The following is a guest post from sales automation tool and Base contact management partner PieSync.
A recent report by Software Advice found that sales automation software is a key component for closing more sales. Sales automation can help you to close deals faster and pursue more leads by automating tedious tasks.
You’re probably already using a CRM like Base, which means you’re already miles ahead of most sales teams. But if you really want to get that edge, you’ll have to up your game. No matter how amazing your software is, it’s only as good as the prospect and customer data that’s in it.
90% of businesses use customer and prospect data for personalization campaigns. However, 75% of businesses believe that inaccurate data is undermining these efforts.
You can use automation to greatly reduce inaccurate data, which means the chances of your campaigns succeeding dramatically increase.
I’ll give you a few tips to help you maintain accurate customer and prospect data and smash your goals using sales automation.
Automate Data Entry
You spend your time networking and going to conferences and trade shows, collecting business cards which you hope will translate into boosted sales figures. The reality kicks in when you get back to the office and realize you have to input all of that data into your CRM. Use these three tools to help you save time on data entry.
Email parsers scan your incoming email for new or updated contact information and add this information to your address book. Evercontact is one that I personally use. It scans my incoming emails in my Gmail account and updates the contacts in my CRM. You can use the native Base and Google Contacts integration to make sure your updated contacts make it into your Base Contacts.
Business Card Scanners
Instead of sitting at a computer and manually entering the contact information from your collected business cards, use a business card scanner like Full Contact. This app scans the contact information from the business cards directly into your address book. No more typos!
This tip is brought to you by Jeremy Marsan from Fit Small Business.
If you get a lot of leads from your website (or even from Facebook, Yelp, Zillow, and other industry directories) there’s often ways to add them automatically to your CRM. When somebody fills out a contact form with their name, email, address, etc. you can have these fields automatically saved in your CRM as a new lead or contact.
What’s more is that you can direct leads to the appropriate person based on what product they’re interested in, or where they’re located. Lead-assignment rules look at a what a lead said and, based on their responses, assigns them to the right salesperson.
From here, you can also begin exploring email, task and even direct mail automation. For example, if a lead checked a box to receive your monthly catalog, you can have them automatically added to an email marketing campaign. With some systems, their information could be forwarded to your direct mail provider so they’ll automatically start receiving a physical copy too.
At the root of it though is web-to-lead forms, so that’s where I’d recommend as a starting point!
Break Down Data Silos
A report from Aberdeen Group found that 61% of sales and marketing teams struggle with data silos.
Let me explain what data silos are. So you work in Base, you collect contacts and dutifully input their details into the system. Great job. Your marketing team uses their own marketing automation software. Maybe it’s HubSpot, Marketo, or something else. They collect leads from various places such as webforms and social media. They then store this information in their marketing automation system. Then it stops.
All of this precious data is sitting pretty in the two apps, and the twain shall never meet. Unless you want to go about it the long way with import/export operations, or worse still, manual data entry. But this 2017! You shouldn’t have to put up with tedious manual tasks which only lead to out of date databases!
Craig Borowski from Software Advice explained that it’s easy to maintain correct data within one department. “It becomes much more challenging when multiple departments have ownership over customer data. The resulting inefficiencies are part of the reason companies seek to de-silo their data.”
De-siloing data is the key to ensuring that data stays up to date and correct. But how can this be achieved? You can firstly look for apps that natively integrate.
Or you can look for a solution that syncs your data across your business apps. This solution allows you to handpick your tech stack according to your needs and preferences. Once you’ve de-siloed your data, you can really start putting all that hard won data to work.
If you follow the above tips and harness the force of sales automation, you’ll not only see increased sales from new customers, but you’ll see your current customers coming back for more. After all, it’s easier to retain customers if you’ve got their correct, up-to-date information. I hope you find these tips helpful. If I’ve missed anything, feel free to leave a comment below.
Vanessa Rombaut is a featured writer in various tech publications and websites. She co-authored the book The Beginner’s Guide to CRM and is the Content Manager at PieSync. The PieSync Blog In the Pipeline has been named The Best Marketing Blog 2017.