Sales Automation 101: 3 Processes RevOps Teams Should Automate Right Now
February 11, 2023
April 6, 2022
For several years now, RevOps has been the talk of the enterprise. Reason being: RevOps can drive real results. In 2019, Forrester found that organizations that deployed RevOps “in some form” grew revenue “nearly three times faster than those that didn’t,” and that public companies that supported RevOps teams reported “71% higher stock performance.” Organizations that are going the extra mile to empower their RevOps teams with tools such as sales automation, meanwhile, are seeing even more robust results than that.
But let’s back up.
What is RevOps?
Revenue Operations (or, RevOps) is a business function charged with maximizing an organization’s revenue-generating potential. It is characterized by the alignment and integration of all departments involved in the typical customer lifecycle—pre- and post-sale—from Marketing to Sales to Customer Success.
Ultimately, RevOps works to make sales organizations more efficient and to help them close more deals. RevOps does this by enabling sales organizations to collaborate more effectively across processes; make more efficient use of their technology and data; and operate in a more agile fashion overall. As Ryan Wilcox, Head of Revenue Ops at Tonkean, has put it, RevOps turns sales into a “Revenue engine… as opposed to something more like a reaction engine.”
RevOps teams also facilitate scale. This is something RevOps teams are uniquely positioned to do, in comparison to traditional sales teams, who are (rightly) focused more on quarterly goals: deals won, clients engaged, services rendered, etc.
Sales is focused on outcomes. RevOps focuses on the systems that get you those outcomes.
But not all RevOps teams are created equal.
What separates RevOps teams who produce results for their companies—who succeed in achieving scale and growing revenue faster than siloed sales orgs alone can—is the extent to which they make it easier for frontline revenue-generators to do their jobs.
That’s where sales automation comes into play.
More and more everyday, RevOps teams are turning to process automation software to further simplify mission-critical processes for their organizations and for the sales, marketing, and customer success professionals teams they support.
Sales automation isn’t just about making processes simpler. It can also be used to make processes more reliable.
Think about all the manual effort that’s required to do things such as route leads or keep customer account statuses current and accurate in a CRM like Salesforce.
Performing those tasks manually not only takes account executives away from closing deals—it makes sales organizations more vulnerable to errors and delays, and reduces the agility of the sales organization overall.
The RevOps teams that are making the biggest difference for their organizations today are the ones leveraging sales automation.
By automating processes, they make their teammates’ lives easier and more enjoyable while simultaneously empowering their organizations to operate with greater agility.
They’re also using process automation to help their sales teams close more deals. According to Hubspot, “61% of businesses leveraging automation exceeded revenue targets in 2020.”
If you’re thinking about getting started with sales automation inside your sales org, good news: you can start simple and still make a big difference.
Here are a few examples of processes that the RevOps team inside Tonkean is automating and obtaining massive returns. As you’ll see, doing the same inside your organization is fairly straightforward.
Oh, and if you want to see how exactly these processes were automated, sign up for our RevOps webinar:
1. Sales employee onboarding
U.S companies spend almost 20% more on training new sales reps than they do on other workers. It’s no secret why. When onboarding a new salesperson, there are a wide array of tasks that must be completed. These include:
Providing quota and commission contracts for the employee to sign and submit
Ensuring those contracts are properly approved, signed and filed
Provisioning employee access to all relevant data repositories and software tools, such as the CRM
Assigning employee territory and account
Assigning employee SDRs and SEs
Briefing employees on the status of active accounts, pipeline deals, etc.
Traditionally, these tasks must be completed and tracked manually. This is both resource and time intensive and prone to human errors.
All told, onboarding is one of the most time consuming processes RevOps teams have to manage—and one of the most draining aspects of a new employee’s introduction to your company.
But it doesn’t have to be. Using Tonkean, you can create an automation solution—without writing any code—that automates every step involved with new employee onboarding.
In our RevOps webinar, Morgan Leech, Senior Manager of Revenue Operations at Tonkean, describes how the automation she put in place on her team works. Here are a few of the steps.
Getting started. First, the hiring manager is prompted to add the new employee to Sapling—our HR tool—and input key info such as their name, title, manager, start date, etc.
Slack trigger. Once the info has been added, a notification is automatically sent to our #onboarding Slack channel alerting the necessary people that “XYZ person is starting on XX/XX/XX date”
Task automation. Once it has reached that employee’s start date and they are ACTIVE in Slack, a series of back-office tasks are automatically initiated.
Human-in-the-loop. If the new hire is part of the sales organization, the #onboarding channel is alerted of their start date and asked if they want to kick off the sales-specific onboarding for this employee.
Click the button. If the automatically provided “Yes” button is clicked, the employee is then automatically sent a personalized onboarding document with all the relevant training materials they’ll be responsible for reviewing.
Reminder. If they’ve not yet completed the training, four days later, Tonkean automatically sends them a Slack notification asking if they have completed “Week 1 Onboarding.”
Here’s what the automation looks like built out:
As the automation is running, Morgan uses the Tonkean reporting capabilities to keep track of each moving item of the process in real time—as well as make changes to the process when needed.
This relieves Morgan of much headache and manual work.
And because the process Morgan has created inside Tonkean meets employees where they already are—reminding them in Slack to complete certain actions when actions are required of them—the process is less stressful on new hires, too.
Everyone involved enjoys more bandwidth with which to focus on the important stuff, instead of the manual minutiae which takes up so much of our time today.
Doing compensation planning right requires high accuracy and attention to detail.
It involves setting personalized quotas, establishing strategic incentives, setting goals, KPIs and it’s legally binding. Like all legal contracts, the details, terms and conditions, and agreements all matter.
Compensation planning is also nuanced. Among other things, it requires RevOps to:
Utilize historical sales data to establish both a realistic and growth-oriented sales compensation plan
Analyze customer data, including which types of customers are most profitable, which are the most likely to churn, and which are most valuable to your organization
Align long-term marketing and growth goals, which help ensure your comp plans are future proof.
Compensation planning requires, in other words, the ability to access and synthesize lots of up-to-date data on an ongoing basis.
To that end, sales automation is an invaluable tool.
RevOps teams can create workflow solutions that, for example, automatically prompt account executives to update their CRM any time they have a new meeting. (And they can do it from inside whatever application they prefer spending time in, such as Slack.)
With a platform like Tonkean, that same automation can then store that information and surface it through Business Reports.
RevOps teams can be confident that the data they surface inside their reports is as up-to-date and as accurate as they need it to be, so that they can create comp plans that are as strategic as possible.
3. Account Management (Data entry and systems integration)
A preeminent problem inside the enterprise across departments is that people are forced to work around their tools. Human interactions, data entry tasks, and upkeep occur across a suite of unconnected channels:
project management apps (Asana).
The limitations of these tools in turn dictate how mission-critical processes run.
This creates chaos and confusion. It makes vital information hard to find and difficult to update, as it makes maintaining a proper system of record harder than it needs to be.
It’s a big reason why sales employees often have to input the same data points across multiple systems, slowing down response times and, in the worst cases, leading to lost deals.
The good news is, this is a problem process automation is well equipped to solve.
With the right kind of no-code automation platform, you can create processes that synchronize your people and allow them to connect with your key data sources seamlessly—enabling both a more enjoyable employee experience and ensuring your organization’s data is always accurate and easy to find.
At Tonkean, the RevOps team has created processes that achieve this by empowering account stakeholders to obtain and update information from inside just one messaging system: Slack.
The automations they’ve created enable employees to update Salesforce with meeting notes, obtain NDAs, book meetings, and even generate sales quotes—all inside Slack.
One result is employees get to spend more time inside the tools and systems they love and less time bookmarking random portals or email distribution lists.
Another is that RevOps teams don’t have to spend time retraining users around how to navigate auxiliary systems, or nagging sales people to keep their customer records current.
And salespeople get to enjoy easier, more immediate access to the information they need—so they can focus more completely on what they want to be focusing on: closing deals.
Sales automation turns RevOps from a reaction engine to a revenue engine.
To see how our RevOps team built these processes—and to learn more about how you can, too—click here.
What sort of sales automation tool does your RevOps team need?
It’s tempting to assume that all automation is the same—but it’s not.
What RevOps teams need is an automation platform that not only succeeds in automating certain tasks, but that grants RevOps teams the ability to operate in a true agile fashion—and allows RevOps teams to address their own problems how they see fit.
That means enterprise-grade no-code automation, which gives RevOps teams the ability to create and maintain their own automation solutions.
The right no-code platform gives RevOps the power they need to independently build, change and refine their workflows as often as needed.
“It’s so important that I can build the workflows myself through the no-code interface,” Morgan, from the Tonkean RevOps team, says. “I don’t want to be dependent on other departments.”
Being able to operate in such a continually iterative manner is fundamental to agile methodologies. But it’s also key to ensuring your RevOps team continues to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your sales org as it grows.