From INBOUND 2022: Integrations are unlocking automation in sales cycles

Cory Shrecengost
September 20, 2022
minuten leestijd
A shot from high above the expo floor at Hubspot Inbound. In the center of the photo is a large inbound sign
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Nieuwe look, hetzelfde geweldige product! HelloSign heet nu Dropbox Sign.

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“The tools that are supposed to make sales easier are actually distracting salespeople and slowing down the sales process,” declared Kelash Kumar (KK), Dropbox Vice President of Product, at INBOUND 2022.  

And he’s not wrong. Modern salespeople only spend 27% of their time actually selling—and 73% of their time on sales activities that don’t bring in revenue!

KK took aim at how the plethora of tools in today’s sales stack are forcing salespeople into time-consuming manual tasks, like moving information between disparate tools and applications.

As KK explained, it’s not the sales tools or the people who use them that are slowing down sales; it’s that, especially on smaller teams, sellers’ tools aren’t connected which adds distracting and repetitive manual steps that slow down the sales process.

It’s why the best question sales leaders and business owners can ask to improve the effectiveness of their sales activities today is: How can we integrate and automate the sales process so salespeople have more time and fewer distractions?

Solving the sales productivity problem: How integration unlocks sales automation

Recent Dropbox-led research examined the three phases of closing deals—proposals and pitching, closing, and account management—and identified activities that introduce painful time sucks. Between creating new sales agreements from scratch, copying and pasting contact information between tools, and downloading and uploading completed contracts to different storage tools, salespeople are overburdened by small tasks that slow them down.

Surprisingly, though, the majority of these frictions are easily solved with simple integrations between the existing tools in your sales stack.

When all of your sales tools work together in one seamless workflow, it cuts out tasks like manual data input, document creation, and switching between tools.

What’s more, integrations unlock free-flowing information exchange that creates greater opportunities for sales automation. Sellers can build processes that autofill sales contracts with prospect information from their CRM, send automatic follow-up emails when contracts go unsigned, or automatically save agreements to cloud storage once they’ve been signed. However, few businesses actually integrate their tools enough to unlock this level of sales automation.

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Sales integration and automation in the real world

Sure, sales integration and automation sound great in theory, but have they actually worked for real businesses? KK outlined how smaller companies, like independent music distributor Symphonic, use more than 60 quick-use templates to prepare new contracts fast and send over 400 automated document requests a month.

Larger businesses like CGIA have also seen significant benefits from integrating their systems to unlock sales automation. The insurance provider saved over 700 employee hours per year and reduced its time-to-close for insurance sales by 17% simply by integrating its sales tools.

If integrating sales tools is so great, why isn’t everyone doing it?

The major reason growing businesses neglect integrations is the belief that integrating their tools is more time-consuming, disruptive, or technical than continuing on with familiar processes.

The thing is, this view is a complete misconception. The most profound data point we uncovered from our research is that people think technology integration is much more technical and time-consuming than it can be.

The truth is, some integrations aren’t difficult to implement at all. In fact, you can integrate Dropbox Sign and start sending legally binding sales contracts directly from HubSpot right now in about 2 minutes.

Watch how easy it is to integrate eSignatures into HubSpot right here.

Integrations are your path to a faster, automated, and scalable sales process

Dropbox Sign is just one of many possible integrations that connect your disparate sales tools and automate your sales process. To end, KK painted a picture of the integrated sales automation end-game for growing businesses. “The real beauty of integrations is that they also apply to every new salesperson who joins your company as you grow. So if it saves you 50 hours per year when you’re solo-selling, that becomes 500 hours a year when your sales team grows to 10.”

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