Sales organization waste most of their time prospecting instead of closing deals. Studies show that over 98% of sales professional time is wasted on prospecting. Machine learning has the power to use data to supplement the heavy lifting of prospecting through automation. Today we’re going to cover three tips for automating your prospecting.

  1. Gathering the Data

Anything that can be tracked can be improved is more than a cliche statement. Start with creating an efficient process to track all sales related behavior and decision making using a customized CRM tool. For example, create a lead rating system and a record of thoughts on every account. This process will eventually provide you with a solid understanding of what information is important to the sales team. 

2. Identifying Important Data

Gathering the right data is a key factor in building a robust prospecting tool that serves your organization’s success. This is a tedious process that involves multiple revisions along the way to make sure you’re asking the team the right questions. I suggest starting with assumptions and then collecting a consensus on better questions from your team. Expect several iterations of refining your questioning to improve the data throughout the process.  As a result of refining your process and what data to collect, you will begin to notice the improved prospecting accuracy.

3. Consulting Machine Learning Expert 

Once you have enough data it’s time to partner with an expert to start the automation process. The effectiveness of this process will depend on the amount and accuracy of data collected. One of the most cost-effective ways to implement an automation model is through hiring a consultant to design the tool. This will keep your cost down compared to hiring a full-time data scientist. 

With automating the prospecting, a sales manager and salesperson can focus more on closing and up-selling opportunities. As a result, you can spend less time on prospecting and more time focused on nurturing prospects. Capitalize on spending more time engaging with a prospect that’s ready to move forward.

Alex Brooks is the founder and CEO of AE Brooks, LLC (d/b/a, Entreprov), a Seattle-based firm that builds custom tools to help businesses increase customer retention and engagement.