The wide world of sales is constantly evolving right alongside consumer expectations. From the rising need for personalized experiences to the need for omnichannel availability, changes in consumer demands pose new challenges and keep even the sharpest sales teams on their toes.
In the face of fast-paced change, it takes more than customer knowledge to keep up. It takes the right technology and solutions.
That’s why automation is on the minds of many sales leaders these days. Because with the tools that enable outbound sales automation, businesses can not only keep pace with their customers and competition, but unlock efficiencies that allow them to achieve incredible scale.
10 Ways to Automate Your Outbound Sales Process
With new automation solutions popping up so quickly, virtually any single aspect of the sales process can be accelerated. But sales automation is most powerful—and truly revolutionary—not when it’s implemented bit by bit but from end to end.
Explore these outbound automation tools that span virtually every stage of the sales cycle and learn how to start a revolution at your own business.
1. CRM Software
No matter your industry, customer needs will always be at the core of the sales experience. The right CRM software puts all the data you have on those needs at the core of all your sales activity.
By automatically ensuring that customer and lead information is always up to date and at your sales agents’ fingertips, your CRM can power personalized experiences every time your team makes contact—whether it’s over voice, text, email, or beyond. Meanwhile, your agents will have more time to spend on those critical moments of engagement, instead of tedious admin work.
Any outbound sales team that’s working the phone stands to benefit greatly from today’s leading autodialer software.
Autodialing modes like predictive dialing can help teams trade tedious, time-consuming dialing practices for more sales opportunities. Rather than idling in between calls, algorithm-based autodialers can keep agents on the phone for greater portions of their day—doing what they do best—by greatly increasing dialing efficiency.
And when dialer software comes backed by a suite of additional solutions, it’s not just call volumes that go up and drop rates that go down. Look for automation features like voicemail detection, caller ID reputation management, and more to boost contact rates and bolster the bottom line.
Of course, improved outreach isn’t just better for the bottom line. By eliminating obstacles in the way of sales conversations, agents can more easily enjoy their work—building the kind of sales momentum that’s crucial for engagement and overall morale.
3. Intelligent Virtual Agent
AI has at last gone mainstream, and in the call center industry, intelligent virtual agents (IVAs) powered by natural language processing have become one of the most common solutions. In fact, between 2022 and 2023, the global market for IVA grew by an impressive 41.9%. However, despite all the attention paid to IVA, it’s still easy to overlook IVAs’ potential within outbound sales.
With the ability to hold remarkably human-like conversations over voice and text, IVA solutions can be deployed as part of powerful omnichannel sales strategies. Using the AI-driven technology, teams can seamlessly qualify leads before a human agent closes a sale—or the IVA can be used to reach aged leads with lower contact rates, saving agents for warmer, more valuable leads. Plus, as we’ll explore below, IVAs can help automate lead follow-up workflows.
4. Reporting and Analytics
When you can measure your sales performance, you can improve it. But even though the importance of measurement is well-known in our world of Big Data, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to achieve.
With the help of automation, more teams can unlock the optimizations that data analysis makes possible. For instance, integrated call center reporting tools can deliver real-time insights on your outbound outreach, streamlining process improvements across channels. Meanwhile, predictive analytics capabilities that integrate with your CRM can help your team discover patterns and predict outcomes for your entire operation—all while your agents and leaders focus on what matters most: making more sales.
5. Omnichannel Solutions
Businesses can’t afford to take a one-size-fits-all approach to acquiring customers in today’s marketplace. No matter the vertical, customers expect to engage with businesses on their own terms, and that includes doing so on the channel (or channels) of their choice.
But omnichannel isn’t just an imperative through the lens of customer needs. It’s also something agents need—and need automated. Without the ability to automate communications across channels, it’s inevitable that sales forces become overburdened with simply contacting customers.
With the help of IVAs and chatbots, not to mention triggered email and SMS campaigns, as well as workflow automation software that brings it all together in fine-tuned cadences, today’s sales teams can automate their contact strategies across channels and ensure a well-rounded, complementary, and above all effective approach to sales outreach.
6. Quality Assurance
The best sales teams are constantly seeking out ways to improve the way they work. And whether you’re an outbound call center with a dedicated QA team or a sales leader keeping an eye on their team’s performance in the field, finding ways to streamline the collection of feedback only closes the distance between insight and impact.
Quality assurance automation in the call center, for example, can make it possible for small QA teams to accomplish what once required potentially dozens of employees. With eyes and ears on the outcome of every single call instead of some or, at best, most calls, more sales agents can receive coaching that improves the way they sell—both in real-time during calls and with the help of post-call analytics.
7. Appointment Setting
This is another one of those outbound automation tools that benefits the customer just as it directly benefits your agents. Appointment scheduling can be—and frequently is—time-consuming. When asked directly, customers can feel put on the spot and ultimately commit to a time that, down the line, proves inconvenient. Appointments wind up having to be rearranged and further time is lost.
Automating this process by providing customers with an easy-to-use interface—one that automatically places their appointment into agents’ calendars and avoids any double-booking—can transform the customer experience and free up agents to complete more complex tasks. (Notice this recurring theme of outbound sales automation?) Combine this appointment-setting efficiency with the AI-driven power of omnichannel IVA solutions, and the value-add for your sales team can be downright jaw-dropping.
8. Product Demos
Whether you work in SaaS, home services, or another area of B2B sales, you know just how integral live product demos can be for successful sales. Indeed, after pricing, the product demo is regarded as the most important part of a sales call.
But for how crucial they are, there’s still no escaping how slow and laborious putting together demos can be. Automating this process can truly improve your chances of acquiring new business and, once again, make more of your agents’ time available for more demanding tasks. A wide range of demo automation software is available that can greatly accelerate the creation of demonstrations that are personalized, that can be shared almost instantly, and that deliver further metrics for analysis and optimization.
9. Lead Follow-Up
Life for sales agents would be quite different if they always made sales on their first attempt with every new lead. But whether they’re tracking down prospects for second meetings or just trying to get them to answer a call for the first time, follow-up is an inescapable part of the sales cycle.
Particularly when it comes to recycling leads that you’re dialing, texting, and emailing, automation tools can be a huge time-saver for your sales teams. Rather than leaving the timing of your lead follow-up, your dialer or sales management software should have the capability of automatically scheduling prospect outreach. Here, automation can take the guesswork out of outbound sales and give your team another aspect of the business to optimize and improve.
Even the process of getting prospects to sign on the dotted line can be automated. Streamlining everything from contract creation to storage and management, contract automation software is one of the best outbound automation tools a
Most solutions require sales agents to simply plug in small amounts of client information, which can often be imported directly from the CRM, before letting the software handle the rest in seconds. Perhaps best of all, the time teams save on drawing up the agreement is also time customers no longer have to wait—and potentially change their minds.
The Benefits of Outbound Sales Automation
From automated contract generation to accelerated outreach with predictive dialing, outbound sales automation can breathe new life into the sales process and transform the customer experience. With the right sales software and tools implemented across the sales cycle, your business can enormously impact key performance metrics and the bottom line. Sales automation solutions like those discussed above help achieve these gains by:
Driving greater efficiency for leads, agents, and managers
As we’ve seen time and again in the examples above, automation isn’t about replacing agents. It’s about making it easier for them to sell effectively. Along the way, outbound sales automation also makes life easier for leads and managers.
Increasing compliance support
Whether you’re concerned with complying with the TCPA, state privacy laws, or other complex regulations, there’s no overlooking the potential costs that simple human error introduces into routine business processes. No matter the confidence you have in your agents, automation can help eliminate many of those risks as well as some of the costs of mitigating them.
When you’re able to do more with less, your business is able to do more than drive growth. When employees are supported by automation that accelerates and improves outreach, analysis, conversion, and process improvement, sales teams can achieve scale.
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