matter if your salespeople don’t actually use the tools and techniques I suggest. So even though your team may be hesitant to try the CRM, they have to do it.
You have to help them overcome their insecurity and put your CRM to good use. Otherwise, you’re the one being screwed over.
How do you get salespeople to use a CRM?
In short, get one that is easy to use.
Look at it this way...
When your marketing (meaning your content, videos, chat bots, and ebook offerings) is all automated and designed from your customer’s perspective, you make them feel safe, comfortable, and understood on a deeper level. This, in turn, will make them more likely to choose you.
Similarly, sales automation with a good CRM will appeal to the same “old brain” in your salespeople and make them more likely to use it because it helps them do their job better.
In other words, both sales automation and marketing automation are focused on making the user experience as seamless as possible. The only difference:
- Marketing automation is meant to make your customers comfortable.
- Sales automation is meant to make your salespeople comfortable.
If your team feels comfortable with your CRM, they’re more likely to use it. And if they’re still digging in their heels, chances are they’re not a good fit for your business. You need employees you can trust to adapt with your business.
Build a Bigger Campfire
There are a lot of people out there who need the warmth of your company’s campfire. They may be unsure of whether to join, and it may take some time, but with a high-quality CRM and a sales automation system, you’ll bring them in like moths to the flame.
And pretty soon––if you do sales automation right––you’ll need to build a bigger fire. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
As an entrepreneur, I understand how intimidating it is to build your own sales system. Despite the time and effort it saves you in the long run, the frontend effort can be daunting. That’s why I wrote The Golden Toilet to make it simple.
In my book, I breakdown how to create a system built with sales and marketing automation, as well as the other components of the Business GrowthStack. It’s practical and a hell of a lot more affordable than wasting your money on shiny marketing tactics that never move the needle.
Get your copy today!
Buy the Book