[ActiveCampaign Guide] 9+1 Steps to Implement Sales Automation in Your Business and Coordinate Better Your Sales & Marketing Teams.

Dec 6, 2021

Have you implemented Marketing Automation with ActiveCampaign and don’t know how to connect & coordinate the sales team? 

In this article, you’ll find 9 + 1 steps on how to implement Sales Automation the best way using ActiveCampaign.

ActiveCampaign implementation

Recently I’ve talked with many entrepreneurs and managers of SMEs that have implemented the marketing side with ActiveCampaign but don’t know how to connect the sales side.

If you’re in this situation, you probably have:

  • funnel that consists of an opt-in page, a lead magnet and an email sequence;
  • You’re running ads and/or using SEO to drive traffic to your funnel and website; 
  • You probably have tools such as Calendly to schedule discovery calls and demos with prospects.

After a while, you’ve realised that:

  • Sales reps have many different spreadsheets and there’s a lot of chaos;
  • Reps waste a lot of time on deciding what leads should be called and when;
  • Reps don’t have a way to prioritise leads and therefore the time spent on calls is not optimised;
  • Sometimes a prospect is called more than once, even by different reps;
  • Reps are not able to track how many calls they have done and how the deal proceeded;
  • You don’t know how to facilitate their work, coordinate the sales team and connect it to the marketing side.

If you’re in this situation and you want to optimise the resources in order to maximise your revenues, in this article you’ll find the steps on how to implement sales automation in your business.

1) Map Out your Processes

ActiveCampaign helps you to coordinate the sales team with Pipelines, Stages, Deals and Tasks. 

Before touching any piece of technology, you should strategically understand how your optimal sales process should be.

The first thing to do is to map out your current processes and to define the most important KPIs that you want to monitor.

With Lucidcharts you can create a flow diagram that helps you to visualise the overall process so you can understand how to optimise it.

Click here if you want to learn more about mapping out your processes.

2) Define your Pipeline

As a second step, you need to find those patterns that allow you to clearly define all the typical phases that a lead goes through from being a Marketing Qualified Lead to a Sales Qualified Lead and then to a Customer.

Those phases will be the stages of your pipeline and the lead that enters it is managed as a deal.

For example, if you have a service-based business you can set up a pipeline to manage the leads that are on their way to becoming customers.

When a lead is qualified enters this pipeline as a deal and the stages could be: 

Discovery call, Sales call, Negotiation, Customer. 

Your sales team can now manage the sales opportunities (Deals) by dragging each of them to the right stage as they proceed.

With the Tasks feature, reps can automate to-do lists, set reminders and manage their daily work.

TIP: Don’t create a stage in the pipeline for “Lost” or “Won” deals, use the field “Status” instead. It allows you to track in what stage the majority of deals are won or lost and it helps you to keep the pipeline organised since deals “disappear” when you change the status. You can then use the filters at the top of the page to see where the won and lost deals are.

3) Define the Lead Scoring: your right hand of the marketing side

Lead Scoring helps you to qualify leads and it’s basically a points system for lead action, or inaction, based on what’s important to your business.

You can use it to determine whether a lead can enter a pipeline or not and can support you in the lead prioritisation.

At this point, the sales process starts and your team can focus on the best leads.

Here are some variables that you can use for lead scoring:

  • Type of traffic source
  • Number of lead magnets downloaded 
  • Number of webinars attended
  • Website visits
  • Call or demo scheduled
  • Email engagement

4) Understand How to Make the Sales and Marketing Sides Talk to Each Other

If you have a funnel set up with an email sequence and a lead enters the pipeline, you may want to remove it from that automation and maybe trigger another one to nurture the prospect before the call.

By combining goals and conversions, you can remove a lead from an automation when certain conditions are met and track everything (e.g. how many leads in that specific automation have scheduled the call, what has been the journey that led to that conversion etc…).

This way you can make the marketing and the sales sides talk to each other.

To deepen this topic I suggest you read this post.

5) Define the Deal Scoring: Your Right Hand of the Sales Side

Another important thing to set up is the Deal ScoringIt is a points system that you can use to qualify the deals your team is working on.

I suggest you brainstorm with your sales team to define what are the best ways to qualify a deal.

Here are some hints:

  • You can give any deal that enters the pipeline a deal score of 100 points and then set a rule to deduct points if it isn’t progressing quickly enough;
  • You can create a deal score that summarises different lead scores in order to identify high-value deals;
  • You can create a custom field where your reps can insert an evaluation after a call with a prospect and set up a deal score that reflects that. 

6) Define How Deals Are Assigned to Sales Reps

Once you have defined the stages of the pipeline and implemented the Lead & Deal Scoring, you need to decide how those deals will be assigned to your sales reps.

ActiveCampaign gives you the following methods:

  • Manual: you need to choose the deal owner by selecting it manually;
  • Round robin: you can set it up in an automation that will evenly distribute deals to your team members;
  • Round robin deal value: it will use a combination of round robin and deal value to ensure that every team member gets the same amount of “value” over time;
  • Inside an automation, you can assign the deals that you create to a specific team member. That works well if you have assigned a specific product or line of product to a specific sales rep.

7) To Automate or Not to Automate? This Is the Problem

At this point, it is really important to define what to automate and what not.

What should be a manual activity and what should be an automated one? (e.g. deal changes in the pipeline, automatic creation of tasks, updates of fields etc…).

Based on how tech-friendly your team is, you need to design a process where there is a good balance between manual and automated activities.

In the beginning, the tendency is to automate everything but the more integrations and complex automations you have, the more likely something will break in the future.

Find the right combination and then write easy step-by-step guidelines for your team.

8) Understand How to Connect All The Dots and Implement the Process With the Tech Stack

After you have defined all the things mentioned before, you need to understand how to implement the whole process with the tech stack.

Funnelytics can help you to map out the technical part of the process considering all the tools involved in it.

I say “tools” because you can integrate to ActiveCampaign many different softwares that enhance its features and make the overall process more efficient.

For example:

If you have a proposal workflow that involves many steps, from design to sign-off, you can integrate Proposify to manage it better.

You can set up a stage in the pipeline called “Proposal” and based on what happens inside Proposify you can move the deal through the pipeline in ActiveCampaign, add tasks, set reminders, trigger automations and so on.

Another useful tool is Calendly, it helps you to manage demos and calls with your prospects. With this integration, you can automatically create a deal in the pipeline when someone schedules a call or you can change the stage when the lead meets certain conditions.

In a few words, you can use softwares that manage a specific part of the pipeline and through the integration, you can track interactions and trigger an action in ActiveCampaign.

Now it’s the moment to implement the whole process!

9) Test & Refining and Documentation

After you implement the process, you need to schedule a test period where you teach your team how to use the system and you give support in the first phase. 

This is also the moment where you refine the overall process based on feedback and build a knowledge base for your team on how to use the system efficiently.

It can happen, in fact, that a member of your team does not remember one procedure so it’s really helpful to have a repository where how-to’s guides can be found.

Freshdesk and Zendesk can help you to build a knowledge base for your team along with a support desk for your clients and prospects.

10) Corporate Culture

This is more of a premise and would require an article just for that, but it’s worth mentioning.

The corporate culture makes all the difference in such a project and it’s really important that the members of your team are sufficiently confident with technology.

The user interface of ActiveCampaign is easy to understand and if you engineer the process the best way and give support to your team, I’m sure the project will be a success.

What to Do Next?

I understand that the planning & implementation of this project can be overwhelming.

For this reason, outsourcing the implementation could be a good idea and in this article you find 3 ways it can benefit your business.

In the last years, I helped several SMEs to make the most out of sales & marketing automation through digital project management services.

If you want to learn more download the Business Automation guide for busy managers and entrepreneurs:

If you want to hire me as a consultant fill out the application form:

Autor: Oscar Di Pasquale

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