Most sales leaders understand the challenges in sales processes, especially ones with manual activities. One of the key concerns for them is the manual and repetitive data entry that sales team members have to do, despite the use of technology solutions. According to a research report, sales teams spend almost 60 minutes or more daily on manual data entries. This is a definite red flag case and has a further cascading impact on sales cycles, sales conversion, workforce morale, and so on.
Sales leaders must empower teams with the right tools to automate data entry actions during the sales process. The overall sales process stands to win big with this one process solved the right way. In this article, we will try to highlight the key benefits of automated data entry and cover some of the key use cases which can be useful for your business process.
Manual Data Entry is impacting your businesses
Having a sales process punctuated with frequent manual data entries can be detrimental to your business. First things first, the workforce is never cheap. Managing a manual data entry process can inflate your resource cost sharply, impacting your bottom line. While on the business KPI side, manual data entry slows down your overall sales cycles, time to respond to customers to say inbound leads is higher compared to an automated sales process. Additionally, it takes a toll on the user experience, affecting the morale of your sales team.
There are high chances of human errors and missing out on critical information with manual handling of data entry. In a nutshell, Repetitive and manual work impacts workforce productivity and is very time and energy-consuming.
Reasons for Manual data entry in the sales process
- Creating leads manually in the sales CRM tool
- Copy-paste actions from email/chat and the sales CRM tool
- Sales activity updates in spreadsheets
- Toggling across multiple tools to update information
Most Common Automation Use case in sales processes
- Automated Lead Capture
Integrate all demand channels via Lead Capture Form integration with your Lead database, or deeply integrate email and telephony to auto capture incoming leads. Setting up API integration or webhooks to stream other lead sources from channel partners, and affiliate is a great way to ensure 100% lead channels directly flow into the sales CRM.
2. Email Integration
Organizations having email-first sales conversations should consider the possibility of email service integration with sales CRM. This will saves considerable time and allow salespeople a single interface to work from, removing toggling across tools and the ability to send, receive, and reply to emails from the sales CRM tool.
3. Automated Activity Logging
Traditional CRMs have features to log sales activity like calls, emails, etc manually. With workflow, automation teams can capture calls made or messages sent to contacts without bothering about manually logging them.
Image by storyset on Freepik
4. Automate Task & Lead Updates (Callbacks, Reminders)
Modern sales automation solutions are capable to automate task creation workflows. For example, with integrated telephony, the system can identify a non-responded call to a contact and automatically create a callback for a pre-defined schedule (after 24 hours). The lead status similarly can be auto-updated to Did Not Reply. Sales teams can create more such automated workflows for reminders, notifications, etc.
5. Pre-populating Data
Multiple data entry is a common and highly redundant activity that still exists in many sales processes. Say, for example, your sales team has to punch a successful sales order in the company ERP, an integrated ERP-Sales CRM system will pre-populate all relevant information already captured in the sales CRM during sales conversations.
Approach to Automation of Data Entry
Once you have decided to go for automation for your sales process, it is essential to have a robust implementation roadmap. A suggested approach to the implementation process is outlined below:
- Audit the complete sales process
The first and most important step is to map out your current process end-to-end and go into the details of every step of how the action is executed, key concerns, and business impact. Make a long list of such manual processes and assign a priority to each of them. Speak to your users, allow them to give unfiltered inputs on the issues they face at each of these steps, and speak to multiple team members. Let me input their remarks independently against the list of processes that you have created.
- Evaluate your data entry automation needs
With your requirement ready, get your product managers and process specialists in a room to chart out the required documentation. Keep in mind that you are solving with a 2-3 year horizon in mind that it should have capabilities keeping in mind business growth and future needs.
- Set clear objectives for your sales automation process
Another important aspect of data entry automation is objectively defining the business and process impact you want to see post-implementation. It is suggested to keep a record of essential metrics of your old process (Time to First Response, Sales Cycles, Wrap-up time for Inside sales teams, etc.) and define your post-rollout goals against each of these.
- Identify the Right Solution and Execute
Research the market, explore multiple solutions, and try all the shortlisted sales tools. Keep in mind to index more on your users while finally selecting tools with ease of use, reliability, deep automation, and integration capabilities. The solution should have a high degree of flexibility and should be able to cater to bespoke customization needs your unique sales process may have.
Automated data entry can help reduce time spent on manual data entry tasks, leaving you more time to focus on your customers and sales goals. This will increase the overall efficiency of the sales process and help connect with customers faster and reduce leakages due to human errors in the sales pipeline. Most importantly, the sight of sales members scrambling to enter data across the sales process is now streamlined and allows them ample time and peace of mind to have sales conversations. Lastly, sales managers are able to access reports readily with more structured data flowing in the system.
Chakra Sales is a modern sales execution solution to productize your sales process from Lead to Order, eliminating manual activities and multiple data entries. By integrating all associated tools, Chakra Sales creates a unified interface for sales activities with automated data capture and activity logging.
If you are looking for a customized sales solution for your fast-growing organization, do consider a free demo with Chakra Sales.