The sales team is an important part of any company; without their input, even the best product or service will not convert properly. However, as with other features, sales have their demons to contend with—price objections from potential customers, low quality leads, and so on. There are several bottlenecks in a typical sales funnel that keep salespeople unproductive and uninterested. And this is where automating the sales approval workflow can make all the difference.
Benefits of Sales Approval Automation
When everyone in your company fully understands how their actions affect other departments, this obviously results in faster response times and increased team satisfaction. Here are four benefits of automated sales approval workflows:
1. Simplified CPQ process
CPQ stands for Configure Price Quote, a process that sales reps follow to price their offers and put together an offer for a potential customer.
Automation CPQ in Salesforce (or whatever CRM you use) helps your sales reps set pricing and discount rules through the software and create error-free quotes and customized offers. It also means they don’t have to wait for manual approval from different departments to formulate a proposal. This helps speed up the sales cycle.
2. Increasing efficiency in everything
Essence time. It’s so true for sales department– especially when making deals. Lack of a system or slow approval workflow significantly impacts their productivity.
For example, your sales representatives may need a special brochure designed by the marketing team. Or they may need approval from the finance department in order to provide a volume discount to a new franchise customer. Regardless of the nature of the job, automation helps sales representatives reduce the time spent negotiating and closing deals.
3. Better customer service
Is this a good excuse to let a potential client know that a particular transaction is pending approval? Absolutely not! They don’t care about your company’s internal affairs and may change their mind about not doing a deal if it takes you too long to respond to them. With an automated sales approval workflow, these delays can be completely avoided.
4. Consistency in processes
It’s a fact – consistency allows you to minimize uncertainty and quickly respond to changes in the market. When your sales approvals are automated, you can reduce errors and bottlenecks. In addition, the right process helps to bring in and train new sales reps using technology, resulting in greater transparency, trust and control.
5. Increased organizational transparency
Automated sales approval workflows increase the productivity and efficiency of sales representatives and facilitate collaboration across departments. It also helps create a healthy, cordial and positive work environment.
How to streamline your sales approval workflow
Now that you know why your sales team needs automation, here are a few steps you can take to make your workflow easy and systematic—with minimal learning curve:
1. Lead coverage and qualifications
At this stage, your sales reps will usually approach leads that came from your marketing initiatives. This could be website visitors who filled out a contact form, downloaded a white paper, and so on.
Whatever the source of lead generation, lead data gets into the CRM system. The leads are then redirected to a sales representative who contacts them via email or phone to qualify them. Finally, the rep can prioritize high value lead demos and follow up on existing deals as this will positively impact bottom line revenue.
This is a rather labor intensive process. Moreover, many leads may not be relevant. So, instead of manually emailing new contacts in a CRM system, you can automate the process by setting up recurring email campaigns. You can also use scheduling tools like Calendly, which allows potential clients to book time to speak with your sales reps.
This saves your team time and reduces the number of leads actually filling out the form and calling you. Let’s assume that your sales reps are responsible for finding and verifying potential leads’ email addresses and initial outreach, as well as providing demos and closing deals. In this case, they should prioritize demos and follow-up on existing trades as this will positively impact the bottom line.
2. Demonstrations / presentations of a product or service
In this scenario, your sales reps demonstrate to potential customers what your offer does and how it can minimize their common pain points. These meetings are always different – depending on the tone of the presentation and the voice of the sales representative, as well as on the interests and needs of the potential client.
What’s more, your sales reps need to spend 45 to 60 minutes on a demo, and they may need to run a demo 4-5 times for each prospect before closing a deal. Is this time well spent? No. Instead, record a video demonstrating your offer.
Using tools like Chorus, you can get a better idea of how sales are going, including the USPs discussed, questions asked, and competitor mentions.
With up-to-date information at your fingertips, you can train your sales reps to customize how they handle demos, how they communicate, what tone they use, and how they respond to inquiries in pre-recorded video. Automate this step by including a link when leads order a demo in the email they send out.
Allow your sales reps to spend more time talking to potential customers and closing deals rather than running a demo – with automation.
3. Submitting an offer
At this stage, your sales representatives prepare and submit proposals with prices for your product or service, results, and next steps so that they can sign an agreement or contact the company for more information.
Depending on factors such as your offer, the RFP process, and the size of the deal, the offer can be either a simple quote or a detailed document containing all the basic details. In any case, it would be helpful if you used a complex all-in-one solution like DealHub to manage the creation, editing and signing of documents.
Proposal development usually requires your sales reps to coordinate with other departments. A solution that allows everyone to contribute in real time ensures that no information is left out. In addition, when an offer is sent to a potential client, you can receive real-time notifications of when the document was opened, viewed, or commented on.
What’s more, your sales representatives don’t need to manually follow up with a potential client via email. They can increase urgency with automatic decision reminders.
4. Contract management
Contracts have been around for decades. How else could you enter into an agreement with your client to do business together without him?
But they are often considered long and laborious, filled with jargon that is impossible to understand, and requiring numerous corrections until they are signed by the client.
To avoid delays in closing a deal and unnecessary chaos among both the sales team and customers, it has a robust contract life cycle.
First of all, automate your contract drafting process with a tool like Woodpecker and quickly add customer details—no mistakes! Once the contract is drafted, get approval from the sales team and legal management before sharing it with the client.
However, in this case, sales representatives can become very frustrated when legal representatives take time to study the content of the contract. This is where automated contract review and approval tools like Lawgeex can come in handy.
Lawyers are responsible for setting limits on contracts – for example, the payment cycle cannot last more than six months. If all the details are in order, then the contract is automatically approved.
If not, the tool notifies the legal team of the discrepancy. This saves them from reading the entire contract, which saves time. This speeds up the approval workflow and helps your sales reps convert more leads faster.
Automated approval workflows help streamline the sales and pricing process and help your sales reps work efficiently. Automation prevents revenue leakage and ensures accountability and timely compliance, thereby improving your communication and business. Isn’t that your goal at the end of the day?