No matter how smoothly it operates, every organization wants to be more efficient. Processes are at the core of every organization, whether they are manual or are automated. Ultimately, every process – manual or automated, minor or important, or even easily neglected or heavily used – has an impact on a business’s overall success. Every slowdown or hitch detracts from productivity and profitability, and they all accumulate.
Nowhere is this truer than in a busy sales department. Every second spent struggling with business tools or dealing with laborious admin tasks saps the energy and time of skilled salespeople, who could instead be spending them developing relationships with current customers or the next great lead.
So, how can you cut the wasted time and give it back to your team, so they can use it on these valuable activities instead? The answer is to automate manual processes.
Let technology do the hard work
Automating manual processes now has the power to streamline much of the administrative work surrounding sales, including much of the necessary documentation and approvals involved. Not only can new solutions remove much of the time-consuming manual work that plagues salespeople, but it can also empower them to work with fewer errors and greater effectiveness.
Sounds good? Let’s take a look at some specific examples:
Creating perfect contracts automatically
Faster and smoother contract processes get deals closed quicker, which means organizations get paid sooner and salespeople can get on to the next sale without delay. Using document generation technology, sales teams can now generate accurate and compliant contracts based on the data you’ve already gathered from customers.
That takes a lot of the time and effort out of the drafting process – and mistakes (e.g., misspelled customer names) are greatly reduced because the system is automatically populating a pre-approved template with the data – rather than personnel re-typing or cutting-and-pasting it.
Streamlining management and approvals
What’s more, with a modern cloud-based workflow automation solution, you can automate manual processes used in contract management and expedite everything from start to finish – wherever the team members are. So, when your data-driven contract has been generated, it can then be automatically sent on to the appropriate colleagues for approval, redlining, and other matters.
Important matters such as discount approvals can now take place more quickly, consistently, and accurately. Rules-based automation can help with the decisions, by checking if a proposed discount or price is in line with your pre-defined internal guidelines. If there’s an issue, a manager is automatically notified so that they can review and make a decision. All with instant, easy-to-access notifications sent to stakeholders’ computers or mobile devices – so there doesn’t have to be a hold-up if an approver isn’t on the premises that day, for instance.
Collecting, processing, and storing customer data
As well as transforming how sales teams make use of customer data, automating manual processes can also revolutionize how it’s collected in the first place. With easy-to-use digital forms, processes such as onboarding customers can take place with far greater efficiency and accuracy.
You can provide these digital forms to salespeople – or give them directly to customers to complete themselves. The entry fields can be pre-configured, once again using your own pre-set rules, to ensure the data is collected in the best possible format for use (e.g., dates in month/day/year, not day/month/year) and that errors are minimized. For instance, the system can “know” if a phone number entered is one digit short, or if the area code is wrong – then alert the user and prompt for correction.
Once you’ve quickly collected this accurate set of customer/sale data, it can then be stored automatically in your CRM system (such as SalesForce). Then it can be used to generate contracts, invoices, and new-customer documents such as a welcome letter, using the document generation technology described earlier. These can all be sent instantly to a customer’s email with just a few clicks, or the newly created document pack can be routed for printing and mailing if necessary. Once again, that all saves time for the people who would previously have been doing it all manually.
Sales teams: Ready to automate manual processes?
So, as you can see, there is a wide range of use cases and benefits when sales teams automate manual processes. They all result in more time for core sales work: nurturing relationships with leads and customers and making every deal everything it can be.
Although we’ve listed some great examples here, you can do even more when you start automating manual processes. Using this technology, you can digitize, speed up, and improve a wide range of tasks across the entire sales cycle. You can even use it for working on customer relationships themselves – such as setting automatic reminders to contact an existing customer and grow the account or generating personalized documents with a list of current prices and stock/products.
Every innovation or enhancement helps your salespeople to devote more attention to what they do best: selling. They’ll thank you for it.
If you’d like to discuss how Nintex can help you to automate manual processes so your sales team can spend more time on developing business relationships, let’s talk. Get in touch with us today.