5 Steps to Get Started with Field Sales Automation

November 14, 2022

Automation streamlines many aspects of the sales process and frees up the sales team to do what they do best. For many organizations, it’s critical for their sales success. If you’re starting out with field sales automation, here are the 5 steps you’ll need to take.

  1. Identify your target audience
  2. Map your customer journey
  3. Create valuable content
  4. Build an email distribution list
  5. Monitor and optimize continually

1. Identify Your Target Audience

Your target audience is the group of people who want to buy what you're selling. For sales automation to work best, you’ll want to learn as much about your target audience as you can. That means building a buyer persona. Here’s how you can find information to help you build one:

  • Look at the leads you interact with most. What generalizations can you make about the customers you've served?
  • Use forms on your website to capture important information.
  • Look through your database of contacts for trends about how your customers discover and consume your web content.

2. Map Your Customer Journey

Once you've identified and learned more about your target audience, you can move on to mapping the progression of your customer's interactions with your company as they move from a sales lead to a purchase. This is your customer journey, and it commonly breaks down into three phases:

  • Awareness: The customer knows they have a problem or a need, and they're searching for information to better understand it.
  • Consideration: The customer has identified their problem or need and is discovering solutions for it.
  • Decision: The customer has narrowed down the solution to their problem or need and is ready to make a final purchase decision.

Customers have different needs depending on where they are on this journey, so you’ll need to map out multiple scenarios your target audience may be in and use that map to create relevant content for them at every stage of their journey through the sales funnel. Your sales automation software can automate your content for each stage of your customer journey, so your target audience receives the content they need when they need it.

3. Create Valuable Content

Armed with the knowledge of your target audience and where they are on the customer journey, you can start crafting valuable content. This is something you'll be doing long-term, but it's arguably the most important part of your sales automation strategy. Each piece of content you create should help your audience along every step of the customer journey. Here are some ways you can do that:

  • Focus on your audience's needs. The first step in creating valuable content is targeting your audience's challenges. Your content should provide unique insights, data, and tips to solve their problems.
  • Personalize. Customers generally prefer personal emails and messages over generic ones. That can be tricky to do for companies that have hundreds, or thousands, of customers and leads in their database. However, marketing automation makes it easier to give that personal touch to the content you send to your audience. You can create messages related to their last action, such as adding something to their online shopping cart, subscribing to your list, or after they’ve finished a product demo.
  • Use A/B Testing. If you're not familiar with the term, A/B testing simply means sending two versions of the same message to two different segments of your target audience to see which version performs better. There should only be one specific change in the second version for this to work. It's a great way to learn what engages your target audience effectively.

4. Build an Email Distribution List

Now that you know your ideal customer persona, have mapped out their journey, and have created personalized content, you'll want to have an audience to reach out to. Your current email distribution list is a great start, but you'll likely see people unsubscribe from time to time. It happens for every business. So building up your email distribution list is something you should be doing all the time. Fortunately, your sales automation software will make this easier for you. With web forms and other sign-up tools, new contacts will flow into your automation software and populate your email distribution list for you.

5. Monitor and Optimize Continually

One final way to take full advantage of your sales automation software is to use its analytics and reporting tools on a regular basis. If you’re consistently monitoring the results of your customer interactions and fine-tuning your strategy, you’ll see better results in the long run. 

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