Hey everyone - thanks for making the time to visit this article! I'm going to skip the usual mumbo jumbo introduction of why sales is "so important!" and take a step back and evaluate the need for sales process engineering and sales automation from a pure software engineer's perspective.
If you're coming from software sales, you've probably dealt with software engineers, whether it be to request a new feature for the client, issue a bug report, or just @#$%^ at them in unrelenting frustration. Software engineers are generally the rockstars on any given team, depicted in media as the awesome hackers delivering a spectacular product in just the nick of time. The motto of "fuck it, ship it" stems from the imagery of booze-filled coding sessions and slamming on that "SHIP" button and watching the moneys flow in.
Behind the scenes of every great development team however is another crucial yet lowkey awesome role - the development operations engineer, or devops engineer for short. You might have heard of devops or might not have, it's a relatively new role that has emerged with the proliferation of cloud computing and SaaS services. To put it shortly, the devops engineer is to make sure that everything that can be automated will be automated. This includes server maintenance, automatic deployments of new software, creating backup databases, delivering new code to servers, and a whole lot more. Most importantly, an automated system is defined from inception to release.
Behind every great software team, there's a greater automation process.
You can probably see where I'm going with the analogy. Behind every good sales person there should always be a good sales ops person. A sales op's (or marketing ops as its sometimes referred to) job is to set up a repeatable and automated process that makes the entire sales cycle buttery smooth. Just as how sales people are the rockstars that close those multi-million dollar deals, an automated sales process can quietly enable such deals to be set up in the first place. As with engineering, a happy sales person is enabled by a good sales process. And a good sales person is an effective sales person.
What does setting up a sales process look like? Depending on your setup it might look like the following:
- Lead generated via form fill or presales demo (see https://stagelight)
- Lead gets scored in a marketing automation platform and pushed to a customer relationship management (CRM) platform
- Lead gets enriched in CRM via Datanyze or similar-
- Lead goes into assignment queue, mostly round robin or geography based
- Sales rep/SDR is notified via email and Slack
As you can see, while this type of system might be difficult to set up at first, once it gets up and running your sales machine will be working like beast.