Automation of Sales Processes

In the world in which we live, the most precious asset we have is time and it is not only valuable from the point of view of the end customer. The user is looking for a quick way to access the goods or services that he needs to obtain, if possible, in a record time while the seller is also looking for the fastest way to sell and obtain a profit.

The automation of sales processes would be the vendor’s paradigm if everything was automatic: to be able to fulfil the need of an end customer without using resources (mostly human labour) that are often expensive and/or scarce due to the specialization needed in the sales process (multiple languages ​​in the interaction with customers) which don’t generate a “ROI” in a tangible continuous way. Such “traditional” methods would be the ones we would try to avoid because they were not completely safe.

Let’s take a simple example of an online sale with some basic sales automation processes. We can have a virtual store in which we offer a series of products through a web page with automatic translation, all based on a series of templates on which, once the product has been chosen, we pass the sell to a payment gateway where credit card details are introduced. After a brief verification we will be receiving confirmation that the transaction was successful.

Surely this will be done via email and / or SMS containing the reference of the purchase and a tracking number so the product will be received by mail or courier (should it be a physical purchase such as a mobile). This transaction will be completed using a very simple automatic sales processes. An online store is easy to manage and does not need many resources to be active although, of course, the results you can expect will not be “spectacular” unless you have a loyal customer base either to the products offered or the affinity and trust in a company, such as the loyal customer to a specific department store and its online services.

However, if we want to go one step further in our on-line solutions and increase our sales rating, technology has also to take that step and, in the world we are in, we can say that the sky is the limit. In our case it will be our imagination combined with all the technological solutions that we have at our disposal.

Often we find companies that offer their services of “big data” and intelligent analysis of the information. Normally we dont know why they exist or how we can use the amount of data that we have by historical for our own benefit. It is precisely through the use of these tools where we can find the alternatives to improve our sales solutions.

If we base our offer only on the interest that a visitor shows while looking in our web site, the items that can be bought will surely be very few (a visit or “hit” in our website does not have to be converted immediately in a sale, as much as we would like this to happen). However, if we cross the data that we know of our prospective buyer with others that we already have pre-analyzed, we can offer other products interactively and that may be of interest, without the buyer being interested in those products in the first place when he/she entered our web.

For example, if the buyer is not registered in our web, we can potentially have the IP address (number assigned to each computer when connected to the internet) and we can delimit the area from where it is connecting (known as “Geolocation”). We can analyze the preferences of other buyers that we have had in that same area, offering products that have been bought , not being strange to see the message “buyers of these objects also bought”. Likewise, by checking the type of internet browser we can get to know the type of mobile, tablet or computer from which the potential customer is connecting. If we detect that it is an IPhone or any other Apple device which uses Safari, we will be able to dynamically rearrange our offer to this potential buyer and take advantage of the greater purchasing power that this visitor may have compared to other buyers, such as Android users.

Needless to say, if the person who visits our website sales has already bought from us before, we will have the advantage of offering items that could be a complement or even updates of previous purchased articles. All this will be perfectly possible if we cross the customer data with data held in our CRM (Customer Relationship Management) in order to establish a relationship between the products we have in stock with the analysis of data we receive from the interactions of our customers, thus optimizing the sales process and making it more effective.

You may be tempted to think that sales systems are intrusive as they try to know you better “guessing” desires, offering items that we didn’t even know we wanted when we started shopping or, sometimes, when we were not even looking at the internet to buy anything. However, the strategic inclusion of ads makes our buyer spirit awake. This strategy is not new, it is just a technological adaptation to the modern times of the good old television strategy. It is just the old advertising tactic and the telesales channel in digital format.

In general, sales through the new communication channels are nothing more than mathematical calculations and arithmetic logic, all mixed in a statistical cocktail which results are not usually mistaken. After all, the majority of the population follow trends and tendencies so they fall to offers sooner or later, especially if those items are focalized on a certain segment of the population according to age and / or social scale. In many cases sales are not initiated even in the site of the seller. It is only necessary to establish the strategy in which the public uses the internet and try to make use of the new tools that are available to us. It is not surprising that, for example, if we get into an online video channels and watch videos followed by a large audience or certain programs we see “inserted” ads every few minutes where, if we “click” on them, will automatically take us to the beginning of our sales process. In this way sales are more likely to materialize because the initial interest clicking on that ad has already been shown.

In this sense the sales process can have additional variants for its successful culmination, from the click-to-call where the user clicks on a part of the web to be called-back and helped to continue with the sale or the “Click-to-chat “, where a small window appears and the user can interact with a specialized agent and obtain more information. At the same time that we are talking with our client we can perform other technological actions such as analysing the conversation, but not only from the intrinsic point of view of what is being said and transcribed, recording what is spoken. What is really interesting is to be able to interpret and analyse the context of the conversation “live” and extrapolate it for analysis. By doing this, during the same conversation / interaction, the agent can have additional information facilitating the offering of products that might not be the nature of the original call. By analysing the probabilistic data of the “big data” we see that there are a number of products that can be sold in that interaction in a very high percentage. If we put all those actions as a single interaction with the client until their final resolution, regardless of where and how it started and where it ends (i.e. starting with a click on an ad, followed by a chat, then the same goes into a call where it ends making the sale) is what we understand as “omnicanality”, contributing to the value in customer service.

Nowadays the majority of the companies are trying to optimize the sale of new services or variances upon the already sold to current customers through automated sale, optimizing the customer loyalty. This is a method used by most of the brands that we have contracted. Let’s say, for example, that we have a life and national travel insurance as an addition to our home insurance. Now it is likely that we will go on vacation internationally. Maybe we are not thinking about buying an additional insurance but playing with the famous web-cookies we can find browsing the web that, “miraculously”, we are offered international travel insurance. Needless to say, if we also have an application from our insurance company installed on our smartphone or tablet, while we browse through it we can find that we are also offered international coverage for a few weeks or months. This offer, also “fortuitously”, will be matching the dates for which we have purchased our flights on other websites, hired hotels or rented a car. Coincidences don’t exist and an automated sales process has to be very well planned and interact with multiple tools if we want a satisfactory result.

Of course, all this is possible if you have the right partners both in the provision and the analysis of the “big data”, successful use of speech analytics, automation of events and offers and possible driving the end user through our smart applications or web pages, running everything as a whole as intelligence of our strategy of automatic sales processes.

You can read the original post in Spanish at Automatización de los procesos de Venta


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