Sales acceleration is about making every part of the sales processes faster. The sales function of any company involves numerous complex interactions and systems. A sales acceleration initiative aims to maximise efficiency across all processes and data flows touching sales.
It’s worth noting that many sales processes are not traditionally considered part of ‘sales’. For example, subscription-based products frequently have teams tasked with reactivating accounts that are paused, or retaining customers that request cancelation.
Such reactivation and retention processes are highly complex. They involve data processing to identify contacts, qualify, communicate, update CRM records in real-time… and myriad other steps. These processes are integral to account maintenance, growth and length of account lifecycle, but the people doing them might not even consider themselves as part of the sales function. So we include all such processes as candidates for acceleration.
Where is sales acceleration used? What are sales acceleration technologies?
It will be no surprise to learn that sales acceleration is applied to many kinds of project. As well as the examples above, there are also numerous processes related to sales where automation and integration can yield significant benefits – among others, lead generation, lead nuturing, data cleaning, lead list management, lead and contact data enrichment, and CRM-integrated processes.
There are also different solutions to achieve optimization. Here are a few common scenarios, and the related tools used to address them:
(Re-)scheduling next contact
(aka recycling leads or contacts)
A lot of interactions start because the customer requests a contact (“call me back”) or because a staff member decides to reach out again. Obviously, not all calls reach the target on the first try, and they have to be rescheduled. The mechanisms to do this are sometimes called ‘rescheduling’ or ‘recycling’ rules or processes.
Automating the data flow between CRM and contact channels can save a huge amount of time. At some point of scale, this automation becomes essential to the functioning of the processes, i.e. before complexity begins to defeat the objectives.
Call tracking and messaging communications tracking
Whether the customer tries to contact your team or vice versa, a lot of interactions take place and need to be tracked. These interactions frequently impact data that should ideally flow to other systems, triggering additional actions or enabling further downstream processing.
For example, if one agent updates the status in the sales flow of a lead, you don’t want another employee contacting the lead about the same topic. Your processes use tonnes of flows like this, where data is updated in CRM, either because of call outcomes, or data changes that affect scheduling.
Clearly, the outcomes of each interaction must impact the status of scheduled contact attempts in real-time. Otherwise the result will be unnecessary contacts, or failure to perform correct processes because statuses change before the next contact attempt.
Prioritization and ordering of leads and contact attempts
At any time, there are generally more contacts and leads than can be processed simultaneously.
There are often good reasons to do some before others, and it’s usually the case that prioritization has to be changed in real-time, all the time. The ability to efficiently automate these decisions can have a huge impact on sales, retention, reactivation and related customer contact processes.
Predictive and dynamic outbound call (Dialer) and contact attempts (Auto assigner)
Once you have those aspects in your processes, you’ll need to generate the right calls. Obviously, you also need to ensure that the contact task, employee, and contact time are correct.
For real-time communication, this often involves highly adaptive mechanisms which need to vary behaviour fast – and often predictively – to maintain efficient processing.
The key to doing this at any scale is guaranteeing:
a) full control of all elements that impact dynamic processing,
b) full control of communications and call infrastructure,
c) the ability to integrate all other systems and send data in both directions.
Sales Force Process Automation
In almost any case, each process that involves an employee will require two elements:
1) the ability to provide a variety of user interface elements to the employee for each step that they need to take,
2) the option to have both employee interactions with the user interface and system interactions reflected within other systems.
In addition, these processes and the user interface elements are all subject to change at any time. That means adapting them as your circumstances change. It can be a huge advantage and bring significant business benefit if your approach allows for these deep and continuous changes.
These are the main areas where we see no-code automation applied to sales acceleration.
How big is the impact of sales acceleration?
In our experience, a team of 15 employees doing lead engagement and pipeline stirring will typically manage around 8000 phone conversations per month, without automation.
After applying sales acceleration across all the above elements, they can expect to increase to 15000-30000 per month.
Yes, that is correct; over twice as many successful conversations can be handled by the same team of people.
But that can mean that you have to do 80,000 to 150,000 contact attempts. This is simply because the majority of messages get no response, are not answered, or the user’s mobile phone is not reachable.
Even if you deliver voicemail, message or email, it often takes a follow-up call or two to reach that person.
Clearly, this can only be achieved with automation. It is physically impossible for a team to actually initiate the number of required messages and calls. Additionally, all unnecessary manual steps have to be weeded out of workflows, freeing staff to deal only with the actual communication with leads.
As you scale up the number of employees, the business benefit increases. Meanwhile, the cost of creating and changing sales force processes becomes negligible compared to the positive financial impact.
But what’s crucial here is that the software architecture and solution approach can itself support any change to the very processes that make up your sales workflows.