3 Ways Sales Automation Can Help Your Sales Team Do More with Less

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Many startups and small businesses assume that building and scaling sales is a necessity to capture revenue. After all, converting prospects into customers is critical for business success, and hiring an army of salespeople is certainly one way to do that.

But it’s also extremely expensive, which makes it virtually impossible if you don’t already have a steady flow of revenue to fund it. And it takes time to find the right people who believe in your product and know just how to speak the customers’ language.

While building a great sales motion is almost certain to drive improved conversion, investing in sales automation can empower your current team to do the proverbial “more with less.” It will also ultimately offer a larger ROI as you work to scale your sales team. In fact, a Nucleus Research study found that automation software can increase sales productivity by nearly 15 percent.


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Keeping track of your leads and pipeline throughout the sales prospecting process manually can be complex and extremely time-consuming, even with a small team. Leveraging sales automation can take contact management and lead prioritization off your team’s plate, so they can spend more time doing what they do best: closing deals.

Here are three ways automating the sales process can help you do more with less, while driving substantial ROI even as your team grows.


1. Surface the most qualified leads and prioritize them.

As leads come in, it can be difficult to know which is the highest priority and which should demand the most attention. Sales automation technology can do that with an algorithm that tracks all lead interactions and scores each lead for its potential value based on calls, email engagement, website activity and more. This keeps the score updated as new activity takes place and allows you to know which leads are most urgent. Teams can then prioritize them based on the likelihood they’ll close — and how quickly — as well as how much the customer is likely to spend. That means your sales team can focus on leads with higher scores.

To make this work, you’ll need to first determine which lead behaviors and characteristics matter based on customer journey analysis. By tracking lead behavior through the funnel, you can identify the path that leads to the most frequently closed deals. You’ll want to take into account indicators like email opens, click-through rates and replies; website visits and the time spent on your pages; e-book downloads or form submissions; and event attendance, webinar registrations and even cart abandonment.

Once you’ve established thresholds, a sales automation platform will track behavior and surface only the most qualified and promising leads to the sales team, so they can stop spinning their wheels and focus on the most promising leads in the pipeline.


2. Automate outreach to ensure qualified leads don’t fall through the cracks.

Once you’ve established a lead scoring system, you can use sales automation to trigger specific actions to keep leads engaged. For example, when a prospect takes a specific action — like signing up for a webinar or registering an account — the sales automation tool can automatically enter the contact into a drip-series email campaign, send a special discount code or other offer, or even an invitation to schedule a demo.

Internally, the system can assign a task to a salesperson to reach out personally when the time is right. It can also be configured to assign new leads in whatever style you need, whether it’s geographically, round-robin or any other lead distribution method.

This way, the sales team doesn’t have to manually track lead activities or manually configure these nurture tactics; the software automatically draws leads further down the funnel until it’s the right time to reach out to close the deal or better yet, push them to convert without a sales interaction. It also keeps your sales pipeline data current with no manual effort, as the software automatically moves deals to the next stage and adjusts the expected closing date dynamically. Now, your team will always know where deals stand, there are no worries about forgetting to update the pipeline tracking, and the data is always accurate.


3. Streamline the lead nurturing process.

With a small team, it may not be possible for your staff to personally reach out to every lead. Sales automation can do it for you with automated sequences that create a personalized experience for each lead based on their journey and behavior. This is a great way to warm up cold leads and re-engage prospects that have gone dormant.

For example, sales automation can send customized content based on prospects’ click behavior, downloads and more. This not only creates a more personalized experience and allows sales staff to focus their personal outreach on leads who are further into the funnel, but they can also do so with the benefit of knowing the customers’ journey, enabling more meaningful and relevant conversations.

Automating sales processes can substantially improve your team’s efficiency and effectiveness, but it’s also essential to make sure you’re delivering an outstanding customer experience. These days, most people will recognize they’re receiving auto-generated messages, so don’t try to pretend otherwise. Instead, make sure you’re providing something of value in every outreach so customers know you’re invested in serving their needs. 

Salespeople recognize that personalization and connection are critical – and 59 percent of customers say that personalization influences their purchasing decisions. Giving your team the sales automation tools to help them focus their efforts on connecting with the most qualified leads will enable them to do more with less while also building stronger connections with customers. 

  • Originally published May 4, 2021, updated December 15, 2021