- On this blog post, you'll:
- Learn to connect your sales tools and CRMs to a sales automation platform;
- Discover why these app integrations can increase team productivity;
- The differences between sales automation and customer journey automation;
As any other team, the sales team need the right tools to execute their work. No company can expect satisfactory results from a team of professionals without providing them with enough resources to do so. There are so many different tools out there to make the sales process easier and more effective.
But with new tools, comes the necessity of handling all of them without losing track of important information. After all, the sales team need to have access to all their prospect's information, their conversation and interaction history, including engagement and behavioral data, to develop the perfect approach for each one of the opportunities.
Quick review: What's a sales automation platform?
Different from what many people might think, sales automation is not about a machine where you push a button and revenue starts falling from the sky. Even in our technological ecosystem, it'll take a while for this dream to come true.
Every team has their own unique processes that make the company keep going. Rather than relying on different tools to manage those methods, a sales automation software or platform centralizes all the work on the same place: CRMs, customer lifecycle management and customer engagement.
And the "automation" part is possible because there's an integration of processes through apps and platforms.
Using App Integrations for Sales Automation
Although it's a great way to manage the customer engagement through email marketing and in-app messages, the power of a sales automation software comes from the possibility of connecting several CRMs and third-party applications, which gives a productivity boost to the sales process.
Most new softwares bring built-in app integrations with the main management and communication platforms on the market, making it simple to anyone from the sales team to connect an application and start taking advantage of its automated capabilities.
The shared data can be accessed and modificated with ease, without the need of changing an information on one platform, then changing it on the other. The automation allows the communication through API, where data can be received and send between tools without the need of an interface to assist the communication between parties.
Let's take an inside look on how the main management platforms on the market can be connected to a sales automation software to improve the sales process and ultimately increase revenue for you SaaS:
1. Hubspot Sales Integration
The world famous CRM is used by many business all over the world and is a great way to keep track of business opportunities. By using a Hubspot Sales Integration with a sales automation software, it's possible to automatically send the data from new contacts and create new opportunities in the customer relationship management tool using their information.
Let's say the marketing team created an opt-in form in order to turn visitors into leads and potential opportunities. After reaching the website, the visitor gets interested in the offered content and subscribes to the newsletter.
Meanwhile in the sales automation platform, there's an automation flow ready to create a new contact on Hubspot Sales and another step to send a "welcome email" to the new subscriber. The flow can go on, adding the subscriber to an advanced lead nurturing flow according to their interaction with the welcome email: if the email was opened or clicked, for instance.
The "Create Contact" step of the app integration alone eliminates the need of the marketing team to hand over the leads' information to the sales team over email or spreadsheets. And also there's less room for human error.
2. Pipedrive Integration
Teams who prefer a more visual representation of their deals and opportunities can opt for Pipedrive, a kanban-like CRM where sales teams can manage deals in an easy and intuitive way. Besides storing the history of negotiations, it also has a feature for storing sales-related emails.
The Pipedrive app integration not only creates a new "deal" on the platform but also sets the status of the deal - new opportunity, made contact, started demo - and the user who'll be responsible for taking care of it.
The "Create a Deal " step can also be configured with the name of the opportunity, its company and its value. On the example above, we've created an automation that starts when someone fills a contact form designed for people who are interested in the product.
After the form is filled, the contact receives an email telling the contact was received and they'll get an answer soon, while they're added to a list of new opportunities for in-app message or email approaches. At the same time, the new deal is created at Pipedrive's dashboard. Pretty simple, huh?
3. Slack Integration
Although, just having a great CRM platform isn't enough. And automation is not about making everything automatic, in a nonhuman manner. Companies still need to have a direct communication channel to share information between teams.
Slack came to help communication between coworkers, bringing a spoonful of app integrations to increase productivity. And sincerely, that's not expecting too much from a team who helped NASA put a robot on Mars.
Having a Slack integration in your sales automation process can be helpful in different situations: whenever a sales opportunity comes up, someone gets a direct message to take care of it, or everyone from a specific channel gets the same message.
In our humble example, whenever someone starts a trial period for a product, someone from the sales team is notified with a direct message to take care of that opportunity. Also, the contact is added to a new list, especially for people who started the trial period but didn't actually purchased the product.
Remember that starting a trial is a great indicator that the contact in question is really interested in getting to know how good is the solution you're proposing. With a sales automation software, the sales team will have a timely approach to this great business.
4. Pushbullet Integration
Talking about timely approach, if you're looking to manage the sales team remotely from a smartphone or a tablet, the Pushbullet integration is perfect for you. With the ability of connecting different devices and send personalized notifications, it's a great way to keep up with important events from the sales process, such as contacting an opportunity a few days after the trial period, or shortly after they've requested a demo for your product.
Let's say that a greatly optimized landing page inspired your prospects to request for a demo of your product. While adding them to a list of people who asked for a live demo, the sales automation immediately creates a push notification via Pushbullet so the assigned owner of the prospect to take care of the golden opportunity.
At the same time, the Sales Manager is notified by email about the demo request, so the sales process can be followed and managed right from its beginning. Since Pushbullet allows notifications to be received and read from both smartphones and browser extensions, its effectiveness doubles up. They'll surely get the memo!
5. Twilio Integration
Okay, the opportunity is right there in your hand. They've scheduled a live demo or started using the trial period. The next step is setting up a communication channel with them. Email and in-app messages are great for engagement, but you know that this moment requires a more personal contact between company and future customer.
The Twilio app integration allows companies to connect and improve their communication with prospects and customers over SMS, voice and messaging. Through their API, the integration allows a sales automation to send a SMS to schedule a phone call with the prospect, for example.
Since CRMs are heavily based on customer conversation, Twilio's API also allow VoIP calls to be made: in a sales automation software , it means that the sales team is notified through Slack or Pushbullet and the prospect gets a call almost instantly, shortly after contacting the company.
Remember that term "cold call"? It doesn't exist when there's a sales automation process to manage everything in the background.
6. Custom Integration via API Call (bonus)
If you company have its own CRM especially build to its customer relationship needs, there's no problem working with app integrations.
App integrations work through API connections, or in other words, the platform and the application share data between themselves without an interface, only through programmed subroutines.
Sales automation platforms allow different methods to retrieve, overwrite, add or delete information from a specific place. If your company's CRM have an API, the platform can access and get its data to manage contact information, statuses and so on.
App integrations were created to make it easier to connect between platforms and applications. API calls can be a little more difficult, requiring technical help from an IT professional, but virtually it makes possible the connection between any kind of programming interface.
Customer Journey Automation vs Sales Automation
You're probably thinking "what's with all of this automation-based nomenclatures"?
Automation helps teams to manage their processes in a fast and easy way, making the work more productive and its results more visible. Ever since marketing automation became a thing in the business world, companies have been searching for ways to automate other departments, such as sales and customer success.
There's marketing automation, sales automation, and also customer success automation, which uses automated user onboarding and in-app conversations. To manage everything, from start to end, there's on customer journey automation.
Customer journey automation makes sure nothing gets lost when passing the process from one department to another. We all know that the integration between marketing, sales and customer success tend to be a little bit difficult, but automation can make everything run without bottlenecks, faster and more precisely.
The prospect doesn't feel that he's being thrown away from department to another. The customer experiences a personalized journey, where the approach and communication tone is the same through the entire relationship with the company.
For small teams or big companies, app integrations and sales automation can take process management and productivity to a whole new level. An sales automation software that can take care of everything was just a dream a bunch of years ago, but let's not forget that we're living in the SaaS’ era, where VR and chatbots live among us. And we should either keep up, or be one step ahead of it.