Step 3 of the Outbound Sales Process (OSP): Automate, Automate, Automate!
The 3rd and final step of the Outbound Sales Process (OSP) is all about automation. Now is the time to set up an automated outbound email messaging process. The days of the large inside sales bullpens are over – especially now that more and more companies are working remotely and less people are going into the office. Also, with the emergence of new sales technologies in the last few years, you don’t need tons of salespeople to get the job done. Large organizations only need a few inside sales reps and small/midsize companies can get by with only 1 SDR/BDR – with the right email automation tool.
You would be surprised how many companies have still not automated their outbound sales emails. Yes, there is still value to having inside sales reps manually reach out to prospects via phone and email. You can also have the outside sales reps manually reach out to companies from their on-going research. These are all good processes to keep in place. You can also have the marketing department sending out HTML sales emails to help with brand-building and general sales assistance. But, you must have an automated sales email “engine” running all the time in the background. If not, then you are missing many sales opportunities just by simply not reaching enough prospects on a daily/weekly/monthly basis.
First, there really isn’t any reason why you wouldn’t automate your outbound sales process. We all remember the days of the large inside sales bullpens. You had a whole room (and more) of these young, ambitious, brave salespeople. All day long, they would hammer the phones and send out the emails (manually). They had daily/weekly/monthly quotas to hit, with the most important goal being booked demos/meetings for the outside sales teams. It was an on-going, never-ending process. If you have enough inside salespeople hitting the phones and emails all day every day, you could hit your demo/meeting numbers – which meant bigger sales pipelines leading to more closed won deals. It was a great system that worked very well for many years – and still works today. You could employ more people, build up the employee numbers and build up the sales. It was all about bigger being better and adding more employees each quarter was a company goal.
Fast forward to the 2010’s and you started to see more sales automation tools – primarily focused on sending out emails automatically. This left the great inside sales bullpen in limbo and companies started asking – “why do we need all these inside salespeople when we can just automate a lot of what they do?” And this becomes the key question with the most obvious answer. You don’t need all of these inside salespeople anymore. You can automate the email sales process. You can save time and money. You can do more with less resources. You can truly optimize the OSP once you have an email automation tool running. You can also make sure that you are hitting your target prospects all of the time so that you don’t miss any opportunities. You have to be in the game to play and to win. Automating your OSP keeps you in the game.
How to Automate?
There are many sales email automation tools in the market. In fact, the email automation process is not that complicated. You can find an easy to use tool that connects automatically to your email server. Once the tool syncs with your email inbox, you can load up the contacts and the email content to start sending emails immediately. You can also set up automated follow-up emails to go out 5-10 days after the first email. It is a great technology that can help get that on-going sales engine running so that you are in the game at all times. Automating also allows you to focus on more demanding things while the sales engine runs in the background.
Things to look for in an email automation tool:
- Auto sync to your email server
- Easy upload of contacts and email content
- Metrics reporting like Opens, Replies, Bounces
- Deep filtering of contacts for future campaigns
- Simple, straightforward UI
Also, these email automation tools are quite inexpensive. You can have a few inside sales reps using them for $50-$100 per month per seat. With this automated tool running, you only need a “few” inside folks – and in most cases for SMBs, you only need 1 person on the inside to manage the automated tool and the entire inside sales process.
Bottomline: You don’t need an army anymore to sell your products and services. You only need a fraction of the inside resources plus some automated tools to get the job done cost effectively and more efficiently. You will be amazed at how many prospects you can reach when you are on the automation train. Remember, even if you keep a larger inside sales team, you must also have the automated sales emails going out at all times. This will guarantee that you don’t miss an opportunity – and, in fact, you will find many more sales opportunities coming in as a result.
In the next article, we climb the critical mass mountain. Why is reaching critical mass so important to getting more sales opportunities? The answer is simple math!
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