16 June 2020

Cost Estimator: How Much will Automating Sales Processes Cost You in 2020?

An examination of 24 automated sales software and the upfront and hidden costs of implementing them.

 

You are reading the Business Development, Services and Marketing (BDSM) Blog. Named to reflect the punishing amount of discipline required to master the core tenets of the industries we service, we blog about current affairs, industry tips, tech developments and more.

     Written by

    Nigel Seah

    Digital Marketer

Traditional sales management is broken. Salespeople make many calls, only to face diminishing responses.

The sales response to a lack of sales respondents is sales automation. Statistics cite 53% increased conversion rates on top of a 3.1% bump in revenue growth.

That said, automation comes at a cost. Let’s explore exactly how much, to answer the question, is it necessary?

 

Different Types of Automated Sales Systems

Before we dive into the software offerings in the wild, let’s establish the different types of sales automation systems. Typically designed with the common goal of optimizing sales processes, sales automation software, can be quite different in nature.

Here are the different types of automated sales software:

Inbound Sales Systems

As you already know, inbound sales is a customer-centric approach that emphasizes the pain points of the individual prospect. Inbound sales representatives serve as trusted advisors to the prospects instead of reaching out to source for leads.

Automation mainly helps by reducing lead response time. Novocall, for example, is an inbound-sales focused software. As prospects are directed to your website, Novocall’s instant call-back and scheduling features help to connect leads with salespeople in less than 30 seconds.

Outbound Sales Systems

Meanwhile, outbound sales is a more proactive approach. Salespeople reach out to potential customers through cold emails, campaigns, and advertisements. Automating outbound sales thus requires different software functions.

Outreach.io is a typical outbound-sales focused software. It automatically sorts data to identify the right prospects to approach and enables easier organizing of calls to contact these prospects.

All-in-One

Some sales automation tools offer an end-to-end experience. These include automated lead research, contact management, reporting, and team analytics.

Specific Sales Optimization (Specialized Software)

Alternatively, there are sales automation tools that specialize in a specific task or part of the sales process, such as meeting scheduler, lead research, or more.

 

1. ActiveCampaign

Category: Inbound

Description: Activecampaign is an inbound email automation system. As customers visit your websites or make a likely purchase, the system detects these active engagements and automatically sends emails to customers’ mailboxes. The email can be used to offer comprehensive information for leads, capture them before their interests wane.

Capterra Rating: 4.4/5

Time Cost: Low cost of setting up, but high cost in learning how to use the software.

Monetary Cost: Lite: $9 per month, Plus: $49 per month, Professional: $129  per month, Enterprise: $229  per month

 

2. Callpage

 

Category: Inbound

Description: Callpage is an inbound callback solution that automates the calls between a potential customer and a sales representative. It shows up as a widget on your website. This can help speed up the communication between the sales rep and prospects as people no longer need to fill in online forms and wait for a response.

Capterra Rating: 4.3/5

Time Cost: Low cost in setting up and low cost in learning how to use the software.

Monetary Cost: Basic: $0 (15 calls) or $29 (30 calls) per month, Professional: $119 (150 calls) per month, Premium: $284 (400 calls) per month

3. Contact Enhance

 

Category: Specific Sales Optimization

Description: Contact Enhance is a business intelligence sales automation tool. It automates lead research, enrichment, and even generation for sales teams. With an email address, Contact Enhance can generate detailed information about your contacts across 52 profile fields.

Capterra Rating: Not available

Time Cost: Low cost in setting up and low cost in learning how to use the software.

Monetary Cost: $63.66 (Basic Plan) per month, $126.08 (Advanced Plan) per month, $380.79 (Premium Plan) per month

 

4. Hubspot

Category: All-in-one

Description: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the backbone of a sales funnel. It is the recordkeeper for all sales activities made across different channels for your sales team. With CRM, you can track and analyze the customer data, and utilize these records to learn, organize, and optimize sales.

Capterra Rating: 4.5

Time Cost: High cost in setting up and high cost in learning how to use the software.

Monetary Cost: $40 (Starter Plan) per month, $400 (Professional Plan) per month, $1,200 (Enterprise Plan) per month

 

5. Limecall

 

 

Category: Inbound

Description: Just like Callpage, Limecall is an automated sales callback software.

Capterra Rating: 5/5

Time Cost: Low cost in setting up and low cost in learning how to use the software.

Monetary Cost: $0 (Starter) per month for up to 10 calls, $400 (Pro) per month for up to 100 calls, $75 (Advanced) per month for 300 calls

 

6. Novocall Conversations

 

Category: Inbound

Description: Novocall Conversation is an automated sales system that automates your inbound sales. It is embedded onto your site as a callback widget is triggered as your customers browse through the page. They can then schedule a call-back, drop a message, and connect within 20 seconds. Novocall records and logs all call data for your future analytics and references. It is also integrated with other software such as CRMs and your sales reps’ Google Calendars.

Capterra Rating: 4.8/5

Time Cost: Low cost in setting up and low cost in learning how to use the software.

Monetary Cost: Annual billing of $39 (Pro Plan) per month for up to 40 calls, $119 (Team Plan) per month for up to 150 calls,  $279 (Business Plan) per month for up to 350 calls

 

7. Novocall TimeSync 

 

 

Category: Inbound

Description: It is a scheduler designed especially for remote communications. With Novocall Timesync, you can also pre-qualify, segment, and distribute customers to different sales-reps, achieving more suitable matches. TimeSync can do more than just arrange calls. It integrates with other apps as well, such as CRMs. All call records can be logged in to CRMs for better customer relationship management, creating greater synergy.

Capterra Rating: 4.8/5

Time Cost: Low cost in setting up and low cost in learning how to use the software.

Monetary Cost: FREE for those who sign up in 2020, annual billing of $4 (Pro Plan) per month

 

8. Salesforce

Category: All-in-one

Description: Salesforce is an integrated CRM platform that gives all departments a shared view of every customer profile.

Capterra Rating: 4.4/5

Time Cost: High cost in setting up and high cost in learning how to use the software.

Monetary Cost: Ranges from $25 to $375 per user per month depending on the product purchased

 

9. Yesware

 

Category: Outbound

Description: Yesware is an outbound email automation tool. It tracks and analyzes every email you send so that you know who has opened your messages, attachments, and links in real-time. You can also create an email using Yesware templates, making them more engaging and informative.

Capterra Rating: 4.2/5

Time Cost: Low cost in setting up and low cost in learning how to use the software.

Monetary Cost: $12 (Pro Plan) per month, $25 (Premium Plan) per month, $55 (Enterprise Plan) per month

 

10. Calendly

 

 

Category: Specific Sales Optimization

Description: Like Novocall TimeSync, Calendly specializes in online appointment scheduling. You can send your own Calendly link via email or embed it on your website. People will then be able to schedule meetings conveniently.

Capterra Rating: 4.6/5

Time Cost: Low cost in setting up and low cost in learning how to use the software.

Monetary Cost: $0 (Basic Plan) per month, $8 (Premium Plan) per month, $12 (Pro Plan) per month

 

11. Justcall

 

 

Category: Outbound

Description: Unlike the call automation software mentioned above, Justcall is an outbound call tool that automates your outbound calls. The calls can also be recorded for better customer relationship management.

Capterra Rating: 4.1/5

Time Cost: Low cost in setting up and medium cost in learning how to use the software.

Monetary Cost: $20 (Standard Plan) per month, $40 (Premium Plan) per month, Amount based on quote requested (Enterprise Plan)

 

12. Creatio

 

 

Category: All-in-one

Description: Creatio is a cloud-based, end-to-end sales automation and CRM software. It covers the entire customer journey and automatically generates sales, revenue reports, and email reports to superiors.

Capterra Rating: 4.8/5

Time Cost: High cost in setting up and high cost in learning how to use the software.

Monetary Cost: $25 (Team Plan) per month, $30 (Commerce Plan) per month, $50 (Enterprise Plan) per month

 

13. Prospect.io

Category: Outbound

Description: Prospect.io a sales automation platform that can help you find new prospects and automatically sends outbound email campaigns and follow-up emails. They also track and analyze your campaigns and provides statistics, from email opens to conversion rates.

Capterra Rating: 4.4/5

Time Cost: Medium cost in setting up and medium cost in learning how to use the software.

Monetary Cost: $79 (Essential Plan) per month, $129 (Business Plan) per month

 

14. Autoklose

 

 

Category: All-in-one

Description: Autoklose is a sales automation software that helps keep everyone in your sales team in sync with one another. Some of its automation features include lead generation, email campaign management, real-time email tracking, and reporting, team management, and contact management. Autoklose can also segment sales leads automatically which allows for customized targeting.

Capterra Rating: 4.5/5

Time Cost: Medium cost in setting up and medium cost in learning how to use the software.

Monetary Cost: $49.99 (Starter Plan) per month, $149.95 (Small Business Plan) per month, Depending on the quote requested

 

15. Growbots

Category: Outbound

Description: Growbots is an outbound sales automation software that automatically prospects and comes up with a personalized list of potential customers based on your specific business criteria. Growbots also helps you find the right decision-makers in companies and their contact details. It also enables you to personalize, customize, send, and track email campaigns.

Capterra Rating: 4.5/5

Time Cost: Medium cost in setting up and medium cost in learning how to use the software.

Monetary Cost: Depending on the quote requested.

 

16. Outreach

 

 

Category: All-in-one

Description: Outreach provides a holistic view of key metrics and everything sales related in one place on the dashboard. This includes the number of prospects engaged and team schedules. Furthermore, Outreach is equipped with intelligent sales sequences, a powerful sales dialer, meeting schedules, email tracking, and even sales texting.

Capterra Rating: 4.5/5

Time Cost: High cost in setting up and high cost in learning how to use the software.

Monetary Cost: Depending on the quote requested.

 

17. LeadFuze

 

Category: Specific Sales Optimization

Description: This software specializes in automated sales prospecting and lead generation. It automatically finds you the right contacts based on your company, industry, and role preferences. Othe even more specific filters including technologies they use and Adwords budget. It then generates a list of verified email addresses, phone numbers, social media profiles, and more.

Capterra Rating: 4.6/5

Time Cost: Low cost in setting up and low cost in learning how to use the software.

Monetary Cost: $132.30 (Starter Plan) per month, $447.30 (Scaling Plan) per month, Depending on the quote requested (Custom Plan)

 

18. PandaDoc

 

Category: Specific Sales Optimization

Description: PandaDoc automates and accelerates sales deal closing processes and workflows. It enables helps create sales documents like proposals and contracts. The platform comes with tools that help improve the quality of the documents such as templates. It also allows you to automate the sending and tracking of the documents, payment, and legally binding signature collections.

Capterra Rating: 4.6/5

Time Cost: Low cost in setting up and low cost in learning how to use the software.

Monetary Cost: $9 (Individual Plan) per month, $49 (Business Plan) per month, Depending on the quote requested (Enterprise Plan)

 

19. Sigstr

 

Category: Specific Sales Optimization

Description: Sigstr specializes in automating email signature marketing processes for your sales teams. Sigstr allows you to capitalize on your email signatures and turn them into marketing channels.

Capterra Rating: 4.7/5

Time Cost: Low cost in setting up and low cost in learning how to use the software.

Monetary Cost: $9 (Individual Plan) per month, $49 (Business Plan) per month, Depending on the quote requested (Enterprise Plan)

 

20. LeadGnome

 

 

Category: Specific Sales Optimization

Description: LeadGnome automates reply email mining so that you can build a database of potential customers. It can also enrich your existing leads with verified mobile and office numbers.

Capterra Rating: 4.8/5

Time Cost: Low cost in setting up and low cost in learning how to use the software.

Monetary Cost: $9 (Individual Plan) per month, $49 (Business Plan) per month, Depending on the quote requested (Enterprise Plan)

 

21. Affinity

Category: All-in-one

Description: Affinity is a relationship intelligence platform that helps you leverage your network for a variety of purposes. It can extract information on the important relationship data hidden in your communication streams. This, in turn, reveals which of your contacts is able to initiate the right warm introduction for your next deal.

Capterra Rating: 4.9/5

Time Cost: High cost in setting up and high cost in learning how to use the software.

Monetary Cost: Depending on the quote requested.

 

22. Voicent

 

 

Category: All-in-one

Description: Voicent is an enterprise-level automated sales software. It automatically tracks sales deals, lets you know the standing of each deal, assigns leads to specific agents, and measures the performance of each agent. It also serves as a communication software that has built-in call center tools.

Capterra Rating: 4.5/5

Time Cost: High cost in setting up and high cost in learning how to use the software.

Monetary Cost: Depending on the quote requested.

 

22. Freshsales by Freshworks

Category: All-in-one

Description: Freshsales is an automated sales software that enables you to optimize your sales and marketing strategies. It allows you to maximize e-mails and track their performance. Freshsales also automatically captures the visitors that go to your website and assign them to the most well-suited salesperson on your team.

Capterra Rating: 4.7/5

Time Cost: High cost in setting up and high cost in learning how to use the software.

Monetary Cost: $12 (Blossom Plan) per month, $25 (Garden Plan) per month, $49 (Estate Plan) per month,  $79 (Forest Plan) per month

 

24. Chilli Piper

 

 

Category: Inbound

Description: It is a scheduler which makes it easier to book appointments, thus increasing the productivity of the sales team. Through the software, people can not only book virtual meetings, but also phone calls. It also has a lead qualification function which allows you to set rules as to which type of leads will get access to your sales reps’ calendars.

Capterra Rating: 4.4/5

Time Cost: High cost in setting up and high cost in learning how to use the software.

Monetary Cost: Depending on the number of people and functions you request for. Price starts from $10 (1 person, basic features) per month

 

25. Mailshake

Category: Outbound

Description: Mailshake is a sales engagement platform that helps salespeople create highly personalized outreach cadences using email, social, and phone. With Mailshake, you can upload a list of prospects with personalization fields like name, links to social profiles, and phone numbers. Messages are sent automatically according to your campaign settings and can be paused automatically if a recipient replies or clicks a link. You can also track your campaign’s performance in real-time and see which messages in your cadence have the best engagement.

Capterra Rating: 4.7/5

Time Cost: Low cost in setting up and low cost in learning how to use the software.

Monetary Cost: $59 (Email Outreach) per month, $99 (Sales Engagement) per month

 

Factor Everything to Determine the Actual Costs in Deploying an Automated Sales System

Upfront Cost of the Tools

As a company, you can use costs to evaluate what you can afford and cannot afford. This should be the starting point in your decision-making process. Working with a budget in mind allows you to quickly qualify or disqualify the systems to be considered.

Hidden Time Costs in Deploying the Tools for Your Company and Team

Unfortunately, for most sales automation software, you have to spend time upfront, to save time in the future.

Most companies place value in their employee time. Determine what that is, and how long it would take to not only set-up the platform, but to manage it.

Does this actually save your team time? Types of time investments: training to master the platform, writing company processes for the platform, integration, testing, deploying. Ask yourself how long will that take you upfront, and on a regular basis, to determine whether a platform’s costs are worth it. Sites like Capterra provide you with insights for detailed customer reviews on how any of the listed apps above have worked for their teams.

 

So, which Sales Platform is Right for You?

The short answer is: it depends on what you need. A good way to gauge whether an automated sales system is suitable for you is to look at customer success stories. Look at the numbers and use that to calculate if the software is worth the money.

For example, after using Novocall Conversations, EU Holidays increased their sales calls by over 100 and achieved a 20% person increase in sales. If your company is similar to them in areas like business model and size, it may be safe to say that this could be a feasible solution that you should explore.

Also, be sure to take advantage of the generous free trials that exist with many software systems, try it, and make the call for yourself whether it works for your needs.

 

You are reading the Business Development, Services and Marketing (BDSM) Blog. Named to reflect the punishing amount of discipline required to master the core tenets of the industries we service, we blog about current affairs, industry tips, tech developments and more.

     Written by

    Nigel Seah

    Content Marketer

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