An agency without new clients in the pipeline is an agency that’s on the edge of real trouble.  Filling that pipeline, however, can take up a lot of the time that you’d normally spend watching videos of cats on Facebook. 

Hiring another person to do the work you’re trying to avoid is one way to deal with this problem, but it’s far more cost-effective to automate your sales pipeline.

Using automation for portions of your sales pipeline might not be a new concept for your agency. But even if you are already using some sales automation, are you getting the most out of your automated pipeline? Here are a few suggestions for automating your pipeline or expanding your existing automation to maximize your savings and increase your sales.

Email Automation

Email automation is perhaps the most common form of sales pipeline automation you’ll encounter. It makes sense to automate your sales emails, after all; successful email campaigns require good timing and sometimes can be quite complex depending on how much strategy you put into the campaign. By automating a portion of the email workflow in your sales pipeline, you can:

  • Reduce the amount of time your sales team spends sending and responding to emails
  • Ensure that follow-ups are sent on time, every time
  • Avoid sending emails on days that are less likely to see a positive response
  • Free up time so your sales team can focus on other parts of the sales pipeline
  • Handle newsletter sign-ups and other organic forms of contact without delays caused by human intervention

Depending on the automation solution you use, you may be able to set up some advanced features as well. This can be handy if a potential client needs to be handled by a member of the sales team directly or if circumstances arise that fall outside of what your normal automation routine is programmed for.

Sales Tracking

Though sales tracking is often thought of as more of a boon for retail and consumer-focused companies, there are some definite benefits to using sales tracking automation to aid your agency’s sales team. One of the most convenient ways to use sales tracking automation is to keep track of where potential clients are in the sales process so that on-the-fence clients can be flagged for additional personal attention when needed. 

Using sales tracking tools can also give you some very powerful insights as to which approaches work in your sales pipeline and where you need to make some tweaks. This lets you follow potential clients through the entire onboarding process and allows you to make changes to increase efficiency as more data becomes available.

Lead Sorting

Lead generation is an important part of your sales pipeline, and there are automation tools that can help you keep track of which leads show the most promise. Various tools can tag leads based on their origin or other useful metrics, sorting them into categories based on which approaches work best with different types of leads. 

Customer relationship management (CRM) software like Hatchbuck can take these tagged and sorted leads and make them available to the appropriate email list or members of your sales team. This ensures that your team is working with the potential clients that they’re most likely to convert, letting you put them on the path to sales success from the very moment they enter the system.

Smart Automation Tools

One big advantage of modern automation software is that many tools use “smart” features rather than relying on a one-size-fits-all approach that can turn off potential clients. Instead of emails that read like form letters, your automated system can have different messages that it sends out based on the interactions you’ve had with potential clients. 

These messages can include follow-ups, special offers and even messages to ask if you should stop attempting contact (which can free up members of your sales team when a lead just isn’t working out.) This gives your agency more flexibility without the need for additional work hours, allowing your sales team to dynamically adjust its approach based on the metrics and other feedback it receives from leads.

A Personal Touch

There’s one thing to keep in mind when dealing with automation: Every potential customer or client that you contact is a unique individual. This is why form letters and other generic correspondence track so poorly—they send the message that you see the client as just another entry in a list. Even with advanced automation, you need to make sure there’s some sort of personal touch to the calls and emails coming from your sales department. 

Avoid strict scripts and flat form letters, opting instead for personality and the kind of connections that leads crave. Even if you automate almost every step along the sales pipeline, it’s still going to be the men and women of your sales team who close the deal in the end. Automation tools are just there to help them do their jobs more efficiently and free up more time for those personal touches that only they can give.