Sales force automation can certainly make or break a company.  If used correctly, you can significantly increase business with much less effort by reaching more prospects with targeted and relevant content.  If used incorrectly, you can waste money and throw away perfectly good leads.  Have you tried automating your follow up process and didn’t get the results you were looking for?  Or are you looking to add automation but not sure where to begin?  Step 1 is understanding how it is meant to be used and what you should expect to contribute to the process.  Below are 4 of the most common myths about sales force automation and why they simply are not true:


1. It’s a quick fix.

Creating a successful sales force automation process takes time.  Many times the initial strategy doesn’t produce the sales you are looking for, so continuing to reevaluate is key.  Researching and getting to know your customer base is something that doesn’t happen overnight, and this is truly the most important step in lead nurturing.


2. You need a lot of leads.

Just because you have an automated follow up process does not mean that you need to purchase hundreds of leads to blast through.  Unfortunately, many sales force automation processes fall short because they produce spam or waste time and money on leads that are not interested.  It is very important to know who you are targeting, and find a quality source of leads.  Revisit existing leads, cross sell, ask for referrals, or spend some time making changes to your lead generation process.


3. It does all the work for you.

This isn’t a set it and forget it tool.  Many businesses make the mistake of limiting their marketing to emails, which is not going to produce the same results as picking up the phone.  Will emails produce some results?  Maybe.  But we aren’t going for mediocre here.  Ideally, set up a combination of emails, mailers, and phone calls to make the most of your leads.  Also, keep in mind that you are only automating certain leads in the funnel – once you have contacted the person it makes much more sense to manually follow up based on your conversation.


4. One size fits all.

It is never a good idea to send one vague email to everyone.  It does take a little extra time to produce quality content for different types of prospects, but it is more than worth it.  Consider segmenting your leads by source, level of interest, product or service they are interested in, budget, etc. based on your business.  By understanding the needs of each individual, you are able to target them specifically until they are ready to buy.