You’ve probably heard us mention RPA (Robotic Process Automation) more than a few times over the last few months- wink, wink. If not, let us bring you up to speed. Robotic process automation, or RPA, is a technology that imitates humans’ actions within computer systems using bots. RPA bots are algorithms that are “taught” or programmed to perform specific activities, mostly mundane, repetitive tasks that typically take up a lot of time when performed manually by humans. In other words, RPA is just a fancy way of saying that computers can now do many of the things that humans have been doing for years, including assisting through the entire sales process.
Despite all of the technological advancements we hear about though, most sales teams still find themselves bogged down by tedious tasks like data entry, management, aligning customer data, updating CRMs, and even making corrections to order-related human errors. It’s enough to make you want to pull your hair out! But there is a solution: RPA (or robotic process automation). RPA can take on the burden of these tedious tasks and free up your team’s time so they can focus on more important things, like communication with customers and prospects. After all, studies show that the top-performing sales reps spend at least 20% more time with their customers than lower performing reps. So if you’re looking for a way to increase efficiency and productivity in your sales team, RPA is the way to go.
A recent study by McKinsey & Company revealed that over 30% of sales related tasks have the potential to be automated, yet only about 25% of businesses have at least 1 task automated. They found that most business owners don’t know the technology even exists.
In fact, RPA bots have the ability to assist businesses/ sales people during the entire sales process from the initial planning stage of customer profiling through up-selling/ cross-selling to follow up after the sale when the customer is alerted that his stock is running low, and it’s time to re-order!
RPA bots can also be used to collect valuable data on sales reps performance, activity, and bonus structure. Here’s a real world example you can probably relate to if you are in sales. A sales manager collects data on her 13 sales representatives including phone calls, emails, or offline communication. She then enters that information into their CRM system to calculate monthly and quarterly bonuses of each team member. The results are then presented to upper management and stakeholders using charts and diagrams in the company’s monthly and quarterly reports. From start to finish, the process takes the sales manager three to five workdays.
Enter RPA- Omega Digital Solutions creates an RPA bot that will automatically pull this data on each sales rep’s activity from your CRM. Then the bot compiles it into your CRM system, where bonuses can be automatically calculated. The bot also creates a report with those same charts and diagrams on the team’s productivity and emails it to upper management and company stakeholders. Your sales manager just gained DAYS a month back!
Here are some other examples of tasks RPA can be implemented:
- Strategic planning: Forecasting, workforce planning, resource allocation, and channel strategies.
- Lead qualification: Creating action plans for new and existing customers, and pipeline management.
- Quotation: Setting quotes, technical solutions, negotiating, and preparing contracts.
- Order management: Credit checks, invoicing, and sales orders processing.
- Post-sales management: Regular monitoring, follow-ups, and management of post-sale requests.
- Supportive function: Reporting, analysis, training, administration, and sales material preparation.
But don’t worry, there’s no need to panic about robots replacing your sales reps. We are just saying that these bots can be extremely helpful in freeing up your sales teams’ time. And the result? They are actually out there selling.