Sales is a critical part of any business — especially for digital agencies.
If you don’t have leads in the pipeline, there’s trouble brewing. And you just can’t produce deals as and when you need them. We all know that the work involved in closing deals is a pain… Qualifying the leads, keeping them warm, and working out objections to close the sale.
Plus, doing all these eats up a lot of time. Even a lot more time than doing the actual agency work.
Digital agencies are trying to balance all the work that needs to be done. We’re trying, but is it enough?
Closing leads is more often a long game. Here’s proof:
- Average conversion time of leads from social channels is 40 days
- Leads from websites reach 75 days
- Converting referral leads takes 97 days
So, what can you do to cut the average lead conversion time?
Hiring a person is a good answer, but here’s something better: automating your sales process. It’s also a more cost-effective solution.
Manually doing this part of the funnel is often impractical.
In this blog post, we’ll explore how you can start automating sales for your digital agency. So you can scale and satisfy your clients even more.
Here we go.
What is sales automation?
Sales automation refers to the use of software to give the sales team the ability to automate most of the steps for closing deals. We only use most here since at the end of the sales funnel you need to add a personal touch to eventually land a sale.
These steps include automating tasks like lead scoring, relationship nurturing, and qualifying prospects. In its simplest form, it is when a business uses the technology to cut down on manual, repetitive tasks of the sales department. Sales process automation lets you manage the entire pipeline.
Why do you need sales automation?
If you’ve got sales automation, you’ll be practicing defined, consistent, and working sales processes. You can practically hand your system over to your new salesperson without worrying that they:
1. drive cold prospects away from being too salesy, or
2. lose warm prospects because of saying the wrong things.
Sales automation minimizes the need for sales reps to manually complete tasks such as qualification, nurturing, and following up. It tracks your prospects’ actions without you having to watch each one closely the entire time.
In short, it points out hot leads who are somewhat ready for the sale, on queue.
This is how you win in a crowd of competing digital agencies. Doing the right things faster will help you convert inquiries into paying customers.
Marketing automation vs. sales automation
For your organization to thrive, you need marketing and sales alignment. And if you want the processes to run consistently with minimal human intervention (and errors, of course!), you need automation.
In short, you need both marketing automation and sales automation.
Marketing automation uses software to automate marketing tasks. It involves growing and nurturing the client base. The primary objective is to create hot leads that are ready to buy.
Meanwhile, sales automation involves the steps to eventually turn the hot lead from the marketing team into a paying customer. Its purpose is to have a shorter lead conversion time.
They’re close to every business’ endgame. This means the data you get from the process will give you an in-depth understanding of your sales funnel’s effectiveness.
But let me be clear on this. Sales automation is not a must for every business. A startup might not need it right away but it will be a great addition to their investment.
So what does automating the sales process look like?
Generally, funnels have 3 levels.
- TOFU (top-of-the-funnel) – where the attraction of new customers happens. This is where they become aware that a product/service like yours exists.
- MOFU (middle-of-the-funnel) – where consideration occurs
- BOFU (bottom-of-the-funnel) – where a decision is made
It usually looks like this:
Sales usually start somewhere in the middle of the funnel.
To get a clear picture of how automating sales works, let’s dive into each stage. Let’s assume that your agency is hired, and this is the sales funnel of your clients.
1. Top of the funnel: Awareness
The first level of your funnel is when you attract visitors to your website. They may be from a Google search, a paid advertisement, or the rest of your inbound marketing efforts.
As a refresher, inbound marketing is a method of getting people to come to you by providing them with useful content.
You can convert visitors into leads by collecting their names and email addresses. Some of the ways to do this are through:
- Content marketing tricks like a lead magnet and gated content
- Free webinars
- Newsletter capture through blog posts
- Social media lead forms
2. Middle of the funnel: Consideration
Say you already gained leads. Get them automatically nurtured through email campaigns. The audience in this stage is already aware of your brand and their problem.
You have 2 jobs here ― nurture your current leads or further create content that resonates with them ― explaining it with possible solutions.
Nurture leads using an automation tool that can send behavior-based emails, so they trigger if they do or don’t do an email activity you expect.
Sales usually start here. You pick those who engage with you the most and are most likely to buy.
A platform like Encharge can be your best bet for this, since creating a flow based on what people do is easy.
Now, before ultimately bringing the leads further down, check their temperature.
Use lead scoring to see if your leads are the right people for your product or service. If they are, let your tool automatically assign sales tasks to sales reps. This way, they can reach the people who are most likely to become quality customers.
3. Bottom of the funnel: The buying decision
Warm leads enter this level. And your client’s sales reps are almost definitely in it to win it. You can check your CRM to view your most eligible contacts.
Your chance of wrapping up the deal successfully depends on your timely follow-up. Here’s a good strategy: Send an automated follow-up based on your recipient’s email activity.
If you set it up like this, you’ll only send relevant emails. Sending automated follow-ups to these prospects becomes a fast route to securing the deal.
But the thing is, it’s not only through emails that sales happen, right?
Opt for a tool that integrates with your favorite scheduling software. If you do that, the result is obvious. You’ll never miss an appointment, whether a Zoom meeting or a phone call.
How do digital agencies automate sales?
Digital agencies can set up sales automation to close deals more efficiently and scale at a faster rate. But some digital agencies also offer sales automation as a service for clients.
Depending on the sales processes, here are some workflows that agencies can automate:
- Managing sales pipelines with CRM
- Setting up email sales campaigns for the sales-qualified leads
- Scheduling of calls and demos
- Creation of client records
- Generating and sending invoices
- Integrating with CRMs
The good thing with sales automation is this.
Even if digital agencies employ B2B Marketing that usually uses Account-based marketing or ABM, they can still automate communications with specific potential customers only. Yes, some tools can help you prioritize their sales and outreach efforts, even if you have a sophisticated workflow.
With a tool like Encharge, you can set up both marketing and advanced sales automation for your clients. Streamlining client relationships shouldn’t be hard. It’s compatible with dozens of tools, so you can automate sales workflows:
- Facebook Ads
Final thoughts on automating sales for your digital agency
Automating sales is one way to reduce long days before converting a lead. It will help you stay ahead of the game (while saving time), so your team can focus on customer service and offering customized solutions. Automating sales for your digital agency is a great way to grow and scale.
Not only can it help your agency, but implementing the same process in your clients’ businesses also leads to better results for your clients. The only investment will be to figure out the right tools and spend some time setting the automation process.
If your agency wants to automate its sales process, we recommend trying Encharge. It may be exactly what you need when it comes to automating tasks ― from marketing to sales. This way, you can have your team focus on closing deals with clients.
Don’t take our word for it, though. Try out Encharge for free.
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